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Latest updates: The Safety and security tab was updated - removal of U.S. Travel Alert for the holiday season.
Germany - Exercise normal security precautions
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Germany. Exercise normal security precautions.
Safety and security
Safety and security
In the evening of December 19, 2016, a truck was deliberately driven into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin, resulting in 12 deaths and several injuries. Expect heightened security measures and an increased police presence in public places such as Christmas markets and at public festivities. Remain vigilant at all times, monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time and could target areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers, such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels, schools, places of worship and airports and other transportation hubs. Exercise caution if attending sporting events, religious holiday celebrations and other public festivities. Remain vigilant at all times, monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.
There has been an increase in violent assaults in Germany. Between July 18 and 25, 2016, several attacks were committed against people in public areas, resulting in 10 deaths and many injuries.The Government of Germany maintains a public alert system on terrorism. Alert level changes are communicated through local media. Visit the Federal Ministry of the Interior for information on public security in Germany.
Violent crime in Germany is low. However, numerous incidents of muggings and sexual assaults have occurred during large gatherings in Cologne and other German cities, most notably on December 31, 2015. Exercise normal security precautions and be particularly vigilant if attending events drawing large crowds.
Petty crime (pickpocketing and purse snatching) occurs in major cities and train stations, airports and Christmas markets.
Pickpockets often work in teams and target people on trains and at railway stations and airports. Their methods include distracting a victim who is boarding or exiting a train or surrounding a victim in line-ups or at check-in counters.
There have been reports of individuals being harassed or attacked for reasons of race or foreign-looking appearance.
Arson attacks on parked vehicles have occurred.
Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.
Strikes may occasionally interfere with mail, telephone, transportation and other services.
Roads and public transportation are excellent.
Bicycles are numerous throughout the country and often have dedicated pathways between sidewalks and roadways. You should exercise caution when crossing these paths, as bicycles have right of way.
Dial 110 in the event of a traffic accident.
Rail service is widely available and reliable.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
General safety Information
Exercise normal security precautions. Ensure that personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
There has been a significant increase in the number of migrants and refugees entering Europe. Some countries have already experienced disruptions to transportation services, including at ferry ports and railway stations, and have seen major delays at border crossings. The situation also heightens the potential for demonstrations that could turn violent without warning, particularly at railway stations and other transportation hubs. If you are travelling in the region, monitor local news and follow the advice of local authorities, and contact your transport carrier to determine whether the situation could disrupt your travel.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the German authorities and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. 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.
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.
Consult the German Federal Ministry of Interior for the latest information on German immigration law and regulations.
Germany is a Schengen area country. Upon arrival, Canadians are required to present a passport that must be valid for at least three months beyond the date of expected departure from the Schengen area. 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.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives 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.
Temporary border controls
The German government has reintroduced internal border controls at certain border crossings. Canadians may be required to pass through immigration controls when entering Germany, even if arriving from another Schengen area 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-day period begins upon initial entry into any country of the Schengen area. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country within any 180-day period.
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 must stay beyond the 90-day limit unexpectedly (for example, due to illness), contact the Foreigners Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde) in the district in which you are staying for information on how to legalize your extended stay.
Canadians do not need a visa for travel to countries within the Schengen area for stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any country within the Schengen area. If you plan to stay in the Schengen area for longer than the 90 days in any 180-day period, you must contact the high commission or embassy of the country or countries you are travelling to and obtain the appropriate visa prior to travel. For more information, see Schengen area.
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 - July 28, 2016 00:00 EDT
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 generally issue the detailed breakdown of expenses that is usually required by Canadian insurance companies, but you may request a detailed bill 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 and culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Canada and Germany are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (Council of Europe). 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, such as a passport or residence permit, as police have the right to ask to see it. Keep a photocopy of your passport, in case it is lost or seized.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Germany. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a German citizen. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present a German passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences or heavy fines.
Using or displaying Nazi symbols or material, such as flags or memorabilia, is illegal.
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, insurance and vehicle documents, as well as 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.
Additional information regarding road safety can be found on the European Commission’s website.
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 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 country sites, visit the European Commission’s cash controls website.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Temperatures can be lower at high altitudes in the Alps.
There is a possibility of flooding in spring and summer. Exercise caution, monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
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 consular assistance , call the embassy of Canada in Berlin and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also call the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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