Home Paul Ebeling Countries With the Strictest Travel Requirements

Countries With the Strictest Travel Requirements


Yes, traveling is fun, but it is not always easy. Delayed flights, lost luggage, and bad weather are all things you’ll end up contending with if you travel often. That is all assuming you can even get to the place you want to visit in the 1st place.

Some travelers are fueled by the desire to see everything, like Lexie Alford, 21 anni, who just became the youngest person to visit every country in the world. If you count yourself among them, or if you are just interested in visiting far-flung places that few people will ever see, there are a few things you will need to know.

Most importantly is the fact that some countries are tougher to visit than others. This can be for a few different reasons, from limited travel visas to restrictions on who can enter in the 1st place.

There are a fair amount of difficult-to-visit countries, but you will have the hardest time making your way to these 5 nations.


Political conflict and negative headlines in the press dissuade many from wanting to visit Iran, but beyond its political controversies, the country itself is home to some beautiful natural scenery, historic sites, and fascinating culture. Visiting is not exactly easy. Not only do visa applications take much longer than many other countries, but there are travel restrictions for American, Canadian, and British citizens, while Israeli citizens are denied entry outright.

If you plan to visit Iran, make sure to start your paperwork long before you actually plan to arrive. You also don’t want to visit the country on the same trip as a visit to Israel, as this will ensure you are denied access.


Turkmenistan is 1 of the world’s stranger countries. The capital city Ashgabat is a white-marble oasis in the middle of barren desert, and while there are not an abundance of tourist activities, there is a heap of fascinating history. Plus, it’s worth visiting for a glimpse at the Karakum desert, where you will find the “Gates of Hell“, Nat Gas as craters that look like, well, exactly what the name implies.

But you cannot visit Turkmenistan as you would many other countries. You will need to hire a travel company to help you gain access and escort you into the country. Even this step does not guarantee that you will be able to make it in, as you’ll need a letter of invitation to ensure you’re allowed across the border. While hiring a travel company will give you greater odds of acquiring the letter of invitation, it does not guarantee entry. About 30% of tourists who apply for the letter are denied.

North Korea

It should not be surprising to find out that this secretive nation does not just let anyone in. Few wish to visit, and even fewer are allowed in to experience life in such an insular country. Visitors can only access NKorea as part of an organized tour, and even then restrictions on certain nationalities are always changing with the political tides.


Nauru is not only the world’s smallest independent republic, but it is also the world’s least-visited country. This remote and sparsely-populated island means it is particularly pristine, and visitors who do make the trek will enjoy tropical vegetation and turquoise lagoons with little to no crowds.

Nauru’s remoteness is only part of the reason it’s tough to visit. Foreign visitors need a visa in advance, and the country is quite strict about who it will let in. If you are from another Pacific country things are easier, and this is true for Russian and Israeli citizens too.

Once your visa application has been accepted, you actually need to get there. There is only one flight a week from Brisbane, Australia as well as a few flights to and from surrounding islands. Basically, once you get there, plan on staying for a while.


Like many of the countries on this list, there is a reason Eritrea is difficult to visit. The government’s human rights record is among the worst in the world, and it comes in near the end of the World Press Freedom index. Unless you are from Kenya or Uganda, you will need an entry visa to get in. There is no guarantee you will actually receive 1 and many people have had to apply multiple times before actually succeeding in entering the country.

Enjoy your travels

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