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Travel Security Advice for Germany

German_National_Flag

germany_mapGermany_Overview


COUNTRY DESCRIPTION:

Germany is a modern and stable democracy. Tourist facilities are highly developed. In larger towns, many people can communicate in English. Read the Department of State’s Background Notes on Germany for additional information.

REGISTRATION / EMBASSY LOCATION:

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Germany are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate at the Department of State’s travel registration page in order to obtain updated information on local travel and security. U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Registration is important; it allows the State Department to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency.

Local embassy information is available below and at the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates. Visitors are not allowed to bring electronic devices, including cell phones and personal laptops, into the embassy or consulates. Please refer to the individual webpage for the embassy or consulate you will be visiting to review access and security procedures.

Please note, all telephone numbers are listed for dialing from the United States. When calling from within Germany, the country code is not necessary and a zero is added before the city code. For example: (40)(69)7535-0 becomes (069)7535-0.

U.S. Consular Sections are located at:

U.S. Embassy Berlin


Clayallee 170, 14195 Berlin
Tel. (49)(30)8305-0(emergency services only)
Tel. (49)(30)832-9233(routine calls and information requests, 2-4p.m. Monday-Friday)
Fax(49)(30)8305-1215
American Citizen Services Email:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt


Giessener Str. 30, 60435 Frankfurt am Main
Tel. (49(69)(7535-0(emergency services only)
Tel.(49)(69)7535-2102(routine calls and information requests, 2-4p.m. Monday-Friday
Fax: (49)(69)7535-2252
American Citizen Services Email:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Passport Inquiries Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

U.S. Consulate General Munich


Koenigstrasse 5, 80539 Munich
Tel. (49)(89)2888-0
Fax (49(89)280-9998


U.S. Consulate Leipzig (emergency services only)


Wilhelm-Seyfferth-Strasse 4, 04107 Leipzig
Tel. (49(341)21-8418
Fax: (49(341)213-8417

There is also a U.S. consular agency in Bremen at: Bremen World Trade Center, Birkenstrasse 15,
Tel. (49)(421)301-5860; Fax: (49)(421)301-5861.

Consular services are no longer available in Hamburg or at Consulate General Dusseldorf.

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS:

Germany is a party to the Schengen Agreement. As such, U.S. citizens may enter Germany for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa; entry into Germany begins the 90 day limit for the entire Schengen area. The passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. For further details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet. Further information on entry, visa and passport requirements may be obtained from the German Embassy in Washington at 4645 Resevoir Road N.W., Washington, D.C. 2007, telephone (202)298-4000, or the German consulates in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, or San Francisco.

Passengers transiting Germany en route to other countries should ensure they are aware of and in compliance with the entry requirements for their final destinations, as individuals not presenting appropriate documentation for their destination may be denied boarding on connecting flights. For example, some countries, i.e. South Africa, require a certain number of blank visa pages or an extended validity period of the passport.

The U.S. Department of State is 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.

THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY:

German authorities remain vigilant in combating the threat posed by foreign and resident extremists. Specific threats have been uncovered and prosecutions undertaken, though Germany itself has been largely free of terror incidents. However, like other countries in the Schengen area, Germany’s open borders with its European neighbors allow the possibility of dangerous individuals entering/exiting the country with anonymity. Germany regularly experiences demonstrations on a variety of political and economic themes. Demonstrations are common on politically significant holidays, such as German Labor Day on May 1, and during international summits hosted in Germany. Prior police approval is required for public demonstrations, and police oversight is routinely provided for participants and passersby. Nonetheless, these demonstrations can attract counter-demonstrations and have the potential to turn violent. All Americns are cautioned to avoid the area around protests and demonstrations and to check local media for updates on the situation.

In addition, hooligans, most often young intoxicated “skinheads,” have been known to harass or even attack people whom they believe to be foreigners or members of rival groups. On occasion, Americans have reported that they were assaulted for racial reasons or because they appeared “foreign.” In addition, Americans, should be aware that congregating in areas known as expatriate hangouts such as restaurants, bars, and discos frequented by high numbers of resident American citizens and/or American tourists could attract unwanted attention from disorganized groups of rowdy patrons seeking to start a fight.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs' website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the U.S. and Canada, or by calling a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas. For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State’s extensive tips and advice on traveling safely abroad.

CRIME:

Violent crime is rare in Germany, but can occur, especially in larger cities or high-risk areas such as train stations. Most incidents of street crime consist of theft of unattended items and pick-pocketing. There have been several reports of aggravated assault against American citizens in higher-risk urban areas. American travelers are advised to take the same precautions as they would in any American city.

In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products may be illegal under local law. In addition, bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines.

VICTIMS OF CRIME:

If you are the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate (see end of this sheet or see the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates). This includes the loss or theft of a U.S. passport. The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds may be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime are solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Germany is 112,

Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES:

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

Germany’s customs authorites may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Germany of certain items such as firearms, military artifacts(particularly those pertaining to the Second World War), antiques, medications/pharmaceuticals and business equipment. Under German law it is also illegal to bring into or take out of Germany literature, music CDs, or paraphernalia that glorifies fascism, the Nazi past, or the”Third Reich.” It is advisable to contact the German Embassy in Washington or one of the German consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are widely available throughout Germany. They utilize many of the same account networks that are found in the U.S., so it is possible in most cases to get Euros directly from your U.S. bank while you are in Germany without paying any inordinate fees for currency exchange. Credit cards are not accepted as widely as in the Untied States.

MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION:

Good medical care is widely available. Doctors and hospitals may expect immediate payment in cash for health services from tourists and persons with no permanent address in Germany. Most doctors, hospitals and pharmacies do not accept credit cards.

For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the infectious diseases section of the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.

MEDICAL INSURANCE:

The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to consult their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to determine whether the policy applies overseas and whether it covers emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS:

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Individuals holding U.S. driver’s licenses may drive in Germany for up to six months withour acquiring a German driver’s license.

Road conditions in general are excellent, although caution should be exercised while traveling on older roads in eastern Germany. The high speed permitted on the German autobahn, weather, and unfamiliar road markings can pose significant hazards, and driver error is a leading cause of accidents involving American motorists in Germany. Rules of right-of-way differ significantly from the U.S. Unless traveling on a priority road, vehicles coming from the right have the right of way. Notice should be taken that it is generally illegal in Germany to pass vehicles on the right and that the threshold for determining whether a person has been driving under the influence of alcolhol is lower than in many U.S. states.

Many German streets and sidewalks have dedicated bike lanes for use by bicyclists. Pedestrians should be aware that bicycles have priority use of these lanes and should be careful to observe whether any bicyclist is approaching before crossing or stepping into the bike lane. Bicyclists also have priority over cars turning onto side streets, and motorists should always confirm whether a bicyclist is approaching from either direction before attempting to enter side strees, even when the light is in their favor Motorists turning into a side street who hit a bicyclist who is using a marked bike land will be held responsible for any injury or damage caused. The use of cell phones while driving is prohibited in Germany. For specific information on travel within Germany contact the German National Tourist Board Office in New York at (212) 661-7200, fax(212) 661-7174.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.

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.

CHILDREN'S ISSUES:

Please see our Office of Children’s Issues web pages on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction.

This replaces the Country Specific Information for Germany dated December 8, 2008 to update sections on Entry/Exit Requirements and Registration/Embassy Location.


The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office also has information regarding travel to Germany HERE....

Looking for an Embassy ?, You can also check out our World Wide Embassy Listings Section HERE (For US Citizens) or HERE (For UK Citizens).........

Regards

The SW Team....

 

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