© 2018, © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Teacher autonomy has become an increasingly popular research topic over the past decade, reflecting wider national and global education trends. In this light, this article investigates and compares the perceptions of German and Swedish teachers concerning their professional autonomy. We analyse teachers’ perceptions using a grid, and view teacher autonomy as a multidimensional phenomenon taking place in different domains (educational, social, developmental and administrative) and at different levels (classroom, school, profession). The findings show that the teachers interviewed in Germany and Sweden value autonomy in various domains and dimensions differently, even if there also are many similarities. In instruction, that is, the educational autonomy domain, they perceive themselves to be very autonomous, in particular in relation to choices of content and method. Autonomous work in the classroom arena is also seen as the very core of the teaching profession. Overall, German teachers perceive themselves to be significantly involved in more areas of their work, and they refer much more to decisions which are to be made, whereas their Swedish colleagues are more concerned about control. Finally, we discuss the findings in relation to different nation-specific forms of extended or restricted autonomy teacher autonomy.