Germans tip-top for generosity on holiday

Germans on holiday may have a reputation for annoying others by staking out their claim to sun loungers with a towel before breakfast – but it seems they are also among the most generous and savvy tippers.

Germans tip-top for generosity on holiday
Photo: DPA

A new survey shows 72 percent of Germans said they felt comfortable tipping on holiday and claimed to know exactly how much was appropriate in different countries, the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper reported on Monday.

That might have something to do with the large number of Germans who read up on local tipping customs before they pack their bags – 55 percent.

The survey for travel website TripAdvisor said that 83 percent of German holidaymakers said they varied the size of their tip according to the country they were in, with 49 percent saying they were particularly conscious about tipping in countries like the US, where the extras are crucial to staff incomes.

But they will not dip into their pockets without good reason – two-thirds said they would only tip if the service met their expectations, with friendliness and politeness identified as the most important criteria in this regard.

The survey showed that Germans were more generous than their European counterparts – with travellers from Britain, France, Italy and Spain all failing to top Teutonic tippers. While 63 percent of Germans said they always tipped on holiday, only 37 percent of the other respondents made the same claim.

And, in a possible reflection of their country’s relative economic strength, almost three-quarters of Germans said the financial crisis had not altered their tipping habits – higher than the international average of 59 percent.

Pia Schratzenstaller, a spokeswoman for TripAdvisor in Germany, welcomed the findings. “The survey shows that German travellers take care to inform themselves in detail of local customs before they set off,” she concluded.

The Local/jpg

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Is Leipzig really Germany’s ‘ultimate travel destination’?

The Saxonian city of Leipzig has been named by traveller’s bible Lonely Planet as its “ultimate” travel tip for Germany. Does the Local Germany’s knowledgeable readership agree?

The city centre of Leipzig.
The city centre of Leipzig. Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa-Zentralbild

Long a cult favourite among Germany fans, the left-wing city of Leipzig appears to now be gaining mainstream recognition after the Lonely Planet crowned it the country’s top travel destination this week.

In a new book titled “Ultimate German Travel Destinations – the top 250”, the travel publisher put Leipzig ahead of picturesque getaways such as Lake Constance and the Zugspitze as its number one destination.

“The hype that some say surrounds the city isn’t hype t all: Leipzig really is hipper than Berlin, and hotter than Munich, especially among millennials,” the guidebook boldly claims.

It goes on to lavish praise on the city of 600,000 inhabitants as “young, exciting, multifaceted – sometimes colourful, sometimes grey – and with a vibrant liveliness.”

“Everyone wants to go to the city where the anti-GDR demonstrations started,” the guidebook continues. “It is the home of Auerbachs Keller (made famous by Goethe and Faust); it’s the city of street art and wave gothic festivals; and its artistic scene at the Baumwollspinnerei is second to none.”

READ ALSO: A love letter to the eastern German city of Leipzig

‘Not cooler than Berlin’

Reaction to the list among the Local’s readership was mixed.

“It is a beautiful city and it’s easy to navigate. I find it hard to say that it’s cooler than Berlin, though. Berlin simply has more,” one reader told us on Facebook. “It’s the kind of place where people find their ‘spot.” I think most people in Leipzig know about most places in Leipzig. It’s a much smaller city. That may just be a more favourable lifestyle for some.”

Praise for Saxony’s biggest city ranged from admiration for the beauty of its architecture (particularly its train station) to the vibrancy of its arts scene.

Others suggested that Leipzig is indeed overhyped and that it can’t compete with natural wonders such as the pristine Königssee in the Bavarian Alps.

Lake Constance wins silver

Lake Constance, the country’s largest body of fresh water, came in second on the list.

The authors praised the southern See, which borders Switzerland and Austria, for “the many beautiful spots on its shores: Lindau, Meersburg, Überlingen, Constance and more – often surrounded by lush orchards.”

A regatta on the Bodensee in September 2021. Photo: dpa | Felix Kästle 

Hamburg’s new Elbphilharmonie concert hall came in third. 

“It’s impossible to imagine the Hanseatic city’s skyline without this glass work of art, which soars into the sky above the harbour like a frozen wave,” the book notes.

Also in the top ten were the Wattenmeer, which is a huge nature reserve on the North Sea coast, Berlin’s museum island, the sandstone hills of Saxony, and Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze in Bavaria.