The dream of traveling the world requires a lot of things, mainly a lot of money and time. Another important thing to have is your own passport, which anyone can get from their respective governments.
The main function of any passport is to certify the identity and nationality of the holder when traveling to another country. While all passports have this function in common, some are actually better than others—as in being the most-travel friendly travel document.
The Henley Passport Index released the latest global ranking of passports based on the number of countries that each country’s travel document can access. Scroll through to know seven of the world’s most powerful passports this year.
|Japan's passport / Photo by: Toshifumi Kitamura, AFP, and Getty Images via CNN|
1. Japan, Singapore
Japan and Singapore are tied at the top spot, holding their positions as the world’s most travel-friendly passports. According to CNN, passport holders from either these nations can enter 189 countries without needing to apply for a visa or are given visa upon arrival. Some of the countries they can visit include Canada, the US, and China.
|Germany's parliament building / Photo by: Sean Gallup and Getty Images via CNN|
2. Finland, Germany, and South Korea
South Korea was once at the top spot along with Japan and Singapore but dropped to second place this year. Rubbing shoulders with Finland and Germany, the three countries are allowed visa-free or visa-on-arrival benefits in 187 countries. Finish, German, and South Korean citizens can enjoy traveling to the US, Australia, and Canada.
|Denmark's passports / Photo by: William West, AFP, and Getty Images via CNN|
3. Denmark, Italy, and Luxembourg
Tied at third place, these three European countries can access 186 countries even without a prior visa. While they can enjoy a nice vacation to Hong Kong, these European countries would have to apply for a Chinese visa to pay a visit.
|Sweden's passports / Photo by: Ramzi Haidar, AFP, and Getty Images via CNN|
4. France, Spain, and Sweden
With visa-free access to 185 countries, passport holders from these countries can travel to most Asian countries like Japan, Indonesia, and Malaysia. They also have visa-free access to all European countries except for Russia.
|Porto, Portugal / Photo by: Associação de Turismo do Porto e Norte via CNN|
5. Austria, Netherlands, Portugal, and Switzerland
A four-way tie on the fifth spot of the world’s most powerful passports allows these four European countries to travel to 184 destinations around the world. Austria and Switzerland would need to apply for a visa if they wish to travel to Mongolia, but Portugal and the Netherlands are free to visit.
|Canadian flag / Photo by: Nicholas Kamm, AFP, and Getty Images via CNN|
6. Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States
The US and the UK used to top the listing in 2014, but they now slipped to the sixth place to stand with Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, and Norway. CNN says this is the lowest ranking that American and UK passport holders have held since 2010. Greece moved a notch higher from last year’s index.
|Maltese Olympic team / Photo by: Quinn Rooney and Getty Images via CNN|
Malta stands alone at the number 7th spot with visa-free access to 182 countries around the world. The country held on to its position for another year while Australia, which used to be at the same rank as Malta, dropped to 9th place and Greece moving ahead to the 6th spot.