Visiting countries and cultures that are completely different from your own is rewarding. Travel to foreign shores gives you a broader insight and understanding of humanity. You reflect on who you are. It can be life-changing. The world is always changing too.
Some areas also have long reputations for being unsafe destinations for tourists. Always check with your own country’s travel advisory services before you go anywhere. Some regions may not have your own consulate, embassy or diplomatic support if you need it.
Here are 25 of the world’s most dangerous places where it is best not to be a tourist at this time.
1. Aleppo, Syria
Aleppo was once Syria’s largest city and a hub of ancient history, arts, culture, sports, and education. The city was at the front line of the Syrian civil war that began in 2011. Parts of the city were under siege for many years. The city is on the mend, some of the evacuated population are returning to rebuild their lives. Nonetheless, Syria is still a war zone, and not safe for foreigners to travel to.
2. Kabul, Afghanistan
Kabul is the capital of Afghanistan, and possibly the most elevated capital in the world. At one time, its bazaars, palaces, and gardens were on the backpacking trail. The city is extremely dangerous now, especially for western travelers. The city is a site of regular bombings, attacks, and kidnappings.
3. Juba, South Sudan
Although a site of stunning animal migrations, South Sudan in Africa has been in a state of war since 2013. Due to ongoing armed conflict and violence in the city of Juba, it is not safe to travel there. Foreigners in South Sudan at present are being advised to leave as soon as they safely can.
4. Sanaa, Yemen
The political situation in Sana’a or Szanaa in Yemen is currently extremely unstable. The Old City of Sana’a, one of the country’s four World Heritage sites sustained bomb damage in 2015. Foreigners are not advised to this city. There is a very high risk of being a target for terrorist activity and kidnapping.
5. Kinshasa, The Democratic Republic Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has a long political history of change and conflict. Travelers used to trek into the eastern border of the Virunga Mountains to see gorillas. It is no longer safe to do so. Kinshasa, on the south-western border, is a large expansive capital city.
6. Khartoum, Sudan
Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan, is where the white and blue Nile Rivers meet. Some areas of Sudan are in a state of emergency due to conflict. Curfews and restrictions on movement may be imposed in and out of this city.
7. Islamabad, Pakistan
Founded in the 1960s, the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad is a relatively new city. It’s a big one and known as much for its high standard of living as being within an area with ancient history. Pakistan is a high-risk area for terrorist attacks. It can be especially unsafe around religious holidays and elections.
8. Pyongyang, North Korea
Travel to Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea is not advisable. Despite recent steps towards political reconciliation, the country is still considered high risk. Foreigners face restrictions, and punishments can be severe for inadvertently offending local practices.
9. Bogota, Colombia
Colombia’s capital, Bogota, is in the center of the country. The city has some great architecture, arts, and, of course, fine coffee – but it does have a name for street crime. Outside of this city, many areas of Colombia are currently unsafe for tourists.
10. Caracas, Venezuela
Caracas, the capital of Venezuela has been a site of sudden and violent protests in the past few years. It is also said to have one of the highest murder rates in Latin America and the Caribbean coast. Many other countries discourage non-essential travel to most of Venezuela. Especially close to drug trafficking areas on the Colombian border.