9 Things America Does Better Than Europe

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America has its own way of doing things, and while it gets a bad rep for some things like loving fast food too much, it also excels in other areas. In fact, many visitors from across the pond have attested to this on various Reddit and Quora threads.

Here are nine things that America does better than Europe. Do you agree?

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1. Free Water

In almost every restaurant or bar in the United States, you are offered complimentary water — ice included — and it’s wonderful. In most parts of Europe, though, you’ll have to order water if you want it. It will most likely be bottled, and rest assured, it will appear on your check. You can get free water across the pond as well, but you have to specify that you want tap water, and that’s considered very bad etiquette. No wonder European travelers love this refreshing perk in the Land of the Free … water.

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2. Lower Smoking Rates

Europeans visiting America will notice one thing right away: There are far fewer smokers in the U.S. and far more rigid smoking regulations than in Europe. Americans have one of the lowest smoking rates in the developed world, with 19.1% of adult Americans smoking, as opposed to 34% of Germans and 27% of the French or English. That’s a big kudos to Americans.

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3. National Parks

From the rugged beauty of Alaska’s Denali National Park to the swampy wonderlands of Florida’s Everglades, the United States is home to 63 designated National Parks. European visitors to America the Beautiful are often impressed by the National Park System and its services, knowledgeable employees, and infrastructure.

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4. Diverse Culinary Scene

America’s food scene deserves applause. As a melting pot, especially in big cities like New York and Los Angeles, your taste buds can “travel” to Ethiopia, Vietnam, South Korea, Brazil, or wherever you fancy — it’s like a non-stop international food festival. Despite exceptions in cities like Berlin, Brussels, Paris, and Amsterdam, the focus in Europe is often on local cuisine. Particularly in countries like Italy and Spain, there’s a strong affection for their own culinary traditions, meaning international dishes sometimes receive less attention.

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5. Theme Parks

Theme parks in the U.S. justify the adage “Everything is bigger in America.” Six Flags Magic Mountain in California features the infamous Kingda Ka, the tallest and fastest coaster in North America. Universal Studios in Florida features The Incredible Hulk Coaster, launching riders from 0 to 40 mph in a mere two seconds. In contrast, European parks generally favor smaller and more thematic experiences.

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6. Friendliness

Americans are, by far, one of the friendliest nationals in the world. That’s not to say that Europeans are grouches or anything, but citizens of many European countries have a reputation for being more reserved and can potentially come across as cold.  

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7. Accessibility for People With Disabilities

Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), accessibility for people with disabilities in the U.S. is top-notch. From wheelchair ramps to audible traffic signals, the ADA has made significant strides in creating an inclusive environment and allowing people with disabilities to have access to public spaces, transportation, and services. Europe, while currently working on improving accessibility, faces challenges due to its historical infrastructure. The narrow streets and ancient buildings in many European cities can make accessibility upgrades more complicated.

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8. Central Air Conditioning

In the U.S., homes, offices, and other indoor spaces rely on air conditioning as lifelines during the dog days of summer. Across the pond, Europeans take a more stoic approach to battling the heat, with many preferring traditional methods like ancient stone buildings and the occasional desk fan that might as well be powered by hamsters.

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9. Customer Service

When it comes to customer service, the difference between America and Europe can feel like night and day. In the U.S., the customer is king. Businesses often go the extra mile to make sure you leave happy, offering friendly smiles, quick service, and even the occasional freebie if things go wrong. In Europe, the emphasis isn’t always on bending over backward to please the customer. You might wait longer for a waiter’s attention or find returns and exchanges a bit more of a hassle.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

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