Tipping in Bali can be confusing for first-time visitors. While tipping is not required, it is certainly appreciated by the friendly locals who rely heavily on service industry. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about tipping culture and etiquette across various services in Bali.

An Introduction to Tipping Culture in Bali

Image showcasing the beauty of Bali's landscape, emphasizing the connection between tourism and the local economy.

Tipping is not customary or mandatory in Bali. Wages for hospitality staff and service providers are low, but prices on the island are also relatively cheap compared to Western countries.

That said, Bali does welcome over 6 million visitors per year. The tourism industry drives the local economy and provides jobs for thousands of Balinese. Tipping is not expected, but it can make a real difference as a gesture of appreciation.

While there are no strict rules, understanding basic tipping etiquette can help you appropriately reward good service during your time in Bali. This article will cover when, who, and how much to tip across common tourist activities.

Tipping at Restaurants & Bars

Image of a waiter or bartender smiling and holding a tray of food and drinks

Most mid-range and high-end restaurants in the main tourist areas will automatically add a service charge to your bill. This is typically between 10-15%.

If you see a service charge on your receipt, no additional tipping is required. This money goes directly to the staff.

If there is no service charge, it is customary to leave a 10-15% tip for good service by waiters and bartenders.

You can leave the tip in cash on the table or add it when paying by card. If paying with a large bill, staff may not be able to make change so small denominations are useful.

Keep in mind that tipping above 15% is not common practice, even for exceptional service. But an extra dollar or two is always appreciated.

Hotel Tipping Etiquette

Housekeeper discreetly receiving a tip from a guest

Tipping at hotels and villas in Bali is not expected but can be a nice gesture for standout service.

Most accommodation properties will add a daily service charge to your bill to cover housekeeping, porters, front desk, and other staff. But it’s up to you if you want to leave a little extra.

Here are some tipping suggestions for Bali hotels:

  • Housekeeping: IDR 30,000-50,000 per room for a multi-night stay is a generous tip if service meets or exceeds your expectations. For a large family or group, can go up to IDR 100,000.
  • Bellhops/Porters: IDR 10,000-20,000 per bag transported.
  • Concierge: IDR 50,000-100,000 for exceptional service facilitating tours, transportation, restaurant reservations, etc.

It’s best to tip individual staff members directly. Discreetly hand them the cash and say “terima kasih banyak” (thank you very much).

Tipping Drivers & Guides

Tourist enjoying a scenic view from a private car with the driver smiling in the background.

Hiring a private driver for airport transfers or day trips is one of the most popular activities for visitors in Bali.

  • For full-day private driver hire, a tip of IDR 100,000-150,000 is appropriate.
  • For half-day or simple short transfers, IDR 50,000-100,000 is adequate.

Always negotiate the base rate for drivers in advance. Do not begin tip calculations until after agreeing on the base fare for their services.

The same tipping advice applies to independent tour guides who promote their services around major tourist sites. A tip of 15-20% of the total tour price is appropriate for good service.

Note that drivers and tour guides working directly for an established travel agency will usually have gratuity included in the overall tour prices. No additional tipping would be necessary.

Spa & Massage Tipping

A couple getting a relaxing massage at a spa

Spa treatments and massages are an integral part of the Bali experience for most visitors. Standard tipping etiquette at day and hotel spas is as follows:

  • 10% of the total treatment price per therapist for excellent service.
  • Most treatments are 60-90 minutes. So figure $5-10 USD per therapist as a benchmark.
  • For multiple therapists (e.g. couple’s massage), tip each provider separately.
  • Discreetly hand tips to the reception staff to distribute.

Do keep in mind that most spas already factor service charges into their pricing. So tipping on top is not strictly required but always appreciated.

Miscellaneous Services

Here are quick tipping guidelines for a few other common services in Bali:

  • Airport porters: IDR 10,000-20,000 per bag
  • Taxi drivers: Round up the fare or add 10% for good service
  • Tour guides: 15-20% of tour price for excellent service
  • Room service: IDR 10,000-20,000

Use your best judgment based on service satisfaction. Remember, a small tip can make a big difference to the hard-working local staff.

General Tipping Etiquette & Tips

While this covers all major tipping situations, here are a few final best practices:

  • Cash is king – Have small bills ready for convenience
  • Be discreet – Subtly pass tips directly to staff
  • Ask hotels for tipping guidance if unsure
  • Avoid tipping in public places
  • 10-15% is a good benchmark for most services
  • Smile and say “Terima Kasih” to show your gratitude

The most important tip: Show respect for local culture and tip based more on appreciation than obligation.


Hopefully, this guide has shed some light on tipping culture in Bali hotelsrestaurants, spas and other key tourist services.

While not strictly mandatory, small tips go a long way in supporting the friendly staff that make your Bali trip memorable. Use the suggestions above to appropriately reward good service during your time on the island.

Most importantly, engage with locals respectfully, negotiate prices transparently, and let your tips reflect genuine appreciation rather than social pressure or obligation.

Bonus: Tipping Amount Summary

Here is a quick reference table with tipping amount suggestions across common tourist services in Bali:

ServiceSuggested Tipping Amount
Restaurants without service charge10-15% of bill
Housekeeping at hotelsIDR 30,000-50,000 per room per night
Bellhops & portersIDR 10,000-20,000 per bag
Private driver (full day)IDR 100,000-150,000
Tour guides (full day)15-20% of tour price
Spa/massage therapists10% of treatment price
Taxi driversRound up fare or add 10%

Personal Tipping Experiences

During my last trip to Bali, I had an exceptional private driver named Made who showed me around the island for three days. His friendly personality and insight into local culture made the trip very memorable. I tipped Made IDR 125,000 per day in addition to his negotiated day rate. He was very appreciative and the extra cash clearly made an impact.

For a couples massage my wife and I enjoyed, the two spa therapists providing the hour-long treatment were extremely skilled. We had such a relaxing time that we each left them an extra $10 tip in addition to the spa’s prices. The genuine smiles on their faces showed that the tips, though small for us, meant a lot to them.