We get asked a lot on how much to tip in India at different instances. This can
be used as rough guide on how much you should be tipping in India and at which instances.
Tipping after meals at a restaurant
If eating a small meal, breakfast or snack with bill amounts less than INR 300,
then a 10% tip is expected/appreciated. If you have small bills handy, you can tip
in multiples of INR 10 notes.
On bill amounts ranging between INR 300 to INR 1000, you can tip around 7% to 10%
of bill amount. For example an INR 100 tip on an INR 1000 bill is a very good tip,
you can also tip about INR 70 and that would be fine.
On bill amounts above INR 1000, tip amount of INR 5 to 7% is sufficient.
Restaurants in Delhi and Mumbai often charge a ‘service charge’, not to be confused
with ‘service tax’ (which is a government levied tax). When a ‘service charge’ is
levied no tip is expected.
Tipping at hotels
Tipping at hotels in India is slightly confusing and annoying at times.
As a rule we encourage whenever possible i.e. you see a central tip box then tip
cumulatively. Cumulative tip should be between 5 to 7% of the hotel tariff per night
into number of days.
So if you are at a hotel that is INR 2000 a night and staying for 3 nights, then
you should tip about INR 300 - 400 overall. When staying at expensive hotels reduce
this to between 3 to 5% of tariff amount.
*Exclude restaurant tips from tips to hotels.
*If you do not find a central tip box you can ask if they have one, or tip one central
person at the reception and indicate this is a tip for everyone.
**If you are young budget travelers, you can tip lower or avoid tipping at hotel
Why tipping at hotels can be annoying?
Not as a rule, but often bell boys will wait outside your room expecting for a tip.
If you ask for a small task from room service, the staff might wait outside the
door expecting a tip. More so, when there is no central tip box
We recommend avoiding tipping individually. This might mean telling a bell boy a
polite thank you with a smile and walking away.
If in an uncomfortable situation, small notes INR 10 to INR 30 are a good tip for
Tipping multiple day car hire drivers, day car hire drivers and transfers from airport
At instances of Airport transfers you can tip between about INR 30 - 50.
If you rent a car for a day to tour the city, depending on how happy you were with
his service you can tip between INR 100 – 250. Base this of if he gave you good
local tips on places to eat, or monuments to visit. Did not take you tourist-trap
If you take a taxi or a tuk-tuk (rickshaw) between point a to point b after deciding
rate, a tip is usually not expected on these instances.
When you have a driver over multiple days, you should tip him between INR 150 –
INR 300 per day. Again base this on how happy you were with his service and local
You should tip a guide between INR 100 to INR 300 per day depending on happy you
were with their guided tour. If this is a personalized tour. If it is group tour
INR 30 - INR 50 is a fair tip.
Good to know
While India, culturally does not have a strong tipping tradition. In most of the
tourist towns tips are expected and frowned upon when not offered at all.
We do recommend tipping at various instances as explained above, but tip higher
only when you are very happy with the service.
We also encourage tips higher than the range specified if you feel an individual
went out of his way to help you and you extremely satisfied.