Do you consider yourself to be a law abiding citizen? It’s always advisable to do your research before visiting another country but there are always a few unusual laws that could catch you out. Check out some illegalities from around the world that I’ve come across.
Snapping a photo of the Eiffel Tower at night
Having lived in various places in and around France, I was surprised that I didn’t know this until recently. Technically, taking a picture of the tower at night is fine but sharing the photo more widely could land you in trouble. This is because the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel claim that the lights on the iconic tower are a piece art so permission must be sought to distribute a photo of it. Before you panic and start trawling through your social media accounts to delete any trace of the Eiffel Tower at night, I think the chances of being successfully sued for this are pretty slim.
Buying ‘Louis Vuitton’ in Venice
There is nothing more fun than haggling at a local market for a designer copycat. It almost looks as good as the real thing but at three quarters of the price. However, if you are caught buying a fake Louis Vuitton handbag in Venice you’ll be slapped with a €1000 fine. The illegal street trade is highly monitored so don’t get caught out.
Wearing a swimsuit in Barcelona
If you are visiting a Spanish resort it’s perfectly acceptable to stroll around in the afternoon heat wearing your swimsuit. While sunning yourself on the beach you may decide to quickly dash to a nearby shop for a drink or snack. In Barcelona be sure to cover up when leaving the beach area as being caught in your beach gear could land you a fine of up to £260.
Chewing gum in Singapore
Chewing gum in Singapore has been banned since the early 90s. The reason for this was to reduce vandalism as many were sticking chewed gum all over the city which resulted in maintenance costs to clean up. So sorry folks, if you’re jetting off to Singapore you are going to have to leave your Wriggley’s Extra and your minty fresh breath at home.
Drinking cocktails on a Hawaiian beach
There goes the dream of kicking back under a palm tree and sipping a nice cool pina colada. Drinking on the beach is illegal in Hawaii. Actually, Hawaii’s drinking laws in general are fairly strict. It’s worth reading up on if you are taking a trip.
Singing and Dancing in Rome
Picture this, you and your bezzies have had a few too many shandies and you leave the bar singing and dancing to the last song you heard playing on the jukebox. This could cost you a €500 fine. There is a loophole though as this only applies to groups of three or more people. So if you really must belt out a tune, pick your favourite friend and tell the others to pipe down!