Much like laws, dress codes are something tourists are expected to follow when visiting a foreign destination. Also similar to the unusual laws to keep in mind when travelling, there are numerous unusual dress code rules that you should follow as well to ensure that you respect the local culture and avoid things like fines.

Here are 11 unusual rules from around the world to watch out for on your next vacation abroad:

1. You can’t drive wearing sandals in Spain

Driving wearing sandals or flip-flops, or any open-toed-shoe is never a good idea. However, in Spain, it is also a punishable offence.

beach bikini
Many countries do not allow you to wear swimwear on the street away from the beach
2. Don’t wear your bikini away from the beach

Many countries have rules against wearing swimwear on the street. Authorities in Majorca and Barcelona in Spain, as well as in Hvar in Croatia, the Maldives and Turkey impose hefty fines on those wearing only a bikini or swimming shorts in the street.

3. You can’t wear camouflage clothing in Barbados

Barbados, along with some other Caribbean countries like St. Vincent, and St. Lucia ban the wearing of camouflage attire for anyone not in the army. Not even children are exempt from this rule, and adults found flouting it will be faced with fines.

4. No wearing high heels in Greece

Historic sites in Greece, such as the Acropolis or Delphi, do not allow women to wear high heels. This is to prevent causing damage to these ancient monuments.

Fashion Female Footwear Heals Women High Jeans
Be careful while packing trousers or high heels
5. In some places, women can’t wear trousers

In both Sudan and North Korea, women are not allowed to wear trousers. According to reports, women can face harsh punishment for wearing trousers in both these countries.

6. Men can’t wear makeup in Sudan

The same harsh interpretation of sharia law that prevents women from wearing trousers in Sudan deemed male models “indecently dressed” and “offensive” for wearing makeup at a fashion show.

Scarves Scarf Colorful Cloth Towels Color Fabric
Keep a scarf handy to cover up when entering religious places
7. Wear modest clothing to religious places

From churches to mosques and temples, visitors are required to cover up as a mark of respect at many sacred sites. This usually means you should cover your shoulders and wear long skirts or pants, though some places also ask you to cover your head.

8. Only wear Speedos in France

Many public swimming pools in France have banned loose-fitting swimming trunks for men. So if you’re found not wearing close fitting Speedos, you won’t be allowed in for a dip.

9. Dress classy for Harrods in London

London’s famous luxury department store won’t allow you in if you’re wearing “clothing which may reveal intimate parts of the body, or which portrays offensive pictures or writing”. This includes ripped jeans, high cut Bermuda or beach shorts, swimwear, athletic singlets, cycling shorts, flip-flops, thong sandals, and dirty or “unkempt” clothing.

10. No niqabs or burqas in France

France has infamously banned the wearing of any face-covering headwear in public. This includes masks, helmets, and balaclavas as well as burqas niqabs and other veils

11. Baring skin and cross-dressing are illegal in Saudi Arabia

Whether you’re local or foreign, women in Saudi Arabia aren’t allowed to flash even an inch of flesh. Arms, legs, and heads must all be covered up. At the same time, cross-dressing and “behaving like women,” is also illegal for men.

Do you know of any more unusual dress code rules to keep in mind when packing for a trip? If so share them in the comments below.


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