Sometimes I have a hard time telling the two apart. For example, the following:

enter image description here

enter image description here

It's called veranda and balcony by the author (who lives in Japan):

Unlike the old "clothes line" of my childhood, we use the veranda (balcony) as our drying place.

Source: http://thedelacourier.blogspot.tw/2006/05/cloudy-with-high-probability-of-wet.html

But guess it can only be one option? (Or a structure can be a veranda and a balcony at the same time?) What are the main differences?


A veranda is an open roofed walkway/standing area attached to the side of a building.

A balcony is an elevated walkway/standing area attached to the side of a building (or attached to an interior wall).

See Google Images for veranda and balcony.

It's possible for a given structure to be both, but generally "balcony" would be used for an elevated structure.

  • Is it my idea or both definitions sound pretty much the same? (So the veranda is not "elevated"?) – alex Sep 18 '17 at 1:15
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    @alex - One is elevated and does not necessarily have a roof. The other must have a roof but need not be elevated. – Hot Licks Sep 18 '17 at 1:16
  • Thanks for the clarification. But what do you mean by "elevated"? You mean that the veranda can be on ground level? (Like attached to the ground?) – alex Sep 18 '17 at 1:21
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    Yes, a veranda is at ground level, more or less. The covered porch seen on many houses in the southern US could be called a veranda. See Google Images for veranda and balcony. – Hot Licks Sep 18 '17 at 1:25
  • I think verandas in Japan are always elevated (which stirred my initial confusion): farm4.static.flickr.com/3144/3029031085_89f2b8c3a4.jpg – alex Sep 18 '17 at 3:41

A veranda (or verandah, also piazza) is a ground floor appendage. A balcony is a similar appendage found above the ground floor. A veranda is often confused with a porch, which is generally shorter in length. According to American landscape architect, Andrew Jackson Downing, in Cottage Residences (1842) pp53-56, one may have a veranda that comprises nearly the entire length of a residence, with the central (entrance) portion of the veranda called a porch and the next level directly above called a balcony. Note the term piazza was historically used for veranda - chiefly in New England.

  • It needs to be noted that the definitions are quite "squishy", and will definitely vary from one part of the world to another. – Hot Licks Sep 18 '17 at 2:02
  • @Hot Licks, you're correct re. the piazza term. I will edit my answer. – Nova Scotia Heritage Pulse Sep 18 '17 at 2:07
  • But I think verandas in, say, Japan are always elevated? farm4.static.flickr.com/3144/3029031085_89f2b8c3a4.jpg – alex Sep 18 '17 at 3:40
  • @alex - Anywhere else the platforms shown in your picture would be "balconies". – Hot Licks Sep 18 '17 at 12:02

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