Tipping in Mexico City Churreria.

The Ultimate Guide To Tipping In Mexico City

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Are you curious about tipping in Mexico City?

Tipping culture in Mexico City comes with its own little collection of quirks. Getting to grips with the etiquette can be a bit of a prickly issue at first, which is why we’ve written this article to help guide you through some of the most common quandaries, from when it’s appropriate to understand how much is a good tip in Mexico.

We head to CDMX every year, staying several months at a time. During these trips, we’ve learned exactly what’s expected when it comes to Mexico City tipping habits, whether you’re treating yourself to a gourmet meal or just rocking up to a street food stand at one of the markets for some tasty tamales.

In this post, we’ll run through how to tip in Mexico City in all kinds of situations, including when staying at a hotel, taking a tour, or riding a taxi. After reading this, you’ll be ready to do it like a local! 

So, Do You Tip In Mexico City?

Is tipping expected in Mexico City expected? The answer is a qualified yes. There are quite a number of situations when it is customary to leave a few pesos on top of the bill, though there are a few caveats to that.

Tips in Mexico City are part of the culture, and it is often considered polite to give a gratuity to staff as a gesture not just of appreciation but also of good manners.

Having said that, tipping in Mexico City is very much dependent on the level of service you receive. If it is subpar, you shouldn’t feel obliged to reach into your wallet for a chunk of change anyway, no matter how dirty the looks you may get in return.

How Much To Tip In Mexico City

The tip, or la propina as it’s known in Mexico, varies a little depending on the scenario, but a general rule of thumb is either to add between 10% and 20% of whatever you spend or to hand over around 20 to 40 pesos (approximately $1 to $3 with a little bit of rounding, but you get the idea). 

Tipping in Mexico City is common for a lot of professions, from grocery baggers to delivery people, as well as car park attendants who ensure the vehicles stay safe. We’re not going to cover every possible situation in detail. However, if you keep the general 10% to 20% or 20 to 40 pesos rule in mind, you can’t go far wrong.

Do You Tip In Restaurants In Mexico City?

One of the most routine places you’ll encounter tipping in Mexico City are cafes and restaurants. Here, we usually leave a tip of between 15% and 20%, depending on the level of service

Make sure to check if the service is already included in la cuenta (the bill), since you certainly don’t need to pay twice! Naturally, if you head to one of the capital’s fine dining establishments, such as Quintonil or Pujol, you should expect to see a larger service fee added to the final total.

While it’s not common tipping culture in Mexico City to pull out some extra coins or notes for anything you buy from a street stall or a little hole in the wall, it’s still not a rube move to let the vendor keep the change.

As for bartenders, around 20 pesos (approximately $1) per drink is the norm, though it does vary a little up and down depending on the quality of the establishment. If in doubt, think 10%.

Do You Tip Taxi Drivers In Mexico City?

Taxis in Mexico City

One of the most fretted-over queries is how much you tip in Mexico City cars. The truth is there’s no standard tip in Mexico City for taxis. In fact, we’ve noticed that most locals won’t tip at all, other than perhaps just to let the driver keep any small change or rounding up to the nearest 5 pesos.

The only exception is if the driver helps you with your bags, in which case it’s polite to hand over around 10 to 20 pesos, depending on the amount of luggage. If you’re at the airport and accept the help of a porter, there is an expectation that you will offer them a few coins.

When it comes to Mexico City tipping for ride-hailing apps like Uber and Didi, it’s the same as anywhere else in the world: there is the option to add a tip through the app. However, most drivers prefer to have the tip in cash, and we generally like to tip in pesos anyway just to ensure the money goes to the driver entirely.

Do You Tip Tour Guides In Mexico City?

We always give tour guides a tip, and it’s fair to say that most people who take you around the sights will appreciate a little gratuity, even if it’s not essential. Most of the time, you should expect to add 10% of the cost of any paid tours, though you can go as high as 20% if you really enjoy the trip.

For example, we loved the tour we took to Tolantongo, the mountainside hot springs that are about four hours from CDMX. The tour was super well organised and included day packs with accessories like water bottles and towels at the end. For that, we tipped the guide $10 (about 185 pesos).

If you are joining a free walking tour, the idea is, of course, to tip whatever you think the tour was worth. On the whole, the standard tipping in Mexico City for these affairs is to give $10 – though if it’s really exceptional, you can always tip more! Naturally, you should factor in how much time the guide has spent taking you around.

Do You Tip In Hotels In Mexico City?

Tips in Mexico City coffee shops.

Hotel tips in Mexico City are the norm. There are two main types of hotel staff you should provide a gratuity to, the first being bellhops. These are the guys that help you carry your bags to your room. Normally, we give them about 20 pesos (approximately $1) as a little thank you.

The other people you absolutely need to tip are the cleaners. Orthodox practice dictates that you should leave a little tip following each night of your stay – we’ve found this also tends to mean you get a better quality of service, so it’s a win-win! 

Like the bellhops, normal tipping in Mexico City for cleaners is generally about 20 pesos (about $1 US). If they have done a really superior job, however, feel free to plump for about 40 pesos ($2).

Do You Tip In Mexico City When Taking A Bus?

Mexico City buses

Just to be clear, we’re not talking about the city buses here, which you certainly do not need to tip forever.

What we’re talking about is the long-distance bus providers like ADO or Primera Plus. On these, we tend to give a little small change to the person who helps put our bag on board. It’s not necessary or even expected, but given the value of the peso, it’s definitely a welcome gesture and doesn’t make much of a dent in the holiday budget.

Is It OK To Tip In US Dollars In Mexico City?

Tips in Mexico City should usually be given in pesos, as that’s most convenient for locals actually to use day to day. While it might seem like a nice idea to tip in US dollars due to the stability of the currency, it can actually be a bit of an annoyance as it means the person will later have to convert the cash at a bank.

Having said that, don’t need to feel too self-conscious about tipping in US dollars if that’s all you have on you. Just make sure to use notes rather than coins, as notes are easier for locals to convert at the currency exchange.

Do Locals Tip In Mexico City?

Zocalo Mexico City

There is a culture of tipping in Mexico City for locals for certain services. In particular, it’s common practice to tip in restaurants and bars. On the other hand, you probably won’t see the same uniformity of tipping for taxis or long-distance buses.

What Is The Tipping Etiquette In Mexico?

Compared to some countries, tipping in Mexico City is very much optional and dependent on how good the service is – most locals will not feel guilty refusing to tip at all if they believe a meal has been subpar, for instance. 

As a tourist, there is an expectation that you will pay a little bit more than a local would in tips – between 10% to 20% or 20 to 40 pesos – but the general rule still stands: only tip as much as you feel a service is worth.

Tipping In Mexico City: Conclusion

Hopefully, this post has answered all your questions on tipping Mexico City style. We know that the question of gratuities can often make people anxious, so we’ve aimed to take the stress out of the process with this complete guide to the process. Correctly tipping in Mexico City can make your whole stay go much more smoothly, so it’s obviously worth attending to the local customs.

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