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 The EHIC replaces the Form E111, which is no longer valid.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 vehicles.
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 original.
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 extension clause.
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
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