Conscious travel

Outlawed: 7 unusual European bans

Sitting on the steps, feeding birds, or wearing heels – study the list of not the most obvious prohibitions in European countries, so as not to accidentally break something and not fly into a tidy sum.

7 unusual European bans:

You can’t ride a bike

Venice is an absolute leader in the number of bans. The historical center of the city is completely pedestrian, so tourists can not ride a bike there, many signs around the city remind us of this. Even if you just roll your bike nearby, you can earn a fine of up to €100. You can only ride a bicycle in your hands along a short route in the Piazzale Roma area.

body of water with people rowring on boat beside tall building
Photo by Pixabay on

You cannot use Google Maps

In the Italian city of Baunei in Sardinia, Google Maps was banned because the application worked very badly, constantly pointed the wrong way, and tourists began to get lost in the surroundings. Travelers found themselves on impassable roads and could not go back on their own. In 2019, the local rescue service moved forward to search for lost tourists more than a hundred times. Therefore, signs with the inscription “Do not follow the instructions of Google Maps” were installed on the roadsides.

However, there’s still a myriad of navigation apps or software available, so you can choose a rental car with a navigator not to get lost and see some awesome destinations. Various rental services like or will help you in navigating easily in the most beautiful destinations worldwide.

You cannot have a snack on the street

In Italy, it is forbidden to eat and drink in public places and near attractions. For example, in Rome, for a picnic on the steps of the Italian Steps or at the Trevi Fountain, you can grab a fine from € 40 to € 240. In Rome, they even came up with a blacklist of violent foreigners who might not be allowed into the city again.

Similar rules apply in Venice. One day, a couple of tourists from Berlin decided to arrange an elegant coffee break on the Rialto Bridge. This picnic cost the travelers almost €1,000 fine. 

So think twice in case you decide that dinner in the restaurant is too expensive.

You can’t feed pigeons

The Vienna city authorities decided to fine everyone who feeds the birds €36. This is how the city controls the bird population and takes care of their health: human food is not useful for them at all. Since 2008, it has also been forbidden to feed birds in Venice. If you are caught with the hand-feeding pigeons or seagulls on San Marco, you will face a fine from € 50 to 200.

You can’t wear high heels or flip-flops

Here you have to choose between style, comfort, and the law. When you pack a suitcase for Greece, it’s better to leave stylish shoes at home: it is officially forbidden to walk through the ruins in heels there. Not only for reasons of injury risk – heels can harm the surface of ancient monuments.

Another example is Cinque Terre. Here, the area’s mountain rescue teams have become so frustrated by the number of tourists getting injured because of inadequate footwear that rules have been imposed. Those who choose to go walking in flip-flops or flimsy sandals face fines between €50 ($56) and €2,500 ($2,826).

town by the sea
Photo by Chait Goli on

You can’t walk in swimming trunks

On the streets of some European cities, it is officially forbidden to appear in an unsightly appearance, in particular in a bathing suit. As soon as you step off the sand onto the hard asphalt, you have to put on a shirt. This rule applies, for example, in Croatia, Spain, and Italy.

You can’t build sandcastles

In Magaluf, one of the most famous resorts in Majorca, sand architecture can be fined €100. The ban is because sandcastles can interfere with the work of rescuers. Some vacationers also complain that the locks block their view of the sea and do not allow them to enjoy the views. In addition, it is forbidden to pick flowers and drink water from fountains on the island.

We highly recommend learning carefully the peculiarities of this or that country before visiting in order not to find yourself in confusing or problematic circumstances and to make your journey completely unforgettable. Even if some of the rules seem strange and too strict, remember that cities are just asking for a little respect.

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