7 Reasons Why USA Citizens Should Visit Europe

why visit europe

There are countless reasons that USAmericans would want to visit Europe. As someone who has lived all over Europe, I thought it would make a nice blog post if I listed just a few of these. Now, when I say Europe, I am talking about ETIAS countries as well as the countries that are not in Schengen because I think both are more than worth visiting. USA passport holders tend to get 90 days in the ETIAS area, and then a 90 days in each of the countries outside of Schengen. Read on to find out more!

7 Reasons Why USAmericans Like to Visit Europe

There used to be a time when Europeans flocked to the USA in search of the American Dream. Now, a century later we find many USAmericans often considering moving back for much cheaper (or completely free) health care plans and higher education, public transport, cleaner food, ancient architecture and more. Let's explore!

#1. The historical architecture of Europe

I spent a while in the USA (e.g. San Francisco and Vegas) feeling like something was 'off', I tried picking the easy, obvious answers like constant fear of insanely high medical bills, gun laws and Handmaid's Tale like thinking from most men (and often women too) but although those were significant (and relevant), this 'off' feeling was something else... and then it hit me: it's the lack of half a century old European-style architecture!

top reasons to visit europe

Most of the buildings in the USA are not old, and it's hard (for me at least) to feel that connection to history and a humbleness that comes from 'wow they didn't have electricity back then but they could build this?' I mean, apart from indigenous architecture, which is truly amazing. Anyhow, European historical architecture might not be at the top of everyone's list of reasons to visit Europe, but it is probably the biggest thing that you will notice first in urban environments - cathedrals, houses, even the streets are often old af.

#2. To learn / practice Spanish (or another language)

Although Spanish is the second most spoken language in the USA, the average individual cannot speak it. In my opinion, that's a shame. Of course, you could hop over to Mexico or another Spanish speaking country in Central or South America but hey, you can also come to Spain and learn or practice Spanish. And it doesn't just stop at Spanish.

reasons you should visit europe

Although Spanish is probably the most useful second language to learn if you live in the United States, don't let that stop you from peeking into other languages too - Europe is home to 24 of them. Officially, though, it's estimated that over 250 languages are indigenous to Europe!

#3. To experience walkable cities

I was so shocked when an USAmerican friend of mine said that her favourite thing about Disney World (or Land or whatever) was that there were walkable streets there. And I was like, wait that's not a thing in the USA? That's a thing almost everywhere in Europe - grab your coat, leave your flat or house, walk for 5, 10, 15 or so minutes, you're already halfway in the city centre (or in another hub)!

reasons we should visit europe

The pavement is (mostly) fine, you can sit down drink a coffee whilst looking at pretty architecture and not suffocate from smog, not have to stare at concrete roads and cars. In most European cities you will be able to have a meal somewhere that's not a mall or a parking lot. We like our walkable cities, come and try them out (and demand your own back at home, too!)

#4. Experience cheap, good quality inter-city and inner city public transport

On a similar note, it's not just the walkable cities that mean less of us need or want cars in Europe - we also have far better public transport systems - both inter-city and inner-city. I was shocked at the public transport system in the USA - it was expensive, old, slow and people using it (especially buses) were often looked down upon by other US citizens. Europe is different, most places have great public transport systems and there's no shame in using it - especially in post-Eastern Bloc European countries.

#5. For the food

The USA has some great restaurants run by real immigrants who've bought their awesome cuisines with them - Europe has that too... plus here you can have Italian food actually in Italy, Greek food actually in Greece, French food that's actually French - you get the picture.

reasons to visit europe

But it doesn't stop there, Europe has tighter food safety laws and is less interested in GMO than the USA. Hence, I've heard many USAmericans say that they never felt like they truly tasted food until they came to Europe - just simple things like a tomato or an apple. They also often said that you can eat and eat and eat in Europe and not feel ill the way you do when you just eat in the USA. This goes back to our food safety laws and a pressure to avoid over-doing it with the sugar - who needs to when there are orange, apricot and pomegranate trees growing all over Southern Europe?

#6. For Medical Care

This one for sure should have been a reason much higher up the list, as more and more US citizens are discovering that it's cheaper to fly to Europe, pay for a hotel, and get medical care here than it is to just do it in the States. This is because we are not at the liberty of insurance companies - in many European countries healthcare is free and for the procedures that aren't, the prices are reasonable (e.g. $50 for an x-ray) - they won't leave you bankrupt.

#7. To Relax

Whilst I really encourage you to see as much as Europe as you can (and please don't make the mistake of missing out on Eastern Europe, I personally prefer it!) I also encourage you to spread it out as much as possible and don't do it all at once. Too often I see USAmericans spending a day in Paris, hopping over to Rome for a night, then jetting down to a Greek island for a few days, only to then say that they've 'done' Europe. Noo.

reasons I should visit europe

A day in Paris is barely a moment in Paris. Greek islands are for lounging on for months and Rome needs at least half a month. Of course these are not necessarily the most practical of time frames... we are fans of slow travel! It's far more meaningful, in my opinion, to spend your entire time (be it just two or even one week), in one place, to really get a feel of it, instead of spending one night in each place and spending most of your time packing and on (albeit awesome) public transport.

Wrap Up: 7 Reasons to Visit Europe as a US Citizen

This blog post was originally titled '3 reasons USAmericans should visit Europe' but such is the awesomeness of Europe that I couldn't help but add a fourth, fifth, sixth and finally seventh reason to visit.

I could go on, but now let's turn it over to you - why do you want to visit Europe?

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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