tipping in Russia

Russia, the largest country in the world, is also a top 20 destination for world travellers. Russia holds a culture rich in history, beautiful architecture, wonderful landscapes and a unique travel experience. But what is the tipping etiquette in Russia? In Russia, who should you tip and how much?

tipping etiquette for hotels in Russia

In Russia Tip 30-90 Rubbles at hotels

In Russia, it is common to tip the porter or bellboy between 30 and 90 Rubbles (between 1 and 3 American dollars) for each bag. It is normal to tip the housekeeper between 60 and 120 Rubbles per day (you can leave the change in the ashtray or on the bedside table). Tip the concierge 300 Rubbles if he provides extra service. Tipping in an envelope is appreciated, with a small thank you note.

tipping in restaurants in Russia

In Russia Tip 10% to 15% at restaurants

Typically in Russia the etiquette is to tip anywhere between 10% and 15% of the bill. Tip in cash, and give it directly to the waiter. Many restaurants don’t accept credit cards. You don’t need to tip much, but don’t tip too little either. No need to tip in bars and restaurants with no waiters.

Social Faux-Pas

Russia has its own culture that may seem foreign to western tourists

  • Russians are very direct, so don’t be offended.
  • Smiling whilst walking down the street will definitely identify you as a tourist.
  • You can bargain in the markets – but not too much.
  • Don’t wear mini-skirts.
  • Men may be over-chivalrous by North American or Western European standards.

tip etiquette at spas in Russia

In Russia don't tip at Spas

In Russia there will be no expectation to tip at the spa.

The Banya

A must-do activity in Russia, although not recommended for the faint of heart, is to try the Banya – which resembles a mix between a bar and a spa. There is usually a snack/alcohol bar (zakuski) and a parilka (hot room). Shower before you enter the parilka. After you’ve sweated, get a veniki (a type of branch). Tap it gently on your body. You can also pair up with your friend or partner for this ritual. After you’ve done
this ritual a few times, an attendant will put ice on your back. You can drink vodka during this ritual – but don’t drink too much, especially if this isn’t something you are accustomed to!

should you tip your tour guide?

in Russia Tip 300 Rubbles per day for tours

You can tip up to the equivalent of 10$ per day (about 300 Rubbles) to the tour guide or driver. Tip directly.

Visiting Moscow

Whilst in Moscow, visiting the Kremlin (government quarters), and Saint-Basil’s Cathedral are a must. In St-Petersburg, there are endless architectural wonders, and if you are a real history buff, don’t miss the Hermitage Museum.

should you tip your taxi driver?

In Russia Round Up the fare for Taxis

You can round up the fare or tip no more than 10%. You can usually order a taxi from your concierge and you should negotiate the price of the journey before you get in!