At sit-down eateries in Hungary, it is standard to tip about 8-10-12% of the total for decent service (usually rounded up to 500 or 1,000 Forints), or up to 15% for an outstandingly helpful server. Nowadays many restaurants include a 12% “service charge” (“szervízdíj” in Hungarian) in the total, so make sure to check for this either on the bill itself or on the menu; there is no need to leave any extra tip in addition to this amount. At more casual eateries, a tip jar will often be next to the cash register or guests can round up to the next highest forint-bill denomination when paying the server. However, no matter what type of restaurant it is, tips should never be left on the table when you leave – all tips should be given directly to the server or placed directly into the tip jar.
One local caveat: some traditional Hungarian restaurants hire a musician or a house band to play live Gipsy music and other evergreen tunes, while the musician(s) may begin traveling from table to table to entertain individual dining parties. When the music band is at your table, if you request a particular song and they can play it, you will be expected to provide a tip for the musicians; a 500- or 1,000-Forint bill should suffice. However, if you do not request a song, there is no need to tip the musicians… even though you may experience mild pressure to do so.
If a hotel porter brings luggage from the front desk to a guest room (or back from the room to the lobby), it is typical to give him a 500-forint bill for this service. Housekeepers do not expect tips, but when checking out it is greatly appreciated if you leave them approximately 200-300 Forints (equivalent of EUR 1) for each day of your total stay. If utilizing a hotel’s concierge services, tips are also not expected, but at the end of your stay the concierge will happily accept 500-1,000-2,000 Forints as a bonus for all assistance offered during the course of your visit, particularly if guests present them with considerable logistical challenges.
First of all, it is important to always order cabs from a well-known taxi company by phone in Budapest, or to board them at official taxi stands or in front of major hotels. One of the best ways is to use the Bolt App to call taxis - this is the safest and easiest way to track your ride & driver and even give a tip at the end of the ride. We always discourage hailing taxis on the street, as overcharging cab drivers – often tagged as ‘freelancer’ – are unfortunately still quite common. Once arrived at your destination, it is ordinary to tip approximately 5-10% of the total fare, or to round up the charge by about 100-200 Forints for a typical ride of ten minutes or less. Airport-shuttle drivers will gladly accept a tip of 200-500 Forints, especially if they assist with loading and unloading your luggage. If hiring a limousine or other specialty vehicle, drivers will expect a tip of about 5-10% of the total charge.
Important: production drivers working in the Production are not expecting any form of tipping for their daily or airport transfer work.
In a lot of bars, the bartender’s salary stands up of a basic hourly wage plus a certain % of the tips received during their shift. Bartenders do not expect to always receive tips, but it is always appreciated. Typically, in an average pub, customers leave about 50-100 Forints for each drink ordered, usually rounding up to the next 100- or 200-forint denomination above the total charge. At fancier/cooler clubs or cocktail lounges and bars, guests are expected to be more generous with tips, although an additional 10% per drink bonus will suffice in almost any upscale bar nationwide. A 100-Forint coin is enough to leave for cloakroom attendants, or if a tip jar or tray is provided at the counter.
Unique to Hungary’s thermal bath culture, many major spas hire locker-room attendants to help every guest to secure their valuables before submerging into the hot-spring waters. At least among Hungarians, it is typical to tip these attendants 100 Forints, usually at the conclusion of each spa visit (try to find the same attendant who helped you at the beginning of your visit). This gratuity is often not expected among foreign spa visitors, but it will certainly be appreciated.
It is not expected but appreciated to give tips to those who serve us with something. It depends on the service, but a few hundred Forints are the most common amount for saying ‘Thank You’ this way. For example:
Massages: For standard services, the provider will be happy to receive a tip of 300-500 Forints or perhaps 1,000 Forints if the massage is provided in your hotel room or home (requires call-out). However, for top-quality massage services at deluxe spas, tipping is absolutely not expected as it is entirely built into the service fee.
Hairstylists and cosmeticians: A tip of approximately 5-10% of the total charge is always appreciated but never expected, especially if the stylist owns the salon.
Delivery services: A 200-forint gratuity is enough for any standard delivery services (food, dry cleaning, etc.), unless you are ordering a considerably large amount of goods and/or having it delivered to a particularly remote location. Usually with food delivery applications like Wolt - you can tip the courier while making the order.