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Samantha Brown’s European Bathroom Tour

I love Europe, but their bathrooms are something else.

What’s with the bidet? And the lack of counter space? And why must the tub walls be so deep? And why don’t bathroom designers make showers that don’t spew water all over the floor?!

Who knows.

I’m willing to overlook these issues because hey, it’s Europe! And the food, wine, beer, museums and sites more than make up for their quirky bathrooms.

Share your tips for navigating European bathrooms in the comments below.

Watch more video tips from Samantha:

How I Avoid Travel Rage

Looking Gorgeous in Under 3 Ounces

The Biltmore Estate

This Post Has 29 Comments

    1. And the toilets! All sound, no fury. Seriously, the crap is supposed to immediately go into the sewer system at the time of flush; all this roiling does nobody any good.


      (I love Europe. I just can hold back a good rant about $hitters.)

  1. I am pretty sure I was in a bathroom identical to this restroom in Venice! So terrible haha. The bottom faucet in the tub always drove me nuts… I kept hitting my legs on them.

    Thanks for the post! You are too cute!

  2. Nice tour, Samantha. That bathroom is luxurious compared to some I have used. I suppose bidets are common in the southern countries — the northern ones don’t generally have them, but that doesn’t give you more counter space, just a smaller room in general. (The Finns have hand-held ones, really nice.) Up north they also have a drain in the central floor, expecting that water goes everywhere. I do love the warming towel racks, though, so much so that we got one for our own home. Love borrowing good ideas!

  3. So Funny Sam…I will be in Venice in Sept 2013 and look forward to the European bathroom experience! LOL

  4. Curious, because that bathroom is nothing like the ones i’ve been to in Spain, UK, France, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark and Greece. All were different. And I actually LOVE the bidet, it use should be expanded worldwide, specially for us women.

  5. So true…..but Too funny!!! I have a dream someday to travel with Samantha Brown… (not that it would ever happen but I can dream!) what a hoot that trip would be… LOL!

  6. I know what you mean about those tall tubs. Same thing in Vienna. You are such a fun viewing experience and smart too!

  7. I CANNOT understand WHY Hotels in Europe…do NOT have NORMAL bathrooms !! ++THey certainly have had LONG enough to design them !!

    1. Define “normal” please Coreen Connolly. In all seriousness as a European I don’t know what is supposed to be abnormal about that bathroom. At least it has a bathtub. Try The Netherlands or Scandinavia where you have to shower over the toilet!

  8. That bathroom isn’t as bad as some I’ve seen in Europe where the shower is not in a tub or stall at all; it’s just part of the bathroom. I’ve learned to remove the toilet paper and extra towels from the room completely before I use those showers. I had a bathroom like that in Rome in 1991 and in London at a quite posh hotel just last October. At least the bathroom had heated floors so everything dried pretty quickly!! Add to that the faucets that you need a PhD to operate and you come to the conclusion that showering in Europe can be challenging!!

  9. You crack me up! I love watching and reading all your posts and videos. A few years ago, my daughter, husband and I met my son over in Spain, while he studied abroad. We spent a few fun weeks traveling all over Europe. It was always a big joke to see what the bathrooms were like in each of the places we went to. They were always an experience!!

  10. On our first trip to Europe in our first hotel in Rome the toilet was positioned so that if you sat on it, your legs were completely under the sink. Very interesting since my husband is 6’2″. In Paris the shower was so small, my husband had to lather up one side , rinse, get out and turn around to get the other side done. Fond memories of an amazing trip!

  11. Samantha, Ive had same experiences on my travels in europe and actually find them designed better than US.

    I first found hand shower heads tone much more useful than fixed heads on repeated trips to Germany staring back in the 1970s.

    I found the Danish and Swedish showers to be more like a free-for-all because the drains are in the middle of the bathroom and your showering can be done “communally” (is that green culture sharing hot water?)

    I’m still puzzled by the toilet designs and wonder if this “inspection” thing is a holdover from chamber pot technology.

    Your avid viewer and fellow traveler,


  12. Two words. Flip flops. I never travel without a pair of plastic flip flops to shower in and use as slippers in the evening. One bought of athlete’s foot was enough for me!

  13. We too have troubles with European showers, as they don’t have anything like a grab bar and we’re both in our seventies! Last May we were on a Trafalgar tour in Valencia, Spain, when I decided to take a bath in a narrow, deep tub. Couldn’t get out! Couldn’t even turn over onto my hands and knees so I could back out & up! Barely got my feet under me and started to push up & my feet slid forward, thowing my body to the back of the tub/shower wall where I banged my skull & made such a loud noise that it woke up my husband who had to pull me out! He ran to get ice & we put it in a baggie which we always take with us! Had a knot on my head but worried about concussion! Tourmates said to put a hand towel in tub for leverage even when showering to stop slipping. One remodeled hotel in Pamplona had low edge step in showers we loved!

  14. Samantha, I have enjoyed your travel shows. But, I think that your bathroom comments are over-generalizations and off base. First of all, Americans should not have the expectation that every country’s culture is Americanized to suit us. How narcissistic is that. Europeans are very water conservation-minded, thus the hand held showers where you shut off the water while lathered up and then turn it back on to rinse. We have traveled quite a bit in France, Italy, Belgium, Austria, and England. 98% of the bathrooms we experienced were modern, quite smartly designed, and we spend only a moderate budget on accomodations, along the lines of 3 star hotels du charme in France.

    So, the video is amusing, but not necessarily helpful or informative for European travelers.


  15. Even more interesting are the public bathrooms we encountered in a highway rest stop in France and again in Bosnia. A large room with a drainage pipe in the middle of an empty room. Not a single thing else. No sink, no hooks for clothing that needs to be removed if you’re wearing slacks or panties, no toilet paper , nothing. They are a challenge for Americans and funny to use. Now I know why ladies in these areas wear skirts or dresses.

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Samantha Brown European Bathroom Tour
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