Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the single leading cause of death in Europe and the most common form of cardiovascular disease. Little is known about awareness in the European population. A cross-sectional telephone survey of 2609 individuals from six European countries was conducted to gather information on perceptions of CAD, risk factors, preventive measures, knowledge of heart attack symptoms and ability to seek emergency medical care. Level of awareness was compared according to gender, age, socioeconomic status (SES) and educational level. Women were approximately five times less likely than men to consider heart disease as a main health issue or leading cause of death (OR = 0.224, 95% CI: 0.178–0.280, OR = 0.196, 95% CI: 0.171–0.226). Additionally, women were significantly less likely to have ever had a cardiovascular screening test (OR = 0.515, 95% CI: 0.459–0.578). Only 16.3% of men and 15.3% of women were able to spontaneously identify the main symptoms of a heart attack. Almost half of the sample failed to state that they would call emergency services in case of a cardiac event. Significant differences according to age, SES and education were found for many indicators amongst both men and women. Development of a European strategy targeting improved awareness of CAD and reduced gender and social inequalities within the European population is warranted.