100+ Bizarre Things Banned or Illegal In Other Countries

by SharonKurheg

Every country has its own way of doing things. They have different things for tourists to see. They have their own food specialties. They may even speak their own language, like Hungarian or Japanese.

Just like some states in the U.S. have some bizarre laws that are still on the books, chances are good you’ll visit some countries that have laws which are (or have been – a few of them were apparently finally written off) theirs and theirs alone. Like these:

  • If you’re in Australia, it’s illegal to create and share memes (it goes against a copyright infringement law they have).
  • You also can’t disrupt a wedding in Australia.
  • In Australia, it’s also illegal to name any animal you plan to eat.
  • Australian law also forbids the capturing, injuring or killing homing pigeons.
  • In Austria and Germany, you’re not allowed to impersonate Hitler.
  • Using bread to clean wallpaper or floors is prohibited in Austria, according to a 1915 law.
  • You can also be fined and/or kicked off a train in Austria if you’re making out, or eating something that’s considered to be too smelly.
  • In Bahrain, male doctors only legally examine a woman’s genitals through a mirror.
  • It’s against the law to wear camouflage in Barbados, St. Lucia, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda. in Africa, it can’t be worn by anyone who is not in the military in Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia. It’s also outlawed in Saudi Arabia, Philippines and Oman.
  • In Belgium, no one is allowed to take your last cow or 12 sheep or goats. Your last pig and 24 chickens can’t be removed either.
  • In Belgium, girls must have written permission from their fathers to wear a mini skirt that is more than 4 inch above the knee.
  • You’re not allowed to wear lacy lingerie in Belarus, Kazakhstan or Russia.
  • It’s illegal to bring tobacco into Bhutan.
  • Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore have laws outlawing bringing durians into public places such as buses, trains, hotels, airports, and schools.
  • It’s against the law to wear a suit of armor in British Parliament.
  • It’s also illegal to handle salmon suspiciously in Great Britain.
  • You can’t use a baby walker in Canada.
  • You also can’t pay for anything with more than 25 pennies in Canada.
  • Canada also requires radio stations to play Canadian artists on the airwaves at least 35% of the time, especially during the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • In Cambodia, you’re not allowed to buy water pistols leading up to New Year’s Day.
  • In Chile, you can be fined for forgetting to hang the national flag from your home on Independence Day. Hanging it the wrong way will also get you into trouble.
  • In China, Tibetan, Buddhist monks aren’t allowed to be reincarnated without permission.
  • You are not allowed to eat or drink anything while driving in Cyprus.
  • In Denmark, they have a “Law on Personal Names” to protect children from having names that can affect them psychologically.
  • It’s also illegal to wear a mask in public in Denmark.
  • It’s illegal for a man to belly dance in Egypt.
  • It’s against the law to flag down a taxi in England if you have the plague.
  • A boy is not allowed to see a naked mannequin in England until age 11+.
  • Fiji doesn’t allow topless sunbathing.
  • In France, there’s a limit on when and how much you can use ketchup, mayo and vinaigrette.
  • In France, it is against the law to sell an “E.T” doll. They have a law forbidding the sale of dolls that do not have human faces.
  • You’re also not allowed to kiss on trains in France (but you can at the station, if it’s done before the train arrives).
  • In France, drivers (tourists included) are legally required to carry a portable Breathalyzer in their vehicle.
  • Men also can NOT wear loose-fitting bathing suits in France; they must wear a form-fitting bathing garment, such as a Speedo.
  • It’s also illegal to name your pig “Napoloeon” in France.
  • Also, it’s illegal to take pictures of police officers or police vehicles in Frace, even if they’re just in the background.
  • (Lots of weird laws in France) It’s legal to marry a dead person in France.
  • In Germany, Hungary, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, and Spain, you MUST carry some sort of ID with you when you’re outdoors.
  • German also doesn’t allow you to stop or walk on the Autobahn.
  • It’s against the law in Germany to address a policeman with the informal “du” rather than the formal “Sie”, and could cost you a substantial fine of up to 600 EUR.
  • It’s against the law in Greece to visit historic sites in high heels.
  • Strip clubs are banned in Iceland.
  • In Iceland you can also only give a baby at least one, no more than three, forenames.
  • India requires you to beat a drum in the event of a locust invasion.
  • You can’t fly a kite in India without a permit (it’s considered an aircraft).
  • Indonesia and Saudi Arabia don’t allow masturbation.
  • Iran has outlawed ponytails, mullets, and long, gelled hair on men.
  • In Ireland, anyone using – or pretending to use – witchcraft, sorcery or enchantment, can face a year in jail.
  • In Israel, you could be prosecuted for picking your nose on Sunday.
  • People considered to be “obese” on Italy aren’t allowed to wear polyester.
  • Men are also not allowed to wear skirts in Italy.
  • Telling a man in Italy he has “no balls” is a crime punishable with a fine. (Italy apparently has some major issues with masculinity LOL)
  • Since 2008, a Japanese law requires companies and local governments measure their employees’ waistlines if they’re between aged 40 and 74. If you exceed the government-mandated limits, you’ll be given “dieting guidance” and the companies and government organizations could suffer fees.
  • Japan has also outlawed certain medication that includes codeine.
  • Japan has also made it illegal to dance in the dark after midnight.
  • It’s also illegal in Japan to splash pedestrians.
  • In Lebanon, If a man is caught having sex with a male animal then the penalty is death- sex with a female animal is ok (o_O)
  • It’s illegal to fart in Malawi.
  • In The Maldives, they have banned anything they say goes against the teachings of Islam. That includes pornography, pork, alcohol, and non-Islamic religious texts (if you’re a visitor of a different faith and wants to carry a copy of your holy book, you’re allowed to bring only one copy. Make sure not to leave it out in the open, as you could be penalized for that).
  • It’s illegal to shout offensive words in any public place in Mexico.
  • If you’re on a bike in Mexico, you must keep both feet on the pedals.
  • In Mexico, it’s also illegal to have any kind of nude artistic display.
  • Drinking alcohol on the street is also against the law in Mexico.
  • You’re not allowed lock a burglar in the bathroom if he breaks into your home in the Netherlands. It’s considered deprivation of freedom, which is illegal.
  • It’s against the law to make an international phone call from North Korea.
  • You may pick someone else’s cloudberries in Norway but only if you eat them on site.
  • If you challenge a man to a fist fight to the death in Norway, he must accept or pay a penalty of 4 deer.
  • Pakistan and Saudi Arabia both bar their citizens from celebrating Valentine’s Day.
  • It’s a crime to be annoying in the Philippines.
  • If you’re near a school or playground in Poland, make sure you’re not wearing anything with Winnie the Pooh on it; they find the A.A. Milne character to be too risque for little kids.
  • In Portugal, it’s illegal to name babies, “names that raise questions about the sex of the registrant.”
  • You also can’t pee in the ocean in Portugal.
  • In Russia, it’s illegal to have an anonymous blog with over 3,000 daily visitors.
  • You also aren’t allowed to drive a dirty car in Russia.
  • It’s illegal to ride a cow while drink in Scotland.
  • Any Scotsman found to be wearing underwear beneath his kilt can be fined two cans of beer.
  • If someone knocks on your door in Scotland and requests the use of your toilet, you must allow them access.
  • With the exception of ones for medical reasons, you can’t import chewing gum into Singapore.
  • You could be also fined up to US$700 in Singapore if you don’t flush after using a public toilet.
  • You’re not allowed to wrestle a bear in South Africa.
  • South Korea doesn’t allow anyone to silence their phone camera when taking pictures.
  • It’s illegal to build a sand castle in Spain.
  • In Sri Lanka, it’s against the law to take posed photos with Buddha.
  • You also aren’t allowed to enter Sri Lanka if you have a visible tattoo of Buddha.
  • Sudan law says that women must wear dresses and must always keep their hair covered.
  • Sweden doesn’t allow parents to spank their children.
  • Sweden also doesn’t allow advertising geared for children under age 12.
  • During Sweden’s long hours of winter darkness, it is illegal to complain that you wish it were sunny.
  • Also in Sweden: It’s illegal to use the services of a prostitute. However prostitution is legal.
  • Sweden also calculates traffic fines, and other fines, based on your income. This is smart – it means it’s an equal punishment for everyone committing the crime. People with less money have to pay less, and rich people are actually deterred from committing these crimes because their fines would be much larger.
  • You’re not allowed to flush the toilet after 10pm in some parts of Switzerland; it’s considered noise pollution.
  • Also don’t try to hike naked in Switzerland; it’s also illegal.
  • But if you ski down a mountain in Switzerland, it’s illegal to recite poetry.
  • Thailand has made vapes/e-cigarettes illegal.
  • You also can’t leave your home without wearing underwear in Thailand.
  • In Trinidad & Tobago, it’s against the law to dry your laundry where it can be seen in public.
  • In Turkey it is against the law to fall in love with a neighbor’s son, daughter, wife, servant, or animals.
  • Turkish law also says you’re not allowed to deface the national flag or currency.
  • You’re not allowed to smoke or drink in public in Ukraine.
  • United Arab Emirates does not allow people to sear or make rude gestures; you could go to jail (OMG, I so would!). The same goes for Kenya.
  • Salt, ketchup, and mayonnaise are banned from restaurant tables in Uruguay.
  • Any child born in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, Wales must be able to spell the town name by the age of six and pronounce it by the age of thirty-four.

H/T: Lots of people and places 😉

Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.

Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary, or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.

Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Al May 31, 2023 - 5:06 pm

Some of those things are bizarre but some are not. It’s just that the US is too centric and thinks everything according to their own perspective. Some of the items on the list is for the sake of the society’s moral and decency which the US does not have.

StAugustine May 31, 2023 - 6:27 pm

“It’s a crime to be annoying in the Philippines.”
Can we get that law here?


Leave a Comment