15 Things Europe Has That North America Doesn’t

We often read about things other places have that sound surreal or plain unbelievable. This time, inspired by a discussion in an online community, we draw comparisons between Europe and North America. 

1. Tax Is Included in the Price 

Receipt Bill Payment Vat included Total amount Business Consumer Shopping
Image Credit: VTT Studio/Shutterstock.

Like most countries, Europe has VAT, but Americans cannot relate. It is because every state has its own sales tax system. Because of this, you won't know the price you're paying for taxes until you see your receipt, unlike in Europe, where the VAT is already added to the price of things.

2. Walkable Cities

Black cheerful happy couple in love visiting Paris city centre and Eiffel Tower - African american tourists travelling in Europe and dating outdoors
Image Credit: Shutterstock / oneinchpunch.

Of course, you can still walk around in the cities in North America, but there are only a handful of cities that one can live in without needing a car. Europe has more than a bunch of them. They have walking paths, and it's normal to see people walking to and fro their workplace. They even have pedestrian-only towns and walkways.

3. A Truckload of Castles

Miramare Castle in Triste Italy.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

We won't deny that there are a few castles here and there in North America. Conversely, Europe has  a plethora of them. Germany alone has around 25,000 within its borders, while France has over 45,000.

4. A Working Rail System

Zermatt, Switzerland. Gornergrat tourist train with waterfall, bridge and Matterhorn. Valais region.
Image Credit: SCStock/Shutterstock.

In Europe, you can comfortably move from one place to another using trains. They almost have no reason to fly. It's so comfortable, easy and quick to move around by train. Unfortunately, North America, the United States in particular, has yet to catch on to this trend. 

5. Old Buildings

Sevilla, Spain - 20 April 2020: Sunny summer Sevilla street and Giralda tower
Image Credit: Arcady / Shutterstock.com

Every place has ancient buildings. But when you put these two places in this regard, Europe wins. Some buildings have the same bricks used in their original construction over 700 years ago. 

6. Time Off Work

Handsome man wearing hat and sunglasses taking selfie picture on summer vacation day - Happy hiker with backpack smiling at camera outside - Tourist walking on the beach - Traveling and technology
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In North America, employees typically only take part of their entire vacation days. We aren't sure if it's for fear of upsetting their employers or because they have too much work and need the extra time. However, in Europe, employees tend to take four weeks of paid vacation each year and hardly split the time. You know what they say: Americans just love the hustle.

7. Kids Playing Around Unsupervised

kids playing sports
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European countries don't see anything wrong with letting their kids play outside unsupervised so long as they aren't in danger. Usually, kids walk or ride their bikes to school by themselves, too. Not in North America, though. It's normal for parents to get arrested if they leave their kids alone for too long or even let them walk alone to school. The behavior is considered irresponsible.

8. No Shoes in The House

Barefoot woman walking on white parquet at home, closeup. Heated floor
Image Credit: New Africa/Shutterstock.

Europeans have a habit of taking off their shoes at home and sometimes have the ones you can wear around the house — we say it is a smart habit. Most places consider it disrespectful if someone wears their shoes into their homes. Unlike North Americans who wear their shoes in the house. The same shoes they use for walking around all day. We can see why that would seem disrespectful to some people.

9. Bilingual Citizens

Businessman using smartphone for translation or translate on the mobile app worldwide language conversation speaking concept.
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In over 20 European countries, citizens must study a second foreign language for one year at least. It makes most of them fluent in more than one language other than their mother tongue. That's not the case in America. Americans aren't expected to know or speak any other language besides English.

10. Paid Maternity Leave

pregnant mother woman
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It might come as a shocker, but employers in North America aren't under any obligation to give paid maternity leave. Some workers get 12 weeks of unpaid leave. In Europe, employees are entitled to at least 14 weeks of paid maternity leave. The pay can come in allowances or full payment. Some countries even offer more than the three and a half months of time off. Not to mention the paternal leave options! 

11. Invisible Power Lines

Panorama of Ljubljana, Slovenia, Europe.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

You would hardly see a single powerline in most European countries. In these places, they bury the lines underground to protect them from the wind and trees. 

12. Packages Not Left on Doorsteps

delivery man handing parcel over to another man
Photo Credit: Michael Nivelet/Shutterstock.

We've all heard cases of people's packages getting stolen or ransacked in places in America. That only happens when these boxes are left unattended on people's front porches. Europeans figured that out and decided that people's packages were too precious to be stolen. When the post office has a delivery, the carrier will hand the package directly to the recipient, a neighbor, or take the mail back to the office until someone can pick it up.  

13. Credit Card Etiquette 

Customer using credit card for payment to owner at cafe restaurant, cashless technology and credit card payment concept
Image Credit: Nattakorn_Maneerat/Shutterstock.

North Americans will see nothing wrong when a server collects their credit cards to pay for their meals or whatever they purchased and then returns it to them afterward. Europeans would think you are trying to steal their card information. Over there, customers make the payments with their cards themselves, which is safer, too.

14. Wild Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs (Scientific name: Erinaceus Europaeus) two wild, native, European hedgehogs facing forward in natural woodland habitat with green moss and autumn leaves.
Image Credit: Anne Coatesy/Shutterstock.

One of the oldest animals in Europe is the hedgehog. They have been around for a while and have survived a lot, mainly because they have become resistant to diseases. You will likely hear a hedgehog hunting for slugs at night in Europe. You won't find them in North America, though!

15. Old Explosives Lying Around

Hand grenade on wooden table against black background
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Europe has seen several wars over the years. Every once in a while, we'll hear of someone who found a grenade or a bomb somewhere in Europe. No one knows where most of these explosives are; it's Europeans' little treasure hunt. It can only happen in North America near military cases or training sites.

Source: (Reddit).

Boloere Divine Seibidor, fondly called B.S., is a Nigerian-based writer and poet. Her favorite topics include music, especially Hip-Hop, film, lifestyle, and fashion. She's been published by Feral Journal, Fantasy Magazine, The Temz Review, and most notably, Wealth of Geeks. She enjoys romantic dinners, movie nights, and touring new sights. When she's not writing, she's delving back in time to the underground world of Hip-Hop, watching TikTok, or visiting the cinema.