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DESCRIPTION: Germany is a modern and stable democracy. Tourist
facilities are highly developed. In larger towns, many people
can communicate in English.
REQUIREMENTS: A passport is required. A visa is not required
for tourist/business stays up to 90 days within the Schengen Group
of countries, which includes Germany. Further
information on entry, visa and passport requirements may be obtained
from the German Embassy at 4645 Reservoir Road N.W., Washington,
D.C. 20007, telephone (202) 298-4000, or the German Consulates
General in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami,
New York, or San Francisco; and on the Internet at http://www.germany-info.org/newcontent/index_consular.html.
Inquiries from outside the United States may be made to the nearest
German embassy or consulate.
AND SECURITY: Overall, the security risk to travelers in Germany
is low; however, demonstrations occasionally turn violent and
should be avoided. Like other developed countries, Germany has
recently experienced an increase in large demonstrations by anti-globalization
groups that target international conferences and meetings. These
demonstrations have a tendency to spread and turn violent, and
anyone in the general area can become the victim of a random attack.
All Americans are cautioned to avoid the area around these protests
and to check local media for updates on the situation.
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 youth groups. While U.S.
citizens have not been specific targets, several Americans have
reported that they were assaulted for racial reasons or because
they appeared "foreign."
INFORMATION: Violent crime is rare in Germany, but it 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 a few
reports of aggravated assault against U.S. citizens in higher-risk
areas. American travelers are advised to take the same precautions
against becoming crime victims as they would in any American city.
loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately
to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet,
A Safe Trip Abroad, for ways to promote a trouble-free
pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents,
U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via
the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs, or via the
State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs' home page at
FACILITIES: 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
INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside
the United States, and U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do
not provide payment for medical services abroad. Uninsured travelers
who require medical care overseas may face extreme difficulties.
check with your own insurance company to confirm whether your
policy applies overseas, including provision for medical evacuation,
and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems requiring
hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States
can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Please ascertain whether
payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor or if
you will be expected to pay yourself and request to be reimbursed
later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also
include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition
of remains in the event of death.
information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Bureau of Consular Affairs'
brochure, Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad,
available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov
or by autofax at (1-202) 647-3000.
HEALTH INFORMATION: Information
on vaccinations and other health precautions may be obtained from
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for
international travelers at (1-877)FYI-TRIP or (1-877)394-8747;
fax (1-888)CDC-FAXX or (1-888)232-3299; or via CDC's Internet
site at http://www.cdc.gov.
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. The information below concerning
Germany is provided for general reference only, and may not be
totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
of Public Transportation: Excellent
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Excellent
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Excellent
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Excellent
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 on right-of-way differ significantly from those in the United
States. Notice should be taken that it is generally illegal in
Germany to pass vehicles from the right, and that the threshold
for determining whether a person has been driving under the influence
of alcohol is lower than in some U.S. states. For specific information
on travel within Germany, please contact the German National Tourist
Board Office in New York at tel. (1-212) 661-7200, fax: (1-212)
661-7174 or via the Internet at http://www.us.germany-tourism.de/e/.
should also note that railroad crossings are differently marked
in Germany than in the United States, and there have been several
accidents involving Americans in recent years at railroad crossings.
In addition to the standard crossbuck (X-shaped) sign, railroad
crossings are often marked by signal lights. Signal lights flash
only when a train is approaching. Regardless of the color of the
light, a flashing light at a railroad crossing means that a train
is approaching and that all vehicles should stop.
holding U.S. drivers' licenses may drive in Germany for up to
six months without acquiring a German driver's license.
additional information about road safety, please see the Department
of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page's road safety overseas
feature at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html.
SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has assessed the Government of Germany's Civil Aviation
Authority as Category 1 -- in compliance with international aviation
safety standards for oversight of Germany's air carrier operations.
further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation
within the United States at tel. (1-800) 322-7873, or visit
the FAA's Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some
foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of
air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific
carriers, travelers may contact the DOD at tel. (1-618) 229-4801.
REGULATIONS/CURRENCY AND BANKING: Germany's customs authorities
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 other paraphernalia
that glorifies fascism, the Nazi past or the former "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.
customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary
Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional
equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and
fair purposes. ATA Carnet headquarters, located at the
U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the
Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet
in the United States. For additional information, please call
212-354-4480, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.uscib.org
Germany will adopt the Euro as its official currency on January
1, 2002. German Marks will be accepted for cash transactions,
along with Euros, through February 28, 2002. After that day, travelers
to Germany must pay in Euros, although banks will change German
marks into Euros for some months afterward.
Teller Machines (ATMS) are widely available throughout Germany.
They utilize many of the same account networks that are found
in the United States, so it is possible in most cases to get German
currency directly from your U.S. bank while you are in Germany.
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. Persons violating Germany's laws, even unknowingly,
may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession,
use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Germany are strict, and
convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
ISSUES: Custody and access issues for children in dual American-German
families have been a recent, high-profile concern in Germany.
For information on children's issues, including international
adoption of children and international parental child abduction,
please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (1-202) 736-7000.
AND CONSULATE LOCATIONS: Americans living in Germany are encouraged
to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy or any
of the U.S. consulates and obtain updated information on travel
and security within Germany. A
new initiative of the American Embassy in Berlin allows all Americans
in Germany to obtain automatic security updates and Public Announcements
by e-mail. To subscribe to this service, simply send a blank
e-mail to GermanyACS@state.gov and put the word "SUBSCRIBE"
on the subject line. Individuals planning extended stays in Germany
are encouraged to register in person at their local consular section.
Embassy in Berlin is located at: Neustaedtische Kirchstrasse
Tel: (49)(30) 238-5174 or 8305-0;
Consular Section is located at Clayallee 170;
Tel: (49)(30) 832-9233; Fax: (49)(30) 8305-1215
Consulates General are located at:
Tel.: (49)(211)788-8927; Fax: (49)(211)788-8938;
Tel: (49)(69) 75350; Fax: (49)(69) 7535-2304;
Tel: (49)(40) 4117-1351; Fax: (49)(40) 44-30-04;
Tel: (49)(341) 213-8418; Fax: (49)(341) 21384-17 (emergency services
Tel: (49)(89) 2888-0; Fax: (49)(89) 280-9998.
is also a U.S. consular agency in Bremen located at:
World Trade Center, Birkenstrasse 15,
Tel: (49)(421) 301-5860; Fax: (49)(421)301-5861.
calling another city from within Germany, dial a zero before the
city code (for example, when calling Berlin from Munich, the city
code for Berlin is 030).
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