Strange European Laws that you might want to follow

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It’s not just the weather that’s been hot this summer in Europe, anger among locals has also reached fever pitch as a wave of anti-tourist sentiment sweeps across the continent.

The millions of tourists who the flood historic sights bring with them money, but also massive overcrowding driving up prices on everything from food to rent, but what’s tipped the balance is bad behaviour and cultural insensitiveness.

The locals have had enough of all-night parties, the bar culture, drunks and visitors flouting customs and local standards of decency.

In an attempt to hold back the tsunami of tourists they believe are destroying their way of life communities are insisting their elected officials do more.

There have also been protests across Spain, Italy and Croatia,  peaceful for the most part, however events did turn ugly when a Spanish anti-tourist group attacked a tour bus by slashing its tyres and spraying it with graffiti. Luckily no one was injured.

As citizens demand their elected officials do more to curb bad tourist behaviour, visitors need to be mindful that seldom enforced laws aimed towards tourists might start getting enforced more rigorously.

Phil Sylvester, Travel Safety Expert at Travel Insurance Direct Travel Safety Expert Phil Sylvester said “Missing a flight home because you’ve been detained by police is not covered by travel insurance, you’ll be paying for the new ticket you have to purchase.”

TID is urging travellers to be sensitive to local customs, and be aware that new laws may have come into effect aimed at stamping out what local communities perceive as acceptable behaviour.

“That could be as simple as slipping on a shirt rather than walking through town in beachwear” said Mr Sylvester.

Italy – Church step dining

Getting a bite to eat is the easy part, finding somewhere to eat it is another matter altogether. With tourists setting down for lunch on church steps across the country, the Mayor of Florence recently ordered church steps in his city be hosed down to dissuade tourists from setting up camp.

France – Kissing on a train platform

Could there be a more picturesque setting to kiss farewell to your lover in than a train platform in France? We think not. The French authorities however beg to differ. This quirky law dating back to the early 1900s was initially thought to have been put in place to prevent train delays.

The Netherlands – Peeing in the canal

Amsterdam, world renowned for its pot cafes and red light district draws the line at tourists relieving themselves into the canal. Make sure you keep a few spares Euros on you at all times so you can use one of the many pay public toilets.

Switzerland – Hanging clothes out to dry on a Sunday

With the rise of Airbnb tourists are immersing themselves and living like locals. Whilst we think this is a good thing we also think you shouldn’t get carried away with hanging your laundry out for all to see, especially if it’s a Sunday and you are in Switzerland.


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