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While some may take tipping as a sign of one’s virtues, or lack thereof, it is also undoubtedly connected to the local culture. What is customary in some regions may be considered unnecessary in others and even rude in yet another ones. This makes the matter of tipping a quite complicated affair – one that deserves a handy internet 101!
Let’s start exploring the matter of tipping in Prague with a bit of backstory. Before 1989, during the Communist regime, tipping was pretty much unheard of – after all, it doesn’t quite fit the idea of equalness. In practice, this meant service was usually less than ideal, but foreigners with Western currencies could count on a better experience than locals or travellers from the Soviet Block. The days of Communism are long gone and since Dollars can be legally bought on every other street, tipping in Prague has become a much more level and high quality playing field..
Before we crunch the numbers and various situations which might leave you wondering about tossing out some change, let’s have a quick reminder of some handy brackets. At the time of writing, 20CZK is the equivalent of 67 Pence, 78 Eurocent or 87 Cent, the regular kind. 100CZK equals 3,37GBP, 3,88EUR or 4,3USD, while 300CZK is 10,11GBP, 11,64EUR or 13USD.
Tipping in Prague’s restaurants is very much welcome and quite common but it’s usually not absolutely expected. There is an obvious variable to consider here – the more expensive the establishment and your order, the higher the expectations. If you decide to do tip, the basic amount would be rounding up your order to the next full amount.
If you were to pay 34CZK (about 1,14GBP) for a pint of one of famous Czech beers, you might round up to 40CZK, which would set you back roughly 20 Pence. Had this purchase been a hearty, delicious local meal for two such as Guláš or Smažak cheese (with genuine State Fair food Instagram appeal!), the amount could turn out to be about 350CZK, in which case you might round up to 400CZK. Your additional expense would be 1,7 Pound or 1,94 EUR, and we’re talking about a dinner for two in an old Europan city.
With a lack of strictly defined approach to tipping in Prague in food & drink establishments, you may also just rely on your own heart and tip according to your experience or even whim – who is there to stop you from tipping the Czech barista based on their bold fashion choices? That said, if you want to remain frugal, you should feel under no obligation to tip in Prague. With some kinds of places, such as Trdelnik (cinnamon bread cone) huts or fast food spots, tipping is not really even common. Some international chain places likely would not even take the tip – but on a side note, why would you go to those if you’re visiting Prague?
A thing to watch out for are tourist trap restaurants – Wenceslas Square for instance is notorious for this – that take matters into their own hands and award themselves with a 10% tip without a hint beforehand – with the exception of a fine print in a menu that is sure to divert your attention with tasty-sounding dishes. While we don’t feel like 10% tips are outrageous, tipping in Prague is up to the person tipping, and not the person being tipped. To avoid this, fine-comb the menu before picking your delicacy and consult TripAdvisor before taking up the table in the spot of your choice. Or avoid tourist spots altogether when picking the place to eat, though it’s absolutely understandable if the alluring aromas get the better of you.
If you do feel like tipping in Prague, you may apply the aforementioned practice of rounding up also when purchasing other services. If you’re visiting a barber or a florist (do we sense a beautiful engagement in Prague?) and your haircut is 80CZK, a 100CZK bill will be more than enough.
Taxi drivers of Prague have a less-then-stellar reputation surrounding the prices, though this may be true for quite a lot of places. While it shouldn’t be a reason to hold off from rewarding your very own personal driver from getting some extra CZK for entertaining you with stories of Prague’s rich history, you should be advised to always confirm the price of your route before starting the drive. A Taxi bill should be in the hundreds, not thousands – a basic grasp of prices will go a long way here. There is also the option of riding Uber or renting a bike.
Whether you want to remain frugal or not, Prague won’t be hard on you – you aren’t risking lynching if you don’t tip, and if you do tip well it will be noticed, not taken for granted. Stay tuned for more handy information about Prague in new blogposts from Le Petit Hotel Prague – with honest and convenient Prague accommodation.