International Travel

Bizarre things that have been banned around the world

Bizarre things that have been banned around the world

Baby walkers

Baby walkers are banned in Canada in an effort to keep children safe. They were banned in 2004, meaning babies can only crawl until they learn to walk on their own. If you’re caught with a baby walker in your possession (or you’re selling one), you can be fined up to $100,000.


Too much ketchup, mayo and vinaigrette

In France, these three condiments are limited in public schools. The rule was put in place in an effort to improve the dietary quality of the schools’ meals for the students. The rule states that, “all sauces (mayonnaise, ketchup and vinaigrette) must not be in free access but served according to the dish.”


Valentine’s Day

Citizens of Pakistan, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia are banned from celebrating Valentine’s Day. Pakistan banned the holiday in 2017 because it is not a Muslim tradition and it focuses on love that isn’t directed towards God.



If you live in Japan and are in between the ages of 40 and 74, there’s a law that mandates the company you work for measure your waistline. If your waistline is larger than the government-mandated limits, you’re given “dietary guidance” and your company could be fined.


Mullets and ponytails

Men are not allowed to sport a mullet, ponytail or any long hair in Iran.


Lacy underwear

Lacy underwear is banned from being sold in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. In 2013, regulations were passed that require clothing that touches your skin to contain at least 6 percent cotton. This was put in place for health concerns that lace isn’t breathable fabric for the skin.



Buddhist monks in Tibet can only be reincarnated with permission from the Chinese government. The law, which was passed in 2007, is pretty hard to enforce. Many people think the only reason it was put in place was to insult the Dalai Lama and have the public not think as highly of him.


Chewing gum

It’s illegal to import chewing gum into Singapore, with only certain gums allowed for medical reasons. The country takes it very seriously too – you can get fined up to $100,000 (SGD) and be put in prison.



In Victoria, Australia, you’re restricted from making any loud noises during certain times. More specifically, noise is banned at night, when people are most likely trying to fall asleep. On Good Friday, loud noises are banned all day long.



In Rome, while you are allowed to have goldfish, you’re not allowed to keep them in a glass bowl. It’s considered cruel since the bowl limits their oxygen flow and can cause them to go blind. A subsection of the law prohibits people from giving away goldfish, or any other animal, as a prize.


Not taking Fido for a walk

Rome has some strict animal rules: walking your dog is a requirement by law. If you don’t, you could be fined $700.


Running out of petrol

In Germany, you’re banned from stopping your vehicle on the Autobahn, so running out of petrol is a big no-no. You’re also not allowed to walk on the Autobahn. If you do, you can be fined $100 for putting other drivers in danger.


Chocolate eggs

In the United States, Kinder Surprise Candy Eggs are banned. Since these chocolate treats come with a little toy inside, they have been deemed a choking hazard. People have been detained in airports trying to smuggle in this confectionery from Canada.


High heels

Ever since 2009, people in Greece have been banned from wearing heels at all historical sites. The point on high-heeled shoes puts too much pressure on the ground and it can chisel away at the architectural sites.



In Canada, you’re not allowed to use more than 25 pennies per transaction. This was one of the country’s laws to phase out the coin, which started in 2013.



In 2005, the president of Turkmenistan banned lip-syncing to preserve “true culture.” He also banned opera and ballet, saying that they were unnecessary.



Due to Australia’s strict copyright rules, it’s illegal to create and share memes. Section 132A part 2 of the Copyright Act says, “distributing an infringing article that prejudicially affects the copyright owner” is against the law.


Blue jeans

In North Korea, you aren’t allowed to wear blue jeans – but don’t worry, black jeans are still OK. The colour blue is associated with the United States, so North Korea doesn’t let their citizens wear them.


Written by Morgan Cutolo. This article first appeared on Reader’s Digest. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription offer.