Found on the central-western side of Europe, Germany is a very popular vacation spot for many people on this continent. Plus, being packed with beautiful landscapes and stunning architecture, it perfectly mixes modernity and tradition in all its 16 constituent states.
In Bavaria, for instance, you may visit baroque palaces that literally take your breath away. On the other hand, Berlin is packed with countless historical sites and galleries with contemporary art. This mix of history and tradition is exactly what makes this place so attractive to tourists.
Yet, while Germany has so many beautiful things to see, we are still left with the question: how safe is Germany for tourists? Well, despite past incidents, Germany is fairly safe. You do, however, need to ensure some common sense precautions in order to ensure a successful journey.
Highest Risks You Expose Yourself to When Visiting Germany
Overall Risks in Germany: LOW
On the scale of the most dangerous countries to travel to, Germany has a safety index of 84.1 – and ranks as number 14 out of 162 countries. As a result, while Germany is still not 100% safe, it is still better than most vacation spots. No country can be THAT safe – so as long as you take care of yourself, there should be no reason for you to be in danger.
Like many countries, the general worry that you should have are scammers and pickpockets. However, if you follow common sense and don’t go dangling your belongings around, the risks of you becoming a target are fairly low.
Terrorism has also become a recent concern in Germany – but thankfully, the threat is fairly contained. With proper vigilance, you should not feel endangered when visiting Germany.
Pickpocketing and Theft Risks in Germany: MEDIUM
Every country has its fair share of pickpockets – Germany included. Generally, tourist landmarks are the places that gather the highest number of pickpockets. At the same time, you may also find them in crowded places and public transport. Generally speaking, though, the pickpocketing issue is not such a great concern when compared with other countries.
Nevertheless, considering the latest political issues, there is a chance that some of the less fortunate people will resort to pickpocketing. Tourists are generally the ones they are targeted – mainly because they are seen as the ones with “a lot of cash, coming to enjoy a vacation.” They are easy targets this way.
- How to avoid pickpocketing and theft in Germany?
Avoiding pickpockets in Germany is more an issue of common sense. No one will attack you in the middle of the street in order to steal your belonging. It will only happen if you are not careful with them to begin with.
For example, if you are enjoying a cup of coffee on a terrace placed on a crowded street, do not leave your phone, wallet, or camera sitting on the table – even if you are AT that table. It only takes a second of you glancing somewhere else, and goodbye belongings.
Similarly, you may want to leave your valuables in the safe of your hotel or at your accommodation. Unless you actually need your passport, your ID, or your credit cards, you should leave them at home. Only take as much cash as you need with you.
If you do decide to take them with you, be careful to keep your bag closed. Most importantly, however, never leave it out of your sight.
Scam Risk in Germany: LOW to MEDIUM
Scamming in Germany is not that common. However, it can happen, which is why you may want to exercise the proper precautions. Scamming is mostly common in touristic places, where people are trying to take advantage of the naïve tourist.
These scams generally come from street vendors or groups of people (generally teenagers) that will try to distract you. Taxi scams are not that common – but they can happen. In these cases, the drivers will try to overcharge your ride – so make sure that the meter is turned on when the ride starts.
- How to avoid getting scammed in Germany?
Avoiding scams in Germany is generally as simple as paying close attention to who’s lurking around you. You may want to be careful of who’s behind you at the ATM, and withdraw directly from the bank If possible.
Similarly, if people are trying too much to sell you something, kindly say no and walk away. Those people are generally trying to sell overpriced goods which you can find cheaper elsewhere.
Contact with locals should not be limited – and is in fact encouraged. However, you should be careful of the people around – and make sure that they are not with a group. Generally, these circumstances can be prevented simply by reading a few Germany safety travel tips.
Kidnapping Risk in Germany: LOW
The risks of being kidnapped in Germany are fairly low. There haven’t been any recent reported incidents – and generally speaking, this is not an issue that happens to tourists.
Any incidents have been isolated – and they do not happen in crowded areas, where people gather. Therefore, if you are asking the question “is Germany safe to visit,” the answer for you is: yes, it is very safe to visit.
- How to avoid getting kidnapped in Germany?
While kidnapping is not really an issue of concern in Germany, it might still happen if you are not careful enough. As a result, you might want to avoid alleys that are poorly illuminated – and also avoid the areas around the border. The only kidnapping instance might happen if you encounter a terrorist at the border.
You might want to avoid areas where there is a risk of hostage-taking. Also, it might be a good idea to keep a low profile and avoid any predictable movements or time patterns. This might throw any kidnapper off in the event that you catch their interest.
You might also want to avoid displaying or wearing items that might make you stand you out. Do not wear jewelry that is overly expensive for a casual day out, and only use your camera or mobile phone when you need them. Doing otherwise might make you become a target due to its perceived wealth.
Terrorism Risk in Germany: MEDIUM
Germany has been subjected to a fair number of terrorist attacks, the attacks being relatively indiscriminate. Some attacks were also help in public places where the foreigners went to. For this reason, the German government has increased the security when it comes to major events, public buildings, large gatherings, and transport hubs.
The biggest threat comes from a group of extremists affiliated with Daesh (known as ISIL in the past), who claim responsibility for the attacks occurring in Germany. So far, there were not many casualties, and the authorities also managed to successfully disrupt many planned attacks.
- How to avoid terrorism in Germany?
Considering that there is a heightened threat of terrorist attacks worldwide – not just in Germany – every tourist should know how to protect themselves. Ideally, you should read a Germany safety guide before heading onto your holiday.
While it might not be possible to avoid public gatherings or busses, you might want to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
If you believe that someone around you is acting suspicious, try to put some distance between you and your source of concern. Once you have reached a safe point, contact the local authorities so that they can check the problem out.
Risks for Women Traveling Alone in Germany: LOW
Solo traveling is fairly common nowadays, particularly when it comes to women. This breeds the question: is Germany safe for solo women travelers? As long as you practice common sense, there should be no issues. Germany is safe for women wanting to see the country on their own.
- How to avoid crime as a solo woman traveler in Germany?
While we did say that Germany is relatively safe for solo women travelers, this is only the case when common sense is followed. Ideally, you may want to read onto a few Germany safety travel tips that will tell you how to behave when traveling.
Daylight hours are fairly safe, regardless of where you are; it’s the evening hours that you should be particularly careful with. Avoid walking alone on poorly lit areas, and avoid strange company at night.
The main streets are also fairly safe during the evening as well, mainly because there are people to help you out. In this concern, you should be able to relax: Germany is safe for women traveling solo.
Rape Risk in Germany: LOW
Rape risk in Germany is fairly low – and so far, there have not been any recent incidents against women travelers. Women refugees are fairly much at risk, but that is mostly due to the conditions that most of them live in.
While this might suggest that women travelers following a proper Germany safety guide might not be at risk, this does not mean you ought to leave your common sense at home. Take the standard precautions and be prepared for any types of circumstances.
- How to avoid getting raped in Germany?
To avoid any unwanted scenarios, you might want to avoid suspicious areas that are devoid of many people. You might also want to avoid concentrations where refugees gather, since these are the places where most incidents are likely to happen.
When enjoying a drink, you might also want to be careful of who is lurking around your drink. While drink spiking is not very common, it can still happen wherever you go. Never leave your drink unattended, and be careful not to wear revealing clothes that might make you stand out.
So, is Germany safe for solo women travelers? When it comes to rape, it generally is. You just need to be careful about your surroundings.
Risks for People Traveling With Children in Germany: LOW
Germany is a country that is very safe for people traveling with their families. Considering that the kidnapping rate itself is very low, you should not worry that your child will be taken away from you.
In the event that your child goes through a medical emergency, there are many facilities everywhere for you to get aid. Locals are also generally friendly when it comes to children – so if your child is polite and well brought-up, there should not be any concerns.
- How to avoid unwanted scenarios?
Most unwanted scenarios generally occur when the child suddenly becomes ill and requires medical treatment. For this reason, you might want to set a good policy for travel insurance.
A golden rule that you might want to remember is that children should not go out of your sight. Always keep a close eye on them, particularly when it comes to gatherings. Kidnapping is not generally an issue – but the child might become lost, which Is obviously not a good outcome.
Natural Disaster Risks in Germany: LOW
Germany is not particularly threatened by any natural hazards, making it a very safe country to visit in this aspect. A few earthquakes might happen here and there, but they are generally low-ranked and do not cause any significant damage. You might, however, want to read onto a few earthquake tips so that you know what to do in such circumstances.
Transportation Risks in Germany: LOW
Transportation is generally very safe in Germany. Regardless if you take a cab waiting on the sideline or make an order directly from a company, they are generally fair and well-behaved. The most that could happen is that a taxi driver might try to overcharge the ride – but that is not a common occurrence.
Other than that, public transport is also fairly safe and reliable – but you might want to keep an eye out for pickpockets. If the means of transportation is particularly crowded, you might want to ensure that your belongings are safely tucked in.
Night-clubs, Pubs, and Bar Risks in Germany: LOW to MEDIUM
Nightlife is very much alive in Germany, and you are very safe to hit every bar or club that you want to enjoy with your friends. German folk might not try to talk to you if you do not know the language – but if you do, they will be open and friendly.
When going to such an establishment, you might want to ensure that you are with a group. Women traveling alone in particular might have issues with men trying to gain their favor – and this can also lead to sexual assault.
Health Risks in Germany
There are no particular health risks in Germany, and the food and water is generally safe wherever you purchase it from – as long as it is an authorized establishment. AIDS and STDs are present – but frankly, there is no country in Europe that does not have them. You just have to be careful who you mingle with.
Ideally, you might want to get travel health insurance before going to Germany. At the same time, you might also want to consult your doctor for the necessary vaccines. You should go to their medical office six months before leaving, so that the vaccine can take in effect.
List of Vaccines You Need in Germany
Aside from the routine vaccines needed when traveling to Germany, MMR, TDAP, chickenpox, influenza, meningitis, and so on), there are a few recommended vaccines that you might also want to get:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
These vaccines are not absolutely necessary – but depend on the circumstances. Germany by default has a very well-organized medical system. Still, you might want to take the safer road and consult with your doctor.
Most Dangerous Area in Germany
Germany is relatively safe to visit. However, there are certain cities and areas that you might want to avoid. Frankfurt has been recognized as the most dangerous city, with around 16,300 crimes per 100,000 people. The areas with the highest crime concentration are the large airport and the red light district.
On that list, Cologne, Berlin and Dusseldorf are also considered fairly dangerous. You might want to refrain from walking alone at night or spending too much time in hefty crowds.
Concluding Remarks: Is Germany Safe to Visit?
As long as you bring common sense with you on your journey, there’s should be no reason why Germany would be dangerous for you. The police force is appropriately active – and in most cities, the crime rate is fairly low.
Pickpockets and scammers are a concern – but then again, no country lacks them. Terrorism is also something you should be careful about – but the attacks are generally contained by the police, which is why you should not let it ruin your holiday.
You might just want to be careful on the night streets and avoid walking alone – particularly if you are a woman. If it cannot be avoided, you can simply take a taxi, since they are fairly reliable in Germany.