SAFETY AND SECURITY
Violent crime is rare, but does occur.
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.
Individuals have been harassed or attacked for reasons of race or foreign-looking appearance.
Ensure that personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
Arson attacks on parked vehicles have occurred.
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorists have carried out attacks in several European cities. In Germany, previous incidents have resulted in injury and death. They include random violent assaults in public areas and a truck driven into crowds at a Christmas market in Berlin. Further attacks in Europe are likely.
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, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
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.
The Government of Germany maintains a public alert system on terrorism. Alert level changes are communicated through local media.
More information about public security – Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community
Demonstrations may occur. 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
More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)
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.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES
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.