Travelling around the world has never been easier, what with the advent of budget airlines and cheap package tour groups. Yet, even in 2016, some countries remain off-limits for the average tourist.
5. DR Congo. One of the best chances to see gorillas in the wild is in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For adventurers everywhere, a trip to this country would be like a jungle safari, yet it is notoriously difficult to get a tourist visa for DR Congo, despite its natural scenic beauty. You need a letter of invite from inside the country (can be arranged by tour groups), but most importantly of all, it is very, very expensive!
4. Iran. While not quite as difficult to visit as it once was, Iran is still a pain in the backside in terms of getting a tourist visa – which is a shame, as the country is actually very beautiful with an incredible culture. That said, the Iranian Government are still extremely suspicious of any western tourist, and you will encounter a lot of difficulties during your stay (even IF you get a visa in the first place).
3. Syria. The real question should be: why would you want to come here in the first place? Syria has been locked in war and fighting for many years now, and is a stronghold of obscene terrorist groups. No Foreign Office from any country in the world will encourage tourism to Syria, and in any case, there is currently no proper infrastructure for obtaining tourist visas anyway.
2. Saudi Arabia. Notoriously one of the most difficult countries to visit for tourism purposes (unless you’re from other Gulf States), the Saudis expect you to have a letter of invitation from inside Saudi Arabia before your visa can be processed. Jews can forget about ever visiting (obviously), and most Westerners will face considerable red tape before any kind of visa is granted.
1. North Korea. While it is certainly possible to visit North Korea for tourism, Kim Jong-un doesn’t like Americans, Japanese, or people from Israel, so it will be much harder to obtain a visa if you’re from those countries. Official tour guides have to follow you around on specially-made itineraries so that you don’t do anything you’re not supposed to do – and be warned that your camera is usually checked for “inappropriate” photos at the airport before you leave the country!
If you’ve been to any of these countries, then how difficult was it for you to obtain the visa? Any other difficult countries we need to know about?