From its old-world architecture to its amazing landscapes, Europe is filled with wonderful and unique things that one can’t find anywhere else in the world. But there are certain items and experiences that stand out as quintessentially European. A popular online forum of experienced travelers came up with a list of the most European things that people can easily identify, and here are some of them.
1. A Proper Selection Of Cheese
Europeans love their cheese, and it’s not surprising that the continent is the go-to place for the best cheese. From pungent blue cheese to creamy brie, many countries in the region have a wide variety of artisanal cheeses that experts have mastered over the years. “Bigger supermarkets where I live have a vast selection of French, Swiss, Italian, Austrian, and if you are so inclined, German cheeses. And it’s glorious,” confirms a user who lives in Europe.
2. Castles Everywhere
Having one castle in your town is impressive. Having multiple castles in your village is astounding, yet for Europeans, they’re just a part of the landscape that they see every day. A person on the thread boasted of having a view of two castles from their house, one from their living room window and the other from their kitchen window.
3. Going to the Neighboring Country To Shop
Thanks to Europe’s open borders policy, residents can take a casual shopping trip to a neighboring country the way Americans visit a mall in the town adjacent to where they live. The freedom to travel between countries without a passport or having to encounter border patrol is second nature to Europeans.
Thanks to the educational systems in Europe, it’s not unusual for its citizens to speak more than one language, specifically their native language and English. A commenter on the thread jokes, “A person who speaks three languages is called ‘trilingual.’ A person who speaks two languages is called ‘bilingual.’ Someone who only speaks one language is called ‘American.’”
5. Walkable and Bikeable Cities
The development of European cities occurred centuries before the invention of cars. Their build is in a manner that is very friendly to walkers and bicycle riders. Conversely, many newer American cities were constructed around vehicles, making their streets difficult for walkers and bicyclists to travel safely.
If you’ve never heard of Eurovision, you’re not alone. An international song competition similar to American Idol, Eurovision is a distinctly European phenomenon. Eurovision is a secret guilty pleasure, according to this user, who claims, “It started as a very formal song contest and gradually turned into a festival of politically charged kitschy Europop. Everybody watches it, but nobody wants to admit it.”
7. Cobblestone Streets
In the United States, seeing a small section of a city with historic cobblestone streets is not unusual. For example, cobblestone streets are present near the Liberty Bell in the Old City section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Because European cities predate the U.S., there are cobblestone streets everywhere.
8. Parental Leave
European countries provide paid and unpaid leave for mothers and fathers to care for newborns and older children, depending on the country. A contributor to the thread details the parental leave policy in their country: “Here in France, it’s sixteen weeks for moms (six weeks before and ten after the birth), and for dads, it’s twenty-eight days. Sure, after, we can take six months each, but it’s unpaid.”
While these traffic circles are polarizing in the United States (people either love or loathe them), they are used throughout the European Union to control traffic in small towns and busy metropolitan areas.
10. Ancient Architecture Everywhere
Europe’s ancient cities have architectural marvels that are hundreds of years old. A person on the thread marvels at the current use of classical buildings: “Having pubs, schools, random post office buildings…older than any construction in America.” Another user writes, “Casually having buildings from millennia ago around you all the time.”
11. Holidays in the Canary Islands
Vacationing in the Canary Islands is a uniquely European tradition, with people saving their four weeks of paid leave to take an extended holiday at the Spanish island chain every July and August.
More From Savoteur
Visiting the United States is filled with excitement and adventure – especially if you’re visiting from another country. There aren’t many nations that can offer more to foreign visitors than America! However, tourists should think twice about visiting certain places. Recently, U.S. citizens and tourists met in an online discussion to reveal the places foreigners should avoid at all costs.
12 Things Americans Have or Do That Is Better Than in Europe
There is a certain respect between the United States and its European counterparts. However, anyone who’s lived in both places knows what America has or does that puts Europe to shame! Recently, men and women met in an online discussion to reveal everything Europe should be jealous of when comparing itself to the United States.
Top 10 Most Unique Cities in the U.S. According to Americans
Tennessee Williams once famously said, “America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.” An online commenter asks people in a forum to share the most unique cities in the USA — here are their picks.
10 Big Things Americans Are Not Ready To Hear According to Europeans
Buckle in, America: Europeans are about to lay some cold, hard truths on you. There are some things that Americans aren’t ready to hear, and recently, people met in an online discussion to reveal all the things that Europeans would love to say to the United States in general. It’s an eye-opening look into how America is viewed from across the pond!
Top 10 Most Forgettable U.S. States According to Americans
Sometimes it’s easy to get selective amnesia toward certain states. It may happen for many reasons; maybe you visited the state once, and nothing was memorable or striking about it. Or perhaps it gave you bad memories on the first visit — first impressions matter a lot. According to regular voyagers, these are the top most forgettable states.
Her articles have appeared in publications such as Wealth of Geeks, MSN (US), MSN Ireland, Flipboard, The Facts, The Cents of Money, A Dime Saved, The Times (Frankfort), Invested Wallet, Chronicle-Tribune, Mama of Five Blog, Lafourche Gazette, The Herald-Press, Kinda Frugal, Peru Tribune, and Financially Well Off. Stephanie Allen got her start in writing by teaching college writing and technical writing courses. She transitioned to working as a contract technical writer specializing in information technology. Her love for writing on various subjects led her to Wealth of Geeks.