DO YOU TIP IN ALBANIA? | (How Much & When )


Let’s say you are at a bar or restaurant in Albania and the bill comes. You pull out the money and immediately an unexpected question pops up into your head. How Much Should You Tip in Albania?

Q: How much should you tip in Albania?

Short answer: There is no set percentage on how much to tip in Albania, but the customary thing to do is to tip from 20 – 50 Lek in bars, and 100-200 Lek in restaurants.

Q: What services should you tip in Albania?

Short Answer: If the service includes a person serving food or beverage to you, it is considered polite to leave a tip even though the waiter will not complain if you don’t tip him/her.

If you leave a tip for good service, the staff will appreciate it. You can tip 5 to 10% of the bill if you enjoyed the service.

From my experience, I can tell you that Albanians tend to go out of their way to welcome foreign guests since tourism is one of the biggest industries in Albania.

Salaries in Albania are very low, one of the lowest in Europe: 26000 ALL / 234.66 USD per month. That’s less than 9 dollars per day.

The salary of a waiter is even lower than that and waiters make a living out of the tips they get.

Generally, they are very friendly, but service in Albania is a little bit different in comparison to the USA or European countries.

As soon as you set foot in a restaurant, a waiter will guide you to your table, hand out the menu, and will give you time to decide what you want to order.

After a couple of minutes, they will come to take the order. If you still can’t decide what to get, they will suggest the best dishes.

Meals with family or friends in Albania are very important and most locals don’t want to be bothered while they are having a conversation with each other.

Thus promptness is not very important in Tirana or other cities in Albania as it is in other parts of the world.

If your waiter won’t arrive quickly at your table, don’t be mad, because this doesn’t mean they are not doing a good job, this is just part of their culture.

Generally, food in Albanian restaurants is very cheap. For example, a full course meal in a restaurant in Tirana will only cost you 1200 – 2500 ALL / 10.83 – 22.56 USD.

If your meal will cost you 1110 All / 10.02 USD you could just round up the bill to 1200 ALL / 10.83 USD.

Meanwhile, if you go at sit-down coffee shops where you receive table service, you may round up to the nearest increment of 100 ALL / 0.90 USD.

In Tirana, a cup of coffee costs 70 ALL / 0.63 USD, so you can round up your bill to 100 ALL / 0.90 USD.

Tipping is not required if you will use counter service, but you can tip your small change if they have a tip jar there.

It would be best to bring cash with you on your trip to Albania. Even though you can pay with your credit card in some restaurants or bars in Tirana, this probably won’t be possible in smaller cities.

Note: If you do not like the service you are not obliged to leave a tip.

You can always talk to the manager of the restaurant/bar to see if there is a misunderstanding or you can help to improve the service for future tourists.

Q: Do you Tip Taxi Drivers in Albania?

Short Answer: You don’t need to tip taxi drivers because they already make sure that your tip is included in the price if they see you are a foreigner. A bit cheesy if you ask me, but that is just how things work in Albania.

You will be able to find a taxi in every corner of Tirana and other cities, where in most cases the drivers wait outside of the parked car for someone who needs their service.

 Note: In Albania, especially in Tirana, taxi drivers who are not a part of a company do not use a taximeter, so if they tell you a price try to negotiate it and don’t leave a tip.

Usually, these types of taxi drivers own a yellow car, but they don’t have a franchise logo on top of their taxis.

On the other hand, some taxi drivers don’t even own a yellow car, which is the signature color for taxis in Albania.

Instead, they own a black, grey or white car, wait outside of it to find someone that needs a taxi service. Also, be careful if the taxi driver makes sudden turns.

This way they make it look like it takes longer to get to the destination you asked for and will make more money from you.

This is a strategy they use to overcharge locals who aren’t familiar with every corner of Tirana and don’t know the shortcuts.

All professional companies use a meter and do not include the tip in the price. They are yellow, have the logo and the number of a company on them and won’t overcharge you.

 In this case, you can round your bill. For example, if you have got a taxi at the airport you will have to pay 1800 ALL / 16.25 USD, you can tip the taxi driver with 100 – 200 ALL / 0.90 – 1.81.

Taxi drivers that work individually always tend to overcharge foreigners, so I suggest you get a taxi that belongs to a company.

There are several taxi companies that you can find online such as City Taxi or Merr Taxi. On their website, you can also see the prices for different destinations.

It would be nice and appreciated to tip a taxi driver if they assist you with your luggage or give useful information on how to get around the place.

Q: Do you tip the Food Delivery guy in Albania?

Yes, food delivery guys earn less than the minimum wage because tips are considered part of their compensation.

They make sure to deliver you warm food and will also try their best to not get stuck in traffic.

You can tip food delivery guys based on your order.

If you ordered a 500 ALL pizza / 4.51 USD, you can tip them 50 – 100 ALL / 0.45 – 0.90 USD.

You can also tip them more if it was difficult for them to deliver your food (Ex: bad weather).

Q: Do you Tip the Barber in Albania?

Haircuts are quite pricy in the USA or different cities in Europe. In Albania, you will need to pay only 200 – 600 ALL / 1.81 – 5.42 USD.

The barber will wash your hair, shave your beard with no extra charge. Tipping depends if you enjoyed the service.

If you liked the service you can tip the barber 100 ALL / 0.90 USD. If you didn’t like the service you can decide to not tip them.

Q: Do you tip Hotel Reception and Housekeeping in Albania?

When it comes to the hotel reception and housekeeping, tipping is not required.

But if they looked after you and made your stay more enjoyable, it would be very nice of you to tip them. Normally 100 – 200 ALL / 0.90 – 1.81 USD x number of days you stayed there.

They will appreciate it even though some of them will tell you that it is not necessary to tip them.

If you want to tip the maids, you should leave it with a note so that the housekeeping staff knows it’s a gratuity.

You can choose to tip the staff daily or all at once at the end of your trip.

Q: Do you tip Salon and Spa Workers in Albania?

Salon and spa workers have to deal with toenails, pimples, and hair all over the body. A massage therapist has to out those muscle knots for 60 to 90 minutes.

So if you decide to go in a spa in Albania, I suggest you tip 10 – 15 percent.

If you decide to get a 10000 ALL / 90.25 USD treatment, be kind enough to tip the salon and spa workers 1000 ALL / 9.03 USD.

Q: Do you tip Parking Attendants in Albania?

If you travel around Albania with a car you will notice that finding a free parking spot especially in Tirana is very difficult.

A parking attendant will always keep your car safe and will bring it around for you. You can tip them 50 – 100 ALL / 0.45 – 0.90 USD.

Q: Do you tip Fast Food in Albania?

There are some fast-food restaurants mostly in Tirana that have tip jars on their counter.

There is no obligation for you to put a penny or a dollar in the jar.

But if the person who is taking your order is being nice or if you are asking for a huge complicated order, you might as well put 50-100 Lek / 0.45-0.90 USD in it.

Conclusion

Whenever a service is made available to you by an attending person, it is customary in Albania. It’s nice when someone shows appreciation towards something they do with passion.

And what better way to show appreciation than to leave a tip. As they say, let the money do the talking. But although it is customary to tip, you are not obligated to do so if you didn’t like the service.

Did you find this article useful? This website and this article were made possible and sponsored by Kastria Hotel, located near the center of Tirana, Albania.

 


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