15 Things Europe Has Perfected That America Has Not

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Are you curious about things Europe has perfected that America has not? From the practical to the whimsical, people online have shared their thoughts. Here are the 15 most prominent examples.

1. Fresh Bread

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The superiority of good bread in Europe compared to the U.S. was mentioned by many and is something I’ve heard several times on my travels.

2. Christmas Markets

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Another user remarked that European Christmas markets are a unique and exciting experience, and that America should adopt the concept by having winter markets with bratwursts, similar to their summer farmers and flea markets.

3. Tax Inclusion on Goods

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One European said they needed help understanding why American stores don’t include taxes in their prices, which can make it difficult to calculate the final cost of an item.

Another person from Europe replied that they had experienced the same confusion and frustration, especially when traveling to different states with varying tax rates.

4. Bathroom Stalls

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Many people appreciate European bathroom stalls, designed to provide more privacy than American stalls. Someone said that they have never understood why American stalls are built with significant gaps between the doors and walls, which allow people to see directly into the stall.

A Londoner joked it’s for the “looky-loos.”

5. Well-Funded Public Education System

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One person from Europe praised the well-funded public education systems in Europe, noting that many countries include post-secondary education in their system, unlike the American system. However, they also noted it was odd to them that the public education system in the U.S. does not pay their teachers better or provide students with adequate supplies.

6. Fair Pay for Food Service Staff

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In Europe, service staff is paid a fair wage, and the public is not expected to supplement their income through tips. Several echoed this sentiment and mentioned that the European hospitality industry seems to have a different culture regarding tipping.

7. Walkable Cities

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Another individual pointed out the need for more pedestrian infrastructure in some American towns and cities, citing an example of living in an apartment complex without proper sidewalks or pedestrian crossings to walk to a nearby grocery store.

The inconvenience of driving to cross the street highlights the need for better planning and implementation of pedestrian-friendly infrastructure in the U.S.

8. Social Safety Net and Public Programs

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Unlike the U.S., where there is often a need for such support, Europe has a solid social safety net and public programs.

9. Working Rights

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Many Europeans were shocked to learn that paid time off is also used when Americans cannot work due to sickness. One person further stated that they found it strange that no laws regulate work time in the U.S. and that companies decide whether holidays are days off work.

10. Unexploded Ordinance From World Wars

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Someone added that they worked in the commercial fishing industry in Alaska. They said there are specific islands and ports where they cannot wander off-road due to the unexploded ordnance from World War II.

The person highlights a stark difference between Europe and America regarding the remnants of war, as many parts of Europe were heavily affected by WWII and have since been reconstructed and safe for civilians.

11. Regulations on Rent Raise

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A person expressed surprise upon learning about the regulations on how much rents can be raised in some European countries. In America, landlords have been reported to increase rent by whatever they want!

12. Good Cheese

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There was no objection in the forum about which place has better cheese – and Europe wins. It might be due to differences in the production and regulation of cheese or simply a matter of taste.

13. Affordable Healthcare

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Additionally, many pointed out that Europe has affordable healthcare, which can be a massive difference from the American healthcare system. In many European countries, healthcare is seen as a fundamental human right funded through taxes, making it more accessible and affordable for all citizens.

14. Pay-To-Use Restrooms

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On another note, this difference isn’t a good one. Many pointed out their frustration with pay-to-use restrooms in Europe, stating that it’s a risk they’re unwilling to take. People find it ridiculous to rely on their shame to not soil themselves and believe restrooms should be accessible to all. “Give me a lavatory or give me death,” they proclaimed.

Americans have free toilet access, and Europeans agreed it’s better, but with their stalls.

15. Good Public Transportation

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Finally, several people stated that good public transportation is something Europe has that America does not. Many European cities have efficient and affordable public transportation, including buses, trams, and trains, making it easy for residents to get around without a car.

What would you add? What about things the U.S. does better than Europe?

A thread inspired this article.


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This article was produced and syndicated by The Happiness Function.

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Zobia Shazi


  1. Lia on May 20, 2023 at 5:17 am

    I live in Florence, Italy, and these are all true! Many of them are exactly the reason I moved here from Southern California. Also because I am of Italian blood and Florence is the most beautiful city in the world to me. Besides that, I can afford the rent. I don’t need a car and that expense. Public transportation is awesome, but in fact, one can walk from one side of Florence to the other. The food IS incredible with a lot of fresh food markets. I went to the emergency room for a very bad cut and it cost me NOTHING, And people are pretty healthy, one reason being they relax and take life easy. Lunch is 2-3 hours. I see people my age and older walking and riding bicycles everywhere. The school system is outstanding. And let me add one very important one the article didn’t mention – I FEEL SAFE. I am a 70 year old woman and I have no fear walking my dog day or night. My very old charming apartment (it was once the servant quarters for the wealthy Strozzi family) is a FORTRESS. No one is getting in here uninvited! And I don’t worry that I may get shot going to the city center.

    • Ashlee Fechino on May 21, 2023 at 1:31 pm

      Thank you for sharing this with us. Congratulations on this beautiful time in your life.

  2. Burt Randall on April 9, 2023 at 1:01 pm

    This is an informative article.

    Thanks, Ashlee & Pablo !!

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