Tipping etiquette varies significantly from country to country. When it comes to Iceland, tipping is appreciated but not expected.
You are welcome to tip for good service when visiting Iceland, but it isn’t mandatory or even standard practice. Restaurants typically include service charges in the bill. Plus, servers will not be relying on your tip because they will make a fair wage. But tipping is a way to show your appreciation when you’ve seriously enjoyed your meal or activity.
This article will help you navigate the tipping culture in Iceland. So if you aren’t sure how much money to leave as a tip in different situations, keep reading!
How Much To Tip In A Restaurant In Iceland
Most restaurants include a service charge on the bill, so no one is expecting you to tip. But if you think your server went above and beyond to make sure you had a great time, of course, you can leave them a little thank you.
10% of the food bill would be more than enough, especially if you have already paid a service fee. Tips are usually left in small notes or change rather than added on to a credit card.
That’s worth bearing in mind because Iceland is otherwise an almost cashless society. You might like to get a bit of cash, especially for tipping!
But honestly, the hospitality sector negotiates the wages for servers, baristas, and other service workers, ensuring that everyone earns a fair salary that they can pay their bills with. No one is relying on a tip from you!
How Much To Tip A Taxi Driver In Iceland
Surprise, surprise, taxi drivers aren’t expecting a tip from you either.
That may feel strange if you come from a culture where people expect tips, but you just don’t have to do it in Iceland. If your taxi driver also gave you loads of helpful information that you will use during your vacation, you might give them up to $10.
But tipping doesn’t always feel natural or comfortable to Icelanders. So you’d be better off saying, “thank you so much for all your advice, please grab a drink on me tonight.” rather than saying, “here is your tip.”
How Much To Tip A Tour Guide In Iceland
The same goes for Tour Guides.
If you had a fantastic experience and you really want to thank them for going the extra mile, you can leave them a tip of $10 – $20 (or $2-$5 a day for long-term tours). Tipping is a kind act and a compliment, but you would only give it if the service were terrific. If you found your tour guide mediocre or rude, don’t waste your money!
You can typically leave a tip in either ISK or dollars; both are common in Iceland.
But telling your guide that you appreciate their efforts can be enough. It depends on the situation.
Is it rude to tip in Iceland?
In some countries, tipping is offensive. (In a lot of Asian countries, it would be received as an insult!)
That’s not really the case in Iceland, but if someone declines your tip, don’t try and push it on them more than twice, and be humble about it. Even though tipping is supposed to be an act of generosity, it can come off wrong if you keep insisting. It will be probably be appreciated by an Icelander, but you’re best to go by their reaction because everyone is different.
Who shouldn’t you tip in Iceland?
Tipping could come off as inappropriate in some situations. So just to be clear, here are the places that tipping would be kind of weird:
- Non-Service Jobs (especially police officers, that’s suspicious behavior!)
- Fast food restaurants
- Hotel staff (such as cleaners or receptionists)
- Gas stations
You also might get chatting to a local who offers to show you around the city. They are not doing this to get money from you; they are being friendly.
So if you then try and hand them money, you could offend them or make them feel strange.
If someone kindly takes time to help you out, you could offer to pay for the gas or buy lunch. But if you asked someone for directions and they help you out, offering to buy them dinner could sound more like a come-on than anything else. Proceed with caution.
Tipping in Iceland is a way to thank service industry workers for an outstanding experience. But it’s not standard practice, and no one is expecting it from you.
Remember that Icelanders get decent wages, so they don’t rely on tips to make ends meet.
In most cases, people will genuinely appreciate your generosity. But it could be weird in some situations. Sometimes, “thanks” is enough!
We hope you found this article helpful. Don’t hesitate to check out more of our travel tips and guides. And if you’re ready to come and visit Iceland, we’ve got some fantastic self-drive tours for you to check out too.