Tipping Etiquette in the Algarve: How Much Should I Tip?

Tipping in the algarve can be very confusing and it’s not as simple as it is in other countries such as the UK or the United States where there are rules on how much to tip unlike in Portugal. 

We have attempted to pull together information from locals, regular tourists and industries in order to create a solution in terms of how to tip in the Algarve. 

We asked a variety of people who all had different answers and opinions, but eventually we managed to get to some common ground and we now have a rough idea on tipping etiquette in the Algarve. It varies from hairdresser to cleaner to tour guide to waiter, we have attempted to give you the best advice.


1. Always tip

A tip is always appreciated whether it’s small or large, so even if you don’t give enough, it could still make a huge difference to someone’s quality of life as Portugal has some of the lowest wages in the EU. 

If you ever cannot decide whether to tip or not: always tip and always tip in cash, sometimes the card machines offer a gratuity, this usually doesn’t end up going to the waiters.


2. When in restaurants

As there are no fixed rules in Portugal about tipping, we have collated a few different suggestions that a variety of different people use:

  • You could round the bill up, for example if the meal costs 23 euros, you may round it up to 25, or it may cost 55 euros so you could leave them 40. 
  • Next is between 5 and 10 percent of the bill, if the bill was £40 you would leave a £4 tip etc.
  • Often the company adds 10 percent onto the bill at the end for service, in this case you wouldn’t need to tip. 
  • Others just don’t tip at all.

This might change depending on your location, for example if its a restaurant where tourists often visit, it’s usually a percentage bill, however if the clientele is local people from the algarve then generally any kind of tip is appreciated, it’s not usually overly expensive to eat out in Portugal so what’s a few extra euros?

Lastly, if the restaurant is a high-end, Michelin star or upmarket then I would stick with the 5-10 percent of the bill.


3. Cafés and Bars

In the Algarve, usually a coffee costs less than a euro, even with a cake it’s very cheap, so it’s usually just a case of rounding up to the nearest euro. 

On the other hand tipping in bars is not as common, unless you feel they are putting lots of work in such as making cocktails and not just pouring a glass of wine, depending on the size of the bill you could round up to the nearest euro or five euros.


4. Tipping Hotel Staff

Housekeeping staff usually don’t receive the best wage slips, particularly if there not from Portugal so leaving a couple of euros as a tip is usually greatly appreciated. 

On the other hand concierges and receptionists don’t expect tips however i’m sure they would appreciate one, a couple of euros per bag carried or for room service would be appreciated.


5. Tour Guides

When in the algarve, there are multiple tours you can go on, you may not think about tipping the tour guide but if you do I would recommend between 5 and 10 euros for half a day or between 10 and 20 euros for a full day.


6. Bad service

Even when in the Algarve, you may seem you may come across bad service, then it’s totally cool not to tip. 

On the other hand, look who’s fault it is, if the restaurant is really short staffed and there is one waiter or waitress trying their hardest, it’s not their fault, tip them personally. 

However if it’s just unwelcoming, unorganised and a poor quality of food, it’s completely understandable for you not to leave a tip. 

Im sure you are capable of judging this for yourself.