What are some unspoken rules in Italy
Have you ever embarrassed yourself?
Finally vacation! The suitcase is packed, sunglasses and bikini are waiting to be used. You are prepared! But apart from the perfect beach outfit - do you actually know the unspoken rules of your holiday destination? So that the holidays don't become a disgrace, we show DOs and DON’Ts in our travel etiquette.
Do you cut the baguette, drink the coffee with milk and enjoy a cold beer in the park? Then you are already unsuspecting in France, Italy and the USA in the middle of it Blunder set. We'll show you with our Travel etiquettehow to avoid tripping hazards and horrified looks from locals during the holidays.
Travel etiquette for Greece: time is relative
The Swiss are reserved, calm and prudent. The Greeks don't. You like to talk a lot and the following applies: the louder, the better. As a stranger, however, you don't have to be afraid not to have your say. Greeks usually show a keen interest in their counterparts and don't skimp on questions. After all, you want to know who you're drinking Ouzu with here! What many Swiss perceive as intrusive, the Greek means very differently. For him, a lack of interest in life, the political attitude and the drinking preferences of the stranger would be a sign of rudeness! This is why the following applies to holidays on the peninsula: If you don't want to be rude, you can chat with you and you can do it louder than at home in Switzerland. The Swiss and the Greeks differ not only in terms of their communication needs.
An almost gigantic gap opens up when it comes to “punctuality”. This is namely foreign to the Greeks. Events? Accept? Agreements at a specific time? Oh, who's going to get nailed down? What would be unthinkable for the Swiss - arriving late or not showing up at all - is common in Greece. Therefore: bring a lot of time, patience and always a plan B.
Travel etiquette for Italy: Pure coffee enjoyment
A situation that everyone knows who is often in Italy or has Italian friends: After a successful and nice meal, you order a coffee to finish off. More precisely: a cappuccino. And promptly reaps horrified looks from the Italian neighbors. Italians always drink espresso after eating, and coffee with milk is only available for breakfast at the very most. So if you don't want to be embarrassed, you can do without your bowl after your meal and try your hand at pure Kafi enjoyment.
Travel etiquette for England: "Sorry, are you standing in the queue?"
Beans, sausages, bacon and egg. The British don't like breakfast for everyone. And some also have a hard time at lunch and dinner. If that is the case, however, it must not be made known. Because if fish and chips, Yorkshire pudding or cottage pie are too greasy, hearty and difficult to digest, you should by no means be tempted to complain about English cuisine. Even if it has a reputation for being unimaginative and boring - the English definitely see it differently. The situation is similar with «queuing», which is common practice on the island. "Sorry, are you waiting in the line?" You will probably hear this sentence often during your vacation in England. Whether bus stop, ticket office or restaurant: The English line up everywhere and form queues. This happens with such a self-image that strangers like to joke that in England two people are already considered a full-fledged snake. In any case, contradicting behavior causes unrest and pushers are punished with contemptuous looks. Therefore: line up, keep the minimum distance and wait.
Travel etiquette for Austria: serenity in the coffee house
First things first: Austria is not Germany. This manifests itself, among other things, in the vocabulary of Austrians, which sometimes differs considerably from standard German. Because anyone who asks for a “bag” or an “apple spritzer” in the holiday region runs the risk of not getting either. If, on the other hand, asks for a “bag” and “apple juice spritz”, we will be happy to help. Now for the second most important thing: Austrians are very sympathetic to the Swiss - and not just because of their language. When you are on holiday in Austria, the only thing that lurks less than is interpersonal subtleties. The Austrian is actually very cozy. One does not like to be stressed, not even in the coffee house, which is not simply visited for a quick coffee, but the whole afternoon including reading the newspaper. What the Swiss might find unfriendly is pure serenity. The "waiter" in a real Viennese coffeehouse is a bit grumpy per se and ideally gives the impression that someone is bothering him with his order. If you get the feeling of being undesirable, you can be sure that you have ended up in a real Austrian coffee house. Then it's time to pick up the newspaper, lean back, relax and wait for the «melange».
Travel etiquette for France: break, don't cut!
When you think of France, you automatically think of the Eiffel Tower, berets and baguettes. It is understandable that the French do not like to submit to this cliché, because Switzerland is not only made up of mountains, cheese and chocolate. But what you have to admit: The baguette is an integral part of French food culture and is served with almost every meal. But if you let yourself be tempted to cut off a piece, you immediately make a faux pas. The French never cut their baguette, they just break it. Anyone who wants to explain in German or English that cutting bread is good form in Switzerland is likely to fall on deaf ears. French avoid foreign languages, after all, you speak the most beautiful in the world! This attitude is also expected from tourists. Therefore: If you can rehearse a few phrases and use a certain basic vocabulary to show off, you have already half won the sympathy of your hosts.
You can find more about France in our tips from A to Z.
Travel etiquette for Spain: Eat when others are sleeping
You are in Spain and would like to have dinner, but you are faced with astonished waiters or closed doors? Then that's probably because of the time. Because while it is common in Switzerland to eat around 6 or 7 p.m., Spanish kitchens do not open until 9 p.m. at the earliest. Spaniards usually eat between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m., when most of the tourists have nodded off over their plates. If this is not the case, you should definitely avoid one subject in the well-kept table conversation: bullfighting. If you speak to the Spaniards about the suffering of animals and their agonizing agony, you will receive incomprehension. After all, the drama has a long tradition and toreros are true folk heroes who risk their lives in combat. Therefore: Better chat about the late dinner times!
Travel etiquette for the USA: "How are you?"
In the course of a long-distance journey, many Swiss are now drawn across the Atlantic and to America, to the land of endless possibilities. As soon as you arrive, a friendly American may ask you: "How are you?" What you should know: This question is by no means meant to be serious. Rather, it is an empty phrase to which only one answer is given: “Fine, thank you!”. Anyone who talks about the long flight, the whining child and the lost suitcase does not make friends. So the tip for the travel etiquette is: smile and express your well-being. Even if it isn't. Another no-go in America is the public consumption of alcohol. A cold beer in the park? Unfortunately, no. A bottle of wine by the river with your girlfriend? Better not. Those who disregard the ban can expect hefty fines. And, by the way, this applies not only to consumption, but also to public transport of alcoholic beverages. It is not for nothing that beer & Co. are immediately put into the famous brown paper bag.
Travel etiquette for Turkey: the more, the better
Have you booked your holidays in Turkey and are you packing your suitcase? Then in addition to bikini, short skirts and tight tops, you should definitely also take items of clothing with you that cover your knees and shoulders and are cut a little wider. Because what is okay when staying in a club or resort is not welcome when visiting the old town. Turkey is a Muslim country and women are not provocative and physical in public. The usual rules should also be accepted when visiting a mosque: a tank top and shorts would mean a lack of respect in such a place.
But even if you are given the honor of being invited to dinner by a Turkish family, there is a risk of faux pas. Make sure you take off your shoes when entering the apartment! What is common now and then in Switzerland would be extremely impolite in Turkey. When it comes to eating, too, there are certain things to consider, including: The more you eat, the better. If you do not want a second something, it will be offensive to the hosts, because you obviously did not like it or the hosts' cooking skills do not appeal to you. If you then appease and assert that it was excellent, you will most likely receive another serving of pilaf on your plate while you are speaking. Turkish hospitality is limitless and prepare for an evening with plenty of food. It is best to avoid breakfast and lunch on the day of the invitation.
Travel etiquette for Sweden: butter knife remains butter knife
You are missing a knife and the butter has an extra one? If you now think you can easily access it, you are probably shocking your Swedish neighbors. Because the slightly wider and round knife is only used to cut off a piece of butter and place it on the plate. Then the knife is put back again. It would be a nasty misstep if you left the knife lying on your plate or even spread it on your bread. Ultimately, the aim is to prevent the butter from being “soiled” with bread crumbs, jam or cheese. The same applies to the small spoons in jam, mustard or the like: Put a little on the plate and then put the spoon back. Every Swedish host will thank you.
Text: Nina Grünberger
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