One of the main concerns we have when travelling overseas is whether we need a visa or not. If we need a visa, then we have to think about the cost and how long before the trip we should apply. Add to that the fact that people of certain nationalities have to attend an interview in person at the consulate. Can you imagine?

On the other side of the spectrum, you can find those nationalities that have the privilege to travel to most countries without a visa. With that in mind, I was asking myself what are the best passports in the world. Who are those nationals to whom most doors are open?

What Are the Best Passports in the World?

As of January 2017, the best passport in the world is the German one. At the moment, Germans can travel to 158 countries totally visa-free or get the visa on arrival. Sounds great, right?  Most of the following positions are occupied by multiple countries, for the simple reason that several countries can travel to the same number of destinations without a visa.

Right behind Germany, in second place, we’ll find Singapore and Sweden. People from both countries can travel to 157 countries or territories without a visa. So, what about your country? Where’s the UK, where’s the USA?

What Are the Best Passports in the World?

Just check out the Top 15 countries with best passports for travel and below that, let’s take a look at the least privileged nationalities for travel.

Top 15 Best Passports in The World

1- Germany (Can travel to 158 countries without a visa or with visa on arrival)

2- Singapore and Sweden (Can travel to 157 countries without a visa or with visa on arrival)

3- Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Spain, UK and USA (156 countries)

4- Austria, Belgium, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland (155 countries)

5- Canada, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand (154 countries)

6- Australia, Greece, South Korea (153 countries)

7- The Czech Republic and Iceland (152)

8- Hungary (151 countries)

9- Malta and Poland (150 countries)

10- Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia (149 countries)

11- Estonia (148 countries)

12- Liechtenstein (147 countries)

13- Cyprus (145 countries)

14- Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Monaco (143 countries)

15- Romania (142 countries)

What Are the Best Passports in the World?

Brazil has the highest-ranking passport in Latin America

Now, what about those nationalities that have to endure a visa application almost every time they need to travel overseas? Can you imagine having to apply for a visa, showing your bank statement, going to a consulate every time you book a holiday? That’s the reality for most people in the world, so let’s see which countries occupy the bottom 10 positions. Any guess? For this one, I thought it would be more interesting to do it in descending order. 🙂

Passports That Most Need Visas For Overseas Travel

10- Lebanon (They can travel to only 38 countries without a visa)

9- Lybia, Nepal and Palestine (Travel to only 37 countries visa-free)

8- Eritrea, Iran and Sudan (36 countries)

7- Bangladesh and Sri Lanka (35 countries)

6- Ethiopia and South Sudan (34 countries)

5- Somalia (30 countries)

4- Syria (29 countries)

3- Iraq (28 countries)

2- Pakistan (26 countries)

1- Afghanistan (They can travel to only 23 countries visa-free)

Well, I think it doesn’t come as a surprise that Afghanistan is at the bottom of the list. The good news is that the Afghan government is trying to modernise their passports, in the hope to get more reliability and give the country a better reputation.

If your country is not on any of these lists, you can check out this site that does the annual survey.

What’s your nationality and what’s your position on the list? Tell us in the comments!


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26 Responses

  1. Kavey at Kavey Eats

    Never really thought about it before, but good to see in the UK we are at the top. Of course, our recent political happenings may see us drop down that list, depending on what happens when we leave the EU. I can’t think about it or I’ll cry. Great topic for a post!

    • Pedro

      Hi Kavey, to be honest, I don’t think things will change much from that perspective. Even with no more free movement, I doubt that the EU will require a visa form Brits and vice-versa. Just like US, OZ or Brazilians don’t need a visa to travel to EU countries.

  2. Anne

    I’m British and think sometimes we really undervalue the privilege of so much visa free travel. To be fair though I quite like getting the big stamps in my passport as long as the price is not too prohibitive. I’ve got to the point that India is off my list (and it is one of my favourite countries!) because £150 plus for a visa is just shameless. Admittedly, we apparently charge more to Indians but I’m sticking with my stance that if they want me as a tourist they are going to have to reduce that price

    • Pedro

      Hi Anne, I totally understand about the price for the Indian visa. It’s way too steep. But it’s a reciprocity thing, see. I guess that if the UK lowers the price of the visa for Indian nationals, the same will happen for British travellers going to India.

  3. Punita Malhotra

    This is an unusual topic for a blog, but such a relevant one. How did you go about collecting all this information and specially, all the pictures? 🙂

    • Pedro

      Hi Punita, the source was a website specialised in collecting this type of data. They update the information every year.

  4. Efthimis K.

    Thank you for the statistics! I’m Greek and I’m glad that I’m so high on the list! The truth is that I haven’t had problems in travelling with my passport until now!

  5. Paula Morgan

    Feel so lucky to have an Aussie passport. I have only needed visas twice since the early 1990s. One for Vietnam and the ESTA for the USA. Prior to the nineties I remember having a half a passport full of visas for eastern European countries.

  6. Laura

    Turns out my Aussie passport ain’t so bad after all. I also have a British right of above, so that opens up a few more doors!

  7. Vicki Louise

    It’s so interesting to read about how powerful passports from all over the world are. I am incredibly lucky to hold a UK passport, and live in hope that the world become more open to travelers from other countries in the future.

  8. Mar Pages

    I feel very privileged to own a Spanish Passport. It really opens up a lot of places to be able to explore. I couldn’t imagine going for interviews each time I want to quickly visit a new country. Very cool article, really interesting to read.

  9. Milijana

    Blessed are Germans! 🙂 Well, Croatia, my homeland, is on the 14th place offering the possibility to travel to 143 countries. Not bad, I guess. 😉

  10. Cam

    We have it so easy traveling with a developed world passport … not only do those from poorer countries have fewer visa-free options, they have to endure profiling behavior from border guards much more often!

  11. buddy

    this is a great list I have an Indian passport, Indian passport holders can travel to 58 countries, without the visa and on visa on arrival,

  12. Hans

    Reading all the comments I got a red face with my German passport. It realy is a great advantage. But I still need a visa for China where I lived for the last 20 years. At the beginning it was very easy, got a 1 year multiple entry visain Hongkong without questions, but since 2008 it changed to a country which makes it not easy to let you in. Even for a 1 month tourist visa you need a proof for a flight out.


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