Like all countries, there are a few things you will need to know that may be different than that of your home country.
Read the following and keep a mental note so your trip to Germany is as enjoyable as planned. Below are a few of Germany’s significant dangers and cautions to look out for!
What We Cover
- The German Red Light District
- Terrorist Attacks
- Drinking and Driving
- Speed Limits
- Illegal Drugs
- Demonstrations and Protests in Germany
- Monitor Local Media
- Report to Local Authorities in Germany
- Get Travel Insurance
- Useful Safety Tips
- Is the food in Germany safe?
- Is it safe to drive in Germany?
- Is public transportation in Germany safe?
- How is healthcare in Germany?
The United States electricity generally runs at 110 Volts, so most electrical devices are designed to run off 110 Volts. Like most of Europe, the German Electrical system generally runs at 220-230 Volts.
Some American devices are designed to be ‘Dual-Voltage’ and can be used in most parts of the world. To determine if a particular device is ‘Dual-Voltage,’ you must look at the device itself, the power box on the power cable, or the user guide (some devices must be switched from 110 to 220-230 with a switch on the device).
If you are unsure if a device is ‘Dual-Voltage,’ DO NOT plug it into a German power receptacle. Once you have your ‘Dual-Voltage’ device, you will need a plug adapter so the device plug will fit into the German power receptacle.
The German Red Light District
The main ‘attraction’ of the Red Light District is the enormous sex industry, where sex shops are seemingly everywhere you look, and prostitutes are working in the vast number of ‘Eros centers’ (licensed brothels).
The ‘Red Light Districts’ areas are also generally hot spots for drug dealers to hang out and deal with. Upon entering any red light district, it is not uncommon to see drugs being taken and distributed.
Most big cities in Germany have red-light districts, but they are usually harmless if you know what to look out for. If you visit a red light district, keep a low profile and avoid acting like a tourist.
See Related: Public Holidays in Germany
It’s incredibly uncommon, but you can’t be too careful these days… As with any large city, terrorist attacks should not be ruled out when traveling to Germany. In the past few years, there have been a small number of terrorist attacks in both smaller and larger cities.
Be sure always to be aware of your surroundings, and if you see anything suspicious, please report it to the nearest police officer or security guard.
In the event of an attack, please follow the instructions of local authorities. The German government has kept its citizens updated regarding possible threats since November 2010, when it acknowledged a heightened terrorist threat in Europe.
Drinking and Driving
Germans love drinking but abhor drunkenness. When traveling in Germany, it is essential to remember that the legal blood alcohol limit for driving is 0.05mg.
That is about one strong drink for most people. If caught driving with a blood-alcohol level above 0.05 mg, you will be arrested and could face fines and jail time. Always have a designated driver or use public transportation when drinking.
See Related: Best German Food to Try
Speed limits are relatively low in most parts of Germany. Please be sure to also keep an eye out for the signs that indicate speed limits. They are not always posted.
If caught speeding in most areas of Germany, you will face fines and points on your license. Not following the speed limit can lead to accidents, so please drive carefully.
On the flip side, be careful of Autobahn stretches with no speed limits. It’s tempting to floor it, but you might land in trouble if you’re not used to high speeds. Then there are the speed demon drivers out there that will blitz past at 155mph – watch out for those guys!
Drug laws in Germany are strict. If caught with even a tiny amount of an illegal drug, you will be arrested and could face jail time. Be sure always to follow Germany’s strict drug laws.
Demonstrations and Protests in Germany
In many European countries, May Day is often marked by labor protests. On Saturday, Mai, Hamburg, and Berlin can be expected to produce disturbances. Avoid going to Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain in Berlin since they will see disruption.
Smaller demonstrations, pop-up demonstrations, and other actions may occur in the spring before Mayday, when posters may be seen in major cities. If you have a problem,m call the police – the emergency number is 110 for Germany.
German emergency services are excellent, and you’ll likely get help in English and German. The most significant danger is usually from clashes between police and protesters. If you see any violence, leave the area immediately.
Monitor Local Media
Watching the news for updates and travel advice on any dangers or cautions in the area you are visiting would be very helpful in avoiding any risks.
Report to Local Authorities in Germany
Always report suspicious behavior to the local police or the closest security guard. Please note that they might sometimes not speak English, but someone can help you if you ask for help (Hilfe! Pronounced; Hill-fuh!). Always follow the instructions of local authorities and stay alert.
Get Travel Insurance
In an emergency, travel insurance serves as protection and a possible financial backup for those facing unexpected costs.
Please note that some insurance plans will offer to pay medical costs if no other coverage is available, so be sure to check out your options. Always have a copy of all your documents and identification on you.
If possible, keep a photocopy of your passport in a separate location from the actual passport itself. This may be useful if you find yourself lost or stranded without your original documents.
Useful Safety Tips
- Get travel insurance.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- If you are lost, ask for help. In most cases, people can point you in the right direction.
- Make copies of important documents and keep them in a separate location.
- Stay alert, use common sense, and obey all local laws and regulations.
- Monitor local media for updates on any dangers or cautions in the area you are visiting.
- Keep an eye on your luggage, especially on public transport.
- Be mindful of your belongings, especially while traveling to public places such as train stations, airports, and bus terminals.
- Walking around late at night is not recommended. Exercise extra caution when traveling after dark.
- Stay alert in crowded places and at major events.
- Report any violent or petty crime to local authorities and file a police report.
- Emergency Consular Assistance is available for visa, passport, or other travel documents issues.
- Avoid street protests
See Related: Things to Do in Berlin, Germany
Is the food in Germany safe?
The food in Germany is both healthy and safe. Prepare for a variety of different animal flesh cuts. If you’re a vegetarian, don’t worry too much. Vegetarian/vegan alternatives are readily available as well.
In Germany, sausage and sauerkraut are kings, but there’s more than just vinegary cabbage and wurst. There’s the kartoffelpuffer, a delectable potato pancake, rinderroulade (stuffed steaks), and TONS of beer to wash it down. Just be sure to have travel insurance in case of food poisoning!
Is it safe to drive in Germany?
Yes, Germans are excellent drivers, and their road systems are some of the best in the world.
The Autobahn may appear threatening outside of the city, but it’s not bad; it’s somewhat organized. The term “Umweltzone” refers to exhaust emissions, making it necessary to evaluate whether they need to reimburse or allow the emission facility.
Germans have excellent driving habits and well-maintained roads. Germany is a fantastic location to explore by automobile.
Is public transportation in Germany safe?
Public transport like buses, including the U-Bahn Underground and S-Bahn (suburban trains) national rail network, are pretty safe, although keep an eye on your belongings on the more frequent busses or subway. High-speed trains are fantastic and quick but also pricey by other European standards.
Night buses can be found in several large cities. These vehicles are typically safe options for home if they depart late at night. In the end, German public transport is both safe and comprehensive. It is easier to get around and more dependable than ever before. Transportation hubs like railway stations are available in most cities.
How is healthcare in Germany?
Germany’s Pharmacies can help you with any minor affliction if you need it. An emergency contact form will be located near the doors of the op shops in the city.
You may get emergency care at university hospitals that cater to English speakers. Just seek medical attention if you’re in a genuine emergency.
As a result, you’ll need health insurance or your European health insurance card to pay for your trip and receive treatment. To summarize, the quality of health care in Germany’s healthcare systems is exceptional.