Drinking Age in Europe: Everything You Need To Know

Drinking Age in Europe

This is all of the information available regarding the drinking age in Europe. Have you ever considered going on a round-trip to plenty of European countries and trying out what each country has to offer, culinary-wise? Then look no further than this topic. We will also be answering any questions you may have regarding the drinking culture in most of these countries, as well as how they handle any incidents of underage drinking or driving under the influence.

Europe is a very large continent, and perhaps this topic isn’t enough to cover every single country. But one thing’s for sure – They seem to incorporate alcohol consumption as part of their daily lives. There are many factors why this happens – Perhaps it has something to do with the cold climate, or the history, or the social norms. But do these European countries also take their alcohol laws seriously – In particular, the ones involving underage drinking? Let’s find out. 

What is the Legal Drinking Age in Europe?

Most European countries have a legal drinking age of 18 years old and above. But certain countries, such as Denmark, have allowed children and teens as young as 16 years old to consume alcohol – As long as there’s a responsible guardian nearby. Meanwhile, other countries’ legal drinking age depends on the percentage of alcohol being consumed. If it’s beer or wine, then 16 years old is allowed, but harder drinks like vodka will only be sold to anyone above 18. 

What is the Legal Drinking Age in Europe for Tourists and Foreigners?

This question applies to anyone traveling from outside of Europe – The legal drinking age in the continent is either 16 or 18, depending on your destination. Some of these European countries are a lot more welcoming towards foreigners when it comes to inviting them for a drink or two, especially if alcohol consumption has been a part of their culture. But if you are still a minor, then there are still loads of fun things you can do around Europe without involving a glass of beer or anything harder.

Do You Need an ID to Drink in Europe?

Drinking Age in Europe

Again, it all depends on the country/countries you’re heading off to. Some areas, such as Portugal, are more lenient in regards to letting minors in their assortment of pubs, bars, and nightclubs. Compare this to Scandinavian countries like Sweden, where you have to be in your mid-20s to enter the same kind of establishment. But whichever country you land in when arriving in Europe, make sure you have your ID or passport with you, just in case they ask. 

Legal Drinking Age in Europe with Parents

In areas like the United Kingdom, children as young as 16 years old can drink beer or any alcohol they want – As long as they are being guarded by a responsible adult. Other countries – Particularly where social drinking is more rampant – Don’t bat an eye when people see children buying alcohol in liquor stores or young teenagers entering bars. It also depends on the kind of alcoholic drink that these young individuals will consume, meaning harder stuff such as vodka or some liqueurs is only reserved for anyone 18 years old and above.

Legal Drinking Age in Europe by Region 

At most, the legal drinking age in certain European countries is 18 years old and above. Meanwhile, some Scandinavian countries are a lot more strict, as people there can only consume alcohol at 20, or even 25 in the case of Sweden. There are also other countries with a legal drinking age of 16 years old, though this is very rare. 

Can Minors Drink in Europe with Their Parents?

Unlike other continents, such as North America or some parts of Asia, Europe allows minors to consume alcohol in public, just as long as a responsible parent or adult is involved. Meanwhile, other establishments will only allow the selling of alcohol to minors as long as it comes with a full meal. It goes to show that in Europe, underage drinking is more tolerated.

Consequences of Breaking the Drinking Age Law in Europe

Some areas in Europe, such as the UK, have laws that prevent children and teenagers from becoming too dependent on alcohol at such a young age. They know that underage drinking is a big concern, so they can handle their alcohol in a responsible manner. Other concerns, such as drinking and driving also warrant heavy punishments in Europe. These fines can range from a thousand dollars, or jail time for a year. 

Summarizing the Drinking Age in Europe 

It’s quite obvious that Europe is more tolerant of people’s drinking habits, although they start taking matters into their own hands if the alcoholism in the country starts spiking up. If you are indeed planning a trip around the continent, then be sure that you are of the legal drinking age in Europe and be responsible for your alcohol consumption. 

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