World's weirdest laws: The strange rules you need to know before you travel

ITALY - SEPTEMBER 7: Rocky coast near the beach of Chia, Domus de Maria, Sardinia, Italy. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

If you’re enjoying historic sites in ancient cities around the world, getting some sun on the beach or tasting exotic cuisine on your travels, there are some rules you may want to know so you don’t end up with a hefty fine while you’re trying to relax on vacation.

Over the summer, a French couple faced up to six years in prison for taking sand from a beach in Sardinia, Italy. Local police found 14 plastic bottles full of white sand, totalling 40 kilograms.

In addition to the possible prison time, the tourists could also be hit with a €3,000 (about $4,350) fine.

But Italy is only one among many countries with some seemingly odd rules they expect to be followed. Here’s a list of some you should be aware of before you visit.

Narrow street in the old town in Valencia, Spain. Getty Images


When you’re done taking in the sun shine in Spain, remember to change out of your flip-flops if you’re getting into a car. Wearing this type of sandal while driving can land you a €200 fine (about $290) for wearing something that could impede your ability to drive safely.

If you are going to the beach, be mindful of where you park your car. If your car is on the sand, you can get a €6,000 fine (about $8,700).

Selective focus on Tuk Tuk on busy Yaowarat Road in the evening in Bangkok Thailand. Getty Images


The legal drinking age in Thailand is 20, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be sold alcohol at any time just because you meet the requirement. The sale of alcohol is prohibited in the country from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from midnight to 11 a.m.

If you are consuming alcohol in Thailand, make sure you’re not doing so at places of worship, schools, gas stations, hospitals or public parks. If you do, you could face jail time and a fine of up to ฿10,000 (about $430).

Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. Getty Images


If you’re looking to put your best foot forward on a trip to Greece, just makes sure you’re wearing flat shoes when visiting any ancient sites. This is their way of trying to preserve these historic locations.

Rome Spanish Steps crowded with summer holiday tourists. Getty Images


Italy certainly has a plethora of odd rules that people must follow when they visit a variety of cities across the country.

If you’re in the capital city of Rome, sitting on the famous Spanish Steps, a UNESCO world heritage site, will result in a fine of up to €400 (about $580).

Just a short walk away at the Trevi Fountain, stay out of the water or there will be a €450 (about $652) fine, a consequence that two Canadian tourists had to pay back in 2018.

Heading north to Capri, learn from Heidi Klum’s mistake and stay out of the Blue Grotto. The supermodel had to pay €6,000 (about $8,700) for swimming in the restricted area.

Perhaps the oddest rule of all is in Florence, where there are four streets in the city on which you can’t eat between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. If you’re seen eating on Via de' Neri, Piazzale degli Uffizi, Piazza del Grano and Via della Ninna, you will be fined €500 (about $725).