The Russian word for “tip” is «chayeviye«, coming from the phrase «davat na chay» literally translated as — “to give for tea”. So in Russia a tip is meant to be spent for a cup of tea, sort of… Tips are very likely to get spent on cups of anything other than tea, but that was the original idea.

In this post we will quickly take you through tipping etiquette for different places and occasions.


Taxi

It’s not common to tip taxi drivers in Russia, so you don’t have to. However, beware that if you don’t have the precise amount of cash, the taxi driver might “forget” to return loose change. If it’s just some coins, we usually don’t make a fuss about, otherwise, make sure to always have coins to be able to pay the exact amount you owe the driver.

Restaurants

5-10% is the standard, if you were happy with the service, if you weren’t — don’t feel obliged to tip.

Bars

Tipping the bartender is also up to you. Bars in Russia don’t normally operate on tabs, so you will have to pay each time you order a drink at the bar, if you want those drinks to keep coming quickly tip the bartender well on your first round and he will be your best friend for the night.

The same 5-10% policy applies.

Beauty services

(manicure, hairstyling)

If you are in a high-end salon, tipping won’t be expected, since the employees are getting paid quite well. The regular clients have their own relationships with the staff and tip them quite generously, but a tourist wouldn’t be expected to tip. If you just dropped by for a manicure, it would be nice of you to tip 5-10% at the end directly to the person, who gave you the service.

In general tipping is not a must in Russia and is considered more of a sign of appreciation for the service you received, so its always up to the guest whether to tip or not.