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Bangladesh

If you’re travelling to Bangladesh, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

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.

Overview

Security status

We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution. ‌

Latest travel alert

Heavy monsoon rains continue to affect the northern and central regions of Bangladesh (including Sylhet region, Dinajpur and Rangpur) leading to disruption of services and road travel. Irish citizens in those regions are advised to monitor weather updates and follow the advice of local authorities.

There are reports that a cyclone has hit the south-eastern region of Bangladesh, and Irish citizen are advised to closely follow weather reports and local advice before travelling to the affected areas.

Following a terrorist attack in Gulshan, the diplomatic area of Dhaka on 1 July that resulted in the death of 20 hostages and 2 police officers there are heightened security concerns about the potential threat to foreign citizens in Bangladesh at this time. Irish citizens are advised to consider carefully whether it is necessary to travel to Bangladesh. Citizens currently in Bangladesh are advised to exercise extreme vigilance in public places, to avoid large gatherings or venues frequented by expats/foreign travellers, and to keep informed to news reports or security developments.

There are heightened security concerns about the potential threat to Western citizens in Bangladesh at this time. Irish citizens are advised to exercise caution in public places, to avoid large gatherings or venues frequented by expats/foreign travellers, 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.

Emergency Assistance

Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in Bangladesh, we’re 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.

We suggest you learn as much as you can about Bangladesh before your trip from travel agents, tour operators and guide books. The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you’re in Bangladesh, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

Other EU embassies

You can contact the Embassies and Consulates of other EU countries represented in Bangladesh for emergency consular assistance, advice and support.

Our tips for safe travels:

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • 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.

Safety and security

Political unrest

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. Local English language news broadcasts include ATN Bangla (9am and 6pm), Bangla Vision (6pm) and BTV (10am, 4pm and 10pm). Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn violent.

Terrorism

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. 

Crime

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.

Reporting crime

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.

Driving

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, where roundabouts and junctions can be a free-for-all.

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

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 drugs

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.

Muslim culture

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.

LGBT

Homosexuality is illegal in Bangladesh. Caution and discretion are advised at all times.

Natural disasters and climate

Earthquake

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.

Flooding

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.

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

Irish citizens need a visa to travel to Bangladesh. The visa application fee is US$ 50, which can be paid on the spot in cash either in US Dollars or in equivalent Bangladesh Taka.  For more details on entry requirements, please contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Bangladesh.

Passports

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.

Health

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

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

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

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.