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.
The majority of COVID-19 cases are concentrated in the Greater Accra region. It is a legal requirement to wear a mask in public, and in private vehicles with more than one occupant. For current information on COVID-19 hotspots in Ghana, check on the Ghana Health Service COVID-19 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 remain closed.
Entry and borders
See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Ghana, including COVID-19 testing requirements.
Returning to the UK
When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.
You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements. You should contact local authorities for information on testing facilities.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID. 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
Testing positive for COVID-19 in Ghana
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 for treatment. The self-isolation period is up to 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.
Travel in Ghana
Domestic flights and public transport systems are operating normally.
Public transport systems are operating normally.
Most 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 some COVID-19 social restrictions but these can change at short notice. You should be aware that:
- The Government of Ghana recommends the use of takeaway service where possible and that people do not sit down to eat in restaurants.
- Pubs, cinemas and nightclubs are closed.
- Beaches are closed but some tourist sites remain open.
- Weddings, concerts, parties, theatrical performances and funerals are banned. Private burials with no more than 25 attendees are allowed.
It is now a legal requirement to wear face masks, including when leaving or returning to your place of residence, and when travelling in vehicles with more than one occupant. Notices of ‘no mask, no entry’ are displayed at vantage points including offices, shops, markets, malls, banks and pharmacies. The Ghana Police Service have been issued with an extensive list of places they can effect arrest, that includes outdoor spaces such as car parks, markets and the street.
Under local COVID-19 protocols, people are strongly advised to wash their hands, use hand sanitiser and avoid shaking-hands with one another, as well as continuing to adhere to strict social distancing.
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 mental 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 and diagnostics capacity are available across Ghana but are concentrated in the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions. Government resources for treatment of severe COVID-19 cases are currently centralised in the Greater Accra Region.
COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Ghana
We will update this page when the Government of Ghana announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.
The Ghanaian national vaccination programme started in March 2021 and is now available to everyone over the age of 18, including resident British nationals. The Government of Ghana is currently administering AstraZeneca (Covishield), Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) and Sputnik V.
Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad page. The UK has further clarified that formulations of the approved vaccines qualify as approved vaccines.
If you’re a British national living in Ghana, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.
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. In 2021 there has been an increase in robbery, burglary and serious assault, 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, and avoid travelling alone.
Attacks on vehicles are also on the increase. Take particular care at night when stationery. Keep windows up and keep doors locked. Some of these attacks on vehicles also involve the use of weapons. Make long trips during daylight hours. There have been recent attacks, including the use of weapons, on vehicles travelling at night. A British national died in one such attack in August 2021.
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 areas of risk 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 living overseas, including Airport Residential, Cantonments, Ridge and Kokrobite.
There have been reports in the media of criminally-motivated kidnapping in Accra, Takoradi, and Kumasi, including targeting 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; specifically but not exclusively in the Greater Accra, Northern, Savannah, North East, Oti and Volta Regions.
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.
If you’re travelling in the Upper West or Upper East regions, keep up to date with developments in neighbouring countries, including through FCDO travel advice. There are often no physical barriers along Ghana’s borders, and so the security situation in border areas could change quickly. Take sensible precautions.
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, please 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 accidents and robbery is greater. 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.
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, making sure to check driver IDs and the vehicle condition before you travel. Avoid travelling alone in taxis after dark.
Unlike official taxis, drivers and vehicles 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. 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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Entry rules in response to Coronavirus
Entry to Ghana
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 remain closed. COVID-19 protocols at the airport may be subject to change as the new screening process evolves. See the guidance from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority.
Passengers travelling to Ghana are required to undergo a COVID test 72hrs before departure; complete additional health declaration forms on arrival; and undergo a further COVID test on arrival:
Coronavirus tests before departure
On 21 April the Government of Ghana introduced the mandatory digitisation of all COVID-19 tests for international air travel, with the implementation of the Trusted Travel Scheme. Passengers travelling to Ghana are now required to:
- Take a Polymerise Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID test with one of the listed providers within 72 hours of departure. Visit https://africacdc.org/trusted-travel/ for a certified list of providers. You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country
- Create an account at https://trustedtravel.panabios.org/ 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
- We also recommend travelling with hard copy proof of this negative Polymerise Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test result
Children under the age of 5 are exempt. For passengers who have transited other countries before arriving in Ghana, the first country of departure will be the reference point.
The same arrangements apply to passengers aged 11+ departing from Ghana to the UK, and you may not be allowed to board flights without uploading a certified Polymerise Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID test. Visit https://africacdc.org/trusted-travel/ for a certified list of providers in Ghana. We also recommend travelling with hard copy proof of this negative Polymerise Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test result, to present on departure.
If the UK is your final destination, check-in staff will also confirm your UK passenger locator form has been completed and that all passengers aged 5+ have evidence of day 2 and 8 tests booked in UK.
Additional forms and checks upon arrival
On arrival to Ghana, passengers are also required by the Government of Ghana to:
- Complete an online health declaration form pre-departure. All passengers may also be asked to complete hard copy self-declaration forms on the flight, confirming they are fit to travel and providing details to facilitate contact tracing.
- Wear a face-mask throughout their flight and upon landing in Accra.
- Undergo a temperature check on arrival.
- Take a mandatory COVID-19 test at Kotoka International airport. The test is an antigen fluorescent immunoassay test and it will be conducted before baggage is collected at a cost of $150 per passenger. Payment should be made online prior to boarding. Children under the age of five are exempt.
During busy periods when there may be a large number of passengers disembarking at the same time the testing area may become busy. Test results are normally ready within one hour, depending how busy the airport is. The pre departure area where test results are collected can also get busy. You can check your results online while you wait. Be prepared for additional time to move through and exit the airport.
All arriving passengers should be prepared to comply with Ghana’s COVID-19 Health Protocols. If you test positive for COVID-19 on arrival you will be taken to mandatory quarantine in a Government Health facility. Quarantine and / or medical costs can be expensive so it is important that all passengers arrive with adequate access to financial resources. In these circumstances a PCR test is normally carried out on day two or three. That test result will normally be ready within 48 hours. 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.
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 testing as outlined above.
Ghana hasn’t granted any visa exemptions or extensions for visitors during the pandemic so all British nationals will need to visit the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) office in person to extend their visas. 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.
Regular entry requirements
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 in due course.
Ghana recognises dual nationality. To avoid visa fees, Ghanaian-British 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.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Ghana.
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 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.
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. For more information see the National Identification Authority website.
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Ghana on the TravelHealthPro website
See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Nigeria.
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.
Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then 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 and diagnostics capacity are available across Ghana but are concentrated in the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions. Government resources for treatment of severe COVID-19 cases are currently centralised in Greater Accra Region.
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 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. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.