Do You Tip In India?

Before embarking on travels, it’s always a good idea to understand the tipping culture. What’s expected in one place might be a social faux pas in the next.
What’s a trip to North India without seeing the famed Taj Mahal? Photo: Fahrul Azmi | Unsplash

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Learning about India’s tipping culture is an excellent idea before visiting the land of scintillating spices, incredible landscapes, and tantalizing cuisine abound.

In India, tips are often expected, although not mandatory. Locally, they’re known as baksheesh. Let’s explore where you’ll likely tip in India.

Catch a sunset in Kolkata, affectionately known as the City of Joy. Photo: Martin Jernberg | Unsplash

In Restaurants And Bars

As a general rule, tipping is standard in restaurants, with 7-10 % being the norm. If, however you experience exceptional service or you’re in a particularly touristy area, a higher tip of around 15 % to 20 % will be greatly appreciated.

Show your appreciation for delicious food with a generous tip. Photo: Azmaan Baluch | Unsplash

In Hotels

In Indian hotels, you will usually tip the members of staff who help you directly. While some big hotels might stipulate a no-tipping policy, you’ll usually tip service providers directly when they help you. The following are helpful guidelines for hotels:

• Hotel porter – around 20- 50 rupees per bag – If you aren’t prepared to tip, it’s best to carry your own bags.
• Valet drivers – 20 – 50 rupees when your car is returned.
• Housekeeping – 20 – 50 rupees per day.
• Room service – add 10 % to the bill if not already included.

If you’re staying at a more high-end hotel, you might up your tip. Some hotels might also have the option of a centralized tipping box that is shared amongst staff. Around 100 rupees per day per person will usually suffice if this is the case.

For Transport

The scenic train ride to Goa. Photo: JK | Unsplash

Tipping is greatly valued when it comes to transport, but amounts will vary depending on the type of service. If you’re getting a simple drop-off to a location like an airport or railway station, you can tip the driver between 50 and 100 rupees. If you’re opting for a multi-day car hire with a driver, you’ll usually tip around 300 to 600 rupees per day. You’ll usually tip a bit more if there are more than two passengers.

While tipping isn’t compulsory or always expected if you’re catching a tuk-tuk, it’s always a nice thing to do. A small tip will be appreciated, and you can always tell the driver to keep the change.

On Guided Tours

Tipping tour guides is the norm in India, and amounts will differ depending on the type of tour. If you’re going on a private and super personalized tour, tip the guide around 400 and 1000 rupees. If you’re on a big tour with loads of people and have less one-on-one interaction, tipping around 50 to 100 rupees per person is acceptable.

A gorgeous handcrafted door in Jaipur, a city famed for its incredible gemstones and influence on the global jewelry scene. Photo: Rahul Pande | Unsplash

The Takeaway

Although tipping isn’t mandatory, it’s definitely the done thing amongst travelers and can truly go a long way in a country like India, where many live below the breadline. Tip according to your satisfaction levels, and if you experience 5-star service, don’t be afraid to show your gratitude in the form of a higher tip.

If you’re ready to explore India, check out our ultimate Taj Mahal Guide or visit these incredible Indian beaches.


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