Tipping in India: Who, When, and How to Tip

Tipping or baksheesh is pretty common in India

Do tourists need to tip in India? Yes! India is a tipping country, and Indians love tipping very much. When you travel to India, if someone says "Baksheesh", it means asking you to pay tips. However, tourists should pay tips according to the environment and circumstances. Usually, the more tips they pay, the better the service they receive. Generally, tipping in India are given to waiters, hotel bellboys, drivers, tour guides, etc. Tourists should better prepare some small change of 20 and 50 rupees, because tips may be required at any time during the trip.
Tipping in India

How to give tips in India? What is the tipping etiquette in India? The following is the detailed information about tipping in India in various occasions.

Tipping in India at Restaurants – 10% of the Bill

The etiquette and habits of tipping in India vary with the level of restaurants.

In some high-end restaurants, the service charge is already included in the bill, which is usually about 10%. In general, you do not need to tip any more, but if you are especially satisfied with the waiter or waitress, you can give another 20 to 50 rupees.

In average restaurants, if the meal cost is less than 300 rupees, the tip is 10% of the meal cost, i.e. 30 rupees. For meals costing 300 to 1,000 rupees, tips range from 7% to 10%. That is, a meal of 1,000 rupees requires a tip of 70 to 100 rupees. If a meal costs over 1000 rupees, you need to pay a tip 5% to 7% of the meal cost.

Considering food hygiene and safety, it is not recommended to street food. But if you want to have a try, you do not have to pay tips.

Tipping in India at Hotels – 50 to 200 Rupees

Tipping in India at Hotels

When going to India, tipping is generally the first and most frequent thing to happen in hotels. When you arrive at the hotel, if you cannot carry the luggage by yourselves, you need to give the waiter 50 rupees (about $1) for each piece of luggage.

A tip of 200 rupees (about US$ 4) need to be given to the waiter who cleans your room every day, and you can put it on the bedside table.

Tipping Car Hires – 100 to 400 Rupees

Rental cars in India are usually equipped with drivers. If the driver only provides driving service, such as collection service from airports or stations, 50 to 100 rupees is enough. If you charter a car to travel, the driver may tell you the scenic spots and customs of India. If you are satisfied with the driver's service, you can tip 200 to 400 rupees.

No need to tip the taxi or tuk-tuk drivers

Tuk-tuk in India
Tuk-tuk in India

Before getting on a taxi or tuk-tuk (rickshaw), you have to negotiate with the driver about the price. And you only need to pay the fare after arriving at the destination, and no extra tip is required. If the fare is 280 rupees, you can round it up to 300.

Tipping in India for a Tour Guide – 100 to 300 Rupees per day

According to your satisfaction with the service of your private tour guide, you can give him or her 100 to 300 rupees a day.

If you join group tour, everyone can give the tour guide 50 to 100 rupees.

Tipping Guide and Driver for a Multiple-day Tour – at least 300 Rupees per day

According to the number of tourists and your satisfaction with the service, you can refer to the following information to pay tips.
1~2 people pay a tip of 300-600 rupees a day.
3~5 people, pay a tip of 500-800 rupees a day.

If you are very satisfied with the tour guide's service. For instance, he or she takes you to the place with local characteristics, introduces the local scenic spots and customs in detail, recommends good food for you, etc., you can pay more tips without a ceiling, and your tour guide will be very happy.

Good to Know: 3 ‘Amazing’ Things about Tipping in India

1. Be careful of "warmhearted people" in scenic spots.

When you take photos at the Taj Mahal, there may be someone want to take you to a good location. If you follow him or her to the place, the person will ask for tips from you when you are ready to leave after taking photos. If you do not want to pay extra tips, try not to accept help from strangers.

2. Tipping in toilet.

In the washing room, someone may deliver paper towels to you. If you take the paper from him or her, you need to pay a tip of 10~20 rupees. If you do not want to tip, just remember do not pick up anything casually.

3. Tipping in barber shop.

There are very few decent barbershops in India, many of which are open stalls on the road. It is very cheap to have a haircut there, only 30 rupees a time. But the barber will only offer you a typical Indian crew cut. There is no need to tip the barber.

If you want to enjoy better service, it is better to choose a formal store, the price is above 500 rupees. You can tip the stylist to make your hair cut according to your requirements.

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