The biggest culture shock going to Europe in 2023

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Be it neutral toilets, separate hot and cold taps, people who walk extremely fast and birds, flowers and churches everywhere. When visiting a country we don’t know, we end up having a culture shock with the customs we learn in the region. From different or strange cultures, there is always something to surprise us.

The process of cultural adaptation

The immigration process, moving to another country is not easy and involves a long and long process of adaptation. Bellow we have a illustration about this process. Do you agree with it?

Culture Shock


  1. First you are so excited to get on the new country. So excited to get a new job, to start studying.
  2. You will see all this things may happens in your life, but in the right time and the process is so long.
  3. You get a bit depressing, feeling low, missing family, friends, some habits and many things.
  4. Starting to adapt and adjust to the reality and you start to work, study and live in a different way that drive you to have a life style you want.

A good example is the excessive respect of drivers towards pedestrians, to the point of letting them pass even with the green light, many Europeans usually cross the streets even when they are moving, which is dangerous in places like the United States. Another thing, it is an offence to put ketchup on pizzas and hamburgers, since most Europeans only use ketchup on fries or nuggets, but there are places in Europe where they put ketchup even on noodles. Many tourists also confused salt with sugar, as they are cubes and small like sugar.

What are the culture shocks that some tourists face in Europe?

Escalators are much more organised, since if you are going up you should stay on the right side, giving space on the left side for those who are in a hurry. When there are parties at home, usually people bring the drinks and if it is your birthday, people buy drinks for you. Generally, people share the bill when they get together at a restaurant or snack bar to eat as a group, not only that, but if you forget an item in an establishment, it may be very likely that you will return and your item will remain there, but it depends a lot on the place.

Many Europeans usually apologise for anything, be it if they bump into you or even the smallest details. An important highlight is that they strictly follow all the rules, taking them very seriously. Being naked in changing rooms is normal and public transport is efficient and punctual.

Read on to find out more about Europe:

How to plan a trip to Europe during the pandemic.

Most common European customs.

When greeting each other, it is quite common for Europeans to kiss you on the cheek, and you can kiss up to three times, but it depends on how intimate you are, so don’t go around kissing other people’s faces without knowing them! People tend to smoke a lot, so be prepared for the fumes in certain places.

Check out other habits of the European people:

  • WhatsApp is very common in Europe and is the most widely used messaging app.
  • A train journey is safe, reliable and often more economical. If you want to travel by train through Europe, check it out: Train travel to Europe: The best route to take!
  • It is normal to drink on the streets, so don’t feel ashamed.
  • Just as it is normal to nod off anywhere.
  • There is generally no small talk in Europe.
  • The drinks have no ice.
  • Commercialised nudity is normal.
  • People usually eat slowly.
  • Most Europeans are addressing the custom of going barefoot indoors.
  • You have to pay to use the public toilet.

If you want to find out more about Europe’s culture, visit European Culture, Customs Across Europe and Culture Shock European.

What were tourists surprises about Europe?

Tourists find strange the relationships of some Europeans, since even if they end a relationship or marriage, they are still friends. Another thing that surprised a tourist was that there was a house with a red window, in this case a prostitute on display and on the first floor of the same building there was a family living there, without people showing discrimination or judgement.

The days are usually long in summer and short in winters, not everyone speaks or understands English, there is every kind of bread possible and there is not even vegetarian food in restaurants in some places. A fact that leaves tourists surprised is that Europeans hardly ever smile at you.

Other information:

  • There are very cheap meats.
  • Free admission to the Louvre and other museums.
  • There are many extremely high quality street artists.
  • The value of wine and other alcohol is pretty cheap too.
  • There is no milk in the tea or coffee, which greatly astonishes Americans.
  • The height of the Europeans is surprising.
  • When children reach a certain independence, they start paying their parents for their room, as if it were rent.
  • The weather in Europe can be unpredictable and bad, having sudden rainfall.
  • Bicycles are very popular, being well used, Europeans use it a lot for work, shopping and so on.

If you want to find out more about Europe, don’t forget to check it out:

What do Europeans hate most about American tourists?

List of European countries: from expensive to cheap.

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