As of 2020, an American passport will grant you access to 184 countries without a visa, or with a visa on arrival. But there are still a handful of nations out there where travel for American citizens is difficult, if not completely banned. Read on to find out what they are.

In Iran, Americans Must Travel With A Host

You Still Need A Visa For Russia

The Government Forbids Americans From Visiting North Korea

Traveling to Russia and Iran may be difficult for Americans, but it’s not impossible. It’s a different story in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, however. The American government currently forbids US citizens from visiting. Special validations are granted in very rare circumstances, but in general, this is the only country on the planet that Americans are not allowed to travel to at all.


In the past, the restrictions on travel came from the North Korean government, but those eased in 2009. It wasn’t until 2017 that the American government declared that American tourists were banned from visiting the country altogether due to “serious and mounting risk of arrest and long-term detention." The law was brought in following the death of American college student Otto Warmbier, who was detained in North Korea and then died within a week of his release.

Americans are allowed to visit the Korean Demilitarized Zone or the border between North Korea and South Korea, but until laws change, U.S. citizens are banned from going any further into North Korea without special permission from the government.

Americans Need To Be Invited To Turkmenistan

Americans Need A Good Reason For Travel To Cuba

Cuban travel is not as difficult for Americans as it once was. But relatively new travel laws imposed by the Trump administration have made it trickier than it was in the first half of 2019 when more than 140,000 U.S. travelers arrived in Cuba by cruise ship in May. The briefly loosened regulations have been tightened again.There are 12 approved categories of travel to Cuba , ranging from humanitarian projects to journalism. Categories that were previously acceptable, such as “people-to-people” travel, have been banned. This, American citizens now have to have better reasons for traveling to Cuba than they’ve had in the past.Americans also need a visa to enter Cuba, sometimes called a tourist card, and must apply for Cuba health insurance.NEXT: Travel Hacks: 20 Things To Avoid Doing When Traveling To Cuba