Gratuity in Brazil

The home of Christ The Redeemer statue, Copacobana beach and copious amount of culinary delights (and wild nightlife), Brazil is a popular destination and somewhere that millions of tourists visit each year. 

Before we start, just to avoid any awkward moments, the word for tip in Portuguese is gorjeta. This is important as anyone hoping to perhaps utilise their GCSE Spanish in Brazil will quickly find out that the word for tip in Spanish, propina, actually means bribe in Portuguese.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s have a look at how much you tip in Brazil. In general tipping is welcomed and expected for waiting staff, bartenders, tourism related roles, hotel staff, housekeepers, taxi drivers, doormen, parking attendants and beach vendors.

Tipping in Restaurants and bars in Brazil

In restaurants and bars, the general consensus is that you tip 10%. However, normally this 10% tip will already be added to your bill so you don’t need to tip further. Although, due to relatively lower wages in the Brazilian service industry, any further tip will always be appreciated.

If you tip the bartender after they make your first cocktail, it will probably stand you in good stead for the remainder of the time you’re at that establishment.

In a nightclub, a 10% tip will be automatically added to your drinks bill at the end of the night.  

It is generally accepted that a successful restaurant in Brazil is, in part, down to the attitude of its waiting staff. So, a busy restaurant is likely to have extremely good service - therefore it is likely you will feel a tip is merited. They celebrate Waiters’ Day in Brazil (Dia dio Garçom) and even have an award for Best Waiter in the main culinary awards, so it’s a serious business.  

How much to tip a taxi driver in Brazil

In taxis you do not need to tip the driver however it is considered nice to tip a couple of extra R$ should you be able to do so. If you’re happy with the service, the driver would probably prefer you take his/her card and use them again in future, rather than tip and not use them again.

Showing gratuity to street vendors in Brazil

In Brazil there are a lot of street stalls and juice bars, these are known as caixinha and lanchonetes respectively. Tipping, or a gorjeta, is more than welcomed here but again, only 1-2 R$ is necessary.

Do you tip tour guides in Brazil?

If you have a tour guide in Brazil it is likely that you will be pleased with the service you receive. They are very professional and is it considered customary to tip 10% of the tour price in cash to the guide at the end of the tour.

Leaving a tip for hotel staff in Brazil

When you are staying in a hotel in Brazil there are various different staff members that are generally tip-worthy. A bellman or porter would expect R$1-2 upon arrival and departure of the hotel and, in addition, a further R$1 per bag that they help you with. For housekeeping, it is best to leave money at the end of your stay. For the Concierge or reception staff it is customary to leave a few Reais upon your departure.

Showing gratuity to Beach vendors in Brazil

If you find yourself sunbathing on one of Brazil’s famous beaches and your needs are being tended to by one of the lovely beach vendors, then it is courteous to tip them a few Reais. If you tip a small amount at the beginning and then a bit more at the end you are likely to receive good service throughout.

If you are going to hire a car, you might find yourself being asked for a couple of Reais for someone to watch your car whilst it’s parked. In Rio, these are official staff members who can give you a receipt, but in more rural areas this is less official. R$1-2 should be enough should you be asked.