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Germany

If you’re travelling to Germany, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

Overview

Security status

If you’re planning a trip to Germany, we advise you to take normal precautions.

Register with us

If you’re visiting or planning to stay in Germany, you should register your details with us so we can find you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or if you have a family emergency while you’re abroad. And, if necessary, we can offer help to you and your family.

Our advice

We suggest you learn as much as you can about Germany before your trip.

We also recommend reading our Know Before You Go travel guide for practical tips on travelling abroad.

European Health Insurance Card

We advise you to get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you travel to Germany. This card replaces the E111 form and entitles you to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as German nationals.

The EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance and doesn’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. You can apply for an EHIC online at www.ehic.ie.

Emergency assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

Contact the Embassy

If there is an emergency, or if you need help and advice, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Berlin.

If you phone outside of working hours, leave us a message giving:

  • Your name
  • The nature of your problem
  • Where you are now
  • Your contact details (mobile phone number or phone number of where you’re staying)

We regularly monitor these messages and one of our staff members will be in contact with you.

How we can help you

We have a lot of experience helping Irish citizens who run into problems when they’re abroad. Learn more about the kind of emergency assistance we can offer you.

Safety and security

Practical advice

  • Read our Know Before You Go travel guide for useful security tips when travelling abroad  
  • Get advice locally about areas of risk and security concerns
  • Take common-sense precautions about safety and security
  • Know who to contact in case of an emergency

Terrorism

Although the threat from terrorism in Germany is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates. 

Crime

Crime remains relatively low in Germany but you should take sensible precautions: 

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place. 
  • Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
  • Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Germany, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Berlin if you need help.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Germany, be aware traffic travels on the right side. Traffic can be faster-paced than in Ireland and driving customs are different.

If you want to drive:

  • Bring your full Irish driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
  • Be aware of Germany’s traffic laws, such as speed limits
  • Wear your seatbelts at all times
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights

Vehicle hire

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Local laws and customs

Practical advice

  • Read our travel advice, inform yourself before travelling and get advice locally when you arrive
  • Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them
  • Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms. 

Personal identification

You should carry your valid passport with you at all times. German police have the right to ask for identification at any time, and the only acceptable form of ID for Irish citizens is a valid passport. For this reason it is also advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you, should you lose the original.

Natural disasters and climate

Practical advice

  • If you’re travelling to Germany, make sure you know what to expect – then plan and pack so that you’re prepared
  • Get local advice on how to manage in the case of a serious incident or dangerous conditions
  • Co-operate with local authorities and emergency services in the case of serious incidents 

Travel Advice Hot Cold Climates

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

A valid passport is required to enter Germany. Irish citizens and EU passport holders do not need a visa.

If you intend to stay in Germany for three months or more you must register with the local German authorities (Einwohnermeldeamt). Those coming to Germany for short stays are not required to register with these authorities.

Health

Irish citizens travelling to Germany do not need any vaccinations.