Is it safe to travel to Bangladesh?

Travel Alert Status

Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Travel Warnings

Exercise increased caution in Bangladesh due to crime, terrorism and the upcoming general election. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Reconsider travel to:

Chittagong Hill Tracts Region due to occasional communal violence, crime, terrorism, kidnapping, and other security risks.

Country Summary: Travelers should be aware of petty crimes such as pickpocketing in crowded areas. Crimes such as muggings, burglaries, assaults, and illegal drug trafficking constitute the majority of criminal activity in Bangladesh’s major cities, but there are no indications foreigners are being targeted because of their nationality. These crimes tend to be situational, based on time and location.

Terrorist attacks can happen with little or no warning, with terrorists targeting public areas such as tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, restaurants, places of worship, school campuses, and government facilities.

The next general election is anticipated to occur before January 2024, and political party rallies and other election-related activities have already commenced. Political rallies and demonstrations may be held with increasing frequency or intensity as the general election draws nearer. Travelers to Bangladesh should practice vigilance and remember that demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.

Because of security concerns U.S. government employees in Bangladesh are subject to some movement and travel restrictions. The U.S. government may have limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Bangladesh due to these travel restrictions, a lack of infrastructure, and limited host government emergency response resources.

Safety and Security

In Bangladesh, a common method for political parties and other organizations to articulate their political demands is by calling for a hartal, or general strike. Hartals, whose purpose is to disrupt or shut down services either locally or throughout the country, can turn violent if the population, or political groups, enforce the shutdown. Even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful can become violent and unpredictable.

Current sources of political and social unrest include displeasure over verdicts from Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal, labor disputes, and preparations for national elections scheduled for early 2014. These demonstrations have led to frequent violent clashes between police and protesters, resulting in deaths, injuries, and property damage. In various areas of the country, demonstrators have blocked highways and roads to all traffic and have damaged rail tracks and trains. Participants have thrown rocks, debris, and homemade low-yield explosives. Security forces have used tear gas, non-lethal crowd control measures, and firearms against demonstrators. Protests have centered in major metropolitan areas, including Dhaka, Sylhet, and Chittagong, but have also taken place throughout the country, including rural areas.

The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations in Bangladesh. A foreigner could become caught in the middle of these conflicts. There have been no direct attacks on U.S. citizens or indications of targeting foreigners; however, in isolated instances, Westerners and U.S. citizens have been caught in the middle of clashes and demonstrations or stranded when highways have been blocked. U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security by knowing the locations of police and fire stations, hospitals, and other places to relocate to feel secure. U.S. citizens should also carry identification and, if moving about alone, a cell phone or radio, or other means of communication that work in Bangladesh. Be alert and aware of your surroundings and pay attention to local news reports. U.S. citizens in Bangladesh are encouraged to make common-sense plans to deal with security situations and to investigate alternative means of communication in-country, evacuation insurance, and alternative destinations both within and outside the country in case of emergency. If you are concerned for your security you should exercise personal responsibility, remove yourself from the situation and relocate to an area where you feel secure.

While the diplomatic enclave—which includes the areas of Banani, Baridhara, and Gulshan—in Dhaka is generally safe, political violence can take place within this area. U.S. citizens should contact the American Citizens Services section before attempting to come to the U.S. Embassy. Visitors to Bangladesh should check U.S. Embassy Dhaka’s website for updated information on the current political and security situation. During times of nationwide demonstrations and hartals, US Embassy personnel and their family members are restricted to staying in the diplomatic enclave in Dhaka. When traveling outside of Dhaka, they are restricted to staying in their hotel or other safe accommodations.

The U.S. Embassy also recommends that in times of demonstrations, national strikes, or elections, U.S. citizens avoid Roads 79 and 86 in the Gulshan-2 area of Dhaka. One of the major national political party’s headquarters is located on Road 86, while the party leader’s residence is on Road 79. Large unscheduled events occur frequently and usually spill out onto these roads, making them impassable and potentially dangerous.

In addition, Noya Paltan area in Dhaka, Baitul Mukarram Mosque (National Mosque), Muktangan (bordered by Baitul Mukarram Mosque to the east, the General Post Office (GPO) to the south, the Secretariat to the West, and Topkhana Road to the North), and Topkhana-Motijheel Road should be avoided because of numerous political rallies at these locations.

U.S. citizens are advised against traveling to the Khagrachari, Rangamati, and Bandarban Hill Tracts districts (collectively known as the Chittagong Hill Tracts) due to kidnappings and other security incidents. Foreigners traveling in the Chittagong Hill Tracts are required to register with local authorities. The U.S. Embassy recommends against traveling to these areas. Additionally, the U.S. Embassy has received reports of incidents of kidnapping, arms, and narcotics smuggling, and clashes between local Bangladeshis and Rohingya refugees in areas near refugee camps in the Teknaf, Kutupalong, and Ukhia areas of the Cox’s Bazaar district. Individuals who choose to visit these districts are urged to exercise extreme caution.

The fire department is accessible by dialing 199 if in Dhaka and (88) (02) 199 if outside of Dhaka. The fire department can also be reached by mobile phone from anywhere in Bangladesh by dialing (88) 01713-038181, (88) 01713-038182, or (88) 01730-336699. Improper storage of chemical accelerants, improperly installed electrical systems, lack of fire escapes, burglar bars on windows preventing escape, and hours-long fire department response make fires common in Bangladesh and extremely dangerous. One fire in June 2010 in Dhaka led to the deaths of over 120 individuals. In case of fire leave the area immediately.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, and health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

All Countries
Afghanistan Akrotiri Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burma Burundi Cabo Verde Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Clipperton Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cook Islands Coral Sea Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curacao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Dhekelia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Eswatini Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia, The Gaza Strip Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Holy See Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Jan Mayen Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, North Korea, South Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island North Macedonia Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Islands Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Sudan, South Suriname Svalbard Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States (US) Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam Virgin Islands Wake Island Wallis and Futuna West Bank Western Sahara World Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe