Research on direct democracy is often entirely sub-national research or based on a single country study. That has consequences for the scope and opportunity to understand and learn about direct democratic institutions. In this paper we use a subnational cross- country comparative perspective to delve deeper into the relationship between direct democracy and individual satisfaction with democracy. To that end we propose a measure of direct democratic institutions for sub-national units that allows to measure the extent of these institutions across various contexts. Comparing the subnational units of the United States, Switzerland, Germany and Austria, we do not find a systematic relationship between direct democratic institutions and democratic satisfaction. This conclusion also holds when considering differences between representative contexts or between advantaged and disadvantaged groups.