Germany

82 M
Population
Euro
Currency
When is the best time to visit Germany?
  • The very best time to go is from June to September (neither hot nor cold)
  • A good time to go is from April to October (if you pack the right clothes)
  • This is purely from a climate point of view of course.
Safety and security

Crime

Crime levels are broadly similar to the UK. Take sensible precautions to avoid mugging, bag snatching and pick pocketing. Be particularly vigilant at airports, railway stations and crowded public gatherings. Do not leave valuables unattended. If your passport has been stolen, you must go to the nearest police station and get a police report.

Road travel

If you wish to drive in Germany you must carry a valid driving licence, insurance and vehicle documents with you in the vehicle at all times. If the vehicle does not belong to the driver, written permission from the registered owner may also be requested. The minimum age for driving a car in Germany is 18. It is illegal to take part in motor vehicle races or rallies on German roads.

In 2015 there were 3,475 road deaths in Germany (source: Department for Transport). This equates to 4.3 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.8 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2015.

It is illegal to cross German pedestrian crossings when the red pedestrian light is on. Offenders risk a fine and payment of all costs in the event of an accident.

There is an environmental zone (umweltzone) in some inner city centres. Only vehicles meeting specific exhaust emission standards are allowed to enter the zone. See the websites of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Federal Environmental Agency for further information.

See the European Commission,AA and  RAC guides on driving in Germany.

Terrorism

There is a high threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in public places visited by foreigners. The German government has announced that increased security has been put in place as a precaution at public buildings, major events, transport hubs and large public gatherings.

On 19 December 2016, a lorry was driven into a crowd at a Christmas market in central Berlin causing 12 deaths and a number of injuries.

On 24 July 2016, a suicide bomb outside a wine bar in Ansbach injured 15 people.

On 22 July 2016, 9 people were killed by a gunman during a shooting incident at the Munich Olympia shopping centre.

There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Germany.

Visas

British Citizens don’t need a visa to enter Germany. If you hold a different type of British nationality, check entry requirements with the German Embassy.

Stays of longer than three months

If you intend to work or study in Germany you must register with the German authorities (Einwohnermeldeamt) within 3 months of arrival. There is no longer a requirement for EU citizens to apply for a residence permit.  

Working in Germany

If you intend to work in Germany, you should get detailed information on employment regulations from the German Embassy.

Local laws and customs

You don’t have to carry your passport with you while in Germany, but the police are currently carrying out more frequent ID checks. If you’re asked to show your passport and you don’t have it with you, the police may escort you to wherever your passport is being kept so that you can show it to them.

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

If you’re visiting Germany you should get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC isn’t a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but it entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as German nationals. If you don’t have your EHIC with you or you’ve lost it, you can call the Department of Health Overseas Healthcare Team (+44 191 218 1999) to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate. The EHIC won’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or non-urgent treatment, so you should make sure you have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company immediately.

Money

The currency of Germany is the Euro.

Since 15 June 2007, new legislation on the controls of cash entering or leaving the EU apply in all Member States. Any person entering or leaving the EU will have to declare the cash that they are carrying if this amounts to 10,000 Euros or more; this includes cheques, travellers’ cheques, money orders, etc. This will not apply to anyone travelling via the EU to a non-EU country, as long as the original journey started outside of the EU, nor to those travelling within the EU.