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15 Weird Laws All Travellers Should Know

Throughout history, many wonderful, worrisome and weird laws have been put in place, many of which are still enforced today. Before travelling it’s always a good idea to do some research on the specific laws in the countries you’re visiting. We’ve started you off with a list of weird laws we think every traveller should know before they go jet-setting across the globe.

No chewing gum in Singapore

Probably sick of accidentally putting his hand on chewing gum stuck under tables, Singapore’s then-President, Gok Chok Tong banned the import, sale and chewing of gum in 1992.  When it was suggested by a journalist that this law restricted peoples creativity, Lee Kuan Yew, another Singaporean ex-president  said: “If you can’t think because you can’t chew, try a banana.”

No Nude hiking in Switzerland

A woman with a backpack on, viewed from behind, is walking on grass in the direction on some green hills and mountains

Thanks to, mainly German, nudey hikers your dreams of getting back-to-nature in the Swiss Alps are over! Unless you’re happy to pay an SFr200 fine. After a few too many ruined lunches the locals from the small canton of Appenzell Inner Rhodes decided enough was enough. They took a ‘show of hands’ vote where the vast majority were in favour of the ban.

No feeding the Pigeons in St. Mark’s Square, Venice

An old man, with a bag on wheels, surrounded by pigeons in throwing them food.

Think you’re upset about this one – imagine the birdseed vendors who were put out of business. It’s for the best really, these rats of the sky (or pigeons if you must) spread disease and damage the statues and building that they rest on by the thousands.

No high heels when visiting ancient sites in GreeceA woman with long hair, seen from behind, taking a photo of ruins in Greece

I want to know who these dedicated-to-fashion individuals are who have high heels as their shoe of choice for site seeing. Whoever they are, they’ll need to switch to a less pointy shoe when visiting Ancient Sites across Greece or they just won’t be allowed in.

No water guns in CambodiaA group of wet people with water guns stand on and next to the road. One of Cambidias weird laws is a ban on water guns

There are countries that can’t even get legislation passed to ban assault rifles and then there is Cambodia’s water gun ban. Buckets of water and hoses are still fine if you’re really set on wetting people. But leave the super soaker out of your suitcase when travelling to Phnom Penh, especially around the Khmer New Year.

No running out of Gas on the autobahn in Germany

The dashboard of a car about to drive through a tunnel seen from behind the drivers seat

Hopefully, this isn’t something you were planning on doing anyway. The law really prohibits you from parking your car on the autobahn and can come with a fine of up to 70€. There are plenty of fuel stops along the road so there really is no excuse for not following this one.

No late night toilet flushing in SwitzerlandA toilet with the seat up seen from above

Ok so now all of these weird laws are necessarily “laws”. This one is more of an “up to your landlord” type rule. If the apartment building you’re staying in is relatively modern and the plumbing and insulation are good then I dare say you can flush that toilet all night long. But if you’ve been told or have seen a sign asking you to leave the flushing until the morning, then I’d suggest not drinking anything before bed.

No crotch grabbing (of your own crotch) by men in Milan, Italy.

A man from the chest down, wearing ripped jeans and whit sneakers sitting on a white chair

It’s probably not a good idea for a woman to be grabbing men’s crotches in public either. But gentlemen, if you need to do some rearranging down there I’d suggest finding a private room to do so as to avoid a fine while in Milan, Italy.

No Durian on public transport in some Southeast Asian countries

Two signs on a window, one that says "no smoking" and the other " no durian" weird laws in Southeast Asia

This particular “law” doesn’t come with a specific fine, though there is a general fine for directly disobeying signs on public transport. So maybe eat your stinky fruit before jumping on a bus when travelling in Southeast Asia.

No loose fitting swimming trunks for men in France

An old man swimming in the ocean in affectionately named "budgey smugglers" in accordance with one of France's wierd laws

Apparently, it’s for hygiene reasons. The French don’t want swim shorts that are covered in a day’s worth of sweat and dirt in their pools. They believe men are less likely to wear tight fitting “budgie smugglers” out in public for a days sightseeing, and I hope they’re right!

No more than one drink for Married women in La Paz, Bolivia.

A woman's arm is visible, resting on a table behind a glass of chilled white wine.

Lucky for the ladies it’s not only the men who have laws specifically targeting them while travelling! If you’re a married woman in La Paz, Bolivia, and you want to have a drink at a public venue you’ll only be getting one glass of wine. Any more and your husband can use it as grounds to divorce you!

No building sand castles in Eraclea, Italy

A lone sand castle on a beach

It’s not only building sandcastles that comes with a fine in Eraclea, Italy. You can’t play ball and racquet games or collect seashells either. It’s best just to sit on the sand, hands behind your head, until it’s time to leave.

No camouflage clothing in Barbados

A young boy dressed on a camouflage jacket sits in a tree, one of the weird laws in Barbados wouldn't permit this.

The 90’s called they want their flared, camo-print pants back! And if you’re heading to Barbados is probably a good idea to leave them there. It is prohibited for anyone, including children and the elderly, to wear camouflage print clothing on the island.

No disrupting weddings or funerals in Australia

A deer next to a woman running away from the camera in a wedding dress.

There are weird laws that seem unnecessary because they are crazy and then there are weird laws that seem unnecessary because they are obvious. This particular law fits into that second category. Breaking this particular law in Australia can even come with jail time, so no matter how badly you want to break up that wedding DO NOT speak now, and DO forever hold your peace.

What weird laws have you come across in your travels? Let us know in the comment sections below.

For more handy things to know while travelling why not check out  5 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Trip  or 4 Long Haul Flight Tips For Comfortable Travel