18 Very Common Everyday European Things That Would Be Considered Luxuries In The US

I think a lot of Americans would agree that any time we visit Europe we at some point or another during our vacation think to ourselves, Okay, these Europeans really are doing this right! Whether it's the food, the work/life balance, or the cities designed with walking or public transportation in mind, there are things that really are better in many, many countries across Europe.

character saying, i'll walk around and do french things, be parisian

And recently, Reddit user meryse touched upon that very topic when they asked: "What do Europeans have in everyday life that you consider a luxury in America?"

person on a european street
Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

Well, lots of Americans chimed in to share the common European things, both big and small, that they thought would be a luxury here in the States. Below are some of the top and best answers:

1."No gaps in bathroom stall doors — the ones between the door."

gap in the bathroom stall

2."Automatically having 4–6 weeks of vacation at time of hire."

couple on a beach

3."Quality of work life."

person at their work desk

4."No high fructose corn syrup in everything!!! Like, you don't even need to check the label for it."

food label

5."Those towel warmer racks, and heated bathroom floors."


6."Extremely strong consumer protection laws. A bare minimum quality/duration expectation of all services and products. I love this one because different companies or foreign products try to circumvent this all the time and they always lose."


7."'Bum Guns.' I want bidets to be widely accepted in the US."

a bidet next to a toilet

8."Can’t believe it’s not more prominent, but the right to privacy, and recently digital privacy. GDPR was an excellent piece of legislation."


9."Fresh baked bread for reasonable prices that you can get in walking distance of your home, and aren't full of preservatives."

bakery display

10."Decent quality chocolate available in almost any random corner shop."

trays of chocolate treats

11."Real farmers markets."

farmers market with lots of fresh produce

12."Good public transport outside of main cities. Germans in particular love to complain about Deutsche Bahn (and rightfully so), but compared to the USA it's just so much more versatile."

person getting on a train

13."Time. Time to eat in a restaurant without being shoved out. Time to sip coffee at a cafe. Time to spend with new children. Time to go on vacation. Seems like an unattainable luxury to this American."

people at a cafe

14."Can't speak for all of Europe, but workers rights. WTF is 'Getting fired on the day'? Or quitting, for that matter? You get three months here."

person packing up their desk

15."Food that doesn’t have a ton of artificial additives and non-food ingredients that makes you sick. I never realized that was what was causing my stomach problems until I went on vacation in Europe and within a day had no problems at all. And it came back a day after I returned. They can make great food, even packaged junk food, with just real food ingredients. Why can’t we?"

lunch spread on a table

16."Affordable high-speed Internet. Like 1gigabyte/s (up and down!) for under €20 per month. With negligible installation fees. And it includes over a hundred cable channels."


17."I'm just going to assume 'really good cheese' is a legitimate answer."

cheese display

18.And lastly: "Maternity leave and healthcare come to mind — in particular affordable healthcare and maternity being equally available to everyone. I know in the US some people have healthcare and some companies offer paid maternity leave, but it's not the standard."

<div><p>"I know someone who works 50-plus hours a week, makes just enough to support his small family (child with special needs) and he can't afford to treat his hepatitis C because of the treatment (12 weeks of pills) costing more than he earns in 18 months. He can't afford to pay for health insurance (before a-holes start judging, he was born with it)."</p><p>—<a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74679X1524629&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.buzzfeed.com%2Fbriangalindo%2Feuropean-things-that-feel-like-luxuries-to-americans&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.reddit.com%2Fuser%2Fgreencoffeemonster%2F&xcust=7534127%7CBF-VERIZON&xs=1" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:greencoffeemonster;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">greencoffeemonster</a></p></div><span> Designer491 / Getty Images/iStockphoto</span>

You can read the full thread of responses on Reddit.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.