Tips for traveling Germany / European Community
Six months beyond planned date of departure from the Schengen areaBLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
Two pagesTOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Not required for stays under 90 days.VACCINATIONS:
NoneCURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
€10,000 euros or equivalentCURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
€10,000 euros or equivalent
Passport/Visa requirements (Germany)1
United States of America (including Virgin Islands of the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico) do not need visa to enter Germany.
Residence permits (also for stays of more than 3 months) may be applied for after entering Germany without a visa.
Furthermore, citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and the United States of America may obtain any residence permit that may be required after entering Germany. Citizens of all other countries planning a longer stay in Germany must apply for visas at the competent mission before arriving in the country.
Passport/Visa requirements (EU)2
If you are a non-EU national wishing to visit or travel within the EU, you will need a passport:
- valid for at least 3 months after the date you intend to leave the EU country you are visiting,
- which was issued within the previous 10 years,
and possibly a visa. Apply for a visa from the consulate or embassy of the country you are visiting. If your visa is from a "Schengen area" country, it automatically allows you to travel to the other Schengen countries as well. If you have a valid residence permit from one of those Schengen countries, it is equivalent to a visa. You may need a national visa to visit non-Schengen countries.
Border officials in EU countries may ask for other supporting documents such as an invitation letter, proof of lodging, return or round-trip ticket. For the precise requirements contact the local consular services of the EU country in question.
There are a number of countries whose nationals do not need a visa to visit the EU for three months or less. The list of countries whose nationals require visas to travel to the United Kingdom or Ireland differs slightly from other EU countries.
Entry conditions to the United Kingdom or Ireland are based on their respective national law and differ from the EU rules.
Do not forget your travel, health and/or car insurance documents.
1: Source: German Ministry of Foreign Affairs
2: Source: Europa.eu
By the way - you do not have to have a return ticket!
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or Consulate immediately. See our webpage for further information.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Germany has strict customs regulations concerning:
- Temporary importation or exportation of firearms, military artifacts (particularly those of World War II), antiques, medications/pharmaceuticals, and business equipment.
- Under German law, it is also illegal to bring into or take out of Germany any literature, music, or paraphernalia that glorifies fascism, the Nazi past, or the “Third Reich.”
- Contact the German Embassy in Washington or one of the German consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.
- Credit cards are not as widely accepted in Germany as they are in the United States. However, ATMs are widely available throughout Germany.
- Carry identification with you at all times.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report– see country reports
- Human Rights Report– see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events. Civil unions are legal for same-sex couples; same-sex marriage is not available in Germany. The LGBTI community is protected by federal anti-discrimination laws and LGBTI Pride events are officially encouraged by most large city governments, including those in Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Munich. See our LGBTI travel information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: While in Germany, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation different from what is found in the United States. Many existing buildings and public transportation systems are less adapted to individuals with disabilities.
- Check your hotel or destination to learn more about options to accommodate disabled traveler needs before visiting Germany.
- The German Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA) and the German Hotel Association (IHA) maintain directories of accessible accommodations.
- German airports, Lufthansa and Air Berlin offer services for disabled travelers.
- German National Railway, Deutsche Bahn, maintains a mobility resource webpage.
- You can find more information on accessibility by visiting the German National Tourist Board website
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.