What NOT to do in Europe: 10 Things Frowned Upon

European Etiquette: 10 Things Frowned Upon in Europe to Avoid

Europe, with its rich history, diverse cultures, and stunning landscapes, is a dream destination for many travellers. From the grandeur of Paris to the ancient charm of Rome, there’s something for everyone. However, while you’re exploring this enchanting continent, it’s important to be aware of the cultural norms and etiquette that may differ from what you’re accustomed to. To help you make the most of your European adventure, we’ve compiled a list of 10 things that are frowned upon in various European countries. So, let’s dive in and ensure your journey is filled with respect, understanding, and unforgettable experiences. 

10 Things Frowned Upon in Europe 

  • Loud Public Conversations: While animated conversations might be the norm in some places, Europeans tend to value their personal space. Speaking loudly in public areas, such as public transport or restaurants, is considered impolite. 
  • Dressing Immodestly: In many European cities, there’s an emphasis on dressing modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. Revealing clothing can be seen as disrespectful.

Tipping Overboard: Contrary to the custom in some countries, tipping excessively is not expected in Europe. A service charge is often included, and a small additional tip may suffice. However, leaving a generous tip may be misconstrued as insincere or inappropriate. 

Jaywalking: In Europe, pedestrians typically wait for the signal at crosswalks. Jaywalking is frowned upon and can be seen as disregarding traffic rules and endangering yourself and others. 

  • Cutting in Line: Queuing is a serious affair in Europe. Cutting in line is not only impolite but can also lead to some rather disapproving glares from both locals and fellow travellers. 
  • Underdressing for the Occasion: Europeans often pay attention to dressing appropriately for different occasions. Wearing casual clothes to a formal event or a fancy outfit to a casual setting might raise eyebrows.
  • Using Your Left Hand: In some European cultures, the left hand is considered unclean, as it’s traditionally used for personal hygiene. Always use your right hand for greetings, eating, and handing over items. 
  • Not Learning Basic Phrases: While many Europeans speak English, making an effort to learn a few basic phrases in the local language can go a long way in showing respect and building connections.   
  • Public Displays of Affection: While holding hands or a peck on the cheek might be fine, excessive public displays of affection are often considered inappropriate. Always be mindful of the local customs and adjust your behaviour accordingly.
  • Overtipping Taxi Drivers: Unlike in some other parts of the world, taxi drivers in Europe don’t typically expect large tips. Rounding up the fare or adding a small extra amount is sufficient. 

As you embark on your European escapade, keep these cultural norms in mind. It will help you navigate the diverse tapestry of the continent with grace and consideration. Respecting local customs not only enriches your travel experience but also leaves a positive impression on the people you meet along the way. So, pack your bags, immerse yourself in the beauty of Europe, and create memories that will last a lifetime. 

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Also, before you move on, you might want to read our previous blog to discover the Best Cities in Europe for Café Hopping!