13 ways to keep out of trouble in Europe – weird laws you wouldn’t expect!

Published August 16th, 2018

When you’re off globetrotting across the planet, it’s always a good idea to do your research on the local laws and traditions. And by that we mean ALWAYS.

Truth is: there are some pretty weird (and not-so-wonderful) laws and rules out there. Okay, so some of them nobody is ‘actually’ expected to follow… But some of them, you really are! 

Here’s a guide to what NOT to do in Europe to keep yourself out of trouble on your next epic #europevacay. Get in touch with us and we'll do our best to help you!


Feeding the pidgeons in Venice

Hard to resist? Yep! Worth it? Nope. And to think once upon a time that was the iconic scene of beautiful St Mark’s Square. But since 2008, if you get busted feeding the pigeons anywhere in Venice you could get slammed with up to $700 in fines. Yeah nah…


Peeing in the canals in the Netherlands

Unless you’re pregnant – then it’s perfectly legal!

Wearing your swimmers in downtown Barcelona

Truth is, it’s pretty standard to go straight up topless at the beaches in Spain. But once you leave the sand and head for Barcelona’s city streets, too much skin is a bad idea and could land you in trouble. So ladies, throw on a little dress at least, and guys, a T-shirt is probs a good idea.

Peeing in the ocean in Portugal

How would they know? *Shrugs. But for the sake of whoever you’re swimming beside: no sneaky piddles in Portugal! Nuff said.

Being drunk and in charge of a cow in Scotland

Because that’s exactly why you go to Scotland, right? To get into the Scottish Whisky. Yes. And to boss around a cow in the Scottish Highlands (which are super pretty BTW). K, maybe not that part. Good to keep in mind tho, considering it’s a 200 pound fine or jail for up to 51 weeks (51 weeks!?).

Not smiling in Milan

Turns out frowners are pretty frowned upon in Milan, where you legally have to ‘smile at all times’… except during funerals or hospital visits. Luckily, Milan gives travellers plenty to smile about!

Jumping the queue in London

The Brits love their rules, and they love their queues too. So jump a queue in London and risk a hefty fine (and lots of unwelcome glances). Running late for the tube? No stress. There’ll be another one about, errrr, one minute away. #gottalovethetube

Kissing on a train platform in France

Even the most romantic city on the planet won’t let love stand in the way of a train running on time. So no kissing on the platforms! Take it OUTSIDE the station.

Sightseeing in heels in Greece

Yep! It’s illegal to wear high heels to many ancient archaeological sites in Greece, like the Acropolis. Why? To protect the sites from stiletto-induced damage… not because they’re worried about you falling over, which is also quite likely.

Flushing the toilet after 10pm in Switzerland

It pays to be clued up in Switzerland. Because if you are staying in an apartment, you’re not allowed to flush your toilet after 10pm – out of consideration for the neighbours, of course.

Hanging your clothes out to dry on a Sunday in Switzerland

You’re also not allowed to hang your clothes out to dry on a Sunday (just imagine the sight!). Because Sundays are for leisurely strolls and admiring those pristine Swiss views – sans knickers blowing in the wind.

Driving in thongs in Spain

First things first: when you say ‘thongs’ in Europe, only Aussies that mean the kind you wear on your feet. Second: get caught driving while wearing thongs, or ‘flip flops’, and you’re legit breaking the law. Same goes for high heels, backless and open-toed shoes. We can’t help but wonder: how would an Aussie ever survive?

Running out of gas on the German autobahn

On a tour bus? Well then at least it’s not your problem! 

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Tijana Jaksic

After some hardcore scrimping and saving, Tijana’s first backpacking trip confirmed she was onto something good. She hasn’t stopped since. Fave memories to date include dancing with locals in the streets of Havana, bartering for too many scarves in the markets of India, getting lost in the bustle of Hong Kong, sipping cocktails in the Greek Islands and jumping off waterfalls in Croatia. Now she gets to write about travel for a living – the best way to satiate the wanderlust between adventures.