As a globe-trotter, the last thing you want to do is break local laws. Even so, countries have some bizarre laws, which most ordinary human beings will be left scratching their heads, exclaiming: “Who came up with that one?!” Here are nine laws that will baffle:

No Chewing Gum In Singapore

Singapore, rightfully, has a fantastic record for being sparkling clean. So, it’s no surprise that the local laws affirm this by banning the sale of chewing gum. As anyone knows, gum ends up on pavements and can leave a sticky mess on your shoes or cause unsightly marks. Importing it can also result in fines and imprisonment.

Don’t Feed The Pigeons In Venice

Venice is as beautiful as it comes with its quaint charm, canals, gondoliers and iconic picture postcard images. However, one law that remains in force on the streets is not to feed the pigeons, particularly in St Mark’s Square. Again, cleanliness is the main ambition of this law, even if the Venetian pigeons don’t know it.

No High Heels At The Acropolis, Athens

For one of the most memorable sights, you will need to wear appropriate footwear. For nearly 20 years, high heels have been banned at the Acropolis. The ban is a common sense approach to protecting the ruins that date back almost 3000 years. By wearing comfortable shoes with soft soles, you’ll be helping to preserve the ruins from further decay.

Buddha-Delight, But No Selfie In Sri Lanka

The laws around posing with a Buddha are taken to new heights in Sri Lanka. There are laws banning selfies with the Buddha; you shouldn’t turn your back on Buddha as a sign of respect, and even pointing fingers at Buddha is considered disrespectful. Be aware of cultural sensitivities so you don’t land in hot water.

Keep On The Gas Through Germany

If you are travelling through Germany by road, remember to keep your gas tank full. It’s the law. Breaking down on the nation’s autobahns is a big no-no, as they are built for efficiency.

Don’t Damage The Lira In Turkiye

It’s been a long-standing law in Turkiye that prevents people from damaging the nation’s currency. So don’t cut it up, write on it or burn it. Instead, spend it!

Never Mock The Monarchy In Thailand

The King of Thailand is highly revered across the nation, so mocking the King or the royal family can cause serious problems. That also extends to stepping on the currency.

Topless Is A No-No In Barcelona

When the heat is on the streets of Barcelona, travellers, like the locals, have to remain covered up. It’s against the law locally to stroll around shirtless or in bikinis. According to local media, the fine can be a stinging 500 Euros.

Put It Out In Thailand

While smoking is banned on many beaches across the country, there are even stricter laws when it comes to e-cigarettes, vapes or refills, as they are prohibited in Thailand. Lighting up can lead to a fine or even prison.


Common sense appears, as always, to be the currency of the global traveller. Research your chosen location and check out your country’s foreign counsel advice on what not to do in foreign climes. Happy Holidays.

Andy Probert - The Wise TravellerAndy Probert is an experienced freelance business travel journalist and PR specialist.