Tips on How to Behave Abroad

How to Behave Abroad

Going abroad, read the local rules and traditions, in order not to lose face or be rude. We collected tips from foreigners about how to behave abroad. These advices of local residents who are tired of uncouth tourists. Their comments, posted on  are better than any guidebooks. Original spelling saved.

How to behave in Finland: Don’t talk to anyone you don’t know unless you have to. If you are travelling by bus, don’t sit next to anyone until there are only those places left.

Pakistan: Don’t visit the northwest region. It’s best to go to Islamabad or some other part of Punjab.

Mexico: It’s very disrespectful to throw away food. People work long hours and get paid nearly nothing. A full plate is a luxury.

Moldova: Don’t trust young locals. Don’t go to a bar or disco without a local guide. Try not to act gayish.

New Zealand: Don’t sit on tables. It’s very rude. Don’t ask somebody “where was the Lord of the Rings filmed”. Nobody except tourists knows/cares where it was filmed. A lot of Maori people here have face tattoos, generally tribal patterns. Don’t stare.

Korea: Don’t tip. They find it really rude and will chase after you to give your money back.

Scotland: Don’t call people British, a lot of people get really touchy about that also expect us not to understand you, hardly any of us know a second language. Prior to some rumours most of the time we’re friendlier drunk than we are sober. Do not call a kilt a skirt.

Switzerland: Don’t confuse it with Sweden. Don’t ask people if they speak Swedish.

India: Do not wait much for a crowd/queue to clear/shorten. It would almost be crowded forever.

Belgium:  Don’t have any expectations when going to our sea bank, it really isn’t pretty whatsoever. Don’t compliment them on anything. They’ll spend the next half hour bringing themselves down and assure you everything and everyone elsewhere is better. Don’t you dare order Heineken in a bar.

Sweden: Don’t interact with strangers unless it’s absolutely necessary. Don’t sit next to people you don’t know on the bus. Do not cut in line. You will be murdered by old ladies with heavy handbags.

Netherlands: Don’t walk on the bike lanes.

Australia: don’t touch animals or plants; especially the small ones. Don’t swim alone. Don’t go bushwalking without water, map and PLB/sat phone/HF radio. Check your shoes before you put them on. Spiders love shoes.

Latvia: Specifically Riga, don’t climb the monument of freedom.

Germany: Don’t ever do the nazi greeting. Not even jokingly. In the best case, people will avoid you. In the worst case, you’ll go to prison. 

Poland: Don’t drink alcohol anywhere outside pubs.

Turkey: Take off your shoes when you enter the house unless the host really expressively states you can leave them on. Don’t refuse the tea. It’s rude. Don’t say anything against Atatürk. Even the most progressive, liberal and anti-authority Turkish will suddenly transform into a raging patriot.

Romania: Don’t come.

China: Don’t drink the tap water unless you want to have diarrhoea or die.

Denmark: Do not stand on or walk on our bike lanes. You’ll be yelled at like never before or possibly be run over by an angry cyclist.

USA: Never, ever touch other people’s children, especially if you are a stranger to them. NY: Don’t move slowly, and if you can’t help it, get out of the way.

Venezuela: Never walk in the streets especially at night. Never trust to any police officer. Never take a taxi in the streets. Never show your money in public. Never use cellphones in the streets.

UK: Don’t cut the queue.  Always, always, always apologise to furniture and objects when you accidentally walk into them. Don’t stare at anybody too long.

Iran: Men should not wear shorts in public. Do not openly criticize the government/homosexuality, people will shun you and you will attract unwanted attention. Locals may charge you for taking pictures of their towns/countryside – under no circumstances should you feel pressured to pay them. You may be asked for your social network credentials/password on entry to the country if you make trouble. Before leaving your country of origin, make a fake profile.

Japan: Stop demanding that we take down the “Nazi Swastikas” from our Buddhist temples. They have nothing to do with Nazis and have been a symbol of Buddhism for thousands of years.

Serbia: Be really careful when mentioning Croatia\Kosovo\Albania. Do not wear any football club jerseys.

Greece: Don’t point your open palm at someone, its an insult and essentially its the same as saying to them “you’re an asshole”.

El Salvador: Do not speak English. In El Salvador, there are people who wait for potential tourists and stalk them. If you speak English, they assume you are from America and therefore have money, so chances are you’re getting mugged when they see the opportunity.


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