10 One-of-a-Kind European Exclusives to Explore

An entire ocean apart, Europe and North America are two very different continents. Europe has several things that North America does not. In an online discussion, people shared various things available in Europe but not North America; the following are the top ten.

1. Different Perceptions of Time

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European history spans thousands of years, and many buildings have been around for centuries. Compared to North American countries, it's no surprise this is unfathomable to North Americans. “To an American, 200 years is a long time,” one man said. “My house is older than America. My local pub is twice as old as America,” someone agreed. 

2. VAT Included in Price

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In Europe, VAT is included in the price of products, whereas in many North American countries, it's calculated during checkout. This difference can be frustrating for anyone not used to this system. “VAT already added on the price of products,” one person said. “It is nice to know your exact price instead of waiting for taxes to slap you at the end of your receipt,” another person agreed.

3. Blackcurrant

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“Blackcurrant,” someone said. “I feel bad for them. Blackcurrant is a really good flavoring and just fruit in general. For those wondering, especially here in the UK, everything that would usually be flavored grape in the US is Blackcurrant flavored instead. Grape isn't that popular a flavor over here,” someone agreed. Blackcurrant is a popular and delicious flavor in Europe. Surprisingly, it has never made it across the Atlantic.

4. Bathroom Fees

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In many North American countries, it's common to use public restrooms for free. But if you're in Europe, don't be surprised if you're charged a bathroom fee. “Pay-to-use Public Restrooms,” someone said. “I can't recall ever having to pay for a public restroom in the US,” another man agreed. 

5. Long Vacations

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“7-8 Weeks of Annual Vacation in most countries,” one person commented. To most North Americans, seven to eight weeks of annual vacation leave sounds like a dream, but it's the reality for many in Europe. Many European countries are legally obligated to offer their staff a minimum of five weeks of paid vacation.  

6. Affordable Healthcare

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It's no secret that medical bills are much higher in many parts of North America. In some countries, people would hesitate to call an ambulance because of the exorbitant fees. “We have affordable Health Care. I live in Germany, and we can go to the Hospital or call an Ambulance without going bankrupt. Because if you're having a medical emergency and need to call an Ambulance, the bill for the treatment will be covered by our Health Insurance,” an anonymous person said.

7. Excessive Smoking

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Excessive smoking is still prevalent in Europe, with many people smoking in public places. “Smoking! I am an American currently spending two weeks in Berlin. I CANNOT get over the cigarette situation here. I feel like it is the 1950's where everyone smoked everywhere,” one woman said.

8. Walkable Cities and Neighborhoods

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“An abundance of beautiful, walkable neighborhoods,” an anonymous person said. In Europe, people can walk everywhere, whereas in North America, particularly in the cities in the United States, there needs to be more sidewalks.

9. Centuries-Old Buildings

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“Buildings and structures that are over 500 years old. They are still used as residences and functioning buildings (as opposed to ruins or historical sites),” someone remarked. Europe is home to several ancient buildings still in use today, including 2,000-year-old temples, museums, and castles.

10. Work-Life Balance

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“An appreciation for work/life balance and quality of life. Over here, most people are not obsessed with making money to buy things. In Europe, people work to live,” one man said. Unlike North Americans, Europeans are not obsessed with making money and hustle culture and value their free time.


This post was inspired by this thread.



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She started her blog, The Money Dreamer, when she realized the 9-5 job was not the lifestyle she wanted anymore. After designing for a while, she wanted a more meaningful life, which was freedom, so she decided to venture out. She took action so that she can live her dream life and decided to help people to live theirs by helping them how to save, budget, and invest.

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