In Sweden, tourists do not need to worry about tipping. In general, service workers in Sweden are paid higher wages, so there is no need for the customer to supplement with a tip. Tipping has never been a part of the culture in Sweden, so it's likely that your server isn't expecting any more payment than what's written on your bill. However, if you feel you received exceptional service, you can leave a tip to show your appreciation without the risk of insulting your recipient.
If you pay with a credit card, you might see an empty line for leaving a tip on the bill. Feel free to skip it. As always, it's best to tip in cash and not by using a credit card, so you can be sure that your server will get the tip.
Although Sweden doesn't definitively have a culture of tipping and servers don't rely on tips to make a living wage, the practice is becoming more common as tourism to Sweden increases. Still, the recommended tipping rates are much lower than those in countries like the United States. When in doubt, tipping 5-10 percent is considered a good and generous amount. If you choose not to tip, it's rare that anyone will be offended.
If you do decide to leave a tip, remember that Sweden has retained the use of the krona (not the Euro) as its currency, despite being a member of the European Union (EU). Because tipping is not expected, you can keep your tips on the small side between 5-20 kronor, which is about $1-2 USD.
The cost of service at your hotel in Sweden will be included in your final bill, but you might want to give more to show appreciation to hotel staff whose service you are especially pleased with.
- If the doorman hails you a cab, you can tip 5-10 kronor, but it's not necessary.
- For the porter who helps you carry your luggage to your room, you can give 5-10 kronor.
- If you're extremely satisfied with the cleanliness of your room, you can leave 5-10 kronor for the housekeeping staff for each night of your stay.
- If the hotel concierge goes above and beyond, a small token of appreciation (between 5-10 kronor) is an appropriate response.
Restaurants and Bars
When you go out to eat, the tipping behavior in Sweden changes slightly, as service charges are usually added to the bill.
- Not every restaurant will pre-charge for gratuity, so make sure to check your bill before you pay. If the service charge is not included, it is appropriate to tip 5-10 percent of the total. You can also round up to the nearest even number.
- At cafes, you might see a tip jar on the counter. Leaving a tip is not necessary, but it's a nice gesture if your server went above and beyond in some way.
- If you order drinks directly from the bar, your bartender won't be expecting a tip and some may even refuse it.
- If you sit down at a bar and receive table service, it is considerate of you to leave a few coins behind for good service.
As soon as you enter the realm of the tourism industry, tipping becomes a more regular practice.
- If you're happy with your experience, tip your tour guide 100 kronor per day (about $10 USD) at the end of the tour.
- For shorter tours, you can tip 10-15 percent the cost of the tour.
- If you decide to take advantage of Stockholm's free walking tour, you should offer the guide anywhere between 30-100 kronor.
It's not necessary to tip your driver in Sweden, but you can round up the fare for exceptional service. This is not only a nice gesture, but also makes it easier for your driver to give change to passengers later in the day. Airport shuttle drivers won't expect a tip.
Spas and Salons
Whether you visit a spa or salon while in Sweden, you won't be expected to leave a tip at either. However, if you receive exceptional service, you may choose to tip to show your gratitude.