As one of the wealthier and more progressive countries in Europe, Germany is a very safe place to visit and all travelers can feel quite comfortable exploring any region of Germany from urban Berlin to the Bavarian Alps. Like anywhere in the world, crime does occur but it is going down. In 2020, the theft rate went down by 10 percent in both Berlin and Munich. Violent crime against tourists is very rare and those who do experience crime are usually victims of pickpocketing. As long as travelers are prepared for the possibility of theft and act with common sense, their trip to Germany should remain completely safe.
- Due to COVID-19, the U.S. State Department is discouraging all international travel indefinitely.
- The State Department also reports that terrorist groups are plotting possible attacks in Germany and may strike busy public areas with little or no warning.
Is Germany Dangerous?
Germany's stable infrastructure and adequate police force means that violent crime is a rarity. However, not all of Germany is the same and travelers may want to study up on the potential dangers of cities they'll visit and the events they plan to attend.
Berlin is the most-visited city in Germany and tourists here are frequently targeted by pickpockets. While graffiti is prevalent in Berlin, it is more of a political or artistic statement than signs of a troubled neighborhood. Bike theft is another common crime, so if you are renting a bike, make sure it comes with a sturdy lock. When traveling through the any red light district, which exist in cities like Hamburg and Frankfurt, travelers should stay aware of their surroundings as crime is more likely to take place in these parts of the city, even if they seem heavily-trafficked by tourists.
Large events like Oktoberfest attract big crowds of intoxicated people, which means a higher rate of accidents, fighting, and theft. Sporting events, like soccer matches, tend to bring out the rowdiest fans, but these events are usually sufficiently policed. Due to an increase in terrorism across Europe, you may also notice an increased police presence at major tourist sites that tend to draw large crowds.
Is Germany Safe for Solo Travelers?
German culture is independent by nature, so solo travelers should feel quite at ease transiting through and exploring Germany. With excellent infrastructure, high-speed trains, and many budget-friendly options for accommodation, Germany is a great place for entry-level solo traveler to start venturing out on their own. Of course, that doesn't mean Germany is always going to be perfectly safe and solo travelers should stay vigilant, never set down their valuables in a busy place, and not get too intoxicated if they go out and experience the nightlife.
Is Germany Safe for Female Travelers?
Although Germany is well-known around the world for electing many female politicians in positions of leadership, sexism still exists and domestic violence is still a prevalent issue. Female travelers in Germany should take the same precautions that they would at home, which means avoiding walking around alone late at night and not engaging with verbal street harassment. Overall, most female travelers consider Germany to be a very safe destination, but you still need to use your common sense.
Safety Tips for LGBTQ+ Travelers
Ranking highly among the top countries on the Spartacus Gay Travel Index, which quantifies LGBTQ+ rights in countries around the world, Germany is a very welcoming country for LGBTQ+ travelers. Berlin is well-known to throw a large gay pride parade every year and Germany has one of the largest LGBTQ+ populations in Europe. Generally, LGBTQ+ travelers can feel very safe expressing themselves in Germany. However, crimes and attacks motivated by homophobia do still occur, even in Berlin, so it's important to stay vigilant.
Safety for BIPOC Travelers
Because Germany does not collect population data on race, it's hard to know exactly how diverse the country has become. While protests against racism have taken the national spotlight recently, the country is just as safe, if not safer, for BIPOC travelers to visit as any other major European country. Large cities are generally more tolerant than in small towns and if you're sticking to the main tourist sites, you should face no issues. Racially-motivated and xenophobic attacks do occur, but tourists are rarely the targets of these attacks. BIPOC travelers taking the usual precautions and sticking to the typical tourist zones can generally expect an uneventful and safe experience.
Safety Tips for Travelers
Here are some general safety tips anyone traveling to Germany should know.
- In an emergency, you can dial 112. A call can be made from any telephone (landline, pay phone or mobile cellular phone) for free.
- Germany's Autobahn is famous for having areas with no speed limit, but this doesn't mean you can drive recklessly everywhere. Be sure to familiarize yourself with how the speed limits work if you're going to drive in Germany.
- Pickpockets and scammers tend to hang out around crowded places like public markets and busy attractions like the Berlin Wall or Cologne Cathedral, so always stay alert when you're in a crowded area.
- Every year on May 1, protests take place throughout the country and are worth steering clear of if you happen to be traveling around this time of year.
Overseas Security Advisory Council, U.S. Department of State. "Germany 2020 Crime & Safety Report: Berlin." June 29, 2020.
Overseas Security Advisory Council, U.S. Department of State. "Germany 2020 Crime & Safety Report: Munich." June 29, 2020.
U.S. Department of State. "COVID-19 Traveler Information."
U.S. Department of State. "Germany Travel Advisory."