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Germany - Exercise normal security precautions
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Germany. Exercise normal security precautions.
The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.
Be vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times, and maintain a high level of personal security awareness. Monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities. Consult our Global Issues page for information on the security situation in Europe.
Violent crime in Germany is low. However, petty crime (mugging, pickpocketing and purse snatching) occurs in major cities and train stations, airports and Christmas markets.
Pickpockets often work in teams and target trains, railway stations and airports. Their methods include distracting the attention of a victim who is boarding or alighting from a train or surrounding the victim in line-ups or at check-in counters.
Extremist youth gangs are a threat, particularly in some smaller urban areas and in parts of former East Germany. Gang members have been known to harass or attack individuals because of their race or for looking “foreign”.
Arson attacks on parked vehicles have occurred.
The Government of Germany maintains a public alert system on terrorism. Visit the website of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior for more information. Continue to exercise normal security precautions.
Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.
Strikes may occasionally interfere with mail, telephone, transport and other services.
Roads and public transportation are excellent in the west and good throughout the east.
Rail service is widely available and reliable.
See Transportation Safety in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.
General safety measures
Exercise normal safety precautions. Ensure that personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance. Dial 110 In the event of a traffic accident.
It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry requirements. The following information on entry and exit requirements has been obtained from the German authorities. However, these requirements are subject to change at any time. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Germany, which must be valid for at least three months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
If you intend to reside in Germany for three months or more, you must register with the German authorities (Einwohnermeldeamt) within seven days of your entry into the country.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days*
Business visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days*
Student visa: Required
* The 90 days begin upon initial entry into any country of the Schengen area.
Extension of tourist visits longer than 90 days is not possible; you must apply for a residence permit and provide a valid reason. If you stay beyond the 90-day limit unexpectedly (for example, due to illness), contact the Foreigners' Office (Ausländerbehörde) to get a certificate (Grenzuebertrittsbescheinigung) that must be submitted to the border authorities upon departure. For more information, dial 030 90269 4000 to reach the Foreigners' Office Service.
For the latest information on German immigration law, consult the German Ministry of the Interior website.
The following 26 countries comprise the Schengen Area: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The Schengen area has common rules regarding visas and controls at external borders.
You do not need visas for short-term visits of up to 90 days within a six-month period. Your stays are cumulative, and include visits to any country within the Schengen area. Some countries require that you register with local authorities within three working days of your arrival.
It is important to get your passport stamped when entering the Schengen area. The absence of an entry stamp from the initial Schengen port of entry could create difficulties during subsequent encounters with local police or other authorities throughout the Schengen area.
After 90 days of stay in the Schengen area, you must leave for another 90 days before you can re-enter.
If you overstay the permitted 90 days in the Schengen area, you may be fined or deported. To visit for longer than 90 days, you must obtain a long-stay national visa.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
- Measles: Global Update - February 24, 2015 11:36 EST
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Tick-borne encephalitis is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It is spread to humans by the bite of an infected tick. Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks (e.g., those participating in outdoor activities in wooded areas) while travelling in regions with risk of tick-borne encephalitis.
Yellow Fever Vaccination
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Good medical care is widely available. A hospital stay or medical treatment is expensive, and immediate cash payment is often expected. German hospitals do not issue the detailed breakdown of expenses that is usually required by Canadian insurance companies. Such a detailed bill has to be requested from the hospital or the doctor.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws & culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Canada and Germany are signatories to the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in Germany to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and German authorities.
Carry adequate identification at all times, as police have the right to ask to see it. Keep a photocopy of your passport in case of loss or seizure.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences or heavy fines.
You must be at least 18 years old to drive a vehicle in Germany. An International Driving Permit is recommended.
A Canadian driver's licence can be used for a maximum of six months. After six months, your Canadian licence must be exchanged for a German one. Allow up to six weeks for German authorities to exchange the licence.
You must always carry your driver's licence as well as insurance, vehicle documents and written permission from the registered owner if the vehicle does not belong to you.
Observe traffic laws and regulations, particularly rights-of-way and speed limits. Much of the autobahn network authorizes much higher speeds than normally allowed in Canada. Exercise caution.
The use of cellular telephones while driving is prohibited, unless they are fitted with a hands-free device.
Penalties for drinking and driving are strict. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05 percent. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines, and driver's licences may be confiscated immediately.
The currency of Germany is the euro (EUR).
Traveller’s cheques can be exchanged at most banks and some shops. Credit cards are widely accepted at major hotels, shops and restaurants. Automated banking machines (ABMs) are widely available.
When crossing one of the external border control points of the European Union (EU), you must make a declaration to customs upon entry or exit if you have at least €10,000, or the equivalent in other currencies. The sum can be in cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques or any other convertible assets. This does not apply if you are travelling within the EU or in transit to a non-EU country. For more information on the EU legislation and links to EU countries’ sites, visit the web page of the European Commission on cash controls.
Natural disasters & climate
Natural disasters & climate
Temperatures can be lower at high altitudes in the Alps.
There is a possibility of flooding in spring and summer. The states of Bavaria, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt experienced severe flooding in early June 2013 and some areas may not have fully recovered. Exercise caution, monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.
Berlin - Embassy of Canada
Düsseldorf - Consulate of Canada
Munich - Consulate of Canada
Stuttgart - Consulate of Canada
When making a long-distance call within Germany, the city code must be preceded by a zero. For example, to call Berlin from elsewhere in Germany, you must dial 030 followed by the local number.For emergency assistance after hours, call the Embassy of Canada in Berlin and follow the instructions. You may also make a collect call to the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 613-996-8885. From within Germany, it is also possible to reach the Emergency Operations Centre toll-free by dialling 00 800 2326 6831.
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