Americans ruin everything. Everyone expects a ■■■■■■■ tip now
Sad but true, though Asia stills holds out and is mostly sensible. In fact, I was in Seoul and while they seem more American that America at times, the Hotel Shilla where I stay forbids tips and if you even try to tip it gets refused and Hotel Management sends you a note asking you to refrain.
Yeah, same throughout rest of Asia. Tipping in HK and Japan is considered a bribe, guessing Korea is the same based on what you said as well. Think Singapore was the same.
But in those countries, when I go to their street markets, I never haggle for a better price, just pay what they ask for. Don’t mind that, would rather give the extra there than have to tip.
I know tipping is considered a bribe in China, however, I don’t think it is here. It’s unnecessary & kinda frowned upon. More than anything, it will simply cause embarrassment to the recipient, as they will refuse to accept it.
I tipped in the US primarily because I was aware they pay wait staff a pittance, if at all, but it was done reluctantly and with the awareness I was complicit in tax avoidance and worker exploitation which has also been linked to a high incidence of sexual harassment.
I was bemused when having left a few useless coins, at least to me, on table in Beijing to find the waitress chasing us breathlessly down the street to return the filthy lucre, but was later told locals were wary of being caught participating in Western decadence and punished accordingly- not sure if that was apocryphal or not.
Hate having to tip and have never understood the idea that “special service” requires a gratuity. Personally I’m only interested in the food and couldn’t give a flying about anyone in a restaurant other than the chef. I mean what “special” skill is involved in knowing a menu, taking an order and carrying plates? It’s a BS line to rationalise a tax dodge.
It’s also one of the reasons I increasingly prefer to book accommodation with cooking facilities. Eating out on holidays is seriously overrated. Two times, maybe three a week, is OK but anything more than that is an expensive chore. Some of my fav meals have involved picking up fresh local produce and a local bottle and preparing them without worrying about tipping and getting a taxi.
Maybe it’s also because I’m a vegetarian who hates smoke.
First time I went to Thailand was over 40 years ago, and my first experience at haggling for a better price. I felt so proud at beating down the vendor, until it was pointed out to me by the Mrs Fox of the time that I had spent 30 minutes and heaps of energy to save 25 cents !
I never haggle now.
In Italy I do depending where I am. If they come up to me trying to sell crap then I will (dont buy any of the fake designer stuff, just the nick naks). But if I go to them I usually just pay what they are asking. Often if you buy 2-3 items from them they will take €1-€2 off anyway.
Talking about the vendors here, not the marakini.
Just leaving warsaw now, beautiful city. Not huge, but decent enough and very pleasant. Found most poles keep to themselves, don’t annoy you to buy something.
Very few gypsys here which was good.
Even less Americans which was better.
Hey guys and gals,
I’m heading to some eastern european cities for the first time and wondered if I could get some tips as far as good restaurants/cafes/pubs/bars/clubs in any of these places:
Any recommendations are honestly very much appreciated. Cheers!!
Firstly, if you are going to those places then add Salzburg to it
Berlin - everything good and traditional is in the East. The west is too westernized now
Vienna - don’t have actual names but feast on apple strudel and beer. They have bakeries as often as we have McDonalds, probably more.
Budapest- heading there in a week, I’ll let you know
Hotel Sacher in Vienna too, for their famous Sachertorte. It’s in the area near St Stephen’s Cathedral.
And wiener Schnitzel. The real stuff, not Chicken Parma.
Strudel is big in Budapest too. And Goulash soup…or stew. I prefer the soup. And there’s a famous Restaurant where they do a special pancake, Gundel’s. Expensive restaurant though.
Yeah good call, we have discussed adding Salzburg in. The pictures look magical. Cheers Ross.
Enjoy, and let us know your thoughts on Budapest!!
Thanks AN. Noted those down!! The Sachertorte looks scrumptious.
I had to watch The Sound of Music with my wife one day and I said “goes, you can tell that is done on a stage” and she informed me that it was not, that’s how Salzburg actually looks. When we went there, it was as if someone just painted the scenery, couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. And everyone there is very very friendly.
In Berlin I love the bars and eateries along the Spree River especially around Freidrichstr. I never leave Berlin without having a Currywurst atleast once.
It’s a bit cliche and you will fight the droves but in Munich the Hofbrauhaus is a must, the food is great the drinking even better and the people you will meet will ensure you have a rowdy and often late night. As others have said the Cafe Sacher in Vienna is a must. Cafe Korb is another of our favourites and has the best Apple Strudel I’ve tasted and also does great schnitzels and sausages. It’s only a short walk away from the Stephansdom. Most of these places you are visiting have amazing eateries and bars along every stretch, Prague in particular has a wonderful amount but try and eat somewhere along the river just for the views. As also mentioned try and fit a few other places in and I’d highly recommend hiring a car and driving. Most towns and villages have little eateries that will be a fraction of the cost of the cities and will be genuine home cooked meals. I would visit Salzburg as it’s stunning and if you have time do a day trip to Hallstatt which is quite possibly the most stunning town in Austria. Cesky Krumlov is another town that is a must and isn’t too far out your way in the Czech Republic. A lot depends on your time frame but each of those places you have listed would need a good 2-3 days to appreciate
Thanks heaps Aceman. That’s awesome. Hearing you talk about this has got the excitement levels escalating.
As far as timeframes go, yeah we have about 2-3 days in each of these places aside from Brno and Brno, and Bratislava where we will moreso just be passing through for a few hours. And yep, we have hired a car from Berlin to Budapest so we’ll have that flexibility to stop along the way. Looking forward to that Currywurst now!!
The planning is the hardest I find when having a car. I find it easiest to grab a big map and circle the places you are interested in and then work out which places you can get to easily without backtracking too much whilst allowing a decent amount of time to travel. You might find some places are just too far out of the way or require a big day of travelling (which I don’t mind if required)
Just beware that fuel costs are quite high in most of Europe and for most of the places you will need to either pay tolls or purchase a vignette. Some countries will allow you to pre pay your vignette via the internet which I would recommend. Parking can be scarce in cities especially and most hotels will charge you between $20-40/night to park in their garage
We only did lunchtime in Bratislava. There’s something famous there…chocolatey…plus something alcoholic.
I liked Dresden…we overnighted there but the only thingi remember eating on the Stadtplatz was a spicy currywurst combo…sehr gut!
Make sure you have a pretzel with your stein in the Hofbrauhaus.
There are some great historic walks in Berlin…through the Tiergarten to the Brandenburg Gate, Topography of Terror, Checkpoint Charlie on Friedrichstrasse…many more.
There is a company that does walking tours of Berlin, it’s about €15 and they are the best in Europe. Brilliantly done
There are good free tours too, but most tip the guide at the end.