The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that you
obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas
medical costs, including medical evacuation, before travelling
to Germany. You should check any exclusions, and that your
policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
Irish Citizens should note that the Irish Government
does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for
repatriation of remains.
You should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) free
of charge which entitles you to emergency medical treatment. This
card is NOT a substitute for travel insurance. See www.ehic.ie. The EHIC replaces the Form
E111, which is no longer valid.
Germany is a Federation, comprising 16 Federal States. Laws, public
holidays, etc. may vary from state to state.
Safety and Security
Irish citizens should be aware of the potential threat of terrorist
attacks on major urban centres across Europe. Accordingly,
travellers to Germany are urged to be vigilant, particularly at
airports, train stations and major urban and tourist centres.
Violent crime in Germany is rare, but normal, sensible precautions
should be taken to avoid mugging, bag-snatching and pick pocketing,
particularly at airports, train stations and around unattended
Local Laws and Customs
If you intend to stay in Germany for three months or more you must
register with the local German authorities (Einwohnermeldeamt).
Those coming to Germany for short stays are not required to
register with these authorities.
You should carry your valid passport with you at all times. German
police have the right to ask for identification at any time, and
the only acceptable form of ID for Irish citizens is a valid
passport. For this reason it is also advisable to take a number of
photocopies of your passport with you, should you lose the
Be aware that under German law, a bicycle is considered to be a
vehicle and thus cycling under the influence of alcohol can lead to
penalties and prosecution.
When signing a contract in Germany or registering for an offer
online (for example for transport tickets; bill-pay phones;
internet connections etc.), please be aware that a contract
duration of 24 months is not uncommon and there may be an automatic
Natural Disasters and Climate
Germany is very cold in winter and can generally experience snowy
conditions up until March. Visitors should therefore bring
warm winter clothing as well as appropriate footwear. Caution
should be exercised on footpaths in winter months as they can be
extremely dangerous due to compacted ice.
Average German temperatures during winter:
in December: Average low -2.7° C, average high 5° C
in January: Average low -5° C, average high 4.4° C
in February: Average low -3.8° C, average high 5° C
While the German transport network is normally well equipped to
deal with extreme weather, be aware that delays do sometimes occur
and it is advisable to check the status of your train or flight
well in advance of departure.
Additional Country Info
Money transfer/Western Union
DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR MISSIONS IN GERMANY
Contact details for all Irish Missions (including Honorary
Consuls) in Germany, are available here.