In the U.S. tipping is customary and expected for everything from lackluster to outstanding service. It is an etiquette that is ingrained in all trades, from wait staff at restaurants to our baristas, valets, cab drivers, porters, and many more trades. The question `when?` or `how much?` can leave some travelers confused, as the practice varies.

This guide attempts to cover most situations that you, as a tourist, will encounter. Hopefully using these `tips` will provide a smooth experience when interacting with locals in restaurants, bars, hotels, tour operators, and taxis.

Baksheesh or Tipping is not mandatory in Montenegro, but is very much appreciated by staff in the service industry and should be a reward for the service you received. If you don’t leave a tip then it means you were absolutely not satisfied with the service. Tipping is becoming more common in the country with the tourism industry growing so rapidly. It is not mandatory, but a good rule of thumb to go by is leaving up to 10% of the bill as a tip.

Currency: Can I pay in U.S. dollars, or should I use the Euro?

The currency of Montenegro is the Euro, US dollars are not accepted. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for Euro upon arrival. In US culture we can put everything on credit and debit cards, however, in Europe, you will find it useful to always keep a little cash on hand. Currency exchange desks can be found at the airport and in many locations throughout the main city’s.

A VAT percentage is a service fee for the state used in Western Europe and American countries, you are obliged to pay the service fee. The fee will be automatically included in your bill and can range from 12-15%.

Restaurants, Cafes, and Bars: When should I tip? How much is customary?

In Montenegran restaurants you should check your bill for a service charge, if one is not included you can then round up the bill and leave a tip, it is recommended to tip at least 10%. Be sure to carry small denominations of Euros to tip cash in small restaurants and cafes.

Hotel Staff: Who should I tip?

Tipping at hotels in Montenegro is a common practice, Bell boys should receive a few euros per bag and the maid service 2-3 euros a night. Hotel staff will be very grateful for a tip, how much to leave is up to you, but this is a general suggestion.

Taxi Drivers: Should I tip?

Tipping your taxi driver in Montenegro is a common practice, they don’t require tips but you can simply round up to the nearest Euro and leave a small tip for your driver. You can tip about 5-10% of the total fare depending on your ride and service received. Always remember when travelling abroad that it is good practice to agree on a final fare before the cab driver begins driving.

Tour Guides: Is a tip required?

Tipping your tour guide in Montenegro is a common practice, you should leave between 5-10% of the total cost of your tour as a tip. .

Final Thoughts:

Remember that it is perfectly okay to abstain, especially if you are not happy with the service provided. Unlike in the U.S., waiters are paid a living wage, and the expectations for tipping are lower in Albania than in America. This is also true for hotel staff, though if you encounter a problem with the service within the hotel, we highly recommend speaking with the manager.

When paying for services in cash (which we generally recommend for services other than your hotel) remember to take your receipt. This is important for two reasons; If you leave a tip on a credit card, the person providing the service may not always get it, and if there is a discrepancy it is important to have your receipt to settle it with the manager of the establishment and to prove that you paid for the service.