What do you do first thing in the morning? Are you the type that stumbles out of bed and staggers to the coffee machine? Do you sit at the table with the whole family for breakfast? Or are you eating toast on the subway (or not at all)? Yes, you are a unique snowflake, with individual tastes and quirks, but your morning routine may in fact be influenced by the country you live in.

An IKEA survey in 2015 polled 8,500 people from eight major cities around the world, and it found that cultural differences had a hand in shaping morning routines and daily habits.

Take a look – you might find that you’re living in the wrong country.


The capital of Germany likes to get things started quickly: 40 per cent reported getting up right away – without ever hitting the snooze button or lounging in bed. Berliners tend to shower and eat breakfast before leaving the house, with almost half of respondents admitting to checking their mobile devices in the morning. They are not, however, catching up with the day’s news or checking social media, which begs the question, just what are they looking at?

New York

Half of the New Yorkers in the study like to get up quickly, and most people won’t hit the snooze button more than once. When it comes to checking the news, social media, or mobile devices, roughly 50 per cent admit to having those habits in their routines. Most people don’t have time for family before heading off to work, but a third will give their significant other a hug or a kiss before they’re out the door.

morning routines around the world


Not many Parisians hit the snooze button more than once, if at all, and 60 per cent have breakfast, including a cup of coffee or tea. A lot of the respondents either live alone, or eat alone, but of those that do live with others, only 20 per cent said they take time to socialize with their partners. Most people do take time to shower and groom in the morning, which is understandable; you’d want to be prepared for anything if you lived in the City of Love.


Londoners are always in a hurry, so it makes sense that they would start their days in a rush, with very little time spent socializing with families or roommates. As you might expect, a lot of Londoners enjoy a cup of tea with their breakfast, and roughly half of respondents claim they catch up with the news, or check their mobile devices.  The majority of Londoners also spend some time showering and grooming before heading off to work.



In Russia’s capital city, half of respondents get up with the alarm clock and don’t bother hitting the snooze button (even once). A large majority (72 per cent) eat breakfast, and for most (75 per cent), that includes a caffeine jolt. A majority doesn’t bother with social media, but roughly half of respondents were checking social media and catching up to the news in the morning.

morning routines indiaMumbai

In India, very few people live alone, so it comes as no surprise that many people in Mumbai eat breakfast with their families. People tend to get out of bed quickly rather than take their time in the morning, and few people hit the snooze button more than once. Roughly half catch up with the news or check the mobile devices, but relatively few people look at their social media feeds. In Mumbai, 73 per cent of people take time to shower and groom in the morning. Interestingly, 43 per cent exercise before starting their day; a much higher number than other cities in the survey.



In Shanghai, people like to get up early and quickly. The vast majority of them (77 per cent) have breakfast, but surprisingly few (only 16 per cent) include a coffee or tea in their meals. Another interesting note is that they seldom eat alone: 70 per cent reported having breakfast with others, and only 2 per cent said they live alone. Most people don’t bother checking social media or watching TV, but roughly a third catch up with the news or check their mobile devices. Another thing that most Shanghainese don’t do in the morning is shower. Only 8 per cent admitted to including that in their morning routines, and 55 per cent said they don’t spend any time at all on grooming.



In the capital of Sweden, people understand that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That’s why 66 per cent in the study said they include it in their morning routines, and half of them have a cup of coffee or tea with their food. Most don’t check social media or watch TV, but roughly half take some time to see what’s happening in the morning news, or check their mobile devices. Only 50% take a shower or bath, but the majority still take time to groom themselves, even if they don’t jump in the shower.

See anything that fits your routine? Maybe you need to consider a move for your career.


*Original illustrations by Alex Fellows