13 Underrated Places That Americans Are Allowed to Visit Now
These stunning destinations are finally open again to American tourists.
As domestic travel ramps up in areas with dropping coronavirus cases, we can't help but turn our eyes to farther-flung destinations. While it's true that COVID-19 is still out there—and we should all do our part to prevent its spread—it's becoming possible for Americans to leave our shores and travel internationally once more, all the while following safety precautions, of course.
Though most countries have not opened their borders to Americans, there's a growing number letting travelers in, provided all tourists meet a number of health qualifications. Read on and find the underrated places open to American travelers now—none of which require 14-day quarantines upon arrival. And for more gorgeous getaways within your reach, check out the 17 Stunning Islands That Americans Are Allowed to Visit Now.
Editor's Note: We understand that travel is complicated right now and restrictions vary. If you plan on visiting any of the below destinations, we recommend checking their official websites for possible closures, limited access announcements, and general health and safety guidelines.
Albania has it all: beaches, mountains, ancient sites, and an incredible Mediterranean climate. But the small country doesn't have the crowds of some of its neighbors—doubly so during the pandemic. Americans seeking to visit Albania don't need to worry about coming in with a negative COVID test, but wearing a mask is mandatory in public spaces throughout the country. Other than that, Albania is pretty much entirely open for business. And if you feel more comfortable staying stateside, check out the 17 American Towns So Beautiful You'll Think You're in Europe.
When most Americans think of visiting Europe, Belarus is probably not the destination that comes to mind. But the Eastern European country draws visitors for its impressive landscapes and wildlife (the rare European bison lives here), crumbling castles in the countryside, and vibrant capital city, Minsk. Americans are not required to present a negative COVID test upon arrival, though their temperature may be taken at the airport.
Arguably the most famous of the Balkan countries, Croatia's number one tourist attraction is the walled city of Dubrovnik, but the rest of the country remains somewhat off-the-beaten-path for American tourists. If you're looking to explore Croatia without any massive crowds, now's the time to go—Americans are allowed to visit, provided they arrive with a negative COVID-19 PCR test administered within 48 hours of arrival. If you arrive with a negative test taken outside that window, you'll have to quarantine for seven days, after which you can take a test locally.
Prior to the pandemic, fewer than 100,000 tourists would spend the night on Dominica each year, with most visitors just stopping for the day while on a cruise. But the lush Caribbean island is open to American tourists right now, as long as they arrive with a negative COVID-19 PCR test that's less than 72 hours old. Visitors must answer a health questionnaire 24 hours before arrival, and once on the island, they may be subjected to further COVID testing. And if you want to see some of America's most pristine atolls, check out the 13 Secret Islands in the U.S. You Never Knew Existed.
If you've dreamt of seeing the Great Pyramids of Giza, you can make that dream a reality. Egypt has opened its borders to Americans who arrive with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within the last 72 hours. Americans might also need to show proof of health insurance upon arrival. On the ground, many businesses are open with capacity restrictions: restaurants, for instance, can only operate at 50 percent capacity.
The picturesque Balkan country of Montenegro has just added the United States to its list of approved countries from which tourists can visit. U.S. travelers will need to present either "a negative PCR test result for a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) or a positive result of an antibody to a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) class IgG obtained by ELISA serological test," per the Institute of Public Health of Montenegro. There are no published specifications as to when the tests need to have been administered, but we recommend checking with the U.S. Embassy in the country before booking any flights.
And yet another Balkan country makes this list. North Macedonia—famous for its sculpture-filled capital, Skopje—is welcoming Americans with hardly any restrictions. Travelers from the United States must simply have their temperature taken when they arrive at the airport. If they have a fever, they will receive further evaluation from medical professionals. Masks and social distancing are required throughout the country, and some capacity restrictions are in place. Looking to get away from it all? Check out the 17 Most Exotic Off-the-Grid Hotels in the World.
Rwanda, one of the few countries where you can see mountain gorillas in the wild, has opened its borders to Americans, but it has a rigorous testing protocol in place. Americans must arrive with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within the last five days, but they'll also have to undergo additional PCR testing upon arrival in the country, followed by a 24-hour quarantine in a specially designated transit hotel—all on the traveler's dime.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
One of the least-visited Caribbean nations, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a group of 32 islands, of which only nine are inhabited. Americans are welcome to visit them all, as long as they arrive with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within five days of arrival or are willing to take a test locally and quarantine while awaiting the results. There's a notable exception, however: guests traveling to resorts or hotels on their own private island can arrive with a negative antibody test taken within five days of arrival.
Serbia is known for its thriving capital Belgrade, quaint historic towns, spectacular landscapes, and wine. The country has no restrictions on Americans coming from the United States, but Americans who are traveling to Serbia via North Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria, or Romania must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within the last 48 hours upon arrival. Once in the country, face masks are required in all indoor spaces, as well as outdoor areas where social distancing isn't possible.
Between Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti, and Zanzibar, Tanzania has some of the biggest tourism draws in East Africa. Luckily for Americans, the country is open to visitors right now. Per the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania, "All travelers whether foreigners or returning residents whose countries or airlines require them to provide negative testing for COVID-19 as a condition for traveling will be required to present a certificate on arrival." It's a little unclear what that statement means for Americans, specifically, so it's best to contact the Embassy directly before booking a trip.
Whether you're looking to explore the city streets of Istanbul or the landscapes of Cappadocia, Turkey is waiting with open arms. Foreign tourists, including Americans, don't need to show any test results, but upon arrival in Turkey, they'll be checked for COVID-19 symptoms. If they show any signs of illness, they may undergo a thorough medical evaluation. While there is a curfew in place for residents, visitors are not subject to it.
With seven UNESCO World Heritage sites across the country, Ukraine is a must-visit for history buffs, architecture lovers, and culture vultures—not to mention foodies, who will delight in Kyiv's underrated scene. The country is largely open to tourists these days, including Americans, who must either arrive with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within the last 48 hours, take a PCR test upon arrival and quarantine for 24 hours until results are in, or spend 14 days in quarantine sans testing. And for more safe spots to escape, check out the 50 Beautiful, Obscure Places in the U.S. You Should Visit This Summer.