Tuesday, March 1, 2011

5 Surprising things that are illegal in other countries

Over the weekend, a rather dim Canadian tourist was arrested in Berlin. His crime? Giving the Nazi salute while posing for a photo in front of the Reichstag. While he had to know that his pose was in poor taste, it's true that most tourists don't know that it is illegal to do the salute in Germany.

It pays to do a little research before you visit another country, or you may find yourself in a lot of trouble for something you didn't know was banned. The website DumbLaws.com has some rather funny examples, but there are a few that you might want to know about. Here's our list of 5 surprising things that are illegal in other countries:

Driving a car shirtless in Thailand. If you rent a car on your holiday in Thailand, better remember to throw a top on after you leave the beach or you may find yourself in a prison uniform.

Kissing on railways in France. So much for the city of love! While I'm sure this silly law gets broken all the time, it's probably best to restrain yourself on the Paris metro. Funnily enough, it is legal to touch a woman's breasts on a train (with her consent, of course)!

Valentine's Day in Saudi Arabia. If you want to be romantic around February 14th in Riyadh, best find a non-traditional way to do it, as red roses, wrapping paper, teddy bears and hearts are removed from the shelves by authorities. Oh, and remember not to kiss or hold hands in public either.

Publicly removing bandages in Canada. We know Canadians are polite, but apparently they're also squeamish. Although maybe they do have a point... who wants to see that? Do it in private.

Flushing the toilet after 10pm in Switzerland. The Swiss just love regulating things. They have rules about when you can hang your laundry, mow the lawn, wash your car, and also flush the toilet. This law applies to anyone staying in an apartment or flat. Oh, and guys? You can't urinate while standing after 10pm either. Love to know how they enforce that one...

Photo by Stewart


  1. What about chewing gum or jaywalking in Singapore... among many other minor things that are illegal there.

    In New York City is it illegal to rent out your room to a short traveller...

    And in Saudi Arabia it is illegal to bring Pokemon into the country

  2. @Bonzo Singapore does have many restrictions, including smoking and drinking in public and spitting, as well as the ones you mentioned. Did you know that for a few years it was illegal to play video games in Greece?