Are quite different from U.S. rest stops…
Honestly I think that they are one of my favorite things about driving in Europe, especially as I tend to stay well hydrated.
They come in a wide variety but tend to have a couple of things in common: they’re large and they are clean. I’ve seen that span over the entire roadway, having been built over it.
One I stopped at along the way had a McDonald’s, another restaurant, a hotel, an erotic shop, toilets (obviously), an artisan cheese and meat shop, a small Swiss museum, and a general convenience store.
I stopped at the McDonald’s for a snack and was intrigued by some of the offerings. They had a large touch screen as well that I have seen a couple of times in the States. I should note that the only time I ever eat at a McDonald’s is overseas as I find there local offers intriguing. It’s fascinating what they come up with. In this case I had guacamole and salsa fries, a caprese chicken wrap and an apple pie (fried, not baked as is customary in other parts of the world). They also offered a quinoa curry burger. One nice thing about the touch screen is that it offers multiple languages.