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Security Briefing

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Travel Essentials

Security Briefing: Security Assessment

Normal Travel Precautions

Elevated Risk

High Risk

Travelers are advised to exercise normal travel precautions in Germany. There is a general risk of theft, particularly at train stations and airports. Expensive watches, jewelry, and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves. Exercise caution in higher-risk urban areas: most reported street crimes involve the theft of unattended items or vehicles, as well as pickpocketing. Carry your passport with you at all times; if your passport is stolen, report the theft immediately at a police station.

Avoid protests and demonstrations; check local media for updates on the situation and for traffic advisories. Be aware of hooligans (typically drunken “skinheads”) as they have a reputation of harassing or attacking people whom they perceive to be foreigners or rivals. Similarly, be on your guard around expatriate hangouts (e.g., restaurants, bars, and discos) frequented by US citizens or US citizen tourists; being in these areas may attract unwanted attention from rowdy patrons looking for a fight.

German road conditions in general are excellent. However, exercise caution while traveling on older roads in eastern Germany. Pay attention to road markings and speed limits. Widespread flooding can occur after heavy rainfall, which affects road conditions.

Bicyclists have the priority use of designated bike lanes. If you are walking, watch for bicyclists before crossing or stepping into these lanes. While driving, always check both directions for bicyclists.

Primary Sources: The US Department of State's "International Travel" website (, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's "Smartraveller" website (, and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office's "Foreign Travel Advice" website (