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Are you confused about tipping in Turkey? Don’t worry, it’s not just you!
Tipping practices vary from country to country. It is always important to figure out tip etiquette before you travel abroad.
Here in Turkey, it’s no different. When I first got here I was confused all the time.
People told me that you didn’t tip in Turkey. How could there be no tipping? But then it was confusing because for some things it seemed expected.
The longer I live here, the more I understand and hope to pass along that wisdom to you.
We will talk through what is expected, what to look out for, and how much you should tip each industry.
Avoid the headache now and be prepared for your trip to Turkey!
4 Must-Have travel accessories to keep your money safe
- A money belt is really great to have especially in crowded/touristy areas. This one has RFID blocking and a great price!
- Keep your passport and cards safe with RFID blocking in this passport holder wallet.
- Travelon is my favorite for anti-theft bags. They have a ton of different purses and bags to keep your money safe while traveling.
- If you’d rather have a neck wallet than a money belt, this has RFID blocking built into it as well.
Some Tipping guides for Istanbul (and Turkey)
In Turkey tips are called “bahşiş” (bah sheesh). In general, tipping in Turkey is quite modest compared to the American standard.
You can tip for good service and if you’re not pleased with the service, don’t tip.
If, however, they did a great job, tipping is a great idea.
While most industries outside of tourism don’t expect tips, many within the tourism industry have come to expect them and count on them to help supplement their lower wages.
You can’t go wrong in being generous as long as it is within reason.
By this, I simply mean that you won’t want to be so generous that you draw attention to yourself and make yourself a target for a scam or something.
Be wise and generous at the same time. Let’s check out a few of the industry standards.
Tipping in Turkey 2023
Each of these industries has different standards but one thing can’t be re-emphasized enough: tipping is an indicator of the quality of service received.
If you don’t feel like you got great service, feel free to do less. If you had excellent service, feel free to do more.
Also, locals don’t really tip unless it is a large group at a restaurant and it is a big bill. They may round up sometimes but more likely than not, they won’t tip.
Because it is so common in Western culture to tip, they have come to expect it from us. So be generous when appropriate and don’t sweat the small stuff.
It is important to note, however, that tipping in Istanbul, or any of the other major towns, will feel much different than if you go to a smaller village.
You will not be expected to tip in a small village as it is out of the ordinary.
|Hotel Staff||$1 / day – though not necessary|
|Porter||1$ / per bag|
|Taxi Driver||10% of the tour’s cost|
|Turkish Bath & Spas||10 – 15%|
|All-inclusive resorts||As you want in the tip box or 10% of what the service would cost if it wasn’t included|
|Tour Guides||10% of tour’s cost|
|Street Musician||Whatever you want|
|Musician @ Restaurant||$5-10 if they sing at your table|
|Restaurant – Waiter||5-10 %|
|Valets||10 – 15 tl for each retrieval|
Regarding this chart, it is simply a recommendation. While there are fees in $ it is only because the economy is quite volatile right now.
Always tip using the local currency, the Turkish Lira (tl). If you’re in doubt, %10 is a safe bet. Also if it is something small, you can always just tip 5-10 tl.
Hotels in Turkey
While tipping hasn’t been a part of Turkish culture for long, foreigners have brought the concept with them.
More and more it is being expected but mostly in touristy areas and mostly from foreigners.
That being said, hotels will generally have a tip box that you can easily put money into at the end of your stay for tipping hotel staff in general.
While it is nice to tip the porters who help you with your luggage, tipping can be reserved for excellent service.
Also if you get room service, you can give a small tip for that.
Do you still need a place to stay in Turkey? Check for hotel availability below!
If it is a longer ride, to/from the airport for instance and they get you there quickly it is good to tip a little more. I usually do like 3% on a long drive.
I usually tip taxi drivers if I felt comfortable and felt respected.
If you come in the spring, summer, or fall, you will likely see a lot of street musicians. They play for tips.
If you give a request or want to take a photo with them, make sure you tip them.
You can also throw some money in if you really like their style. This is as you want it to be.
You never tip on a dolmus, minibus, or any public transportation. You also don’t tip at government buildings or anywhere not touristy.
Hamams & Spas
This is a place where a tip is expected. Whether you just get a standard scrub or if you add in a massage, it is good to tip 10-15% of the cost to the person who provided the service.
If it was just alright, 10% is sufficient. If it was excellent, 15% is great.
This also goes for spas and salons (kuafors) as well.
Tipping in Turkey All-inclusives
If you’re wondering “How much to tip in Turkey at an all-inclusive in 2023” let me break it down.
This is a topic not many write about because although some would say this is an integral part of culture, I would argue that it isn’t.
Perhaps because it isn’t hte same as in the States. It is never required or compulsory but always appreciated.
Tipping at an all-inclusive is not expected but you can always add tips to the tip box for general housekeeping and staff around the facilities.
You may also want to tip your server or bartender. If so, 10% of what the meal/drink would cost is adequate. Make sure you give it to them personally.
If you’re at a luxury all inclusive, you can give closer to 15-20%. But again, tipping in Turkey is more tied to quality of service than something that is required.
The one person that would be nice to tip is the bellboy. Roughly $1 per bag is a reasonable tip.
Sometimes it can be hard because they will take up your luggage without you being there as a means of preparing it for you. If that is the case, don’t worry about it.
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive, check out this post on the Haydarpasha Palace!
Tour Guides in Turkey
There are all kinds of tours. You have walking tours and day trip tours and multiple day trip tours.
Each one will be priced quite differently and include such different things.
One of the best tips is to simply go with about 10% of your trip costs as for how much to tip.
Tipping travel guides is one of the more expected tips. If the guide did an excellent job, of course, you can always give them more.
Make sure to also include a little something for the driver if there is one.
Side note: if you go to a shop or winery or something of the sort know that whatever you buy, the tour guides in Turkey will also get a commission.
This is another way to get something for yourself and help locals at the same time. But don’t forget to haggle.
Restaurants in Turkey
Generally, a good rule of thumb is 5-10% for a tip at a restaurant. Here especially if you receive exceptional service tips at the upper end.
If you give a tip, give it directly to the waiter.
If you get bad service don’t tip at all or a small tip.
If you get drinks at a bar, make sure you tip directly to the bartender.
If there is a musician or belly dancer walking around you can give them a tip if you want them to play at your table for a minute or graciously wave them away if you’re not interested.
A suitable tip is $3-5 in Turkish lira.
Pro Tip: Some restaurants will add a gratuity to the bill. However, you can always leave an additional tip if you’d like.
Lastly, we have valets. Cars are a tricky thing in Turkey, especially in Istanbul. If you’re just going for a night somewhere, obviously you won’t give the same amount as someone else.
Also if it is compulsory it is different than if you choose to do it.
If you’re staying at a hotel, 10-15 tl every time you pull the car out would be acceptable.
This is the one place I always make sure I tip. There is one major reason…all the stairs.
In many Turkish buildings, there aren’t elevators. So often if you order something to your home (think meals, food, water) they have to carry it up all the stairs.
So I have something that is bigger being delivered, I make sure to tip.
The one caveat to that is I don’t tip when it is cargo being delivered unless, again, it is something large.
Tips for How much to tip in Turkey
Here are a few tips and things to think about as you adventure your way through Turkey. Hopefully, these tips will help you navigate the tipping world with ease.
- Always use the local currency, the Turkish Lira
If you are tipping enough that you would use a note in Euros, Dollars, or Pounds then a foreign note is acceptable. What isn’t acceptable is a foreign coin. Best to just give lira notes.
- Make sure you tip in cash
There isn’t a spot for writing in a tip on a credit card receipt here. It is best practice to always make sure you have some cash that you can leave a tip with if you want. The bill usually comes in a box of sorts, you can simply leave the cash inside.
- Check your bill for a service charge
Some restaurants, especially high-end ones or in super touristy areas, will add in a service charge. If it is there, there is no need to tip unless they just crushed the service. Tipping at that point is at your discretion.
- It isn’t customary to tip nor is it compulsory
If someone didn’t provide good service, you don’t have to leave a good tip. While it is often expected from foreigners, it isn’t mandatory.
- Use this Turkish phrase
Üstü kalsın (oostoo kalsin) – this simply means keep the change. You can say to the taxi or any other service provider to let them know you don’t need change.
how much to tip in turkey all inclusive 2023
You don’t actually have to. That being said, it is highly appreciated, especially when someone does a good job. 10% of what you would pay for the same service is a great tip.
I hope this has been helpful to you. I know when I got here this was a very confusing topic of conversation, and sometimes it still is.
If you ask 5 different people you will likely hear at least 3 different opinions.
That being said, 10% is a great place to start. More if they excelled at their job and less if they didn’t.
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- Cyprus is a great secondary vacation when visiting Turkey
Turkey vacation basics
When I plan a trip these are the websites I use. Hope they help you plan your next adventure as well!
VISAS: You can use the free e-visa portal here but for a few extra dollars you can use iVisa and someone else will handle any issues that may come up.
E-SIM: When I traveled to SE Asia I discovered e-sims and I’m never going back. Airlo has been easy and cheap! Use code “SEP15” to get 15% off on one booking.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: I use TravelInsurance.com for my trips abroad.
CAR RENTAL: I have loved working with Discover Cars when I rent cars in country.
ACCOMMODATION: Find the best Turkey hotel deals on Booking.com.
CITY TOURS & DAY TRIPS: You can browse GetYourGuide’s website to find just the tour you’re looking for!