I didn’t go to Europe for the cookies

Robbie Allen
3 min readJul 5, 2022


A typical cookie warning you’ll see on a European website

When you are in the US, you see your fair share of cookie warnings. We have Europe’s GDPR and ePrivacy Directive (https://gdpr.eu/cookies/) to thank for that. But when you are in Europe, the cookie warnings are on EVERY website. And it’s annoying.

Let’s say you are visiting a museum website and are greeted with the above cookie warning. All you want to do is find the times the museum is open but you are required to read this warning. You think to yourself you don’t need their ads so let me click on “Cookies Settings”. Now you get this:

Clearly, they want me to “Allow All”, but they show three types of cookies I can turn off. The websites don’t make it easy to understand what turning off cookies does to the browsing experience. “Targeting Cookies” doesn’t seem like something I’d want. Again, I came here for a 2-minute task of checking the hours of operation and I’m spending time reading about cookies.

If you happen to be on your mobile phone, some websites are almost unusable because you can’t see the button to accept or reject the cookies. And many have not optimized their cookie setting dialog box for mobile.

As I’m sure most businesses in Europe hope, after visiting dozens and dozens of websites, you get cookie fatigue. You just start accepting all the cookies. The more words they put in their cookie warning, the more you do not want to read it. There were times we were out walking around trying to find a shop or museum and I’d bring up a website that would give me the cookie prompt. I’d start rage-clicking around to make the cookies go away.

It would be nice if you could tell your browser to reject all but the “strictly necessary cookies” on every website. For the sites where I went through the dance to turn off most cookies, I didn’t notice any issues with browsing. I was still able to log in or use online shopping carts just fine. It’s just a matter of whether you want to take the extra few minutes on every single website you visit to turn them off.

Interested in more? Read about my family’s adventure around Europe: Part I