10 Passport Stamps to Brag About
One of the coolest parts of traveling internationally is slowly (or not so slowly) gathering unique and different passport stamps and visas from all the different places you visit along your travels. Some visas take up entire pages, some have little stickers that look like postage stamps, some are all hand written and some just look plain awesome. Passport stamps are like a secret point system among well traveled people. Travelers share their passports with others at hostels, hangouts, planes, trains, etc. Nothing is more fun than looking through someone else’s passport and seeing a crazy stamp you both have in common or finding one that you have always wanted to get!
The majority of passport stamps are fairly subtle and boring, England and Holland I’m looking at you, but some are really cool! Have you been to Nepal or Bangladesh recently? While each country has their own passport stamp, there are a few places out there that are non immigration points that offer a passport stamp, which are super cool! Here is our list of the 10 Passport Stamps to Brag About, how many do you have?
Having a passport stamp from Antarctica tells the world that you have almost run out of places to explore! Often referred to as the final frontier, the last of the 7 continents, it takes some real dedication to get there. Most people leave from Punto Arenas, at the very bottom of Chile and set sail for the land of ice. Many cruises in the area will stop in Antarctica or on the Chilean Frei Base in the South Shetlands Islands where you can get a passport stamp and even mail a postcard home or to friends, stamped as sent from the bottom of the earth. The passport stamp itself is pretty awesome, complete with a penguin.
2. Machu Picchu
Didn’t know you could get a passport stamp in Macchu Picchu did you? As you enter the national park site, there is a small room off to the left before you show you ticket and enter the gate with a couple tables complete with the very cool stamp and ink pads. You get to stamp it yourself and place it anywhere you wish in your passport. While I am not completely sure this is 100% legal to do, it sure is fun and what a cool stamp to have in your passport! Also, if you are brave enough to make the hike up the ancient inca trail to Macchu Picchu, you can get even more exciting and unique stamps at check points along the way.
3. Easter Island
Located 2,182 miles off the coast of Chile, Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, is one of the most off the beaten path destinations on Earth. Famous for its Moai heads, only the most hard core travelers make it to Easter Island. (did you know the heads also have bodies buried under ground?) The passport stamp itself is nothing too crazy, but having a stamp from Easter Island will most surely give you some added street cred among even the most well traveled adventurers.
Greenland is home to just 50,000 people and is not visited by many. The easiest way to visit Greenland is via an Air Iceland flight from Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, to Kulusuk, Greenland, a flight that takes a bit over two hours. Greenland is said to be a beautiful country, with stark contrasts between snow and ice, recently in the news a lot as a National Geographic cover called it “ground zero” for the discussion of global warming. The goal here is just to obtain the stamp, as the stamp itself is as boring as Canada’s but will make a way better late night hostel story among new friends.
5. San Marino
Officially part of Italy, San Marino is completely surrounded by Italy, and is only 24 square miles large. “San Marino claims to be the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world, as the continuation of the monastic community founded on 3 September 301, by stonecutter Marinus of Arba“. Even though San Marino has an open border agreement with Italy, visitors can still have their passports stamped earning it a spot on the list of the 10 passport stamps to brag about.
6. Hong Kong
A stamp from Hong Kong is different than a stamp from China, and a pretty cool stamp at that! Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China, the other being Macau. Here, you will get a passport stamp upon arrival and departure just like anywhere else, but something about visiting such an interesting island with a wild history is pretty cool, plus I just love seeing the Chinese symbols in my passport.
What fun would this list be without including at least one Kingdom? While Thailand is also considered a Kingdom, the Cambodian stamp and visa is a level up from Thailand, simply because it takes some hassle to get there. Cambodia has a very colorful history and with so many temples like Angkor Wat and all the historical sites in Phnom Penh, it makes a fascinating destination for those seeking a bit of adventure, delicious food and a friendly and caring people. A stamp from Cambodia is certainly something to be proud of and worth showing off. Take a moment and read about the time Jeff watched the sun rise in Angkor Wat all alone.
8. The Galapagos Islands
Officially part of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands lay 500 miles off of its coast. Home to less than 25,000 people, the Galapagos Islands contain one of the most diverse and interesting ecosystems anywhere on Earth. (I’ve got to see a Frigit Bird before I die.) Much like Easter Island, a passport stamp from the Galapagos is worth bragging about, as it takes some serious dedication to get to this far off island.
At certain points in Berlin, there are remaining sections of the Berlin wall for tourists to see. For about $10 you can get 8 souvenir passport stamps in you passport. While simply being in Germany is not the most impressive passport stamp, having one from the Berlin wall is pretty cool. Please note that many travelers have complained about the German immigration officers throwing fits upon seeing these souvenir stamps and have even made people get entirely new passports before being allowed to leave Germany, so stamp away but at your own risk.
Ok, this has got to be the cream of the crop! Akhzivand is a tiny little “micronation” located between Nahariya and the Lebanese border on the Israeli west coast. A man by the name of Eli Avivi founded Akhzivand in 1970 and although its legal status remains ambiguous it is supported and promoted by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism. Surely a passport stamp, which is available, from Akhzivand has got to be one of the most brag worthy out there!
Do you have other passport stamps you think are worthy of the top 10? Leave us a comment below and we might just add them in.
Jeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to forget them all.
A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh.
Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll respond super fast!