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Paying for drinking water in Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro

Paying for drinking water in Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro

Old Nov 11th, 2023, 12:36 PM
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Paying for drinking water in Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro

We traveled the area in September, 2023
Iím OK with buying a bottle of water on the street, etc.
So many times we had to pay for water with dinner.
I thought the region had safe drinking water from the tap.
It seems odd that a restaurant serving dinner would charge you for water.
Or is this like France where you have to order ďcarafe díeauĒ for tap water or they bring a bottle and charge you?
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Old Nov 11th, 2023, 01:09 PM
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Generally speaking, water - tap or bottled - comes with a charge in European restaurants, no matter which country you go to. I have never not payed for water in restaurants in Europe. Granted, there might be exceptions to this but have yet to see otherwise outside of the US. Ive even been charged for un caraf d'eau in France. It's sort of an American "thing" not to charge water in a restaurant.
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Old Nov 11th, 2023, 01:44 PM
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I drink tap water all the time in all three of these countries. But if you go to a restaurant and order water with a meal, generally it comes in a bottle and it doesn’t come free. Oddly enough. If you go to a place and just have a drink like wine or coffee, they will bring a glass of water on the side.

It is definitely not odd, and hopefully cuts down on wasted water. Hopefully.

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Old Nov 11th, 2023, 02:59 PM
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"Generally speaking, water - tap or bottled - comes with a charge in European restaurants, no matter which country you go to. I have never not payed for water in restaurants in Europe."

just a bit confused by this, maybe tonight is too late to read stuff.

Never paid for tap water in Europe yet, only 63 years in. Only once refused tap water in all that time.
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Old Nov 11th, 2023, 03:33 PM
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I encountered a couple of restaurants in Poland that charged for tap water. It was very inexpensive so I didn't complain. I don't remember encountering that in Croatia, Slovenia or Montenegro but it doesn't surprise me if you did. Maybe it's more of an Eastern European custom.
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Old Nov 11th, 2023, 04:03 PM
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It happens in Switzerland too, not everywhere, but it does happen. It's happened to me in Germany too.

Not being charged isn't just an American thing. It's also common in Australia and New Zealand.

Last edited by Melnq8; Nov 11th, 2023 at 04:05 PM.
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Old Nov 11th, 2023, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler
"Generally speaking, water - tap or bottled - comes with a charge in European restaurants, no matter which country you go to. I have never not payed for water in restaurants in Europe."

just a bit confused by this, maybe tonight is too late to read stuff.

Never paid for tap water in Europe yet, only 63 years in. Only once refused tap water in all that time.
At least in Germany and Italy, drinking water in a restaurant means paying for it (usually a sealed mineral water bottle; occasionally a jug of filtered/purified tap water). Ordering plain tap water is not a thing; it would be extremely rude to ask, and most restaurants will refuse. This is regardless of the quality of tap water, which is usually excellent and available for free at bars and public drinking fountains.
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Old Nov 11th, 2023, 05:39 PM
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A bit off topic but for us, we don't care what sort of water we drink but dislike bottled water because of the plastic. It's nothing to do with cost. We recently had an (absolutely brilliant) extended holiday in Greece and the only thing we didn't like about the whole trip was the over consumption of water in plastic bottles. Loved it when a jug of water (always free) was put on the table. Bottled water was also often included in the cost of the coffee or whatever we ordered, not extra. I would think it awful if it were considered offensive to ask for tap water - given the environmental impact of every plastic bottle I think that's terrible and I'd probably just ask anyway, they can think me rude if they want.
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Old Nov 11th, 2023, 09:35 PM
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Hi all,

I have lived in Germany since 2008, and I drink a LOT of water. One of the first words I learned was Leitungswasser, tap water, and I have been ordering it with every restaurant meal in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria over the last 15 years. I have never paid for it and have never had any server refuse me or look at me oddly.

I do also order another liquid -- a glass of wine, a pot of tea, or a glass of Johannschorle -- for the meal. But I need the extra water just for my usual intake. One time I ordered the Johannschorle and the Leitungswasser in the same breath, and I got them in the same glass.... really bad. Now I make sure to ask for them in separate glasses...

s
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Old Nov 11th, 2023, 11:28 PM
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I think the OP was paying for bottled water at meals, not tap water. I don’t think it would be rude to ask for tap water, it is just not that common to order it with a meal.

swandav, mixing wine and water in Croatia is pretty common! Many people drink Gemišt - white wine (usually cheap) and sparking water and in Dalmatia they mix red wine and water and call it Bevanda.

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Old Nov 12th, 2023, 12:54 AM
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"At least in Germany and Italy, drinking water in a restaurant means paying for it. Ordering plain tap water is not a thing; it would be extremely rude to ask"

utter nonsense. I speak Italian, French, English and have German family members so visit often and have never had this problem in these countries, or anywhere in Europe.

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Old Nov 12th, 2023, 06:16 AM
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I still remember the long ago meal in Paris where the bottled water was more expensive than the house wine, also bottled.
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Old Nov 12th, 2023, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by AJPeabody
I still remember the long ago meal in Paris where the bottled water was more expensive than the house wine, also bottled.
Same thing when we lived in W. Berlin long ago... the mineral water was more expensive than the beer.

Swandav's experience is also what we experienced... once you know what to order, 'Leitungswasser" it's no problem to receive it, even though just drinking plain water in restaurants isn't necessarily their thing... my German instructor said that perhaps if she had to take a pill, she would order it. We've never been charged but really we prefer mineral water... we like a bit of fizz. Many times it's served in glass bottles.
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Old Nov 12th, 2023, 02:48 PM
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While traveling in Switzerland 2022, the water flows freely in most town squares. But in St Moritz at a restaurant, we asked for tap water (in addition to some wine and a beer), the waitress went to the faucet, filled a carafe, and set it on the table. It was the same price as the beer. Go figure.
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Old Nov 13th, 2023, 12:40 PM
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I've never been charged for tap water.

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Old Nov 26th, 2023, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler
"At least in Germany and Italy, drinking water in a restaurant means paying for it. Ordering plain tap water is not a thing; it would be extremely rude to ask"

utter nonsense. I speak Italian, French, English and have German family members so visit often and have never had this problem in these countries, or anywhere in Europe.
Old-ish thread, but for future reference if anyone finds it: I am Italian and live in Germany; trust me, it is extremely unusual and rude to ask for tap water in a restaurant. Ask any Italian or German person if you donít believe me.
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Old Nov 26th, 2023, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mbrevitas
Old-ish thread, but for future reference if anyone finds it: I am Italian and live in Germany; trust me, it is extremely unusual and rude to ask for tap water in a restaurant. Ask any Italian or German person if you don’t believe me.
I spoke to my Italian friend (lives in Vasto) he has never heard of such a thing. He has family in the restaurant business (now in Italy but was in the Dorchester in London). I then spoke to a friend from L'Aquila who lives in Bremen. He has no idea what you are on about.

My BIL, with a German wife, lives in Switzerland, office in Austria, factories in Germany just laughed at the idea and he certainly expects a glass of tap water on his table when goes into what are normally very high end places.

Restaurants really don't care, they want happy customers who eat and drink what they want, pay and come again. There is no emotional linkage to charging for tap water.

Though, just to amuse, I once ordered a light Alsace Pinot Noir to go with a grilled Zander and chef had to come out of his kitchen to talk to the front of house as to whether they were prepared to allow such sacrilege. Imagine some 20 tables of diners all stopping with food going to their mouths to stare at the stupid Brits. Chef considered the idea and then nodded his acceptence. So I guess some things are very close to being unacceptable.

Last edited by bilboburgler; Nov 26th, 2023 at 11:35 PM.
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Old Nov 27th, 2023, 12:32 AM
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Back yesterday after a week in Rome and we asked for tap water everywhere, no raised eyebrows. A couple of restaurants asked if we wanted filter water, but we werenít charged for it.

Been to Paris many times, lived there for five years in the eighties and a carafe of water was/is the norm, even today.
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Old Nov 27th, 2023, 02:34 AM
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thinking about this further, there are plenty of people who don't like to buy drinks from badly recycled liquid containers for environmental reasons, tap water is the obvious greenest solution so any company who wants to restrict access is going to have a business problem.
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