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Locals Are Sharing The Unwritten Rules That Tourists Should Know Before Traveling To Their Home Countries, And These Are Worth Studying

"Where I'm from, it is totally normal to ask strangers this question. It isn't meant to be rude. It's just curiosity."

Different cultures and countries have different norms, so whenever you you travel abroad, it's important to familiarize yourself with some customs and social cues abroad. So Redditor u/Skinnysaif asked, "What should tourists NEVER do in your country?" Here are some of the responses.

1. "If you're visiting Portugal, don't speak to us in Spanish. You are not in Spain, and we speak Portuguese."

A tram in Lisbon.
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2. "In Vietnam, commit to crossing the road. It looks scary with the endless scooter stampedes, but if you just cross at a steady pace, they'll avoid you. Do not try to dodge or make sudden movements. Just simply walk across."

A busy street in Vietnam.
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3. "In Finland, don't get too close to strangers. We really value personal space."

People walking in Helsinki, Finland.
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4. "In England, respect the queues and do not cut. We will stare at you passive aggressively with the fury of a thousand suns."

People entering the London Tube.
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5. "In Malaysia, it is absolutely normal for someone to ask you what race you are, so don't be taken aback if you are asked. It isn't meant to be offensive. It's just general curiosity."

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6. "In Denmark, do not stand or walk in the bike lane. You will get yelled at...and/or hit by a cyclist."

A woman riding a bike in Denmark.
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7. "I live in Singapore, and in fast food restaurants and food courts there's a common practice called chopeing where one can reserve a table by placing a packet of tissues on top. Tourists who haven't heard of this and take a reserved seat will often get dirty looks from the local who choped the table."

People sitting at tables at a hawker center in Singapore.
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8. "In Korea, the eldest person at the table should start eating first. Don't pick up your chopsticks, spoon, or whatever utensil you're using until the oldest person has started eating."

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9. "In many metro cars in France, the doors still have a manual open signal. If you're closest to the exit door, you're expected to twist the lever to make it open. Do this just a second before the train actually stops to look like a local."

The Paris metro.
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10. "In China, NEVER go out without carrying toilet paper or tissues on you. It's never in public restrooms so you'll want to keep some on hand."

An empty toilet roll in a bathroom stall.
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11. "If you're visiting the US, don't try to see too much. Rather, pick a specific area and do everything you can there. If you try to see the Statue of Liberty, the Smithsonian, the Alamo, and the Grand Canyon, you're going to spend your entire trip driving. It's a BIG country."

A car driving on a big open road in Utah.
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12. "In big Italian cities like Rome and Venice, don't eat in restaurants or bars in famous places or next to major sites. A coffee in Piazza San Marco in Venice could cost you like $30."

A restaurant near the canal in Venice.
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13. "In Australia, swim between the flags. If you have little experience swimming in the surf and you swim outside those flags, then there is a relatively high chance that you will drown."

People swimming at Bronte Beach in Australia.
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14. "In Argentina, don't ask for coffee to go. We don't have paper cups. If you go to a cafe, you're expected to sit and drink your coffee."

Pouring a coffee.
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15. "In Mexico City, never get into a cab before making sure it has a visible sign with the driver's ID and a working meter. Also you might want to follow your location on a map so you'll know if the driver is taking you around in circles."

A cab in Mexico City.
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16. "In Sicily, never order a specific bottle of wine at a restaurant. Just ask for the house vino. It'll be cheaper and better. Also, there is no butter with your bread, so don’t ask."

A table with wine,bread, cheese, and meat in Italy.
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17. "In Croatia, particularly in small towns, people are expected to clean the streets in front of their homes. As a result, you'll find exceptionally clean streets, which are a real sense of communal civic pride."

A pristine street in Croatia.
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18. "When you sit down to eat in a restaurant in Portugal, the waiter will bring you bread, olives, or some other snacks. If you eat it, expect to pay for it. If you don't touch it, they'll take it away and pretend like never existed."

Olives and bread on a tabletop.
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19. "In Jordan, if you compliment someone on something, it's impolite for that person to not offer that item to you. For example, if you compliment a man's watch, he will literally unlatch it from his arm and offer it to you. Of course, you're supposed to decline."

A man holding a watch.
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20. "In London, don't look for your train ticket/Oyster card at the barrier to the tube. Locals will get mad. Find it ahead of time so you can walk right through the gates."

People entering a London metro station.
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21. "If you're taking the bus in Sweden, never sit down next to another person if there are other empty seats available."

An elderly man sitting on a bus.
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22. "In Germany our waiters usually earn above minimum wage so you never tip more than 15%. A 10% tip, or just rounding up, is normal for an average check.

Paying the check at a restaurant.
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23. "In Japan, bow to people who bow to you. In general, bow to people when they give you a service. It's a sign of respect and it goes a long way. Also, take off your shoes indoors and respect the culture."

Two travelers meeting their host at a Japanese inn.
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24. "In India, traffic lanes exist on the roads, but people don't drive in them."

A busy road in Mumbai, India.
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25. "In Ireland, stand your round. When you go out to the pubs with a group of friends, make sure to pay for a round of drinks when it's your turn. If you don't, you will be secretly labeled a cheapskate."

A man at a table with two beers.
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26. "Don't touch the wildlife in Australia. If it isn't poisonous, violent or otherwise ill-mannered and dangerous, it's probably protected or endangered."

A sign in Australia.
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u/inzur

27. "In Paris, you should always say "bonjour" when entering a shop or restaurant and "au revoir" when leaving. Even if you don't purchase anything or walk right in and out."

Bikes parked outside stores in Paris.
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28. "Switzerland is really expensive, and you should know that ahead of time. Don't make that surprised face when you have to pay $15 for a Subway sandwich."

An aerial view of Bern, Switzerland.
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What is an unwritten rule that any traveler should know before visiting your home city? Tell us in the comments below!