Tipping in Dublin: When to leave a little, a lot, and nothing at all


Pint at Dublin pub
Drinking at the counter? Put the change in your pocket. Photo: hollaBackpackers

Jessica Colley—

Cheapos can rejoice when it comes to tipping in Dublin. While etiquette varies according to the situation, generally locals believe in keeping their money, and tips aren’t expected like they would be in other countries (especially the United States).

For example, approach a bar in Dublin and order a drink. The total will most likely not be an even amount, and when you are handed your change, put it all in your pocket. A bartender won’t expect a tip, and will think you’re an unknowing tourist if you leave your change on the bar.

Here’s a quick guide to tipping in Dublin: When to leave a little, when to leave a lot, and when to keep all your change. We’ll help you save enough on tips to order at least one more pint of Guinness…

When to Leave a Little Tip

The Pub: No trip to Dublin would be complete without spending some time in the pub. The most coveted seats are the ones in the snug–the small room usually near the entrance that is almost like your own little living room, separate from the rest of the bar.

If you’re lucky enough to have snagged the snug, you will most likely have table service. A waiter or waitress will take your order, clear empty glasses, and bring you fresh pints. While a tip at the bar for the bartender isn’t necessary, it is customary to tip when drinks are brought to you. Most locals leave coins or the change for a couple drinks, but if you have been served several rounds, you will want to leave between 5% and 10% of your total bill.

Taxi: Another instance of leaving a little is tipping in a taxi. While there are many buses, trams, and even a bike share system in Dublin, you might at one time or another choose to jump in a taxi. If so, simply round up to the next euro or two for a sufficient tip. (Read more in our article about Dublin transportation.)

When to Leave a Big Tip

Restaurants: The one instance where tipping is very customary is for your server in a restaurant. A good tip is 10% of your total bill. If a server was very good and you’re feeling very generous, you can round that up to 12%. The one time when it is appropriate to tip a bartender is if you’re sitting at the bar in a pub and eat a meal along with drinking a pint of Guinness.

Cheapos wanting to avoid tipping on meals should check out a variety of cafes and restaurants where you order at the counter, but still get to eat at a table. When you order at the counter and pay at the cashier, no tip is necessary.

Beauty salon: If you want to indulge in the luxury of a haircut or manicure during your visit to Dublin, keep in mind that customary tips for these services is between 10% and 15%.

When To Leave No Tip At All

At the bar: As mentioned above, when you order a drink in a pub (or even a round of drinks) no tip is necessary for the bartender. Unlike American bars where bartenders depend on tips for their income, a bar man in Dublin is paid a wage. This also means you might wait a little longer than expected for your drinks (remember a proper pint of Guinness takes a full three minutes to pour).

While you’re at it, use the change you receive from the bartender for bus fare. Dublin Bus only accepts an exact fare–and won’t give you change if you don’t have the correct coins and need to over-pay.

Also in our Dublin Guide: Preparing for a trip to Dublin? Our editors have visited, inspected and reviewed Dublin’s best cheap hotels, all centrally located, clean and budget-friendly.

About the author

Jessica Colley is a freelance travel writer and poet. She blogs about Dublin and more at www.thegreatamericantraveldream.com.

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