Traveling Luck for Germany

Germany is located in Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark.

Germany has borders with Switzerland for 334km, France for 451km, Belgium for 167km, Poland for 456km, Luxembourg for 138km, Denmark for 68km, Austria for 784km, Netherlands for 577km and Czech Republic for 646km.

Land in Germany is lowlands in north, uplands in center, Bavarian Alps in south.

German land covers an area of 357021 square kilometers which is slightly smaller than Montana

As for the German climate; temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm mountain (foehn) wind.

German(s) speak German.

German National Map

German Map

Regions of Germany

As Europe's largest economy and second most populous nation, Germany remains a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organizations. European power struggles immersed Germany in two devastating World Wars in the first half of the 20th century and left the country occupied by the victorious Allied powers of the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Union in 1945. With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949: the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The democratic FRG embedded itself in key Western economic and security organizations, the EC, which became the EU, and NATO, while the Communist GDR was on the front line of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. The decline of the USSR and the end of the Cold War allowed for German unification in 1990. Since then, Germany has expended considerable funds to bring Eastern productivity and wages up to Western standards. In January 2001, Germany and 10 other EU countries introduced a common European exchange currency, the euro; Initialy used for non-cash transactions. In 2002, Euro banknotes and coins replaced the DM.


Germany Country Profile

Germany's affluent and technologically powerful economy - the fifth largest in the world - has become one of the slowest growing economies in the euro zone. A quick turnaround is not in the offing in the foreseeable future. Growth in 2001-03 fell short of 1%, rising to 1.7% in 2004 before falling back to 0.9% in 2005. The modernization and integration of the eastern German economy continues to be a costly long-term process, with annual transfers from west to east amounting to roughly $70 billion. Germany's aging population, combined with high unemployment, has pushed social security outlays to a level exceeding contributions from workers. Structural rigidities in the labor market - including strict regulations on laying off workers and the setting of wages on a national basis - have made unemployment a chronic problem. Corporate restructuring and growing capital markets are setting the foundations that could allow Germany to meet the long-term challenges of European economic integration and globalization, particularly if labor market rigidities are further addressed. In the short run, however, the fall in government revenues and the rise in expenditures have raised the deficit above the EU's 3% debt limit.

German natural resources include coal, lignite, natural gas, iron ore, copper, nickel, uranium, potash, salt, construction materials, timber, arable land

strategic location on North European Plain and along the entrance to the Baltic Sea

German religion is Protestant 34%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 3.7%, unaffiliated or other 28.3%.

Natural hazards in Germany include flooding.

Travel Advice on Germany

Germany

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with amendments to the Health section (EHIC) and General section (EU Aviation Regulations).  The overall level of the advice has not changed.

SUMMARY

  • Germany shares with the rest of Europe a threat from terrorism.  Attacks could be indiscriminate and against civilian targets.  Two explosive devices were found on regional trains in the Dortmund and Koblenz areas on 31 July 2006.

  • We are aware of British nationals who have been arrested for possessing counterfeit currency.  We advise against changing currency anywhere other than banks or legitimate Bureaux de Change.

  • Most visits to Germany are trouble-free.  The main types of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance in Germany are for replacing lost and stolen passports and drug offences.

  • We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling to Germany.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see:  Travel Insurance


SAFETY AND SECURITY


Crime

You should take normal, sensible precautions to avoid mugging, bag‑snatching and pickpocketing.  You should be extra vigilant at airports and railway stations in the large cities.  Do not leave valuables unattended.

Political Situation
Germany Country Profile

Road Safety

If you wish to drive in Germany you must carry a valid driving licence, insurance and vehicle documents with you in the vehicle at all times.  If the vehicle does not belong to the driver, written permission from the registered owner may also be requested.

The minimum age for driving a car in Germany is 18 years old.  17 year-old British drivers with valid British licences are not permitted to drive a car.  Anyone who contravenes this law may be fined and your vehicle will be impounded.  Advice on driving outside the UK can be obtained from motoring organisations such as the AA and RAC.

You should take particular care when driving in Germany as driving regulations and customs are different from those in the UK.  Roads in Germany, particularly motorways, are of an excellent standard but speed limits are higher than in the UK and the accident rate is greater.  Many drivers undertake long journeys in, or through, Germany.  Care should be taken to plan journeys and take sufficient breaks; a minimum break of 15 minutes after every two hours of driving is recommended.


LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS

You should carry your valid passport with you at all times.  German police have the right to ask to see identification.  For British citizens, the only acceptable form of ID is a valid passport.

If you intend to stay in Germany for 3 months or more you must register with the German authorities (Einwohnermeldeamt) within 7 days of arrival.  Those staying in Germany for a short visit are not normally required to register.  Hotels are legally obliged to register guests and this information is passed automatically to Einwohnermeldeamt.

There is no longer a requirement for EU Citizens to apply for a residence permit.

If you intend to work in Germany, you should obtain detailed information on employment regulations from the German Embassy, 23 Belgrave Square, London, SWIX 8PZ; (tel:  020 7824 1300) or from the British Embassy in Berlin or a British Consulate in Düsseldorf, Hamburg or Münich.


ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

You need a valid passport to enter Germany.

You do not require a visa.

Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country.  For further information on exactly what will be required at immigration please contact:  German Representation in the UK


HEALTH

The Form E111 is no longer valid.  You should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK.  The EHIC is not a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but entitles you to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as German nationals.  You will not be covered for medical repatriation, on-going medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature.  For more information about how to obtain the EHIC please see:  Europe and the EHIC.

We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see:  Travel Insurance

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

The Friedrich-Loeffler-Insitute / Federal Research Institute for animal health has confirmed outbreaks of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) in wild birds throughout Germany.  The first case in domestic poultry was confirmed in Saxony on 5 April 2006.  The H5N1 virus has also been found in at least three dead cats and a stone marten.  No human infections or deaths have been reported.

The risk to humans from Avian Influenza is believed to be very low.  As a precaution you should avoid visiting live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where you may come into close contact with domestic, caged or wild birds; and ensure poultry and egg dishes are thoroughly cooked.

You should read this advice in conjunction with the FCO’s Avian and Pandemic Influenza Factsheet, which gives more detailed advice and information.

You should seek medical advice before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date.  For further information on health, check the Department of Health’s (DoH) website at:  www.dh.gov.uk


GENERAL

If things go wrong when overseas, please see What We Can Do To Help
EU Aviation Regulations
The revised EU-wide security measures that came into effect for all passengers departing from UK airports in November 2006 are also being implemented in Germany.  For more details about this please see:  DfT - Airline Security Update.
Emergency Passports

The British Consulate-General, Düsseldorf is the only passport issuing post within Germany.  However Emergency Passports (EPs) can be obtained from either the British Embassy Berlin or the British Consulate Generals, Hamburg, Munich and Düsseldorf.

An Emergency Passport is a piece of paper valid for 1 journey to the UK.  This paper is usually surrendered on arrival to the UK and you must then obtain a new passport from your nearest Passport Office in the UK.

A call centre now handles all passport enquiries.  If you wish to speak to an operator please call Abtran on (04) 0190 700 661 (open Mon-Fri 09.00-17.30).  Please note that calls will be charged at a premium rate – or e-mail consular.section@duesseldorf.mail.fco.gov.uk.