The European country of Romania has embraced a tipping culture, tipping is widespread throughout the country. Romania is a country with low paid salaries for people in the service industry who live for tips, and most will expect a tip for good service. It is common to tip 5-10% for general service and up to 15% for exceptional service.

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

The currency of Romania is the Romanian Leu (RON/Lei), euros might be accepted in the city of Bucharest, but doubtful anywhere else in the country. You will need to exchange your currency for the Denar, which can be done upon arrival at the airport currency exchange desks of banks and specialized stores called Foreign Exchange Bureaus. ATMs can be easily found in big cities and larger towns.

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?

Tipping in restaurants in Romania is normally expected, when dining out the service charge is not typically included in your bill. Waitstaff and bartenders will expect a tip and the amount should be anywhere from 5-20% of the bill as a general rule of thumb. Most people tip at least 10%, so an equal amount of 10% of your total bill as to not look cheap.

Hotel Staff: Who should I tip?

At hotels in Romania tipping your hotel staff is customary. You should tip the hotel maid around 5 Lei a day, or an accumulation over your entire stay. Tipping the bellman around 2 Lei per piece of luggage is a good amount to show your appreciation. Tipping the hotel concierge around 15 Lei is considered average for excellent services.

Taxi Drivers: Should I tip?

Taxi drivers in Romania run on meters, a tip is usually expected and appreciated by the driver. Around 4-5, Lei or rounding up the fare for a ride is a good choice. 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 guides in Romania around 10-20 Lei per day is recommended. You can always add more if your tour was exceptional. And if terrible, then don’t feel obligated to tip. Miscellaneous: other services

If visiting a spa or hair salon in Romania, you should tip up to 10% of the bill if you received great service. You can always tip more if you feel as if the service deserved it.

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 Romania 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.