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Security Briefing

United States: Department of State International Travel Information

Latest advice,

Reissued after periodic review with minor edits

Exercise increased caution in Germany due to terrorism.

Country Summary: Terrorist groups keep planning attacks in Germany. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning. They target tourist locations and transportation hubs. They also target markets/shopping malls and local government facilities. They target hotels, clubs, and restaurants. They also attack places of worship, parks, and major sporting and cultural events. They target schools, airports, and other public areas.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Germany.

If you decide to travel to Germany:

  • Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and crowded public venues.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter. 
  • Review the Country Security Report for Germany.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Australia: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Travel Advice

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not issue travel warnings for specific countries, but issues travel advice for every country. The information below is excerpted from its summary assessments of Germany

Current as of: 12 December 2022
Last Reviewed: 26 October 2022
Latest Advice: Exercise a high degree of caution in Germany.
Terrorism

Terrorist attacks can occur at any time.

The German Government has security measures in place, including at airports and major train stations.

Authorities continue to arrest and charge suspected terrorists.

Recent attacks include:

  • December 2020 – a knife attack in a shopping mall in Hamburg injured 3 people
  • December 2020 – a vehicle attack in a pedestrian zone in Trier killed 5 people and injured 24 others
  • October 2020 – a stabbing attack in the street in Dresden killed one person and injured another
  • August 2020 – an extremist deliberately drove a car into several others on a Berlin city motorway injuring several people
  • February 2020 – an extremist opened fire on 2 shisha bars in Hanau near Frankfurt, causing several deaths and injuries

Terrorists may plan more attacks that could happen anywhere at any time.

Recent attacks in European cities have targeted:

  • planes and airports
  • public transport and transport hubs
  • places of worship
  • sporting venues
  • major events that attract large crowds

Christmas markets and New Year's celebrations are also potential targets for attacks.

To protect yourself from terrorism:

  • be alert to possible threats
  • be cautious around known targets, including in crowds and public places
  • report suspicious activity or items to the police
  • monitor the media for new threats
  • take official warnings seriously
  • follow the advice of local authorities

If there's an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.

If you visit Christmas markets, avoid busy times. Have an exit plan if there's a security incident.

Terrorism is a threat worldwide.

More information:

  • Terrorism
Crime

Violent crime

Violent criminal attacks, unrelated to terrorism, can occur:

  • June 2022 - a man drove a car into pedestrians in Charlottenburg Berlin, killing one and injuring 14 people
  • January 2022 – a shooting at a university in Heidelberg killed one student and injured 3
  • June 2021 – a knife attack in the city centre of Wurzburg killed 3 people
  • February 2020 – a man drove his car into a crowd at the Rose Monday Parade in Volkmarsen, injuring more than 60 people

Despite these incidents, violent crime isn't common.

Monitor the media for news on crime.

Petty crime

Street crime, such as pickpocketing and theft from unattended vehicles, can occur. Bags and personal items are sometimes stolen on trains.

To protect yourself from petty crime:

  • pay attention to your personal security, particularly at night
  • secure your valuables when visiting the central districts and larger-city train stations

Harassment 

Extremist youth groups have harassed or attacked people for racial reasons or because they seem foreign. This occurs more often in urban areas and in the former East Germany.

Drink spiking

Drink spiking can occur at popular nightclubs and markets, often leading to sexual assault.

To protect yourself from drink spiking:

  • don't accept drinks from strangers or leave drinks alone
  • stick with people you trust in bars and nightclubs
Civil unrest and political tension

Demonstrations and protests

Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.

More information:

  • Demonstrations and civil unrest

Climate and natural disasters

Severe weather

Severe weather can affect your travel overseas. Monitor local media for updates.

If you're visiting an area affected by severe weather:

  • follow the advice of local authorities
  • confirm your plans with your tour operator or travel provider
  • check the condition of infrastructure and facilities with local tour operators and hotels

Energy situation

There's a risk of gas and other energy shortfalls in Germany, particularly as winter approaches. Monitor news and government information websites, and plan accordingly. 

United Kingdom: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Foreign Travel Advice