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This article comes courtesy of our friend Abbas over at India Someday and first appeared on their website: http://www.indiasomeday.com/


We get asked a lot about how much to tip in India at different instances. So here’s our rough guide.

Tipping after meals at a restaurant

If eating a small meal, breakfast or snack with a bill total less than 300 INR, then a 10% tip is expected/appreciated. If you have small bills handy you can tip in multiples of 10 INR notes.

On totals ranging from 300 to 1000 INR, you can tip anywhere from 7 to 10%.

On bill amounts above 1000 INR, tipping 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.

restaurant tipping in india


Tipping at hotels

Tipping at hotels in India is slightly confusing and can be annoying at times.

Often bellboys or room service staff may wait outside your room expecting a tip, and more so when there is no central tip box at the hotel.

We don’t recommend tipping individually, but rather offer a polite ‘thankyou’ with a smile and turn/walk away.

If in an uncomfortable situation, small 10 to 30 rupee notes are a good tip for small tasks.

As a rule then, we encourage tipping to a central tip box. These tips should be between 5 to 7% of the hotel tariff per night, divided by the number of days you have stayed. Note that when staying at expensive or 5-star hotels you can reduce this to between 3 to 5%.

As an example, if you are at a hotel that is 2000 per night and staying for 3 nights, then tip about 350 overall.


*Exclude restaurant tips from general hotel tips.

*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 a young, budget traveller you can tip lower or just avoid tipping at hotel rooms.

how to tip in india


Tipping multiple-day car hire drivers, day car hire drivers and transfers from airport or taxis/rickshaws.

In the case of airport transfer, tip approximately 30 to 50 INR.

If you rent a car for a day to tour the city, depending on how happy you were with the service, you can tip between 100 to 250 INR. Base your interpretation of good service on whether the driver gave you good local tips on places to eat or monuments to visit, and was generally helpful and did not take you to tourist-trap shops.

If you take a taxi or a tuk-tuk (rickshaw) from A to B after deciding a rate, then a tip is usually not expected.

When you have a driver over multiple days you should tip him between 150 – 300 INR per day. Again, base this on how happy you were with his service and local knowledge.

tipping a driver in india


Tipping tour guides

You should tip a personal guide between 100 and 300 INR per day, depending on how happy you were with their tour. If you took a group tour then 30 to 50 INR is a fair tip.

tipping in india guides


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 in various situations as explained above, but tip higher only when you are very happy with the service, or if you feel an individual went out of their way to help you.



Abbas Slatewala runs India Someday alongside Harsh, both actually helped co-found Tripzuki. You can find them over at IndiaSomeday.com.