The 10 Most Powerful Passports In The World & The 10 Least

The 10 Most Powerful Passports In The World & The 10 Least

The most essential travel item you will ever have is your passport. Simply put: passports are your gateway to travelling the world and having the experience of a lifetime. Unfortunately, not all passports are the same; depending on where you go, some are an asset while others are a liability. So here’s a list of the 10 most powerful passports in the world as well as the 10 least. 

1. Italy

In addition to a rich history, phenomenal cuisine, and breathtaking landscapes, Italians are also blessed with one of Europe’s most powerful passports. The Italian passport grants citizens hassle-free access to a total of 190 countries worldwide. 

PassthumbPhoto by Francesca Tirico

2. Singapore

This bustling city-state is known for its clean streets, robust economy, and beautiful landscape — but it also has one of the world’s most powerful passports. With a staggering 192 countries allowing visa-free travel, Singaporean passport holders enjoy one of Asia’s most desirable passports. 

SingPhoto by Keith Yap

3. South Korea

As a pivotal diplomatic and economic power in the region, it’s no surprise that South Korea offers one of the best passports you could have. With 192 nations allowing visa-free travel to citizens of the Land of the Morning Calm, South Koreans are granted some of the world's most robust and limitless travel. 

KoreaPhoto by Camila San

4. Germany

Germany’s strong economic sector and prominence within the European Union have granted citizens unbridled access and leniency when it comes to travel. With 191 countries allowing visa-free or visa-on-arrival access, citizens of Deutschland enjoy Europe’s most hassle-free passport. 

Markus-Winkler-Tikn62S3Hls-UnsplashPhoto by Markus Winkler


5. Japan

Due to its preferential global standing and strong diplomatic relations, the Land of the Rising Sun is often cited for providing citizens with one of the best passports in the world. Japanese passport holders have a variety of perks, including visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to a whopping 193 countries. 

1024Px-Japanese Passport CrimsonToshiyuki IMAI on Wikimedia Commons

6. Finland

Finland is regularly cited as one of the happiest countries on Earth — and judging by its passport, it’s easy to see why. Serving as a testament to the peaceful and stable nature of the Northern European state, Finish passport holders are granted visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 190 countries. 

1024Px-Finland PassportsSanteri Viinamäki on Wikimedia Commons

7. Spain

Along with the aforementioned European states, Spaniards are given remarkably lenient access to several countries around the world. This culturally and geographically diverse state on the Iberian Peninsula grants passport holders care-free access to 190 countries. 

1024Px-Pasaportes Españoles Emitidos En El Consulado De Bahía Blanca, ArgentinaGastón Cuello on Wikimedia Commons

8. Luxembourg

Easily one of Europe’s smallest nations, this culture-rich economic powerhouse also provides its citizens with some of the world’s most unrestricted freedom of movement. Passport holders hailing from the “Gibraltar of the North” can visit a whopping 190 countries worldwide without a visa (or through visa-on-arrival).

1024Px-Passport Ecuador LuxembourgDRVIP93 on Wikimedia Commons

9. Denmark

From LEGO to the constitutional monarchy, Denmark is a powerful cultural export and a prominent and thriving Scandinavian nation. So it should come as no surprise that the European state and its passport holders enjoy uninhibited access to 189 different countries around the world. 

DenPZFUN on Wikimedia Commons

10. Sweden

As if Ikea, Swedish meatballs and iconic pop music weren’t enough, Swedes are also blessed with one of the world’s most powerful passports. The Swedish passport offers citizens of the country unbridled access to 189 destinations worldwide, truly reflecting the Scandinavian state’s remarkable standing in the world. 

1024Px-Stockholm Arlanda Airport Passport StampAdam Clark on Wikimedia Commons


1. Afghanistan

Afghani passport holders are limited to a meager 26 countries that they can travel to without a visa. Afghanistan is a sprawling nation filled with history and culture. But sadly, it is also rife with conflict and instability ᅳ easily making it one of the most dangerous countries on Earth.

Farid-Ershad-Szxcuzwpyt4-UnsplashPhoto by Farid Ershad

2. Iraq

Iraqi citizens suffer stringent travel restrictions from a host of nations around the world ᅳ limiting passport holders to a paltry 29 countries that offer visa-free access. Iraq's persistent security concerns and political instability have caused many nations to clamp down on travel from the often-cited Cradle of Civilization.

1024Px-Republic Of Iraq PassportKushared on Wikimedia Commons

3. Syria

In addition to suffering a widespread civil war and humanitarian crisis, citizens of Syria are also subjected to some of the least favorable passport restrictions out there. Due to security concerns surrounding the country, only 30 nations offer visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to Syrian passport holders.

SyriaAladdin Zitony on Wikimedia Commons

4. Pakistan

Nations that are fearful of Pakistan's security and terrorism concerns have resorted to extra vetting and documentation requirements ᅳ resulting in only 32 countries worldwide that allow visa-free travel to Pakistani passport holders. Pakistan is home to over 230 million people, all of whom experience some of the worst travel freedom of any country around the world.

Hamid-Roshaan-9Kj1C8Iux84-UnsplashPhoto by Hamid Roshaan

5. Yemen

Yemen is currently in the throes of a devastating civil war that has quickly precipitated a major humanitarian crisis. The country’s unfortunate political circumstances have resulted in several destinations imposing strict requirements on Yemini passport holders, leaving just 34 nations that allow visa-free access. 

Yemen Entry StampGovernment of Yemen on Wikimedia Commons

6. Somalia

At this point, Somalia is a country that has suffered decades of instability, terrorism, and piracy — resulting in many countries imposing strict restrictions on passport holders from the East African state. Only 34 countries offer visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to Somali citizens, making it one of the worst passports in the world. 

1024Px-Somalia Exit Stamp Moghadishu Airport 2013Penshell94 on Wikimedia Commons


7. Libya

Since 2011, Libya has experienced devastating political instability brought on by the country’s ongoing civil war. As a result of the North African nation’s tumultuous political situation, many destinations have taken to imposing strict visa requirements on Libyan passport holders — with only 39 offering visa-free travel. 

Moayad-Zaghdani-Wp9 Lbsnx4W-UnsplashPhoto by Moayad Zaghdani

8. Nepal

Unlike many of the countries on this list, Nepal isn’t particularly troubled by war or politcal instability. Unfortunately for Nepalese citizens, the country’s limited travel freedom is simply a byproduct of its inadequate economic situation and scarce diplomatic ties. Only 38 countries offer visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to Nepalese passport holders. 

Samrat-Khadka-Vaexuio0Rn0-UnsplashPhoto by Samrat Khadka

9. North Korea

Only 39 countries allow unrestricted access to North Korean passport holders. The aptly titled “Hermit Kingdom” is infamous around the world for its ever-present isolationist policies and contentious diplomatic posture. As a result, North Korean passport holders face extreme travel restrictions — and that’s not even including those imposed by their own government.

Democratic People's Republic Of Korea Passport For Official Trip Info Page

10. Sudan

Sudan is a nation rife with ethnic conflict, political instability, and widespread food insecurity.  On top of all of these issues, citizens of the Northeast African nation are also subject to some of the strictest travel limitations in the world, with only 41 countries allowing unrestricted access to Sudanese passport holders. 

Abdulaziz-Mohammed-9Iafo Yovik-UnsplashPhoto by Abdulaziz Mohammed