The bizarre laws in popular tourist destinations that could get you a huge fine

When traveling abroad it is always important to respect local customs and traditions so as not to annoy or upset anyone.

However, there are many strange laws in other countries that are strange enough to catch even the most seasoned traveler.

Wearing high heels in certain parts of Athens can result in a fine


Wearing high heels in certain parts of Athens can result in a finePhoto credit: Getty

Seemingly harmless acts, like wearing high heels or trespassing on money, are illegal in some parts of the world, so it’s important to check these rules before you fly.

Holiday car hire company Stress Free Car Rental has put together a handy list of bizarre laws that Brits could run afoul of and risk either a hefty fine or lengthy jail time.

Spain, Malaga – Having inflatable dolls

The popular party spot of Málaga is known for its vibrant nightlife, but officials and locals have long expressed dislike for the behavior of the tourists it attracts.

Those going on a salacious holiday have been warned to leave their rude bouncy castles and costumes at home or risk a €750 (£663) fine.

The local government recently announced that walking the streets or being only in underwear or with dolls or sexual elements would be banned in a bid to pursue a significant crackdown on bachelor parties.

Greece, Athens – with high heels

In Greece, it is against the law to wear high heels to many famous tourist attractions such as the Acropolis and the Epidarus Theater in the Peloponnese region.

This is to preserve the history and ancient stone ruins of iconic sites.

The ban, introduced in 2009, was imposed because the sharp-soled shoes were damaging national treasures.

Visitors to the site are advised to wear soft-soled shoes when visiting, so pack flats if heading to the Athens Acropolis or risk a hefty fine.

Thailand – stand on money

Trespassing on Thai currency is a crime; Even accidentally standing on Thai money could land tourists a hefty jail sentence.

The act is seen as disrespectful to the king as Thai banknotes and coins contain an image of his face.

In Thailand, feet are considered the dirtiest part of the body, hence the act carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison under crimes offending majesty.

Italy – take a selfie

The mayor of Positano, a famous town on the Amalfi Coast, has introduced red zones prohibiting tourists from staying in high-traffic places from the Easter weekend.

To avoid traffic jams, which are common in high season, tourists who stand too long to photograph the scenery are fined €275 (£243), although photography is not prohibited.

Luckily, the rules only apply between 10:30am and 6:00pm, so they’re lifted in time to capture the stunning sunsets.

USA, New York – Jaywalking

Jaywalking is unlawful walking on the street or street without regard for oncoming traffic, which is illegal in New York.

Foreign tourists who cross the street whenever they deem it safe often unknowingly break these laws and are subject to fines and speeding tickets by police officers.

The most common violations among pedestrians are not following vehicles, walking in traffic, and ignoring pedestrian control signs.

Australia – swear

Swearing in public places in Australia is illegal and if caught using swear words, offenders can be fined hefty.

There are thousands of offensive language incidents and thousands of dollars in fines in Australia every year.

The maximum fine for using swear words in public in New South Wales and Western Australia is $660 (£350) and $500 (£265) respectively.

Elsewhere in South Australia, the use of swear words is punished much more severely, with a fine of $1250 (£663) or even three months in prison.

UK – being drunk in a pub

Shockingly, getting drunk in a pub in the UK is technically against the law.

The Metropolitan Act 1839 states that it is against the rule that “the proprietor of an inn permits drunkenness on the premises”.

Going to the pub and having one too many could see pub-goers fined £200 if found to be drunk, although this is very unlikely to be enforced.

Dubai – public displays of affection

PDA, including kissing, hugging and holding hands, is illegal in Dubai and those found breaking the law can be jailed or deported.

Many foreigners have suffered the consequences of not following this rule, so couples should exercise extra caution when visiting the country.

Tenerife, Spain – feeding stray animals

This popular resort town has introduced new rules banning feeding stray animals as part of plans to maintain a better and cleaner environment.

The new law means tourists can be fined for feeding stray and wild animals like pigeons, cats and dogs, as it’s seen as contributing to littering.

Minor offenses will result in tourists being fined €750 (£663), while more serious incidents can result in tourists being fined €3,000 (£2,650).

France – Kissing at train stations

French railways were fed up with the delays caused by kisses goodbye on the platform, leading to a law banning kissing when the train is at the station.

The law has been in place since 1910 to avoid costly delays and crowded stations, but today there is no formal penalty.

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Now, this little-known Spanish law, which saves Brits money, is ignored in 99 percent of resorts

And you could easily break these five laws on vacation.

Taking selfies for too long in some scenic spots in Italy can also result in a fine


Taking selfies for too long in some scenic spots in Italy can also result in a finePhoto credit: Getty

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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