Ghana travel guide
They call Ghana “Africa for beginners”, which in many ways is quite the compliment. It’s a friendly and largely safe country, with a list of enticements as long as an Accra traffic jam: for a start, you’ll find sunshine, beaches, wildlife, national parks and a deeply colourful cultural heritage. The long tropical coastline is in some ways the most natural draw card for travellers, but you’re unlikely to come to Ghana for the sole purpose of lying on a beach. There’s too much going on for that.
The capital, Accra, is a vibrant but often misunderstood city, a heaving metropolis of food stalls and football shirts, music and markets, swish hotels and swirling street life. It has few big sights as such, but makes for an engaging introduction to the country as a whole. Further along the coast, there’s just as much to absorb in seaside settlements like Cape Coast, once a slave port but now a cultural destination in its own right. Its dark past is testament to the various European powers that at different times held sway in the region.
Inland, meanwhile, Ghana sets out its eco-credentials with habitats ranging from savannah to dense rainforest and hiker-friendly mountains to relatively arid sub-Saharan plains. Many of the individual national parks and game reserves are rather small compared to some other African countries, but the network is extensive.
In the far north, the plains of Mole National Park are still home to elephants, while in the south the forested Kakum National Park has a hugely popular treetop walkway, not to mention a range of animal and birdlife.
The northern city of Kumasi, the ancient capital of the Ashanti Kingdom, is another major draw. It remains the home of the Asantehene (Ashanti King) who holds court at his palace every sixth Sunday – one of many colourful traditional festivals, full of pomp and pageantry, that can be can still be seen throughout the country.
238,533 sq km (92,098 sq miles).
28,210,000 (UN estimate 2016).
110 per sq km.
President Nana Akufo-Addo since January 2017.
President Nana Akufo-Addo since January 2017.
Coronavirus travel health
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Ghana on the TravelHealthPro website.
See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kotoka International Airport is open. Commercial flights are operating to and from Ghana. Check with your travel company for the latest information. Land and sea borders have now re-opened. COVID-19 protocols at the airport may be subject to change as the new screening process evolves.
Entry and borders
See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Ghana, including COVID-19 requirements.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID-19. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.
Plan ahead and make sure you:
- can access money
- understand what your insurance will cover
- can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned
COVID-19 whilst in Ghana: testing positive and close contact rules
Those who test positive and are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms are required to self-isolate at their usual residence in Ghana. This can be private accommodation or at their hotel. Those testing positive with underlying health conditions and/or symptoms will need to go to a government COVID-19 facility or a private health facility accredited by the government for treatment. The self-isolation period is 14 days or until you receive a PCR negative test result.
Entry into a government isolation facility can be arranged in exceptional circumstances although there will likely be a fee.
If you come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 while in Ghana, then you have to self-isolate. You should seek the advice of a local medical practitioner on the recommended period of isolation.
Travel in Ghana
Domestic flights and public transport systems are operating normally.
All hotels and other rented accommodation are now open and implementing COVID-19 health and safety measures. Contact your chosen accommodation direct to confirm details.
Public spaces and services
The Government of Ghana has eased COVID-19 social restrictions but these can change at short notice. All in-person activities, such as those that take place in churches, mosques, conferences, workshops, private parties, events, cinemas and theatres may operate at full capacity, provided the audience/participants are fully vaccinated.
The Government of Ghana continues to advise that people wash their hands, use hand sanitiser and avoid over-crowded gatherings.
Healthcare in Ghana
The Ghana Ministry of Health advises that if you develop fever, cough or difficulty breathing and recently returned from a COVID-19 affected area or have come into contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19, you should call any of the following toll-free numbers: 112, +233 50 949 7700 and +233 558 439 868.
Unlike in the UK, you will need to go to a pharmacy to obtain most over-the-counter medicines. Only a very limited selection are available at supermarkets or other stores and you may be offered another brand or a similar generic medicine as an alternative. Where possible, purchase known brands or medicines with a Ghana Food and Drug Administration registration number stamped on the packet. Pharmacies are widely available and are usually identified by a green cross. They will accept prescriptions from the UK.
For contact details of English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.
Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your wellbeing and mental health.
View Health for further details on healthcare in Ghana.
See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.
COVID-19 treatment centres, including for treatment of severe Covid-19 cases, and diagnostic services are available across Ghana but are concentrated in the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions.
For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.
If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.
Demonstrations in the capital Accra are normally well policed and peaceful, but sometimes they occur at short notice and can cause disruption. See Local travel.
Most visits to Ghana are trouble free, but criminal activity does occur and can range from incidents of petty crime to violent crime. There was an increase in robbery, burglary and serious assault in 2021, and such attacks can include the use of weapons. There have been cases of violent robberies involving foreign nationals who have been attacked and robbed at gun-point. Street crime like pick-pocketing and bag snatching is on the increase in Accra. Take sensible precautions. Avoid carrying large sums of money or valuables, use a hotel safe whenever possible and be particularly vigilant when withdrawing cash from ATMs. Be particularly vigilant at night (after 6:30pm), and avoid travelling alone.
Attacks on passengers in vehicles are also on the increase. Take particular care when stationary. Keep windows up and doors locked. Some of these attacks on vehicles also involve the use of weapons. A British national died in one such attack in August 2021. Make long trips during daylight hours, travel in convoys, and seek advice from local police before travelling along long sections of open road (see Road travel). Local police also highlight the risk of attacks on vehicles when driving the Tamale-Wa road, at any time of day.
Take care at public beaches and avoid going to the beach on your own. Theft is the main problem, but there have been isolated incidents of violent crime and sexual assault in areas popular with tourists.
Theft of luggage and travel documents occurs at Kotoka International Airport and in hotels. Make sure your passport is secure at all times and don’t leave baggage unattended. Be wary of offers of help at the airport unless from uniformed porters or officials. All permanent staff at the airport wear an ID card showing their name and a photo. ID cards without a photo are not valid. If you are being collected at the airport, confirm the identity of your driver by asking for ID. British nationals have been robbed by impostors who have approached them before the main arrivals area pretending to be their driver.
The main locations of risk in Greater Accra highlighted by the police are: Graphic Road, George Walker Bush Highway, Accra Mall Roundabout, Awudome Cemetary Road, Pokuase-Amasaman Road, Teshie-Nungua road, Labadi beach area, GIMPA road and surrounding areas, and the Kokrobite beach area. You should be especially vigilant in these locations.
Make sure you lock windows and secure accommodation both at night and before you go out. There have been cases of burglaries in areas used by the international community, including Airport Residential, Cantonments, Ridge and Kokrobite, with increased frequency over the Christmas period.
There have been reports in the media of criminally-motivated kidnapping in Accra, Takoradi, and Kumasi, including the targeting of foreign nationals. Kidnaps can be for financial or political gain, or can be motivated by criminality. If you’re kidnapped, the reason for your presence in Ghana is unlikely to serve as a protection or secure your safe release.
The long-standing policy of the British government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners increases the risk of further hostage-taking.
British nationals are increasingly being targeted by scam artists operating in West Africa. The scams come in many forms - romance and friendship, business ventures, work and employment opportunities, and can pose great financial risk to victims. You should treat with considerable caution any requests for funds, a job offer, a business venture or a face to face meeting from someone you have been in correspondence with over the internet who lives in West Africa.
If you or your relatives or friends are asked to transfer money to Ghana you should make sure that it is not part of a scam and that you have properly checked with the person receiving the money that they are requesting it. If the caller claims to be in distress, you should ask whether they have reported the incident (by phone or e-mail) to the British High Commission in Accra.
If you have sent money to someone you believe has scammed you and are contacted by a police officer for more money to help get your money back, then this is possibly another part of the scam. Scam artists have also been known to use the identity of officials at the British High Commission in Accra. If you receive an email from someone claiming to be an official at the British High Commission, contact the officer using the phone numbers or contact details for the British High Commission.
As a result of occasional local Chieftaincy, land disputes and political tension, isolated inter-ethnic violence and civil unrest can occur at any time across Ghana.
Localised outbreaks of civil unrest can occur at short notice, and can become violent (sometimes involving weapons). Avoid large crowds and political protests. If you’re in these areas, you should remain vigilant, exercise caution and follow the advice of local authorities. If this does happen, local police may impose curfews to contain the situation. Curfews usually run from 7pm to 5am but these times can vary. The Interior Ministry may put out a press release.
There is an increased Ghanaian military presence in Upper East to strengthen security, centred around Bawku. An 8pm to 5 am curfew was introduced in Bawku on 5 January and motorbikes and smocks have been banned. Travellers should expect more frequent security cordons, and be prepared to show identification for themselves and their drivers. If you need to travel to Bawku and the surrounding area you should take extra care and carefully check media and Government of Ghana updates on the situation before you travel. You should contact the regional Police Headquarters in Bolgatanga town should you require further advice on the latest situation and to discuss your plans to visit the Bawku area.
You should be prepared for the security response to change without notice and follow the advice of local authorities.
Flooding is common in the Upper West, North East, Northern and Savannah regions during the rainy season (March to November). You should monitor local weather reports and expect difficulties when travelling to affected areas during this season.
If you are transiting through Burkina Faso, read the Burkina Faso travel advice.
In an emergency, visitors should contact Police on 191, and follow the advice of emergency services.
You can drive in Ghana using an International Driving Permit or a local driving licence. A UK driving licence is not valid. If you’re applying for a local driving licence from the Ghana DVLA, you must get your UK driving licence authenticated by the UK DVLA. You should carry your driving licence or International Driving Permit with you at all times when driving. An International Driving Permit is usually valid for a year and it cannot be renewed in Ghana.
Roads can be in a poor condition, particularly in rural areas. Street lighting is poor or non-existent. Avoid travelling by road outside the main towns after dark, when the risk of serious road accidents is much greater, and there is a heightened risk of attacks on vehicles (see Crime section). Grass or leaves strewn in the road often means an accident or other hazard ahead. If you choose to drive at night be aware of impromptu police checkpoints. Do not give cash to the police.
Safety standards of taxi services in Ghana are often low. There have also been isolated incidents of crime taking place in all types of taxis (including licensed taxis, ‘Tro Tros’ and app-based taxi services). If you travel by taxi, we recommend you use licensed taxis only, making sure to check driver IDs and the vehicle condition before you travel. Avoid travelling alone in taxis after dark.
Unlike official taxis, drivers of ‘Tro-Tros’ and popular app-based taxi services are not centrally licensed. Driver training and vehicles standards will vary from those expected from similar service providers in the UK, and app-based safety features are rarely monitored centrally. Don’t use ‘Tro-Tros’ outside the major towns and cities.
The FCDO can’t offer advice on the safety of individual airlines. However, the International Air Transport Association publishes a list of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices. This list is not exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list does not necessarily mean that it is unsafe.
A list of recent incidents and accidents can be found on the website of the Aviation Safety network.
In 2006 the International Civil Aviation Organisation carried out an audit of the level of implementation of the critical elements of safety oversight in Ghana.
There have been attacks against ships in and around Accra’s waters. Be vigilant and take appropriate precautions.
Swimming is dangerous on the beaches along the southern coast of Ghana due to rip tides and undertows. There are periodic reports of fatalities, including adults and children.
Terrorist attacks in Ghana can’t be ruled out. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.
Terrorist groups associated with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Islamic State of Libya and Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) present a threat in the region. These groups have demonstrated capability and intent by mounting attacks against security forces and civilians in several countries, most recently in Burkina Faso and Mali. While there have been no recent attacks in Ghana, you should remain vigilant, particularly in northern border areas and in busy public locations (including beach resorts, hotels, cafes, restaurants and places of worship) across the country (see Local travel).
There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.
Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.
There is a threat of kidnapping by groups originating in the Sahel. This includes Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQ-IM) and Daesh-affiliated groups, who may travel across the region’s porous border. There is a heightened risk of kidnap in areas bordering the Sahel. Terrorist groups have kidnapped foreigners, government officials and civilians in the region for financial gain and for political leverage. Further kidnaps are likely.
Those engaged in tourism, humanitarian aid work, journalism or business sectors are viewed as legitimate targets. If you’re kidnapped, the reason for your presence in Ghana is unlikely to serve as a protection or secure your safe release.
The long-standing policy of the British government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners increases the risk of further hostage taking. The Terrorism Act (2000) also makes payments to terrorists illegal.
Ghana is a conservative and deeply religious country. Although modern and progressive attitudes also prevail, you should show respect for traditional values and morals.
Dress modestly in public.
Wearing military clothing including camouflage is prohibited.
Don’t become involved with drugs of any kind. Penalties for drug related offences are severe. Even possession of small amounts of marijuana can lead to a prison sentence in excess of 5 years, usually after a lengthy and expensive legal process. Bail is not normally granted. Class A drugs like cocaine are likely to be laced with other substances. Foreign visitors, including British nationals, have died after taking these drugs.
Carry a photocopy of your passport with you at all times, and put the original document in a safe.
There is little tolerance towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Ghana and many Ghanaians don’t accept that such relationships exist. Some same-sex sexual acts are covered by a criminal code that could lead to a custodial sentence between 3 and 25 years (though there are no records of this being enforced). In May 2021, there were arrests at a gathering of the LGBT community.
Anti LGBT rhetoric/hate speech by religious leaders, government officials and local media can incite homophobia against the LGBT community. LGBT people can be victims of physical violence and psychological abuse. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
Photography near sensitive sites like military installations or the airport is strictly prohibited. Ask permission if you want to take a photograph of a building where there are guards on duty. Beware of self-appointed officials trying to charge fees to take pictures of well-known sites of interest.
Ghanaian family law is very different from UK law, particularly when child custody becomes an issue.
This page has information on travelling to Ghana.
This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Ghana set and enforce entry rules. If you’re unsure how Ghana’s entry requirements apply to you, contact its UK embassy, high commission or consulate.
You need a visa to enter Ghana. See Visas section for more information.
You must complete an online health declaration form, not more than three days before travelling. You will also need to complete a separate health declaration form for children aged 5 to 12. Vaccinated travellers do not need to pay for an on arrival COVID test as part of this health declaration process. The travel certificate you generate will be checked prior to departure and on arrival.
When arriving to Ghana all travellers may:
- be requested to wear a face-mask at all times at the airport
- undergo a temperature check
If you’re fully vaccinated
All travellers aged 18 years and over are required to provide evidence of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the point of embarkation and upon arrival into Ghana. There is no pre travel or on arrival testing requirement if you are fully vaccinated.
For more information and advice, visit COVID UPDATE – GACL.
The Ghana Health Service defines a fully vaccinated person as someone who has taken the full dose of vaccines approved and registered by the Food and Drugs Authority of Ghana. This is one dose of Johnson and Johnson, or two doses of AstraZeneca (Covishield), Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Sputnik V.
You will need to present your vaccination certificate before boarding and on arrival. Expect this certificate to be checked multiple times before leaving the airport, including on leaving the plane, at the health counter, at immigration, and on leaving the airport. You may choose to carry a hard copy of your certificate with you if you are unsure you will have access to the electronic version during your journey.
If you’re not fully vaccinated
Travellers who are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated, will be required to present a negative PCR test that was taken not more than 48 hours prior to departure, both to the airline before embarkation, and upon arrival. In addition, travellers will be required to undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing on arrival in Ghana at no cost.
You will need to take the following steps in addition to completion of the online health declaration form, set out in more detail below: take a pre travel PCR test; load that onto the Trusted Travel Scheme website; and generate a Travel Code. Carrying paper copies of everything will make your journey through the airport more straightforward.
The full list of approved vaccines is set out here. Either Moderna or Pfizer will be offered to pregnant women.
Ghana is part of the Trusted Travel Scheme. As soon as you have your negative test result, before travel, you also need to complete the following steps;
Create an online account with the same email address and mobile telephone number you give your PCR test provider. Log on and select check-in; select UK and Ghana as your departure and destination countries; select lab tests (TT); select the matching lab test from the drop down options; click save; provide your flight and passport details as requested; click save to generate a Travel Code (TC); your TC code is then generated for you to copy or download
If your provider is unable to upload your test certificate on your behalf you should enter your TT or BIOMARS code from your PCR certificate, or upload the certificate yourself. You can do that by selecting at any other lab instead of lab tests (TT)
Your PanaBios account details will also allow you to log on to the UNDP endorsed Global Haven site to validate your PCR test for travel in the same way.
Quarantine requirements for those testing positive on arrival
All arriving passengers should be prepared to comply with Ghana’s COVID-19 Health Protocols.
Those that test positive for COVID-19 on arrival will be assessed by the Port Health Unit for either quarantine in a Government Health facility or isolation centre. This will be at a cost to passengers. Quarantine and/or medical costs can be expensive so it is important that all passengers arrive with adequate access to financial resources. The isolation will be for a period of 7 days. Passports of those who test positive are likely to be retained by Ghana Immigration Services for the duration of isolation. The quarantine process is managed by Ghana Health Service.
The Government of Ghana also advise that all arrivals should have valid insurance. It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
Children aged 17 and under are exempt from mandatory vaccination, pre-departure PCR testing and testing on arrival in Ghana.
Passengers who arrive under emergency circumstances such as diverted flights will not be required to undergo testing if they do not leave the airport or remain in isolation in their hotel.
If you’re transiting through Ghana
Transit passengers, except where they will remain in the airport throughout or those who were diverted to Accra for an emergency, will also be subject to mandatory COVID-19 protocols as outlined above.
Check your passport and travel documents before you travel
Check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Ghana.
You need a visa to enter Ghana. Ghana’s UK visa service is operating. Visit the Ghana High Commission website to stay up to date and to make an online application.
If you are in Ghana and need to extend your visa, you will need to visit the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) office in person. It isn’t possible to call about an individual case or to book an appointment in advance. Office opening hours are 8 am to 5 pm. The GIS office is off Ako Adjei overpass on Independence Avenue in Accra.
Ghana recognises dual nationality. To avoid visa fees, Ghanaian-British dual nationals should register with the Interior Ministry in Ghana and get a Dual Nationality card. Production of this card at point of entry into Ghana will indicate that a visa is not required.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are not valid for entry or transit through Ghana. However, ETDs are accepted for exit from Ghana. To leave Ghana on an ETD, you will need to visit the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to complete the exit formalities. GIS is located on John Kasavubu Road, Independence Avenue, Accra; Tel: +233 302 224445/221667 or visit the GIS website.
Yellow fever certificate requirements
You will be expected to present a yellow fever certificate on arrival in and departure from Ghana.
If you are travelling to work in a volunteer programme or for work experience you should be fully aware of the terms and conditions of your stay and be sure that you will be working for a reputable organisation before you commit yourself to travel. You should read further information on how to stay safe and healthy overseas when volunteering.
If you live in Ghana you should register with the National Identification Authority (NIA) of Ghana and get a non-citizen Ghana card. This applies to:
- foreign nationals permanently resident in the country
- foreign nationals resident in the country for at least 90 days in any calendar year
- foreign nationals aged 6 years and above
A non-citizen Ghana card is required to apply for a residence permit, for admission into educational institutions in Ghana, for all financial transactions including opening a bank account, payment of taxes, registration of sim cards, and applications for public or government services, facilities, approvals and permissions. You can complete this registration process at any one of the following places:
National Identification Authority
Near Gulf House
Telephone: +233 (0) 302218080
Ghana Immigration Service
(off Ako Adjei Overpass)
Telephone: +233 (0) 302258250
9 Kakramada Road
Telephone: +233 (0) 302746212
Some branches of CAL bank can also provide this service. You should ask your local CAL bank branch if they’re able to help you. Failure to procure the non-citizen Ghana card constitutes a criminal breach of the law. For more information see the National Identification Authority website.
All residents of Ghana are also encouraged to sign up to the National Health Insurance scheme.
If you have a health condition, or you are pregnant, you may need specialist healthcare abroad. Check whether your destination country can provide the healthcare you may need and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for unexpected medical evacuation or local treatment.
See the Coronavirus travel health and Healthcare sections in the Coronavirus page for COVID-19 health information.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. The TravelHealthPro website indicates a high risk of malaria throughout Ghana, including in Accra.
Cases of Monkey pox have been reported in Ghana with majority of cases concentrated in the Greater Accra region. Measures to prevent further spread, including contact tracing and quarantine, are ongoing. Ghana is implementing 21 days quarantine for all contacts and cases. Ghana Health Services has advised the public to be on the alert and report signs of any of the symptoms to the nearest health facility. More information about Monkey Pox is available from the World Health Organisation. Further guidance can be found on the NaTHNaC website.
On 16 September 2022, Ghana declared an end to the Marburg Virus Disease outbreak that was first reported on 7 July 2022. For more information see Marburg Virus Disease - Ghana (who.int) You can find more information on Marburg virus disease from the World Health Organisation.
There have been reported cases of vaccine derived polio. Polio vaccination campaign directed at children under five years is underway in affected regions of the country. For more information and advice, visit NaTHNaC.
West Gonja, North Gonja, the Savannah region and the northwest, including Mole national park, remain at high risk from yellow fever infection following an outbreak in late 2021. Keep checking the NaTHNaC country-specific health advice for the latest information and advice.
An outbreak of H3N2v, a strain of influenza also known as Hanz virus, was detected in May 2022. The Ghana Health Service has asked people to be on high alert and report symptoms of the virus.
Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations is available on the NHS website. A travel health checklist is available on the ABTA website. You may also wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
Medical facilities are poor outside towns. For serious medical treatment, medical evacuation will be necessary. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
COVID-19 treatment centres including for severe COVID-19 cases and diagnostic services are available across Ghana but are concentrated in the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions.
There are reports of isolated cases of cholera and meningitis in Ghana; cases may rise during the wet season. You should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre.
Ghana is subject to periodic earthquakes and tremors of varying magnitude. To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, see the website of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.
ATMs are common in large towns and will accept most UK cards. Credit cards are accepted at many hotels, guesthouses and some shops, but Mastercard is not widely accepted. Credit card fraud is common. Take care when using your cards, and contact your card issuer before you travel in case they put a block on your account.
Travellers’ cheques can be exchanged in large hotels, banks and bureaux de change. Travellers’ cheques from some UK banks are not accepted. Check with your bank before you travel.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).
Foreign travel checklist
Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.
The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.
When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.
Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.
Refunds and cancellations
If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.
For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Registering your travel details with us
We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.
Previous versions of FCDO travel advice
If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.
If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry, or contact us on Twitter or Facebook. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.