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

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

Carrie from Sex and the City saying,

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

A person with a backpack on a narrow European street looking at a cathedral
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 and the frame."

Gap in the bathroom stall

2."Automatically having four to six weeks of vacation at time of hire."

A couple sitting in deck chairs on a beach

3."Quality of work life."

Andrea from The Devil Wears Prada at her work computer

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

A food label saying no gluten, dairy, or high fructose corn syrup

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

A thermostat set at 22 degrees Celsius
Jorg Greuel / Getty Images

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 in Europe, and they always lose."

A keyboard with a
Abu Hanifah / Getty Images

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. The General Data Protection Regulation is an excellent piece of legislation."

A graphic showing
Nicoelnino / Getty Images/iStockphoto

9."Fresh-baked bread for reasonable prices that you can get within walking distance of your home and isn't full of preservatives."

A bakery display of fresh loaves of bread

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

Trays of chocolate treats
Assalve / Getty Images

11."Real farmers markets."

A farmers market with lots of fresh produce
Bruno De Hogues / Getty Images

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

A smiling woman getting on a train

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

People at an outdoor café
Dkart / Getty Images

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."

A person packing up their work desk

15."Food that doesn’t have a ton of artificial additives and nonfood ingredients that make 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 they came back a day after I returned. Europeans can make great food, even packaged junk food, with just real food ingredients. Why can’t we?"

A lunch spread of soup and sandwiches on a table
Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

16."Affordable high-speed internet. Like 1 gigabyte/second (up and down!) for under 20 euros per month. With negligible installation fees. And it includes over 100 cable channels."

A modem and laptop
Jens Domschky / Getty Images/iStockphoto

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

A very diverse cheese display

18.And lastly: "Maternity leave and healthcare come to mind — in particular, affordable healthcare and maternity leave 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."

A health insurance form

You can read the full thread of responses on r/NoStupidQuestions.

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