- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Natural Disasters and Climate
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
High Degree of Caution
General Travel Advice
Irish citizens require a visa to enter Bangladesh. The visa-on-arrival system is available to travellers from Ireland, depending on the purpose of visit. However, we recommend that travellers obtain a visa in advance to eliminate uncertainties with the visa-on-arrival process. Irish travellers to Bangladesh are encouraged to consult Bangladeshi authorities, such as the Bangladesh High Commission in London, for advice on entry requirements.
A valid passport is required for travel to Bangladesh. Irish passports should have a minimum validity of six months. Passport cards cannot be used.
Visitors to Bangladesh are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what's going on by monitoring local news and social media.
There are heightened security concerns about the potential threat to Western citizens in Bangladesh and Irish citizens should remain vigilant while travelling in the country. Due to the risk of terrorist attacks, Irish citizens are advised to exercise caution in public places, to avoid large gatherings or demonstrations, and venues frequented by expats/foreign tourists, and to keep informed of news reports or security developments.
We advise against all but essential travel to the Chittagong Hill Tracts (this does not include Chittagong City). If you must visit the area, you should only stay in the main towns of Khagrachari, Rangamati and Bandarban and only travel on the main roads. There’s a risk of being caught up in clashes between rival groups engaged in conflict there.
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services in Bangladesh by dialling 999.
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Get comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your planned activities.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
As there is no Irish Embassy in Bangladesh we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in New Delhi (see Contact Tab for details).
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
You should avoid demonstrations and be cautious when travelling in Bangladesh. There is a strong and visible security presence on the streets of Dhaka.
If you’re travelling to Bangladesh, always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your local contact, hotel or tour organiser. Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn violent.
There's a continuing threat from terrorism in Bangladesh and indiscriminate terrorist attacks could be made against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.
Attacks include the terrorist attack in Gulshan, the diplomatic area of Dhaka in July 2016 that resulted in the death of 20 hostages and 2 police officers and which primarily targeted the expatriate community.
Crime remains relatively low in Bangladesh but you should take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- Travel between towns after dark, by train, bus or ferry, is particularly risky because of banditry.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Bangladesh, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in New Delhi if you need help.
If you're planning to drive in Bangladesh, you should be extremely careful. Road safety is very poor and traffic is heavy and chaotic in urban areas.
If you want to drive:
- Bring your international driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
- Be aware that drivers of larger vehicles expect to be given right of way
- Pedestrians and rickshaws cross the road without looking
- Many vehicles are unlit at night, or travel on full-beam headlights
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms. Some drugs-related offences are punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment.
Islamic practices and beliefs are closely adhered to in Bangladesh’s customs, laws and regulations. Use common sense and discretion in your behaviour. All visitors should dress modestly to avoid giving offence and women should cover their shoulders and wear long skirts or trousers.
You should respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities. During Ramadan, you should refrain from drinking, eating and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset.
Homosexuality is illegal in Bangladesh. Caution and discretion are advised at all times.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural disasters and climate
Bangladesh is in a high-risk earthquake zone. If you’re travelling to or living in Bangladesh, make sure you know what to do in the event of an earthquake.
There’s widespread flooding during the monsoon season between June and September, which disrupts travel, especially in rural areas. You should check that routes are passable before setting out on long journeys.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish citizens need a visa to travel to Bangladesh. Further information on how to apply for a visa can be found from the Bangladesh High Commission in London.
Passports should have at least 6 months’ validity from the date of entry to Bangladesh. It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.
Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Bangladesh. If you have a pre-existing health condition, check with your doctor before travelling.
Medical facilities are extremely poor and routine tests and X-rays are unreliable. You must have suitable medical insurance and be prepared to travel outside Bangladesh for treatment.
Malaria is usually restricted to specific rural areas, especially the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Some over-the-counter prophylactics offer no protection. Avoid mosquito bites by covering up and using mosquito repellents.
Dengue fever is common in towns, including Dhaka. Over-the-counter prophylactics offer no protection. Avoiding mosquito bites by covering up and using mosquito repellents is the only way to protect against Dengue fever.
If you require emergency assistance from the Embassy, please contact us on: +91 (11) 49403200.
If you call outside normal working hours, you will be asked to leave a message on the answering machine.
Embassy of Ireland
C17 Malcha Marg
New Delhi 110 021
Monday to Friday 9:00 to 13:30 and 14:30 to 17:00
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.