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10 European Habits That Americans Find Absolutely “Strange”

Different countries often have unique practices that seem strange or bizarre to outsiders. What may be considered normal in one country can be seen as weird or quirky in another.

A user asked, Americans, what do Europeans do that you find weird? And here are the top picks: 

1. The Queue Culture

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Personal space can be dear to many, especially Americans. So, this one will relate to many of you. 

“I lived in Germany 3 years; I loved everything about it, except one thing; personal space doesn’t exist in lines. I’d be standing in line at a store, and the next person behind me would be breathing down my neck. Step back, man.” a user shared.

“I felt this in Sweden today, like a dude standing behind me and coughing. I know the pandemic “isn’t a thing” anymore, but dude, get off.; being Swedish, I said nothing but muttered under my breath when we both walked out to our cars after.” another said

2. Bed Size Culture

a woman on bed

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“Hotels having two twin beds pushed next to each other instead of king/queen size. You invented kings and queens or what.” said one.

“if it’s a large bed meant for two people, it’s common for each person to get their blanket. I was surprised when I first saw that, but it makes a lot of sense.” another said.

Read: Escape to Paradise: 10 U.S. Destinations That Will Take Your Breath Away

4. The Smoking Culture


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This came as a shock to me, but please share if you noticed something similar. 

“When my family and I visited, it was like everyone smoked, even young people and teens.” said one.

“Smoking and drinking at this young age. Middle and high schoolers did it freely, and parents and toddlers would smoke openly next to them.

5. Diverse Languages

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It definitely, is not as bizarre, but people seem to think otherwise.

“You can drive 5 hours in any direction, and the people there will speak a different language and have a completely different culture.” said one.

“That’s true. If I drive 5 hours north, I end up somewhere near Newcastle and feel lost and scared.” another added.

6. Moving Kitchens

Couple In New Home On Moving Day Putting Together Self Assembly Furniture

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Yes, this one tops my list of quirks Nowhere have I noticed someone moving kitchens. 

“When you move, you take the kitchen with you. That is just mind-boggling to me.” said one.

“Both rented and owned. Many apartments in Germany do not come with kitchen cabinets and appliances, and you often provide your own. This works out much better than in the US, where people tend to be long-term renters. If you’re going to live somewhere for 8 or 20 years, it’s not big of a deal. However, this would be a nightmare in the US, where people constantly seem to move.

Read: 10 Worst Cities To Avoid in the U.S. in 2023 (For Relocating Or Travel)

7. Vacations

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Unfortunately, this shouldn’t have been a quirk. Vacation time and holidays are something we all deserve.

“The amount of time y’all have to vacation is insane.” said one.

“Germany here, I work part-time, that is 65 hours a month, and I have 36 paid vacation days.” a European said.

8. Pay-To-Pee Paradigm

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“Visited Europe for the first time and noticed this. I think I paid 0.5 for a bathroom break at a Mcdonald’s.

Those bathrooms were super clean, and I enjoyed that the walls connected from the ceiling to the floor, making it comfortable. Here in NA, the bathroom stalls have little gaps in the walls, so it feels like you don’t have any privacy.

I’m assuming a part of why the bathrooms are so clean is due to this charge. This was in the Netherlands,” said one.

Read: 10 Popular Beliefs That Are Actually False And Untrue

9. Open Borders

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“I’m going to Europe on my honeymoon, and it’s been crazy to me how other countries just have open borders. I’m taking the ICE from Germany to France, and there are no border checks, and it’s fascinating to me.” a user shared.

10. Late Night Dinner

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“A lot of European cultures eat dinner so late at night, and I can’t image eating my dinner at 8 or 9 at night.” said one.

“I’ve heard that in Argentina (well, Buenos Aires particularly), the main dinner time at restaurants is between 9:30 and midnight, and lunch is around 3 pm, and breakfast around 10 am.” another shared.

Read: Kill It Now: 10 Frugal Things That You’re Doing, But Aren’t Worth It Anymore

11. No Ice In The Water

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“When I went to France in the middle of July, I was dying of heat one day, and I’ll never forget we went into a fancy restaurant, and I asked for ice in my water, and the waiter told me “we don’t do that here.” The hotel, however, brought me a bag of ice when I requested.” a user shared.

Do read 11 Telltale Signs That Reveal Your American Identity

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