5 Cultural Dos and Don'ts for Travelers: Etiquette Guide by Country

DDiana August 28, 2023 9:01 PM

Travel is a wonderful way to experience new cultures, meet fascinating people, and see sights that take your breath away. But as we venture into unfamiliar territory, it's crucial to respect local customs and avoid unintentional cultural faux pas. Here is a guide to the cultural dos and don'ts in five diverse countries.


Japan is a country of rich traditions and exacting etiquette. Here are some key dos and don'ts:

  • DO bow when greeting. It's a sign of respect.
  • DO remove your shoes when entering a home or certain traditional establishments.
  • DON'T point with your chopsticks or stick them vertically in rice. Both are considered disrespectful.
  • DON'T tip, as it can be seen as insulting.


India's culture is diverse and vibrant. Here's what to remember:

  • DO use your right hand when eating or passing objects. The left hand is considered unclean.
  • DO dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites.
  • DON'T touch anyone's head, a sacred part of the body.
  • DON'T show public displays of affection. It's frowned upon in many areas.


France is known for its chic culture and art de vivre. Here are some tips:

  • DO greet people with a kiss on both cheeks.
  • DO say 'Bonjour' (Good day) or 'Bonsoir' (Good evening) when entering shops.
  • DON'T rush your meals. French dining is a leisurely experience.
  • DON'T forget to say 'please' (s'il vous plaît) and 'thank you' (merci).


Brazil's lively and warm culture is unforgettable. Here's what to keep in mind:

  • DO use physical contact when greeting. Brazilians often hug and kiss on the cheek.
  • DO bring a small gift when invited to someone's home.
  • DON'T use the OK hand gesture. It's considered offensive.
  • DON'T arrive on time for social events. It's common to arrive a bit late.


The United Arab Emirates is a blend of tradition and modernity. These are essential dos and don'ts:

  • DO dress modestly, covering shoulders and knees.
  • DO use your right hand for eating and greeting.
  • DON'T show public displays of affection.
  • DON'T consume alcohol in public places without a permit.

So, there you have it, a quick etiquette guide for some fascinating countries. Remember, research is key before any trip, and when in doubt, follow local norms and observe the behavior of locals.

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