Published On: Thu, Apr 4th, 2024
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World’s 66 most dangerous countries that are off limits to tourists | Travel News | Travel

The world is filled with cultural and historical gems that were once open to everyone. Be it the Roman splendours of ancient Palmyra, the world-beating ballet of St Petersburg, or the Parisian-esque sunbathed cafes of Lebanon.

In 2024, however, things are different. According to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the likes of Syria, Russia, Lebanon and 63 other countries are unsafe for foreign travellers.

Once safe countries are now at least partly off-limits, with others still completely shut off to tourists.

But what countries exactly are “unsafe” and “partly off limits?” takes a look at the updated travel advice list.

The eight newest additions to the FCDO list include Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Sudan, Lebanon and Israel, along with Belarus and the Palestinian territories.

Each of these countries has been moved straight to the black list, a category that deems all travel as risky as jumping in a vat of boiling water.

A staggering 24 countries now make up the list, some 20% of the world’s landmass, a tragic affair for the keenest of travellers.

Forty-two more countries are deemed to be partially out of bounds, all due to threats of war, terrorism, and unrest.

The reverse has happened in certain countries. Africa’s Burundi and Mauritania were previously completely off-limits, but now, at least parts of their landmasses are considered safe enough for foreign travellers.

War has been the most obvious contributing factor to the tightening of borders around the world.

Conflict in Ukraine and Gaza has seen both countries and their nearby regions reconsidered: while Russia and Belarus were added to the black list in February 2022, Israel, Lebanon and Palestine were listed in October 2023.

Iran, once a bustling hub of international travel and filled with Westerners, is today a shadow of its former self on the tourism front. It has been completely off-limits since 2019.

Sudan, with its outbreak of civil war in 2023, is also now out of bounds.

The risk level has also risen in places traditionally seen as tourist hotspots. Violent crime in Mexico has seen the FCDO warn against some parts of the country, while Tanzania, popular among Britons, has regions considered unsafe.

Uzbekistan, the ancient state along the Silk Road, was previously problem-free though now has danger zones. As does parts of Moldova, an EU candidate hoping to join the bloc by the end of the decade.

The 24 ‘black list’ destinations that the Foreign Office advises against travel, or all but essential travel:

  • Afghanistan
  • Belarus
  • Burkina Faso
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Haiti
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Niger
  • North Korea
  • The Palestinian territories
  • Russia
  • Somalia
  • Somaliland
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Ukraine
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

The 42 ‘red list’ destinations that the Foreign Office advises against travel, or all but essential travel:

  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • Benin
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Colombia
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Georgia
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ivory Coast
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritania
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar (Burma)
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Republic of Congo
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Uzbekistan
  • Western Sahara.

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