In Denmark, service charges are included in your bill by law. Tipping is uncommon in Denmark, which means it's not necessary and won't be expected of you during your trip. However, if you do feel like showing your appreciation with a tip, your server might be surprised, but should appreciate the gesture.
Don't feel guilty for not tipping, because restaurant servers, cab drivers, porters, bartenders, and many others who provide similar services are paid fair wages in Denmark. They receive benefits including maternity and paternity leave, childcare, disability coverage, and paid vacation from the government or their employer, so they are not dependent on tips just to make a living wage.
If you're paying with a credit card, you might notice that the machine will prompt the server to enter a tip amount, but many times the server will automatically cancel and move on to the next screen. If you are handed the machine, feel free to skip the tip amount screen as well. Tipping by card can create extra work for your server, who will have to print a new receipt to sign. If you'd like to tip, make sure to do so in cash by discreetly leaving behind a few coins of the local currency, the Danish krone (DKK).
Restaurants and Bars
If you've received exceptional service at a restaurant, you can leave a small tip. Any tip you do leave may be split among the restaurant staff, so if you want your tip to go only to a specific server, hand it to them personally in cash.
- For servers, the appropriate amount to tip at a restaurant in Denmark would be up to 10 percent of your bill, or rounding the amount up. For example, if the bill for your dinner is 121.60 DKK (about $18 USD) and you received excellent service, it would be appropriate (but not expected) to pay a total of 130 DKK (about $20 USD).
- When ordering drinks, bartenders don't expect tips. However, you can tip a little more if your drink order is on the complicated side.
Hotel staff members won't be expecting any tips, but you can offer one if you truly feel like you've received exceptional service.
- If the bellhop offers to show you around your room (in addition to carrying your bags, you can tip anywhere between 10 and 20 DKK (about $1-2 USD).
- For totally spotless stay, you can leave a tip for housekeeping of about 10-20 DKK per night.
- If the hotel concierge secures you reservations to an exclusive restaurant (or something equally impressive and thoughtful), a tip of 10-20 DKK is an appropriate gesture of appreciation.
Your taxi driver in Denmark won't be expecting a tip, however proper taxi etiquette calls for rounding up your fare to the nearest even amount. If you notice your driver taking time looking for coins, you can tell them to keep the change.
Salons and Spas
There is no need to tip your massage therapist if you go to the spa in Denmark, since the gratuity charge would have already been included in the price of the service. However, you can tip to show your appreciation for exceptional service. The same goes for a trip to the hair salon. Your stylist will not expect a tip, but you can offer one if you are especially happy with their work.
If you sign up for a tour in Denmark, you will not be obliged to tip your tour guide at the end. The cost of the guide is included in the price of the tour, but if you feel inclined to show your tour guide your gratitude with a tip, any amount would be appreciated.