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Cottage Vs. Cabin: What’s The Difference?

Most people like going to the Northern to relax a bit during a vacation, especially in the autumn or summer. However, not everyone knows the difference between a cottage and a cabin. Is there a difference at all, or do they mean the same?

The major difference between a cabin and a cottage is the building materials. A cottage can be made out of multiple materials, but a cabin is always made of wood.

There are a few more details that can help you to identify the difference between these two houses or shelters. If you wish to know more about cottages and cabins, keep on reading.

The Real Difference Between Cottage And Cabin

A cottage is a small and simple house, that is very common to find in the countryside. They are more common in European countries, such as England.

Nowadays, the word cottage itself carries different meanings, like “old-fashioned” or even “being old”. There is also a kind of aesthetic based on the cottage lifestyle, which is called cottage core. A cottage can also be a hut or a cot.

In English architecture, a cottage can have a ground floor and a story of bedrooms tucked into the roof space. In many cities in England, cottages are a primary residence.

But in the United States and Canada, cottages are known as holiday houses, and they are commonly placed nearby bodies of water, such as a sea or a lake. In England, they are located pretty much in any countryside or small-medium city.

A common trait among cottages is that they are finished, and they are probably made out of different materials including mud, wood, stone, and brick. They may look pretty similar, especially in a village or small town. Cottages are also a little more sophisticated than cabins, having modern conveniences like electricity and running water. The walls are often painted or papered.

Anyone can enjoy a good cottage, especially families, groups of friends, couples, and pretty much anyone who wants to get away from the noise and perturbation of a big city.

Cottages are commonly placed near trees and vegetation, so is a spectacular place to be around nature. That’s why people like to travel to cottages to relax a bit.

If you don’t own a cottage, don’t worry. There are a lot of places and apps that allow you to rent beautiful cottages, and most of them are quite affordable. Actually, there is a recent hybrid of the cottage which is called cottage resort.

In such a place, vacationers may enjoy the cozy feel of a cottage while having a luxurious experience through a maid service, restaurants, and more. The best part about it is that this service is present in various countries, like Japan.

A cabin is a small house made of wood, or more specifically, logs. The tree used is probably a tree located nearby the cabin, but some of the most common species are yellow pine, oak, Douglas fir, Cyprus, white cedar, white pine, hemlock, and red cedar. A cabin may look less sophisticated and “finished” than cottages.

Most countries have a special history with cabins. In the United States, they were the first houses built by settlers, and many people still choose to build a cabin to live in.

They don’t necessarily live in a cabin all months of the year, though. Cabins are a common thing in the countryside of other countries, like the European ones, especially the Nordics, like Denmark.

Cabins have a very beautiful rustic look and they can be located in remote or wooded areas. They can be also located nearby bodies of water.

They may not have modern conveniences like electricity or running water, and their appearance can be very different depending on the country. A cabin can be also used to refer to a private room or compartment on an airplane or a ship, like the captain’s cabin.

What makes a cabin so attractive is that it is easier to build than common houses. A round log cabin, for example, requires less work to build because you don’t need to shape the log, except for the notches on the end. However, insulation can be a problem.

Cabins are commonly used by hunters and people that need to work near nature and vegetation. They are used as a place to rest more than a place to have comfort, but you can feel pretty comfortable at a cabin, of course.

Some cabins can be considered wood-based cottages since the line that separates them is very blur. The main differences are material (cabins are made of logs), location (cabins are often located inland), and finishing (cabins are cruder). But these characteristics are not set on stone.

  • It is made out of various materials, such as brick, wood, mud, and stone;
  • It is typically located in the countryside;
  • It is a small and simple house;
  • It has a ground floor and also an upper floor with one or more bedrooms;
  • It often has modern conveniences such as electricity and water;
  • It has painted or papered walls;
  • In England and other European countries, it is used as a home;
  • In the United States and Canada, it is commonly used as a holiday house;
  • It is often located nearby a body of water, like the sea or a lake;
  • It may look more sophisticated and finished;
  • It is made of wood (logs);
  • It is mainly located inland;
  • It can look a little cruder and unfinished;
  • It may not have modern facilities, like running water and electricity;
  • It has a long history;
  • It can be easier to build than other types of houses;
  • It commonly has only the ground roof;
  • The cabin is also a term that refers to a private room or compartment on an airplane or a ship, like the captain’s cabin;


What Do Canadians Call A Cabin?

It depends on the region of Canada that you are thinking about. Overall, Canadians think that a cabin is a small house located in the countryside, often near a lake, where people go on summer weekends.

In Toronto, however, they think that cabin is another thing. But in the Vancouver-Victoria area, they believe that this is the right definition.

A cabin can be called a “chalet” by the residents of Quebec because of its French influence.

What’s The Difference Between Cottage And Lodge?

A cottage is a small house build-out of multiple materials that can have some modern conveniences such as running water and electricity. A lodge is a larger house that is located in a populated area, and that can have a cozy touch to accommodate a lot of guests. They are very common in European countries.

There is some difference between them when you are talking about renting a lodge or a cottage. Cottages are more likely to have some home luxuries like a small garden, and more privacy.

However, a lodge can have many on-site amenities since it is a pretty big house. It can even have a restaurant or bar! Also, cottages may be a little far away from some activities and places, like a pub.

James Smith

James is a passionate explorer and the creative mind behind, a platform dedicated to unraveling captivating distinctions. With an insatiable curiosity, he uncovers hidden nuances in various aspects of life, from cultural traditions to scientific phenomena. James believes that appreciating differences fosters personal growth and societal empathy.