Bangladesh travel guide
India’s sleepy eastern cousin, Bangladesh slumbers gently under monsoon skies at the mouth of the Jamuna River, one of the world’s great deltas. Formerly East Pakistan, this intriguing backwater gained independence in 1971 after a civil war that still plays a major role in the national psyche.
An influx of tourists was predicted following independence, but this has yet to materialised, meaning visitors have Bangladesh’s many and varied attractions to themselves. Those attractions range from Mughal palaces and gleaming mosques to palm-fringed beaches, tea-plantations and jungles full of snarling Bengal tigers.
Bangladesh’s frenetic capital, Dhaka, was once the main port for the whole of Bengal, and its rickshaw-crammed streets present a faded mirror to Kolkata across the border. Dhaka is a city of rain-washed colonial buildings, gaudy film posters, docksides thronging with boats and the constant cacophony of car horns and rickshaw bells. It can be a shock for the senses, but the blow is softened by friendly, inquisitive locals and delicious Bengali cuisine.
South of Dhaka, the Jamuna River breaks down into a tangle of jungle-choked waterways as you enter the Sundarbans, one of the last refuges of the Bengal tiger. Here, as elsewhere in Bangladesh, the best way to get around is by river – legions of boats ply every waterway, from tiny coracles to the paddleboat ‘rockets’ that chug between Dhaka and Kulna.
The south of Bangladesh is something else again; tropical beaches give way to forested hills that hide a host of Buddhist and animist tribes. Then there’s Sylhet, in the heart of tea plantation country, where foreign remittances have built a miniature version of England amidst the monsoon hills.
Above all else, Bangladesh is place to leave the mainstream travel map. Let the crowds mob the beaches of Goa and the forts of Rajasthan; in Bangladesh, you won’t have to queue to be amazed.
143,998 sq km (55,598 sq miles).
162,910,864 (UN estimate 2016).
1,173.3 per sq km.
President Mohammad Shahabuddin Chuppu since 2023.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed since 2009.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to the Chittagong Hill Tracts. This does not include the city of Chittagong or other parts of Chittagong Division.
Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for Bangladesh’s current entry restrictions and requirements. Due to COVID-19, these may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.
If you plan to pass through another country on your journey, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.
It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides appropriate cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
COVID-19 public health measures are in force in Bangladesh. You are advised to have proof of your vaccination status, if applicable, and to carry a mask. See Coronavirus.
Up to 150,000 British nationals visit Bangladesh every year. Most visits are trouble free.
Travel in Bangladesh during the monsoon season (June to September) can be hazardous. See Monsoon season. Extreme weather episodes like tropical cyclones can occur. See our tropical cyclones page for advice.
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Bangladesh. The threat extends across the country. There have been several IED (Improvised Explosive Device) attacks targeting police and security forces in Dhaka, Khulna, Chittagong and Sylhet. There is a risk that future attacks could target public gatherings, including religious gatherings and political rallies, crowded areas, places with a police or security presence and locations where foreign nationals are known to gather. You should minimise your exposure to these areas, consider your movements carefully and follow any specific advice of the local authorities. See Terrorism.
Political rallies with potential for disorder or clashes including with law enforcement, may take place at short notice. Across Bangladesh you’re advised to avoid large gatherings, including those for religious gatherings, festivals and political rallies. See Political violence.
Severe air pollution is a major hazard to public health, especially during the winter months. Dhaka is currently experiencing extremely high levels of pollution. See Air pollution.
Bangladesh lies in a zone of seismic activity. See Earthquakes.
Mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever occur all year round. There’s been a significant increase in the number of cases of dengue fever across Bangladesh, including in Dhaka. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. See Health.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. Consular support is limited in parts of Bangladesh where we advise against all but essential travel.
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.
Coronavirus travel health
Check the latest information on the risk from COVID-19 for Bangladesh 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.
International commercial passenger flights are operating. You should check with airlines to confirm what flight options are available. Flight schedules are subject to change at short notice and you should monitor travel arrangements closely.
The government do not require passengers departing Bangladesh to carry a negative test certificate for COVID-19. However you should ensure that you meet any separate requirements of your airline and all the countries included in your journey, including any transit points, before travelling. For further guidance you should check with your airline and visit the travel advice pages for countries on your route.
Entry and borders
See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Bangladesh.
You should contact local authorities for information on testing facilities. You should check travel provider 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.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.
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
Moving around in Bangladesh
COVID-19 related travel restrictions may come into force at short notice and you should check local guidance and media reports for the latest developments.
Face masks must be worn at all times when moving in and around Bangladesh. Anyone not complying with these requests risks legal action.
Businesses and services
Businesses, including shops, offices and banking services, have largely resumed operations with minimal restrictions.
Hotels and guesthouses are operating. Check with your travel or accommodation provider for available options.
Healthcare in Bangladesh
If you’re running out of medication and need to get more, you should visit the nearest pharmacy or ask for assistance from family/friends or your accommodation provider. If the same medication you’re on is not available, consult a local doctor for a Bangladeshi alternative or go to the nearest hospital.
You should carry any medical papers or prescriptions and be prepared to answer questions if stopped by law enforcement authorities.
In case of any emergency, you can dial the Bangladesh National Emergency Hotline - 999 from your mobile/telephone for any assistance whilst in Bangladesh.
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 Bangladesh.
For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.
If you need urgent consular assistance, you should contact your local British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephones numbers are available 24/7.
Bangladesh has a long history of political violence. If you’re currently in Bangladesh, or intend to travel there, even if you’re a regular visitor with family or business links you should monitor the media and regularly consult travel advice. English language news broadcasts can be seen on Bangladesh TV (BTV) at 10am, 5pm and 10pm. There are also several online English language newspapers and agencies.
In Bangladesh protests and demonstrations can quickly turn violent and lead to clashes with law enforcement agencies. In cases of political unrest, incidents of arson, violence and vandalism can suddenly break out across the country, mainly in towns and cities.
If you see a demonstration developing, or are in a situation in which you feel unsafe, move away to a place of safety. Stay away from large gatherings, and avoid political offices and rallies. If you’re travelling during a hartal (strike) avoid demonstrations and protests as they may quickly turn violent. There could be attacks on property and public transport.
Dhaka police have highlighted the increasing number of criminal gangs operating in the city and reminded people to be aware of potential threats including robbery and violent crime.
Armed robbery, pick pocketing, and purse snatching can occur. Don’t carry large amounts of money with you or wear jewellery in the street. Thieves often work in pairs on motorcycles or motorised rickshaws known as ‘CNGs’. Passengers using rickshaws, or travelling alone in taxis are particularly vulnerable, especially at night. Avoid using public transport if you’re on your own. Cycle rickshaws aren’t safe; they offer little protection for passengers in the event of a crash.
There have been reports of officials abusing their authority. Make sure you’re accompanied if you visit a police station.
There have been reports of theft and harassment at Dhaka and Sylhet airports. Beware of touts offering to carry your bags. Arrange transfers in advance. Taxis, including those serving the airport, often overcharge and drivers have been known to rob passengers. Passport theft at Dhaka and Sylhet airports is a particular concern. Be vigilant and make sure your documents and any valuables are kept secure at all times.
Abduction of children and businessmen for ransom is not uncommon. Although this does not appear to be particularly directed at foreigners, you should be aware that 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 increase the risk of further hostage taking.
Consult a reliable local contact before going into unfamiliar areas or areas where there is a history of trouble.
Chittagong Hill Tracts
The FCDO advise against all but essential travel to the Chittagong Hill Tracts, which comprise the districts of Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban. This area does not include Chittagong City, or other parts of Chittagong Division.
Security in the Chittagong Hill Tracts continues to be a cause for concern. There are regular reports of violence and other criminal activities, particularly in the more remote areas. If you propose to visit the Chittagong Hill Tracts you must give the Bangladesh authorities 10 days’ notice of your travel plans.
For further information, contact:
- Chittagong Divisional Commissioner’s Office (tel: 031 615247)
- Chittagong Deputy Commissioner’s Office (tel: 031 619996)
As a result of ongoing violence in Myanmar (Burma) since August 2017, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees have arrived in the south-east of Bangladesh, close to the border with Myanmar. They are concentrated in the sub-districts of Ukhia and Teknaf in the southern part of Cox’s Bazar district. The Bangladesh authorities regulate access to the areas where the Rohingya are accommodated.
There have been reports of insecurity, protests and some violence in these areas.
Teknaf currently sees the highest level of drug related gang violence across Bangladesh, with frequent murders and shooting incidents between the gangs and law enforcement agencies. Drug seizures are common and Yaba (a mixture of caffeine and methamphetamine) is often found in large quantities. Kidnapping and an increase in violence have also been noted in these areas, and specifically in the camps in the Teknaf and Nhilla area since August 2019. There is no indication that foreign nationals are being targeted.
You should exercise caution and consult the local authorities about the latest situation before visiting Ukhia and Teknaf. You may need to meet access requirements. We encourage all humanitarian assistance to be coordinated through recognised humanitarian agencies registered with the Bangladesh authorities.
Land and rail crossings between India and Bangladesh have reopened, including for foreign nationals.
Take particular care near the border areas. There are regular reports of individuals being killed for illegally crossing the border with India. There are occasional skirmishes between the Indian and Bangladeshi border guards, including exchanges of gunfire.
Public transport services, including buses, are operating. As part of COVID-19 measures, a reduced service is running. You should check with local transport providers.
If you intend to drive, you should get an International Driving Permit.
Bangladesh has a high rate of road accidents. Take great care when travelling by road, including by public transport and when crossing streets. Local driving standards are poor with a large number of drivers not holding the correct licence or road worthiness certificates for their vehicles. Mandatory vehicle safety checks are often ignored. A large number of rickshaws and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) rickshaws also occupy the roads and will ignore many of the traffic laws.
Maintenance of buses is extremely poor, as are driving standards. Road traffic collisions involving buses are a regular occurrence, with some resulting in fatalities. Crime including rape and sexual assaults have been reported on buses, sometimes committed by the vehicle crew. Travelling at night and alone should be avoided at all times.
Private hire vehicles are available, however the police have indicated in local media that they are often unable to verify a driver’s details as driving records are often inaccurate.
Driving at night is especially dangerous as many vehicles are unlit, or travel on full-beam headlights. There is also a risk of banditry if you travel between towns after dark, by train, bus or ferry. You should avoid travelling alone at night.
International commercial passenger flights are operating with few restrictions. Check with airlines to confirm what flight options are available. Flight schedules can change at short notice and you should monitor travel arrangements closely. You should arrive at the airport in good time to complete check-in formalities.
Bangladesh operates a number of quarantine regimes depending on passengers’ circumstances. Check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for Bangladesh’s current entry restrictions and requirements.
The Bangladesh authorities may retain passports of any passengers in quarantine and will return them at the end of the quarantine period. In all circumstances, people staying in a government approved hotel, government facility or hospital will need to cover the costs of those stays.
The FCDO cannot 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’s unsafe.
The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has carried out assessments of security at Dhaka International Airport and continues to make sure all international aviation security requirements are met. Read more about the DfT assessment.
In 2012 the International Civil Aviation Organisation carried out an audit of the level of implementation of the critical elements of safety oversight in Bangladesh.
On 24 February 2019 an attempted hijacking took place of a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight from Dhaka to Dubai via Chittagong. The Bangladesh Civil Aviation Ministry have completed their investigation into the incident. Additional security measures are in place.
You can find a list of recent incidents and accidents on the website of the Aviation Safety network.
Rail services have largely returned to normal with only limited COVID-19 restrictions. You should check availability of services with local transport providers.
The rail network is extensive but old and generally considered slow. There are frequent derailments and other incidents, which result in injuries and loss of life. The local press has highlighted a high number of bridges and culverts that are in a dangerous condition following flooding. Crime has been regularly reported on trains with offences ranging from theft to sexual assaults.
On some trains, first class compartments may be lockable. Make sure the compartment door is locked if you’re travelling overnight. For further information see the Bangladesh railways website.
Sea and river travel
Public transport services, including water transport, are operating. You should check availability with local transport providers, as these are subject to change at short notice.
River and sea ferries are often dangerously overcrowded, particularly when large numbers of people travel over religious holidays and other festivals. Safety concerns regarding both sea and river vessels exist following a number of vessels sinking with loss of life. Some vessels do not have genuine safety certificates. Vessels are often found without appropriate safety and survival equipment and many do not carry communication equipment in case of an emergency. Local crime gangs are known to target vessels in acts of piracy.
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Bangladesh.
UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.
The threat extends across the country. Crowded areas and places where foreign nationals are known to gather, including religious buildings, may be at higher risk of attack. There is a risk that future attacks could also target public gatherings, including religious gatherings and political rallies. You should minimise your exposure to these areas, consider your movements carefully and follow any specific advice of the local security authorities.
There have been several IED attacks targeting police and security forces in Dhaka, Khulna, Chittagong and Sylhet. The Bangladeshi authorities continue to disrupt planned attacks and have made a number of arrests. Some operations against suspected militants have also resulted in fatalities. The Bangladeshi authorities remain at high alert. Increases in security force presence and restrictions on movement may be put in place at short notice. You should remain vigilant, particularly in and around police buildings and other locations with a police or security presence, and follow the advice of local authorities.
Since September 2015 Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) has claimed responsibility for a number of terrorist attacks in Bangladesh. There have been sporadic attacks against minority religious communities and security forces, including attacks using suicide bombs. On 1 July 2016 there was an attack claimed by ISIL at the Holey Artisan Bakery in the Gulshan 2 district of Dhaka, which resulted in the death of 20 hostages, mainly foreign nationals, and 2 police officers. There have been recent media reports suggesting continued Daesh interest in attacking targets in Bangladesh.
Groups affiliated to Al Qaeda in the Indian Sub-continent (AQIS) have also claimed responsibility for the murder of a number of people who they consider to have views and lifestyles contrary to Islam. Online activists, including secular bloggers and members of the LGBT community have been targeted.
There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attacks 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.
Local laws reflect the fact that Bangladesh is a mainly Islamic country. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas. See Travelling during Ramadan.
You should dress modestly to avoid causing offence. Women should cover their shoulders and wear long skirts or trousers.
Same-sex relations are illegal. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
If you’re a dual British-Bangladeshi national you will be considered by the Bangladesh government to be a Bangladeshi citizen, even if you don’t hold, or have never held, a Bangladeshi passport and were born outside Bangladesh. This may limit the assistance the British government can offer you. For further information on Bangladesh nationality, check with the Bangladesh High Commission.
Violating local laws may result in a jail sentence, served in a local prison. Delays and inefficiency in the judicial system can result in long detentions until court hearings eventually take place. Prison conditions are far below UK standards.
A British national under detention in Bangladesh has a right to request that the British High Commission be notified about their situation and gain access to them. In most circumstances this right does not extend to those with dual nationality.
There are severe penalties for possession and trafficking of illegal drugs. Some drugs-related offences are punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment.
Carry a photocopy of the data page and Bangladeshi visa from your passport at all times, plus copies of other important travel documents. Local officials may ask you for proof of identity. Keep the originals separately, and leave copies with friends or relatives in the UK.
Family law in Bangladesh is very different from UK law. You should take particular care when, for example, child custody becomes an issue.
The British High Commission has no authority to intervene on behalf of British nationals of Bangladeshi origin with regard to land or property problems. The High Commission can provide a list of local lawyers.
There is an Expatriate Help Cell of Bangladesh Police, which offers services to expatriates including dual nationals/British Bangladeshis:
Mobile: +88 01320001435 Email: email@example.com
This page has information on travelling to Bangladesh.
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 Bangladesh set and enforce entry rules. If you’re unsure how Bangladesh entry requirements apply to you, contact its UK embassy, high commission or consulate.
You will need the following to enter Bangladesh:
- a visa (see below for information on visas).
If you’re fully vaccinated
If you’re fully vaccinated you can enter Bangladesh without needing to quarantine, provided your vaccination course was completed no less than 14 days prior to arrival.
A pre-departure negative RT-PCR test result for COVID-19 is no longer required in such circumstances.
Proof of vaccination status
Bangladesh will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 vaccination record. Your final vaccine dose must have been administered at least 14 days prior to travel. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.
If you’re not fully vaccinated
Arriving passengers who are unable to provide proof of vaccination, or proof that their vaccination course was completed at least 14 days prior to arrival, are required to present evidence of a negative RT PCR based COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure for Bangladesh. See information on getting a test before entry.
You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.
All passengers, regardless of vaccination status, may be subjected to additional health screening measures on arrival. Passengers with COVID-19 symptoms will be required to take a PCR test. Those testing positive will be required to isolate at a government authorised facility for at least seven days and until they test negative in a subsequent PCR test.
In all circumstances, people staying in a government approved hotel, government facility or hospital will need to cover the costs of those stays and any necessary COVID-19 tests.
The Bangladesh authorities may retain passports of any passengers in quarantine and will re-turn them at the end of the quarantine period.
Passengers with a No Visa Required certificate (an arrangement for foreign nationals of Bangladeshi heritage) arriving in Bangladesh without a medical certificate indicating they are COVID-19 negative, or such passengers who display symptoms, will be transferred to a government facility where their quarantine period will be assessed and determined.
Exemptions to quarantine arrangements are issued on an exceptional and case by case basis. Travellers should contact the Bangladesh High Commission or Bangladesh authorities in advance of travel to discuss any possible exemptions.
Children and young people
There is no requirement for children under 12 to present a negative RT PCR COVID-19 test result. Children under 12 should follow the same regime that applies to those family members they are travelling with, regardless of their vaccination status.
If you’re transiting through Bangladesh
Transiting is when you pass through one country on the way to your final destination.
For those planning to transit through Bangladesh on your way to another country, visas for Bangladesh are not required for those remaining airside at the airport. However, we have been unable to confirm that COVID-19 measures do not apply, and we would recommend meeting the Government of Bangladesh’s COVID-19 requirements. For example, unvaccinated travellers may wish to ensure that they have a negative PCR test result, taken no more than 72 hours of their departure, and familiarise themselves with any airline requirements, together with those of the final destination.
Check your passport and travel documents before you travel
If you are visiting Bangladesh, your passport should be valid for 6 months when applying for a visa to visit Bangladesh.
Check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Foreign nationals working in Bangladesh must get an Income Tax Clearance Certificate or an Income Tax Exemption Certificate before each departure from Bangladesh. Full details are available on the Bangladesh Board of Revenue website.
You will need a visa to enter Bangladesh. You can get a visa from the Bangladesh High Commission in London.
Visas on arrival are available in the categories detailed below on arrival at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka. The issuance of visas on arrival is at the discretion of the Bangladeshi immigration officer and not guaranteed. Travellers are therefore strongly encouraged to obtain visas in advance.
Visas on arrival are single entry and valid for 15-30 days and available to the following categories of travellers:
- Those of Bangladeshi heritage, their spouse and children, on the basis of a Bangladesh Government issued certificate of citizenship or origin.
- Those travelling on business, on the basis of an invitation letter from the inviting company, together with a foreign traders/ investors certificate from the Bangladeshi authorities. Note that the inviting company should inform the Bangladesh Directorate of Immigration and Passport in advance of travel.
- British nationals travelling from the UK on government business, or for trade, investment or tourism purposes may also be eligible for a visa on arrival. You will need to provide proof of your reason for visiting, to satisfy the immigration officer at the port of entry of the purpose of your visit.
In all cases, travellers should possess a return ticket.
The fee for visa on arrival is $50 (plus tax) payable in foreign currency. Though payment in GBP is likely to be accepted, payment by US dollars is advised.
Foreign nationals currently in Bangladesh whose visas have expired have the option to extend their visa. There is a visa extension fee for this service, in addition to a penalty fee for overstaying. Visa extensions are available at the Department of Immigration and Passport of Bangladesh.
If you intend to use Bangladesh as a hub to visit other countries in the region, make sure you get a multiple entry visa. If you’re intending to work in Bangladesh make sure you get the correct visa before you travel.
If you have had your passport renewed in Bangladesh, you will need a new visa. The Bangladesh Immigration & Passport Department (telephone: 880 2 8159878 / 8123788 / 8123323) is able to issue an ‘exit visa’ or a ‘no visa required’ stamp. Officers there are unlikely to speak English, so you may need an interpreter.
Make sure you have an entry stamp placed in your passport on entry into Bangladesh otherwise you may have problems on departure.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Bangladesh. Holders of an ETD must apply for the appropriate Bangladesh visa to enter Bangladesh.
Yellow fever certificate requirements
Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.
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. 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 bought 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 will need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).
Medical facilities in Bangladesh are poor. Routine tests and X-rays are unreliable. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip and have access to a vehicle, it may be quicker to head straight to the nearest hospital yourself. If you don’t have access to a vehicle, or are unsure where the nearest hospital is situated, dial the Bangladesh National Emergency Hotline - 999 and ask for an ambulance. If you suspect a heart attack, ask for a ‘cardiac ambulance’. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.
Mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever occur all year round. There’s been a significant increase in the number of cases of dengue fever across Bangladesh, including in Dhaka. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
UK health authorities have classified Bangladesh as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.
Severe air pollution is a major hazard to public health, especially during the winter months. Dhaka is currently experiencing extremely high levels of pollution. Children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be especially affected. If you’re pregnant, or have a respiratory or heart condition you may wish to consult a medical practitioner before you travel. You can find advice on air quality on the SDG Indicator 11.6.2 Concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) (who.int)
The climate in Bangladesh is sub-tropical and governed by monsoon winds. Extreme weather episodes like tropical cyclones can occur. You can find updated weather reports on the websites of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department and the World Meteorological Organisation.
See our tropical cyclones page for advice about what to do if you’re caught up in a storm.
In the monsoon season from June to September there is widespread and extensive flooding. This can disrupt travel in urban rural areas. If travelling check access routes, monitor local and international weather updates from the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, follow the advice of local authorities before travelling, and take extra care.
Around one half of Bangladesh, including the cities of Moulvibazar and Sylhet, is located in a high-risk earthquake zone. Most of the rest, including Dhaka, is considered moderate risk. Tremors and earthquakes, usually minor ones, occur from time to time.
In the event of an earthquake you should remain vigilant, stay in a place of safety and follow any advice provided by the local authorities.
To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, see the website of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Bangladesh can be affected by tsunamis and the government of Bangladesh can issue tsunami warnings. Monitor local news and follow any advice given by the local authorities.
The local currency is Taka. Travellers’ cheques can be cashed at banks and at the airports. Take care when using credit cards as there’s the potential for fraud. ATMs are available in most urban areas. UK cards are accepted. There are commercial money transfer services available in Dhaka and in towns and cities across Bangladesh where you can receive money sent from the UK.
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 cannot 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 cannot 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 cannot 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.