Things you must never do in these 12 countries


Don’t you think it is a lot easier to offend a stranger than to please one, especially if you are at a place far away from home? So, if you have a wanderlust, or if you’re planning to visit a foreign destination then it’s definitely a good idea to do some research on the cultural practices followed in a certain place. This article helps in finding out a few things that you must never do when you’re traveling to the countries discussed below.

1. Australia

Down under it is not customary for workers providing various services to accept tips. So, refrain from tipping waiters, car attendants, bellmen, etc. Also, as a tourist, you’d be better off if you can resist the temptation to climb the Uluru rock to get a panoramic view of the spectacular scenery, since the rock is considered to be sacred by local denizens, and climbing it offends their cultural views.

2. Italy

The country is abounded with several pristine churches, and you should never make the mistake of visiting one with skimpy clothes on. If you’re wearing sleeveless tops, cover your bare arms with a scarf. Also, do not go on dropping coins in just about any fountain, unless you want to be secretly laughed at by the Italians. The coins only go into Fontana di Trevi. 

3. France

If you’re in a habit of talking loudly, then be ready to have angry stares thrown at you. While shopping for fruits, groceries, or flowers, do not touch, poke, or pick up the goods. Point your fingers at the object of your interest instead. Another thing to keep in mind is to always begin conversations with Bonjour. While sitting on a chair, always place your hands at the table. Placing them on your lap or anywhere else beneath the table is considered to be rude in France.

4. Spain

This might come as a shock, but many Catalonians do not think of themselves as citizens of Spain. Hence, it is best not to mention Real Madrid or Atletico in Barcelona. Similarly keep yourself from mentioning Barcelona in Spain, and you’ll do just fine.

5. Egypt

When visiting Egypt, bear in mind that you’re touring a country that has a majority of Muslim population. Therefore, try not to be very affectionate (physically) towards your partner, do not offer alcohol to your hosts, and most definitely, keep your hands off of pork. Don’t wear revealing outfits, especially when you visit mosques or other religious places and do not touch the person you are talking to unless they are your close friends.

6. United Arab Emirates

Even though cities like Dubai in UAE are among the most liberal Muslim cities out there, it is best to observe a few rules and keep yourself far from trouble. Keep the dancing and singing off the streets, and do not lip-kiss, make out, or drink alcohol publicly. Do not go nude or topless on beaches and don’t click photographs of people (especially women). All of these are considered disrespectful.

7. United States of America

Just because you’re in the cultural hub of the world, where most of the practices (like nudity, stripping) are acceptable, that doesn’t mean you can get away with anything. The country has one of the strictest laws against smoking in public places. Many American states consider smoking under the age of 20 punishable by law.

8. United Kingdom

There are a number of unsaid (and very sensible, I must say) rules that are at followed at public transit systems. Example, you must never block the right side of the escalator or board a train without letting the passengers deboard it first. Also, you do not want to the Britss by breaking a queue. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

9. Japan

Do not enter a Japanese home with your shoes on (Fast and Furious fans probably already know this). Again, the custom of receiving tips is not observed in Japan. You should also never enter a bathtub without washing yourself outside first, especially at public baths.

10. China

While in China, just remember that chopsticks are not tools you can amuse yourselves with. Follow proper chopsticks etiquette. Place them on top of the bowl when you are not using them. Do not pat a person on the head as that’s considered disrespectful. In China, white symbolizes death. So make sure you don’t wrap your gifts in white paper.

11. Russia

Russians consider shaking hands with gloves on a bad omen. Also, never shake hands at the threshold of the door. It is said to bring bad luck. Do not expect the lady to pay a bill or even split it. The gentleman must do that. Do not show the souls of your shoe, or point them to someone while sitting down with your legs crossed. Giving an empty purse or wallet to someone as a gift is also a big no.

12. India

Eat all the beef you want to at home. When in India, it is wise not to order it unless you want to meet cold stares of people or hear them grumble. Calling elders by their names is considered to be disrespectful. Do not enter a temple or any other religious site with your footwear on. Try not to accept or give money (or anything else, for that matter) using your left hand.

Dinika Saxena

Incurable communicator. Award-winning introvert. Certified tv enthusiast. Reader. Creator.