Alcohol Drinking Ages Around the World

What's the Legal Drinking Age for Countries Worldwide?

woman chatting with a friend in a pub
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If you are a student traveler about to embark on a trip, you may be wondering about legal drinking ages in different parts of the world. While the legal drinking age in the United States is 21, drinking ages in other countries vary and are typically a reflection of the culture and societal values.

To determine the drinking age of the country on your travel itinerary, browse the list below (or locate a more complete list of legal drinking ages worldwide at International Center for Alcohol Policy).

Remember that if you're old enough to fight wars, drive cars and vote, you're old enough to buy alcohol in most countries. 

Exceptions to legal drinking ages exist in many places (including the U.S.); for instance, the island of Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory (meaning no passport is needed for travel to that area of the Caribbean), but the legal drinking age is 18.

Drinking Ages Worldwide

Afghanistan: Alcohol is illegal in Afghanistan.

Albania: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Algeria: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Andorra: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Angola: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Antigua and Barbuda: Age 16 for both drinking and purchasing.

Argentina: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Armenia: There are no drinking or purchasing laws in Armenia. 

Australia: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Austria:  Age 16 for both drinking and purchasing.

Azerbaijan: Age 16 for both drinking and purchasing.

Bahamas: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Bahrain: Age 18 or 21 (depending on the bar's rules) for drinking.

Bangladesh: Alcohol is illegal in Bangladesh. 

Barbados: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing; age 16 if you're with a parent.

Belarus: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Belgium: Age 16 beer and wine, age 18 for spirits.

Belize: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing, although it is rarely enforced.

Benin: There is no minimum drinking age in Benin.

Bhutan: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Bolivia: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Bosnia & Herzegovina: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Botswana: Age 18 for purchasing.

Brazil: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Brunei: Alcohol is illegal in Brunei, but it is legal for non-Muslims older than 17 to bring alcohol into the country.

Bulgaria: No drinking age; purchase age of 18.

Burkina Faso: This is no minimum drinking age in Burkina Faso.

Burundi: Age 16 for both drinking and purchasing.

Cambodia: There is no drinking or purchase age in Cambodia.

Cape Verde: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Cameroon: This is no drinking or purchase age in Cameroon.

CanadaAge 18 in Quebec, Alberta, and Manitoba. In the rest of the country, you must be 19 years old. 

Central African Republic: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Chad: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Chile: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

China: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Colombia: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing, although laws are lenient.

Comoros: There is no legal drinking or purchase age in Comoros.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Republic of the Congo: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Costa Rica: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Ivory Coast: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

CroatiaAge 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Cuba: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Cyprus: Age 17 for both drinking and purchasing.

Czech Republic: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Denmark: No drinking age; purchase age of 16 to buy alcohol of less than 16.5% alcohol, age 18 to buy alcohol of greater than 16.5%, age 18 to be served in restaurants, pubs and bars.

Djibouti: There is no legal drinking age in Djibouti.

Dominica: Age 16 for both drinking and purchasing.

Dominican Republic: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Ecuador: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Egypt: Age 21 for both drinking and purchasing.

El Salvador: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Equatorial Guinea: There is no legal drinking age in Equatorial Guinea. 

Eritrea: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Estonia: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Ethiopia: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Finland: Age 18 for alcohol between 1.2-22% alcohol, age 20 for 23-80% alcohol, age 18 to be served in bars, clubs and restaurants. 

France: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Georgia: Age 16 for both drinking and purchasing.

Germany: Age 14 for beer and wine (in the presence of your legal guardian), age 16 for beer and wine, age 18 for spirits. 

Gibraltar: Age 16 for alcohol with less than 15% alcohol. 

Greece: Age 17 for both drinking and purchasing.

Hong Kong: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Hungary: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Iceland: Age 20 for both drinking and purchasing.

India: The drinking age varies between age 18 and 25, depending on the state you're in. Alcohol is illegal in Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Gujarat. 

Indonesia: Age 21 for both drinking and purchasing.

Iran: Alcohol is mostly illegal in Iran, but religious minorities can buy alcohol from shops owned by people of the same religion.

Iraq: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Ireland: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Israel: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing. It's illegal to sell alcohol between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. outside of bars and restaurants. 

Italy: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Jordan: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Japan: Age 20 for both drinking and purchasing.

Kazakhstan: Age 21 for both drinking and purchasing.

Kuwait: Alcohol is illegal in Kuwait. 

Kyrgyzstan: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Latvia: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Lebanon: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Liechtenstein: Age 16 for wine, beer and cider, age 18 for spirits.

Lithuania: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Luxembourg: Age 16 for both drinking and purchasing.

Macau: There is no drinking or purchase age of alcohol in Macau.

Macedonia: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Malaysia: Drinking age of 16; purchase age of 18.

Maldives: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing, with the sale of alcohol limited to tourist resorts. It is illegal for Muslims to buy alcohol. 

Malta: Age 17 for both drinking and purchasing.

Moldova: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Mongolia: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Montenegro: No drinking age; purchase age of 18.

Nepal: Drinking age of 18; there is no purchase age. 

Netherlands: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

North Korea: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing. Alcohol is only served on Saturdays. 

Norway: No drinking age; purchase ages of 18 for less than 22% alcohol and 20 for greater than 22% alcohol. 

Oman: Age 21 for both drinking and purchasing. 

Pakistan: Age 21 for both drinking and purchasing. Alcohol is illegal for Muslims. 

Palestine: Age 16 for both drinking and purchasing. It is illegal in a few cities.

Philippines: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Poland: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Portugal: Age 16 for beer and wine; age 18 for spirits.

Qatar: Age 21 for both drinking and purchasing. Muslims are allowed to purchase alcohol but not consume it. 

Romania: No drinking age; purchase age of 18.

Russia: No drinking age; purchase age of 18.

Saudi Arabia: Alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia. 

Serbia: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Singapore: No drinking age when consumed on private property, age 18 when in public places. Age 18 for the purchase of alcohol.

Slovakia: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Slovenia: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing; no drinking age for drinking on private property.

South Korea: Age 19 for both drinking and purchasing.

Spain: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Sri Lanka: Age 21 for both drinking and purchasing.

Sweden: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Switzerland: Age 16 for fermented alcoholic drinks; age 18 for spirits.

Syria: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Taiwan: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Tajikistan: Age 21 for both drinking and purchasing, but only if you're not Muslim. 

Thailand: Age 20 for both drinking and purchasing. The sale of alcohol is banned from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and from 12 a.m. to 11a.m.. It's also banned during some religious festivals. 

Turkmenistan: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

Turkey: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing. The sale of alcohol in shops is banned from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. in Turkey. 

Ukraine: Age 18 for both drinking and purchasing.

United Arab Emirates: Age 21 for both drinking and purchasing for non-Muslim visitors. You must request a liquor permit in order to do so. 

United Kingdom: Age 5 for drinking on private property, age 18 for both drinking in public and purchasing.

Vietnam: There is no drinking or purchasing age in Vietnam. Anyone can buy it.

Yemen: Alcohol is illegal in Yemen.