tipping in Sri Lanka

This extraordinary island nation exudes diversity in all of its many exotic and timeless facets and draws tourists from around the world hungry for a first-hand experience of the geographic, cultural, ethnic, political, culinary, natural, historical and spiritual aspects of a land that has everything to offer everyone.

Tipping is generally expected in Sri Lanka in all of the circumstances one might usually tip. In temples, you should leave money in donation boxes, particularly if you have been taken on a tour by a resident monk.

Remember that a 10% service surcharge is usually added to food bills and accommodation bills in the larger establishments, so any further investment should represent reward for good service.

should you tip your taxi driver?

In Sri Lanka Round up your taxi fare

Taxi drivers do expect and want to be tipped by tourists, and you should bear in mind that their wages are quite low, so anything extra you give usually goes a long way. That said, you are by no means obliged to leave a tip, and you should make it a point not to if you feel that you did not receive an adequate level of service.

should you tip your tour guide?

In Sri Lanka Don't Tip your tour guide

When arranging a tour with a guide, it is always advisable to establish the fee in advance, and factor in an extra 10% that you will probably be charged as the service fee. Beyond this, tips are generally not necessarily expected by the more legitimate and professional tour operators, but this changes as you move down the scale. You may be approached by locals willing to show you around markets, temples and other places of interest, and it is customary to give these people a small tip of no more than SR 500. Exercise caution with these individuals, and do not be afraid to politely refuse unsolicited services you are not interested in.

tip etiquette at spas in Sri Lanka

At a Spa Tip 10% in Sri Lanka

Tipping the spa therapists in Sri Lanka should generally be considered in the same vein as tipping any other service provider in the country. If there is a tipping box at the counter, you can conveniently place 10% and be on your way. If you want to tip the therapists individually, you should be thinking in the order of five hundred to a thousand Sri Lankan Rupees, depending on your impression of their performance.

tips at restaurants in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka Tip 10% at a restaurant

In restaurants, the customary tip is 10% of the bill, but you can pay more or less than this in line with your satisfaction regarding the meal and the table service. If you’re in a larger venue and intend paying by card, remember to slip the waiter an appropriate cash tip as the service charge may very well end up in the pockets of the proprietors. You can look forward to an excellent overall standard of customer care when you are in Sri Lanka.

tipping practices for hotels in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka Tip 50-100 Rupees at a hotel

50 or 100 Sri Lankan Rupees is good all round tipping currency when you’re in the hotel. This includes the porter, room cleaners and room service personnel. Hotel waiters and bar staff should be given the same, but do not just tip because you have to, do it because they have deserved it with their service and amicable demeanour. Some hotels have a tipping box or jar at the service desk where you can leave a lump sum for all of the staff over your entire stay. In a mid-level establishment, an overall tip of two or three thousand rupees should be enough to communicate your gratitude.

should you tip your hairdresser

In Sri Lanka Tip 100RS at a hairdresser

Tipping Sri Lankan hairdressers is really a play-it-by-year affair. The question starts with what type, or should we say, level, of salon you are in. If you are in a chic salon, you will find yourself paying prices bordering on those in western countries. You would certainly expect well-trained, professional staff at your disposal, who are consequently relatively well-paid and in little need of your tip. If you find yourself in a more common establishment, first ask yourself whether or not you are happy with the hygiene there, and then proceed to calculate a small gratuity, perhaps RS 100, for the boy or girl shampooing your hair and something larger for the hairdresser if you are satisfied with the outcome. 10 or 15% of the bill should be more than enough.