Differences Between Germany and the USA. | My Meena Life

Differences Between Germany and the USA.

Our impending departure (#3daystoUSA) is making me think about all the ways my life is about to change.  In fact, my mental list of the differences between Germany and the USA started growing so long I decided to write them all out.  I’m sharing this thought provoking list partially because I’m exhausted and sick from the past week of moving related stress (and, sadly, a week behind on my current blog series as a result).

I’m sure I’ll notice even more differences once I’m actually back in the USA.  I’m looking forward to having a brand new perspective on my homeland, despite how much I’ll miss certain things from Germany.


Germany vs. the USA


walk vs. drive
quiet vs. loud
hallo vs. hello
cash vs. plastic
euros vs. dollars
mayo vs. ketchup
soccer vs. football
quality vs. quantity

Medieval homes in Nuremberg. | Differences Between Germany and the USA.


Celsius vs. Fahrenheit
no ice vs. too much ice
nutella vs. peanut butter
bugs vs. window screens
bad at queuing vs. orderly
Europe vs. North America
type C/F plug vs. type A/B
rich desserts vs. sweet ones

My German birthday cake. | Differences Between Germany and the USA.  A Lebkuchen cookie. | Differences Between Germany and the USA.


30 vacation days vs. only 10
confrontation vs. avoidance
radiators vs. central heating
roller blinds vs. plastic blinds
more rules vs. more freedom
sparkling water vs. still water
dd/mm/yyyy vs. mm/dd/yyyy
micro fridge vs. oversized ones
pay per use vs. free bathrooms
eat with coworkers vs. eat alone
multiple trash categories vs. one
metric system vs. imperial system
beer purity law vs. veiled ingredients

Bitbuger beer. | Differences Between Germany and the USA.  Pils beer. | Differences Between Germany and the USA.


three liter Ziploc bags vs. gallon bags
slow to make friends vs. overfriendly
well defined roles vs. trying to do it all
frequent grocery trips vs. one big haul
air drying vs. machine drying clothing
16/18 years vs. 21 years old drinking age
removable kitchens vs. permanent ones
one liter milk cartons vs. one gallon jugs
unlimited speed (sometimes) vs. speed limits

Racing at the Nürburgring. | Differences Between Germany and the USA.  Going fast on the autobahn. | Differences Between Germany and the USA.


strictly controlled store exits vs. free roaming
no free water vs. water fountains everywhere
at the mercy of hot weather vs. climate control
smoking nearly everywhere vs. hardly anywhere
environmentally friendly vs. frequently wasteful
motion sensor lights vs. never turning the lights off
predominately manual transmissions vs. automatic
ripping open six packs allowed vs. being a big no-no
internet limitations vs. hardly anything is restricted
stores close early & on Sundays vs. 24/7 convenience
primarily renewable energy vs. primarily nonrenewable
functional public transportation vs. lack of infrastructure
more integrated religion vs. separation of church and state
very dog friendly public spaces vs. few places to take your dog
13 holidays (in Bavaria) vs. 7ish holidays off work (varies with job / state)

But perhaps the biggest difference is this one: a foreign land vs. home.

What would you add?


Differences Between Germany and the USA. | My Meena Life

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This post is linked up with Wanderful Wednesday:

Wanderful Wednesday

18 thoughts on “Differences Between Germany and the USA.

  1. Those are some great differences! Can't believe you're already moving in 3 days! Do you think you'll ever come back or are you looking forward to being home? #WanderfulWednesday

    1. I think I’ll come back to visit and I’d like to move to Europe again at some point, but right now I’m very much looking forward to going home. 🙂

  2. This is so fun! Such a great way to think about two different countries, I should do one of these for Chile and England!

  3. I totally noticed some of these differences when we were in Germany last week! I felt like we used cash all the time, which I hate, but I loved how dog friendly everything was! And oh my goodness was the beer so much better in Germany than in the US!

  4. Love this list! It's so fun! I actually just learned how much Germans love sparkling water on my last trip to Colombia haha .. I met 3 different groups of Germans all who were drinking "agua con gas" until I finally asked and they told me that it's a German thing! Good luck with the move!

  5. A lot of the things that are true about Germany are true about the UK too, and having visited the US for the first time this year I can relate to a lot of this list! One thing you mention that I find particularly interesting about Germany though is that when you rent an apartment you bring your own kitchen. I just find that totally weird. Moving is stressful enough, why do you want to move your whole kitchen as well?? On which note, I hope your move back to the US goes well!

    1. Right? I feel like if one person decides to move and not take their kitchen then the whole system breaks down! Thanks SO much Rachel!

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