COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers
Germany travel advice
Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)
Last updated: ET
On this page
- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
- Need help?
Germany - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Germany due to the threat of terrorism.
Safety and security
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, occurs.
Organized groups of pickpockets often use distraction techniques and are particularly active in:
- major cities
- transportation hubs
- Christmas markets
- tourist attractions
Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
Violent crime is uncommon, but does occur.
Crimes committed by far-right extremists against individuals belonging to ethnic, religious or political minorities occur.
While tourists are not specifically targeted, you could find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Always be vigilant and aware of your surroundings.
Cybercrime occurs. Perpetrators may compromise public Wi-Fi networks to steal credit card or personal information.
- Avoid using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks
- Avoid making purchases on unencrypted websites
- Be cautious when posting information on social media
- Be particularly vigilant when contacting or meeting individuals known over the internet
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorists have carried out attacks in several European cities. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, Christmas markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
The Government of Germany maintains a public alert system on terrorism. Alert level changes are communicated through local media.
- Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places
- Be particularly vigilant if attending sporting events and during religious holidays and other public celebrations, as terrorists have used such occasions to mount attacks
More information about public security - Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community
Demonstrations take place regularly. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Mass gatherings (large-scale events)
If you intend to go hiking, mountaineering or skiing:
- never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you are properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes or ski slopes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails or slopes
Roads conditions and road safety are excellent throughout the country.
Pedestrians should exercise caution when crossing dedicated bicycle paths, as bicycles have right of way.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Entry and exit requirements
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the German authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Canadian citizens do not need a visa for travel to countries within the Schengen area. However, visa-free travel only applies to stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country.
If you plan to stay in the Schengen area for a longer period of time, you will need a visa. You must contact the high commission or embassy of the country or countries you are travelling to and obtain the appropriate visa(s) prior to travel.
Temporary border controls
The German government has reintroduced internal border controls at certain border crossings. You may be required to pass through immigration controls when entering Germany, even if arriving from another Schengen area country.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave the Schengen area.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 90 days in any 180-day period
Business visa: not required for stays up to 90 days
Student visa: required
Extension of stay
As a tourist, you can’t stay in Germany longer than 90 days. If you wish to stay beyond this 90-day limit, you must apply for a residence permit and provide a valid reason.
If you unexpectedly have to stay beyond the 90-day limit, contact the Foreigners’ Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde) in the district you are staying in to regularize your extended stay.
If you intend to reside in Germany for more than 3 months, you must register at the local Residents‘ Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt), usually within 7 days of your entry into the country.
If you don’t, you may be fined.
Other entry requirements
Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn more about travelling with children.
Relevant Travel Health Notices
- Global Measles Notice - 8 September, 2022
- COVID-19 and International Travel - 17 March, 2023
This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.
Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.
Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
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.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* 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.
Tick-borne encephalitis is present in some areas of this country.
It is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).
It is spread to humans by the bite of infected ticks or when you consume unpasteurized milk products.
Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks during outdoor activities.
A vaccine against TBE does exist but is only available in countries where the disease is present.
Learn more on what you can do to prevent tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
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.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
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.
Safe food and water precautions
Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.
- Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
- Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs.
Insect bite prevention
Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:
- Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
- Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
- Minimize exposure to insects
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed
To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.
Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.
Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may put you at higher risk of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.
Closely supervise children, as they’re more likely to come in contact with animals.
Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:
- washing your hands often
- avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
- avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners.
Medical services and facilities
Health care is excellent. Service is available throughout the country.
Private healthcare is expensive. Care providers usually require upfront payment. If you need a detailed breakdown of expenses for a Canadian insurance claim, make sure you clearly request it, as German hospitals don’t usually provide one.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
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 and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons
Canada and Germany are signatories to the 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. This process can take a long time, and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.
Local police may ask to see your identification at any time.
- Carry adequate identification at all times, such as your passport or residence permit
- Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place, in case it is lost or stolen
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences or heavy fines.
There are strict laws regarding the diffusion of propaganda material and the use of symbols from the Nazi party or other organizations linked to fascism and the Third Reich.
Illegal activities may include:
- diffusing or sharing propaganda, including online
- producing, importing or exporting memorabilia
- publicly wearing, using or display symbols and greetings related to these organizations
Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences or fines.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Germany.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Germany, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
Travellers with dual citizenship
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and Germany.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Germany, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the German court.
If you are in this situation:
- act as quickly as you can
- contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Germany to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- The Hague Convention - Hague Conference on Private International Law
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
You must be at least 18 years old to drive a vehicle in Germany.
You can use your valid Canadian driver’s licence for up to 6 months. After 6 months, you must exchange your Canadian licence for a German one. Allow up to 6 weeks for German authorities to exchange your licence.
You must always carry written permission from the registered owner of the vehicle if the vehicle doesn’t belong to you.
Winter tires are mandatory during icy conditions.
Speed limits vary considerably in Germany. On the highway network (autobahn), limits are generally much higher than the ones in Canada. On certain sections, there are no speed limits.
- Drive carefully
- Be mindful of speed regulations
Certain cities have put in place low-emission zones (Umweltzone) to reduce air pollution.
Access to these zones is restricted. You may need to obtain a permit to prove that your vehicle responds to environmental standards.
Personal light electric vehicles
Drivers of light electric vehicles, such as electric scooters and e-skateboards, must follow the rules of the road. Insurance is mandatory.
To drive such vehicles, your blood alcohol limit must not exceed 0.05%. New drivers and individuals under 21 years of age must not have any alcohol in their system. Convicted offenders can face heavy fines and have their licence confiscated on the spot. Authorities may ask for the fine to be paid right away.
You cannot drive on pedestrian walkways and in pedestrian zones.
- More about driving in Germany - European Commission
- Low-emission zones in Germany - German Environment Agency
- Personal Light Electric Vehicles - Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure
The currency of Germany is the euro (EUR).
If you are carrying €10,000 or more, or the equivalent in other currencies, you must make a declaration to customs when you enter or leave the European Union. It includes sums in:
- banknotes and coins
- bearer negotiable instruments such as cheques, travellers’ cheques, promissory notes and money orders
- bonds, shares
- gold coins with a gold content of at least 90 %
- gold bars, nuggets or clumps with a gold content of at least 99.5 %
- any other convertible asset
This does not apply if you are travelling within the European Union or in transit to a non-EU country.
EU cash controls - European Commission
Natural disasters and climate
Flooding and landslides
Heavy rains, particularly in spring and summer, can cause severe flooding and landslides. Roads may become impassable and infrastructure damaged.
- Exercise caution, particularly in areas around major rivers
- Stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- Download the Nina warning app to receive important alerts from German authorities
- Follow the advice of local authorities, including evacuation orders
- Emergency preparation - Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (in German)
- Nina warning app - Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (in German)
Forest fires may occur, particularly during summer months.
The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke.
In case of a major fire:
- stay away from affected areas, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments
- monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation
- follow the advice of local authorities
There is a risk of avalanches in mountainous regions, especially following heavy snowfalls. Some have resulted in deaths.
Be particularly careful in the alpine areas of Bavaria.
Avalanche forecasting and warnings - European Avalanche Warning Services (EAWS)
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 110
- medical assistance: 112
- firefighters: 112
Berlin - Embassy of Canada
Düsseldorf - Consulate of Canada
Munich - Consulate of Canada
Stuttgart - Honorary consul of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada to Germany, in Berlin, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
- Date modified: