Non-American Tourists Are Sharing The Things They Loved (And Hated) About Visiting The US

If you've ever traveled to a new country, then you've probably identified some aspects of the culture that you loved and others you could do without. Well, redditor u//MickJof started a conversation about the best and worst things they experienced while visiting the US, and lots of travelers chimed in. Here's what some non-Americans said were their favorite and least favorite aspects of life in the States.

1.Love: "American diners and their huge portions of pancakes, bacon, and eggs galore."

Blueberry pie on a diner table
Gerenme / Getty Images/iStockphoto

2.Love: "The friendliness. I love the random friendliness in the USA. In the US, it's easy to pick up a conversation with mostly anyone. In my experience, Dutch people are kind but much more reserved in public."

The characters from "Friends" standing in a doorway excitedly
The characters from "Friends" standing in a doorway excitedly



"Americans are very friendly and talkative. I'm from Sweden, where people get super uncomfortable if you talk to a stranger on a bus or even if you sit next to someone when other seats are available."


3.Hate: "Tipping! Why the heck do I need to be partly responsible for a proper salary for my servers? Also, it is just annoying to have to calculate the tip every time. It is also annoying that the prices listed almost never contain tax. In my country (and across most of Europe, as far as I'm aware), you pay exactly what is listed as the price. No hidden surprises."

A customer putting money into a tip jar
Sdi Productions / Getty Images/iStockphoto

4.Love: "The to-go doggie bags at restaurants. You might be able to take your leftovers with you in certain places in the Netherlands, where I'm from, but it really is not the norm and would surely raise an eyebrow if you asked. In the US, it is normal, and I love not letting food go to waste. Besides, I did pay for my meal, so it's nice to be able to take it with me."

Pizza in a to-go box
Aleksandr Zubkov / Getty Images

5.Love: "Career flexibility. It seems to me that people change careers frequently in the US. They can be 50 years old and go back to school, study something new, and get a completely unrelated job. In a lot of other places, people just keep at what they're doing forever, and they're miserable their whole lives."

Pam and Jim from "The Office" air high-fiving
Pam and Jim from "The Office" air high-fiving



6.Hate: "Cost of living. It might just be where I have visited in the US, but I find Europe to be a lot more affordable. Granted, I only had to worry about buying food and going out, but still, I found myself a lot more conscious about my spending when I was in the US."

Jerry Seinfeld picking up a check in shock
Jerry Seinfeld picking up a check in shock



7.Love: "Portion sizes. I find even as a Canadian that American portions are enormous and can sometimes be three times the size of a meal I would eat at home."

Tray and butcher paper with variety of barbecue and condiments
Kevin Trimmer / Getty Images

8.Hate: "Lack of public transportation. I visited LA recently and found the car-centric culture to be super inconvenient for a tourist. Every time I wanted to see something, I had to research it beforehand and then drive there. In just about any other city I've traveled to, you can just head to the city center and explore on foot or via public transportation. Since I needed access to a car, I couldn't really stop in somewhere for a few beers. I really had to plan out my days."

Aerial view of Los Angeles highways at twilight
Michael H / Getty Images

9.Love: "I really like the diversity in the US. I'm Asian American (visibly East Asian), and the casual and overt day-to-day racism in a lot of Europe exhausts me. Not that the US is perfect, but the racism in Europe is everywhere and not even discussed. Europeans are generally very much in denial about it. I did not have the same experience in the US."

Ali Wong pointing
Ali Wong pointing



10.Love: "A general attitude of going for it and encouraging new things. Americans are willing to try new things. They start a business, an organization, or a club without fearing the risks. In some countries, when people have this kind of go-getter attitude, others around them pull them down. In the US it’s celebrated, and I really like that."

Dwight from "The Office" stretching and saying "Let's do this!"
Dwight from "The Office" stretching and saying "Let's do this!"



11.Love: "Bagels! Give me a New York everything bagel with egg and cheese and a cup of coffee, and I’m a happy camper."

Bacon, egg, and cheese Sandwich on a bagel
Ant Dm / Getty Images/iStockphoto

12.Love: "The landscapes. I've been to America many times, and I have to say the diversity in landscapes is incredible. You have deserts a few hours from ski resorts, and huge, modern cities next to thousands of square miles of Great Plains."

Winding road with Half Dome in Yosemite
James O'neil / Getty Images

13.Love: "The diverse cuisine. If you’re willing to look for it, the US has no shortage of great food. Thanks to the cultural diversity, I found a lot of different culinary options as well."

People eating Korean BBQ
Lauryn Ishak / Getty Images

14.Hate: "General feeling of safety. I feel a lot safer in Europe than I do in the US. Gun violence is one difference, but it goes beyond this. In most cities in Europe, I always feel that there are all sorts of people (especially women and older adults) out and about at all times. This makes me feel safer. In large cities in the US, by contrast, I often had locals warn me about certain areas, especially at night."

Empty streets of New York City at night
Kirill Kuznetcov / Getty Images/iStockphoto

15.Love: "The sandwiches. In America, there are so many glorious sandwiches, like the Reuben, piled high with delicious corned beef on nice artisan bread; Philly cheesesteaks; thin-sliced rib-eye, dripping with salty, gooey provolone; and even the po'boy, a stunning creation."

Pastrami sandwich and pickles on a table
Gerenme / Getty Images/iStockphoto

16.Love: "The nature! I am Belgian and just returned from a one-month road trip in the US. I'm so jealous of the magnificent nature in the US. I saw so many beautiful sights. I hope every American truly treasures this aspect of life in the States."

Person in yellow rain jacket posing in the Hoh Rainforest
Cavan Images / Getty Images/Cavan Images RF

17.Love: "Customer service, from the people who pack your grocery bag to the valets who park your car to the host who seats you in a restaurant. Everyone in customer service roles in the US performed these tasks while being extremely nice."

Kristin Wiig on "Saturday Night Live" dressed as a Target employee
Kristin Wiig on "Saturday Night Live" dressed as a Target employee



18.Hate: "Lack of hostels. In most American cities, there are no hostels, so you're stuck paying money for Airbnbs or hotels, both of which jack up the price of your trip. In addition, this lack of hostels removes a key social outlet, so travel is lonelier."

An aged and worn neon motel sign with palm trees
Smodj / Getty Images/iStockphoto

19.Hate: "Degree of LGBTQ tolerance. Speaking as a gay person, Europe has more options. I feel safe in most places in both Europe and the US, especially with friends around, but I feel that European cities have more diverse, liberated venues for the LGBTQ community."

JVN from "Queer Eye"
JVN from "Queer Eye"



20.Hate: "Lack of biking/walking lanes. I love the bike culture that is common in many European countries, like the Netherlands, and most European cities are extremely walkable compared with the US. I wish the States had more bikeable and walkable places."

Pedestrians, commuters, and traffic in Manhattan
Peter Adams / Getty Images

21.Love: "The cereal selection. You can get breakfast cereal with marshmallows in it. MARSHMALLOWS. I find that fascinating, exotic, and maybe just a bit horrifying."

Close-up of colorful marshmallow cereal
Jenniveve84 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

22.Love: "Convenience. Everything is so damn convenient. Shops stay open later, basically everywhere delivers, and the consumer generally has much more choice. This applies to everything from banking to retail. In general in the US, it feels like the customer truly is king."

A McDonald's drive-thru
Naomi Baker / Getty Images

23.Love: "American salads. At restaurants, you can order a salad as a main meal, and there's so much choice. Servers always ask if you want to make any changes to what's written on the menu."

A Cobb salad at a restaurant
Sbrogan / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Non-Americans, what are your favorite things about traveling to the US, and what are some aspects of life in the States that you don't like? Tell us in the comments!

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