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Germany
Official Name:

Federal Republic of Germany

Last Updated: April 19, 2017
Further Safety and Security Information

Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.

Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.

Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Berlin

Clayallee 170,
14191 Berlin
Germany

  • Telephone +(49)(69) 7535-2100 (routine calls, 2-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, except on U.S. and German holidays, and the last Thursday of each month.)
  • Emergency After-Hours Telephone +(49)(30) 8305-0
  • Fax +(49)(30) 8305-1215
  • Email ACSBerlin@state.gov
  • U.S. Embassy Berlin

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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Six months beyond planned date of departure from the Schengen area

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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Two pages

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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Not required for stays under 90 days.

VACCINATIONS:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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€10,000 euros or equivalent 

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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€10,000 euros or equivalent 

Country Map

U.S. Embassy Berlin

Clayallee 170,
14191 Berlin
Germany

Telephone: +(49)(30) 8305-1200 (routine calls, 2-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, except on U.S. and German holidays, and the last Thursday of each month.)

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(49)(30) 8305-0

Fax: +(49)(30) 8305-1215

Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt
Giessener Str. 30
60435 Frankfurt am Main
Federal Republic of Germany

Telephone: +(49)(69) 7535-2100 (routine calls, 2-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, except on U.S. and German holidays, and the last Thursday of each month.

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(49)(69) 7535-0

Fax: +(49)(69) 7535-2252

Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Germany for additional information on the U.S.-Germany relationship.

  • Germany is a party to the Schengen Agreement. U.S. citizens may enter Germany for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa.  
  • Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay.  This regulation is strictly enforced in Germany. 
  • You may be denied entry into Germany or have your travel disrupted if your passport does not have sufficient validity. 
  • The 90 day period begins upon entry into any Schengen country.  For further details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet. You may also contact the German Embassy in Washington, or German consulates in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, or San Francisco to obtain the most current visa information.
  • If you are transiting Germany en route to other countries, know all entry and exit requirements for your final destination.  Incorrect documentation might cause you to be denied boarding for your connecting flight.  Travelers have also been delayed or refused entry to the Schengen zone for missing an onward non-tourism visa for their stay in another country - even if the appropriate visa is available upon arrival in the traveler’s final Schengen country.  If you are denied boarding for either of these reasons, you will need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket or an itinerary that does not require entry into the Schengen zone.

We are unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to, or foreign residents of Germany.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our customs information page.

Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations. 

Demonstrations occur regularly in Germany. Large, public demonstrations take place for a variety of political and economic issues. Demonstrations tend to take place on politically significant holidays like German Labor Day (May 1) and during international summits hosted in Germany. 

  • Demonstration organizers must obtain prior police approval, and police routinely oversee participants.
  • Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. 
  • Avoid areas around protests and demonstrations. 
  • Check local media for updates on the situation and traffic advisories.  
  • Security messages issued regarding demonstrations are now posted on the U.S. Mission to Germany’s website.  

CRIME: Violent crime is rare in Germany, but can occur, especially in larger cities or high-risk areas such as on large metropolitan subway systems and in train stations, primarily during late night or early morning hours. Most incidents of street crime involve the theft of unattended items and pick-pocketing. Pay close attention to your valuables at all times.

  • Be cautious and aware of your surroundings.
  • U.S. citizens should exercise caution when congregating in known expatriate hangouts.
  • Hooligans, most often drunken “skinheads,” have harassed and attacked perceived foreigners or members of rival groups.
  • Seemingly racially-motivated assaults (because of a “foreign” appearance) against U.S. citizens have occurred. This could be further exacerbated by the arrival of more than one million refugees to Germany since 2015.
  • Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. They are illegal to bring back into the United States, and you could also be breaking local law.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to the local police:  in an emergency dial 112 for ambulance and 110 for the police and contact the U.S Embassy at +(49)(30) 8305-0 or the nearest U.S. Consulate

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • provide information on victim’s compensation and support in Germany
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

We also maintain information on our website on how to report child abuse situations to the local authorities.

U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault may contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your district for information about support and resources

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy or nearest consulate for assistance.

For further information:

Medical Care and Facilities: Germany has good medical care and facilities. If you are not a resident of Germany, doctors and hospitals may expect immediate payment in cash. Most doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies do not accept credit cards.

  • The U.S. Government does not pay medical bills.
  • Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not provide coverage overseas.  
  • Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas or purchase travel insurance for this purpose. 
  • Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Prescription Medications: Due to Germany’s strict customs regulations, you are not allowed to receive prescription medication by mail without special permission. For more information, please visit the German customs website regarding medicine.

  • On your trip, only carry the amount of medication you plan to use.
  • Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. 

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

CRIMINAL PENALTIES: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution.

Furthermore, some crimes are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or Consulate immediately. See our webpage for further information.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Germany has strict customs regulations concerning:

  • Temporary importation or exportation of firearms, military artifacts (particularly those of World War II), antiques, medications/pharmaceuticals, and business equipment.
  • Under German law, it is also illegal to bring into or take out of Germany any literature, music, or paraphernalia that glorifies fascism, the Nazi past, or the “Third Reich.”
  • Contact the German Embassy in Washington or one of the German consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.
  • Credit cards are not as widely accepted in Germany as they are in the United States. However, ATMs are widely available throughout Germany. 
  • Carry identification with you at all times.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the following Department webpages for details: Faith-Based Travel Information

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events. Civil unions are legal for same-sex couples;  same-sex marriage is not available in Germany. The LGBTI community is protected by federal anti-discrimination laws and LGBTI Pride events are officially encouraged by most large city governments, including those in Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Munich. For further information on LGBTI travel, please read our Information for LGBTI Travelers page and section six of the Department of State's Human Rights Report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: While in Germany, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation different from what is found in the United States. Many existing buildings and public transportation systems are less adapted to individuals with disabilities.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for women travelers.

Road Conditions and Safety: German road conditions in general are excellent, although road conditions can be significantly different from those in the United States. Exercise caution while traveling on older roads in eastern Germany.  

  • If you hold a valid U.S. driver’s license, you can drive in Germany for up to six months without acquiring a German driver’s license.
  • Drivers should be aware that traffic signs in Germany differ from those in the United States, and it is important to be familiar with road signage prior to driving. Basic information about road signs in Germany is available here. Speed limits are posted on large stretches of the highway, or Autobahn, in urban areas or when the road has many curves.
  • High speeds permitted on the Autobahn, adverse weather conditions, and unfamiliar road markings can pose significant hazards.
  • Driver error is a leading cause of accidents involving U.S. citizen motorists in Germany.

Bicycles: German streets and sidewalks have dedicated bike lanes. Bicycles have priority use of bike lanes over pedestrians and automobiles.

  • Bicyclists also have priority over cars when turning onto side streets. If you are driving, check whether a bicyclist is approaching from either direction before attempting to enter side streets, even when the light is in your favor.
  • You will be held responsible for any injury or damage caused if you turn into a side street and hit a bicyclist using a marked bike lane.
  • If you are walking, watch for bicyclists before crossing or stepping into bike lanes.

Traffic Laws: Except on priority roads, vehicles coming from the right have the right-of-way.

  • It is generally illegal in Germany to pass vehicles on the right. 
  • It is illegal to operate a vehicle if the blood alcohol level is 0.05% or higher.
  • You may be fined and your driver’s license may  be suspended for specified periods of time depending upon the gravity of each violation.
  • It is illegal to use your cell phone while driving in Germany
  • For more information, please visit the U.S. embassy’s webpage on driving in Germany.
  • For more information on travel in Germany, visit the German National Tourist Board.

Please refer to our road safety page for more information.

Public Transportation: Germany has an extensive and safe public transportation network consisting of buses, streetcars, trains, and subways.  Metered taxis are also prevalent throughout Germany, although taxis generally do not accept credit cards.  Use common sense safety practices, such as guarding valuables and remaining aware of your surroundings, on all public transportation.   

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Germany’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Germany’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Germany should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings website  select “broadcast warnings”.

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