HOW TO TIP IN CROATIA

In the U.S. tipping is customary and expected for everything from lackluster to outstanding service. It is an etiquette which is ingrained in all trades, from wait staff at restaurants to our baristas, valets, cab drivers, porters, and many more trades. In Europe, tipping is not as habitual, and Croatia is no exception.

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.

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

The currency of Croatia is the kuna (abbreviated kn). U.S. dollars are not accepted. Euro prices are sometimes quoted for goods in shops, but it is only to provide travelers with a rough exchange rate; most shops do not accept Euros. We recommend you just have kunas on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for kunas upon arrival. In many locations, the exchange rate will be best when withdrawing kunas from an ATM. Debit and credit cards are accepted in Croatia, primarily in the larger cities, but note that at many businesses, you will incur a small fee for the privilege. Currency exchange desks can be found at airports, hotels, banks, and bureaux de change (called mjenjacnica). ATMs are widespread throughout the country, even in middle-sized cities and larger towns. If you are traveling to rural areas, make sure you bring a sufficient amount of kunas with you before leaving.

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

Tipping is usually done in the following manner: After paying for the meal, leave cash equivalent to about 10% of the total. Give a little more if you found the service to be particularly noteworthy. Note that tipping on a credit card is not done in Croatia; in fact, many waiters and waitresses may not know how to process such a request, as it is that uncommon in Croatia. You won't find a `tip line` in many cases, contrasted to the United States where you would find a tip line on a restaurant receipt.

If you see a phrase on your receipt that looks similar to `Napojnica uracunata u cijenu`, it means that gratuity has already been added to your bill and tipping at that point is not required.

At cafes, rounding up to the nearest 5 kuna is widely accepted to be a good tip. Round up to the nearest 10 kuna in hotel bars and nightclubs, especially if the service has been attentive. Local hole-in-the-wall bars require no tipping.

Note that there is a 13 percent value added tax (VAT) to every food and beverage purchase in Croatia; it is sales tax, not a tip.

Hotel Staff: Who should I tip?

Tips should be kept in the 15 to 20 kn range. These kinds of tips should be given to your concierge, your porter who brings your bags to the room and down to the lobby, and the maids who clean your room each day. If you tip those people those amounts, they will be very appreciative. No extra tipping should be required.

Taxi Drivers: Should I tip?

If you are taking a taxi in Croatia, most of them are metered, so large tips are not necessary. Round up to the nearest 5 kuna to make a tidy amount and that will be a sufficient enough tip for a taxi driver. If you have commissioned a taxi to drive you and wait on you for a certain amount of time, then it is acceptable to tip 10% of the agreed-upon fare.

Tour Guides: Is a tip required?

Most tour guides would appreciate a tip of 10 to 15 kn. This should be ideally about 10 to 15% of the cost of the tour. In recent years, the Game of Thrones tour has run upwards of 650 kn (approx. $100), and an acceptable tip amount for this popular tour is 50 to 75 kn (approx. $7.50-$12). If you really enjoyed a particular tour, feel free to tip your guide whatever you think is appropriate for your gratitude.

Miscellaneous: Is there anyone else I should tip?

Other Services: Manicurists and hairdressers will want about 10% of the cost of the service. Spa workers will not necessarily expect tips, but people do usually tip them in the neighborhood of 10 to 15%. If you are chartering your own yacht to island-hop and sail the Adriatic, it is very important to tip the crew. Much of the crew`s pay comes from tips. Consider 15% of the charter cost as a minimum amount to tip for their service.

Final Thoughts:

Tipping culture isn`t very ingrained in Croatia, but some professions do expect some extra compensation for their services. In most cases it is just a case of rounding up a bill by 5 or 10 kn. Follow our hotel and restaurant rules and you will gain insight into tipping when it is most expected. Do not feel bad for not tipping if you did not enjoy a service rendered.