16 Things Many Europeans Find Totally Normal But Americans Definitely Do Not

This week, Reddit user u/Rapadapadoom asked, "What's considered normal in Europe but horrific in America?" It led to people sharing some super-interesting examples of cultural differences.


Here are some of the most eye-opening responses:

Note: A lot of these vary by region and may not be common in every part of Europe!

1."Underage drinking seems [like] more of a crime in the US — in most cases if a kid is caught with alcohol in the UK, it's just confiscated and poured away. The age you can drink alcohol [in the UK] is really low as well, so long as you're home with a parent."



2."In Germany, looking for an apartment doesn't automatically mean it will come with a kitchen. Ninety percent [of the time], they don't have them."


3."Paying for bathrooms."

paid public restroom in Bulgaria
Kypros / Getty Images

4."Almost every car having a manual transmission. When I visited Ukraine, I only saw rich people with automatic cars."


5."[This] doesn't apply to every European country, but prison sentences are a lot shorter. Life in prison without parole is extremely rare, and many countries do not have such sentences."

inside of prison
Halfdark / Getty Images

6."At least in Germany, nudity. No one cares if you're naked, no one thinks it's even sexual to be naked unless you're actively having sex, and no one makes it weird. In general, it's just not an issue."



7."Where I live in Europe (Luxembourg), voting is mandatory, and you can get fined for not voting in an election."


8."Kissing greetings."

Women greeting each other with cheek kisses
Tim Robberts / Getty Images

9."Leaving your baby to sleep in a stroller outside. Be it at home on the balcony/garden or outside a restaurant."

Sbytovamn / Getty Images/ iStockphoto

10."The amount of people who still smoke, especially in restaurants. Nothing like sitting in a beautiful café and having someone at the table next to you light up just as your food arrives."


Note: Smoking in indoor public places is banned in certain European countries, like the UK.

11."Not tipping your server [at] a restaurant."

Samuel serving Ari's family and Guzmán at restaurant on Elite

12."Songs with swear words being broadcasted on the radio or swear words not being covered with a beeping tone on TV."


13."In France, every beach has naked people, and no one cares. It’s just normal."


14."As a Czech person, my American wife was blown away that we let kids in pubs or bars."

Alcohol in pub
John Rensten / Getty Images

15."Some countries in Europe have church taxes (the state collects money through the taxation system and hands a slice of it over to the national church) and/or state-paid clergy."


16.And finally: "Charging for water at a restaurant."

pouring water at restaurant
Julia Mller / Getty Images/ EyeEm

Now it's your turn! What's something normal in the US that would be considered strange elsewhere? Tell us in the comments!