Yes, we tip in Ukraine. This is how it’s done
I love to travel. Learning about new cultures is one way to experience the world, but immersing yourself in the day to day life is even better.
One of the biggest questions I have when visiting a new place, is what their service policies are, especially regarding tipping.
A question frequently asked of me is:
Do people tip in Ukraine?
The answer is yes, for some things they do tip in Ukraine! And this is how it is handled.
Tipping is appreciated in Ukraine
Service-based jobs are everywhere. From taxi drivers to restaurants and bars, there is generally someone working to make sure that your needs are being met.
In some places, it is not expected or customary to tip, as wages pay workers fairly, without an expectation of additional income.
In Ukraine, we pay workers fair wages, but tips are appreciated for exemplary service.
In my travels, I have found a number of different customs, with tipping expectations that can vary wildly.
In some places tipping is not expected at all, while in other it is a must like some sort of unspoken tax!
In Ukraine, things are handled a bit differently, which I’ll share with you.
Where should you tip in Ukraine and how much?
Customary tipping in restaurants is in the 5-15% range.
Some form of tip is expected when you have received good service, and I recommend this as a courtesy wherever you eat.
There is less of an expectation to tip in bars, however following restaurant guidelines are always a good rule of thumb, and generally appreciated.
Some prefer to tip by drink, while others go with a percentage on the overall tab.
Whatever you are comfortable with is fine, but tipping 10% is a nice gesture when you’ve had a good drink, especially one that was recommended.
If a tip jar is available, extra change or some spare hryvnia are always welcome.
Tipping at these kinds of establishments is generally not expected, though appreciated.
Coat check isn’t as common a practice in Ukraine, however higher end restaurants might have the service available.
It’s okay to offer some small bills, should you take advantage; generally enough for a cup of coffee or tea is fine.
Tipping in taxis throughout Kiev is generally not expected, though rounding up your fare is always a nice gesture.
Tips are typically only given for exemplary service, advice, or when the driver goes above and beyond to make your ride as best as possible.
One reason to tip a driver would be if they have helped with heavy luggage.
Tipping in hotels is not expected.
If you have had a good stay, many establishments appreciate positive reviews on Trip Advisor, or similar sites which will encourage others to book there in the future.
Spas or Salons
These services are incredibly popular in Ukraine, from mineral springs to deeply cleansing mud treatments and the like.
Tipping for these services is standard, around 10% of your total cost. This amount can be given to the therapist or specialist directly, or added to your total bill at reception.
Tour guides are dedicated and passionate about what they do, and sharing the best of their city with visitors.
For their time and dedication, 300-400 hryvnia is a nice tip, equalling $15-20 USD, especially if the tour has been extensive and lasted throughout the day.
Tips for tipping!
Small bills are best for tips, as you can easily share the specified amount without needing change.
It is wise to keep these on you, and try to utilize a card for other, larger purchases.
It is rare for establishments in Ukraine to have a place for you to fill out a tipping amount.
Booking a tour company is a great way to the city, and explore new places with well trained eyes.
I love to share our favorite parts of the city with those eager to hear of our history and what makes us shine as a city.
For my tourists, I have excellent recommendations for good places to eat, where to shop, and other important sights to see.
I am always happy to help you navigate local scene of Kiev, and offer other advice like where pharmacies or even seamstresses might be located!
When in doubt, ask!
If you have received excellent service and wish to thank the person who helped you, it is okay to offer a tip in gratitude, even if it is not customary.
If the recipient is uncomfortable receiving this form of thanks, know that your intent was received well.
Kindness should be your ultimate focus and guiding line when traveling.
Your experience in a new place can be positive when you are determined to appreciate the best of what that country has to offer.
From a smile to a “spasybi” (thank you!) polite interactions reflect well on you and your home, though saying thank you with cash won’t typically do you wrong.
I am passionate about helping you have a wonderful time while visiting Kiev, and would be happy to help you navigate the city while learning some of the ways we live and celebrate life!
Certified tour guides know history, culture, and customs regarding how things work, and where you should go to experience the best we have to offer.
Private tours can be a delightfully fun and engaging way to see the world, and I would love to have you join me for your next visit to Kiev.
See you in Kiev 🙂