*The majority of bathrooms in Europe are what most Americans would consider outhouses.
*Be aware that the bathrooms are almost always too small and probably won’t have the necessities to clean yourself up.
*In some places you may be lucky if there is a toilet seat.
*You might want to consider carrying a napkin pack with you at all times.
Experience in Rome:
When I was in Rome I went into a horrible bathroom that didn’t have a toilet seat or toilet paper. I was desperate, and I couldn’t find a bathroom anywhere for hours so I went for it. When I went out to wash my hands I lathered them with soap and then realized the water was not turned on and there was nothing to wipe my hands on! Ugh.
Experience in Paris:
When I was in Paris I went into a café bathroom and when I began to wash my hands a man walked up next to me and begun washing his hands. I looked over my should and noticed there were urinal lined up next to the stalls. I was in a unisex bathroom and didn’t even realize it, I have never been in a unisex bathroom in my life. It was a very awkward experience.
Experience in Vienna:
In Vienna, I saw a toilet that cleaned itself after you flushed. The seat actually made a mechanical 360° turn spraying cleaner on itself. Very clever! I didn’t see another one of these until last March, 2014 when I was in Ghent, Belgium. I attached the video below.
Not all bathrooms in Europe are bad and there are actually some very nice bathrooms. In most restaurants and hotels you will find good bathrooms. What I like most about European bathrooms, is that most of the stalls are like small rooms where they go to the very top of the ceiling and to the very bottom of the floor. They are very private. There aren’t giant openings for people to look in at you like in America. I actually prefer European bathrooms for this reason.
Take note that in many bathrooms if you can’t find the lever to flush, look up and their most likely will be a string for you to pull. If that’s not the case, their may be a dot on the wall that you need to push in to flush!
None of this is necessarily bad, it could be a good story to tell when you get home and It’s all part of your European experience!