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Travel Essentials

Security Briefing: Threats to Safety and Security

The information below has been excerpted from the following: 1) the US Department of State's "International Travel" website (, 2) the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's "Smartraveller" website (, and 3) the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office's "Foreign Travel Advice" website ( Additional information is available from these sources. World Trade Press annually assesses the information presented on this page.

Australia: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Travel Advice

We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions. Exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia. You should monitor the media for potential risks to your safety and security.


Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. You can find more information about this threat in our General advice to Australian travellers.

The German Government continues to express concern about possible security risks in Germany and maintains heightened security measures around the country, including at airports and major train stations.

German authorities are monitoring a large number of individuals considered capable of violent acts. As part of its ongoing monitoring, German law enforcement authorities continue to investigate, arrest and prosecute suspected militants and terrorists.

There is an ongoing risk of terrorism in Europe. In the past, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities, such as Glasgow, London, Madrid and Moscow. Targets have included public transport and transport hubs, and public places frequented by foreigners. In addition, a number of planned attacks have been disrupted by European security services in recent years, underscoring the continuing interest of terrorists in attacking European locations.

Civil unrest/political tension

You should avoid large public demonstrations as they may turn violent.

United Kingdom: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Foreign Travel Advice

You should behave responsibly and respect local laws and customs. Anti-social behaviour is not tolerated by the German authorities. For further information and advice, visit the Munich and Stuttgart tourist office websites.

United States: Department of State International Travel Information

German authorities are vigilant in combating terrorism and other threats to security. Authorities have uncovered and disrupted several extremist plots including some targeting U.S. interests.  The most recent deadly attack occurred in March 2011, when two U.S. Airmen were killed and two others wounded when a lone Islamic extremist opened fire on them at the Frankfurt International Airport. Like other countries in the Schengen area, Germany’s open borders with its European neighbors limit its ability to track suspect individuals entering and exiting the country with anonymity.

Germany’s robust democracy is often expressed in large, public demonstrations on a variety of political and economic issues. Such demonstrations are common on politically significant holidays, such as German Labor Day on May 1, and during international summits hosted in Germany. In order to stage a demonstration, groups must obtain prior police approval, and police routinely oversee participants and passersby. Nonetheless, these demonstrations can attract counter-demonstrations and have the potential to turn violent. Avoid areas around protests and demonstrations and check local media for updates on the situation and traffic advisories.

U.S. citizens should exercise caution when congregating in areas known as expatriate hangouts such as restaurants, bars, and discos frequented by high numbers of resident U.S. citizens and/or U.S. citizen tourists. In addition, hooligans, most often drunken “skinheads,” have been known to harass or even attack people whom they believe to be foreigners or members of rival groups. On occasion, German police reported assaults which appeared to have been motivated by racial reasons, and U.S. citizens have reported that they were assaulted for racial reasons or because they appeared “foreign.”

Stay up to date by:

  • Bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution;
  • Following us on Twitter and Facebook; 
  • Downloading our free Smart Traveler App, available throughiTunes and the Google Play, to have travel information at your fingertips;
  • Calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries; and
  • Taking some time before travel to consider your personal security. Here are some useful tips for traveling safely abroad.