Germany Travel Information

Last modified: September 26, 2023
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No airport tax is levied on passengers upon embarkation at the airport

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:

you can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training

if you are travelling to Germany and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days

to stay longer, to work or study, for business or for other reasons, you will need to meet the German government’s entry requirements. Check with the German Embassy what type of visa and/or work permit, if any, you will need

if you stay in Germany with a visa or permit, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit

Any time you spent in Germany or other Schengen countries before 1 January 2021 does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

At German border control, you may need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. You may also need to:

  • show a return or onward ticket
  • show you have enough money for your stay
  • Passport Stamps

UK nationals resident in Germany should not have their passports stamped on entry and exit, though they are required to demonstrate credible evidence of residence during checks to avoid receiving a stamp (see above). If a resident’s passport is stamped, this has no bearing on their legal status or rights, for instance as a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement. You should consult the Federal Police (Bundespolizei) if you wish, as a resident, to have any stamp annulled. You should bear in mind that if your passport is stamped and you subsequently exit the Schengen area after more than 90 days, you must carry credible evidence of residence status with you.

Passport validity

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip, and renew your passport if you do not have enough time left on it.

You must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland).

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.

Working in Germany

If you intend to work in Germany, you should get detailed information on employment regulations from the German Embassy.

Crime

Crime levels are broadly similar to the UK. Take sensible precautions to avoid mugging, bag snatching and pick pocketing. Be particularly vigilant at airports, railway stations and crowded public gatherings. Do not leave valuables unattended. If your passport has been stolen, you must go to the nearest police station and get a police report.

Road travel

In 2019 there were 3,046 road deaths in the Germany (source: Department for Transport). This equates to 3.7 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.6 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2019.

Licences and documents

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.

You may need extra documents from 1 January 2021.

If you’re taking your own vehicle, you will need a green card and a GB sticker. You might also need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some EU countries and Norway if you have:

  • a paper driving licence
  • a licence issued in the Isle of Man

The German Federal Transport Ministry has more information on the validity of non-German driving licences

If you’re living in Germany, check the Living in Guide for information on requirements for residents.

Road safety

Driving regulations

There is an environmental zone (Umweltzone) in some inner city centres. Only vehicles meeting specific exhaust emission standards are allowed to enter the zone. See the websites of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Federal Environmental Agency for further information.

It is illegal to take part in motor vehicle races or rallies on German roads.

See the European Commission, AA and  RAC guides on driving in Germany.

Skiing

You should follow all safety instructions given by the local authorities due to the danger of avalanches in some areas. Always check with the local tourist offices on current snow and weather conditions on arrival. Avalanche beepers (receivers) are the most common rescue devices and when properly used provide the fastest way of locating an avalanche victim.

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