Berlin Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Berlin
How safe is Berlin?
Threat level: Medium-High
Germany is on the UK government's amber list of countries that pose a COVID-19 risk, which means that travellers should not go unless it is for essential, family or business reasons. On their return to the UK, travellers are required to fill in a passenger locator form, to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test result before travelling, to quarantine at home for 10 days and to take a sequencing test on day 2 and day 8 after their arrival.
Germany has implemented a three-tier system of risk categories (virus variant areas, high-incidence areas and risk areas) with each tier having different applicable rules on entry and quarantine. The UK was designated as a virus variant area of concern and as such, entry to Germany is restricted for UK travellers as well as for people from designated variant areas and risk areas. Conversely, travellers from countries that are not listed on the German's travel corridor list will need to provide evidence of an urgent need for their travel. People who are authorised entry must register their travel before their departure by completing a pre-departure digital registration and quarantine for 14 days on their arrival unless they can present a negative PCR test, a certificate of vaccination evidencing that they have been fully vaccinated or a certificate of recovery from COVID-19.
The use of medical masks is compulsory on public transportation and in stores. Private gatherings are limited to one household plus another household up to a maximum of five people.
It is important to note that decisions can be taken at state-level rather than the federal government. In some German states, night curfews are in effect.
See our healthcare section for preventive measures against the virus including the mandatory use of face masks in public. Please check with local sources for regional variations in procedures.
Security in Berlin
Whilst Berlin is a relatively safe city to visit, the travel advice for Berlin is for visitors to take care when travelling and remain alert at all times. Berlin is a beautiful and vibrant city with many touristic attractions, such as the Brandenburg gate and the Berlin wall. Threats and attacks in other European cities has left many areas of Europe on a high level of alert.
On the 3rd of June 2018, a man went on a rampage near the cathedral's altar of Berlin, trying to stab passers-by and police officers and was later shot by the police. One policeman was injured in the incident.
In December 2016, a lorry drove into crowds of people at Berlin's Christmas market, killing twelve people and injuring many others. The so-called Islamic State has now claimed responsibility for this attack. The driver of the lorry was shot dead, days later in Italy. A polish citizen was also found murdered in the passenger seat of the lorry, he had attempted to stop the terrorist.
One of the most violent protests in five years hit Berlin in July 2016, injuring around 123 police in a protest against gentrification in Friedrichshain. Armed protesters marched through Friedrichshain over the redevelopment of a district, east of Berlin. Tensions reached a climax when police began to evict squatters who refused to leave. The situation has settled, but it is still advised to remain vigilant of large gatherings around the city.
Berlin is a large city and like most touristic capital cities, pickpocketing and petty thefts are renowned. Be aware of young children that often operate in small groups and pretend to be deaf or blind to make you sign a petition and whilst occupied, others will pickpocket belongings from your possession.
Berlin is currently in the process of banning smoking in public places and whilst this may not have come into action in most areas, it is still advised to check first with local authorities. Conditions may vary in different districts and conditions such as smoking around public buildings, restaurants and cafés.
When travelling around the city, it is advised that you only carry necessary items and always have emergency cash in case of any thefts.
Travelling around Berlin
When travelling by car in Germany, British nationals do not need an International Driving Permit (IDP) but a motor insurance green card issued by their car insurer is required to drive a UK-registered car in the EU.
Public transport is highly recommended as subways, trains and bus transportations are of a very high standard. However, like most public transportation areas, pickpocketing is moderately high so remain aware of this when waiting in such areas.
When purchasing a rail ticket, only buy from a ticket machine and not from other people, as they will often scam you to purchase a used rail ticket and this will end up costing you more money. Make sure to stamp your ticket prior to your journey through an ‘Entwerter’ yellow machine that is stationed on each platform.
Heavy fines will be imposed if found with a ticket that is not valid or with no ticket at all. Be aware of train controllers, who often wear ordinary clothes on trains to catch those who have not purchased a ticket. If you are unsure of such measures, make sure to ask local authorities.
When travelling around Berlin, pedestrians should be extremely cautious when crossing the road. Road rules and pedestrian crossings are often ignored and aggressive road users will not slow down or stop to pedestrians. Be very careful of roads and be on high alert at all times.
Be aware that the pink/red paving means there is a bicycle lane and you should not walk in this. Cyclists can get annoyed and shout verbal abuse if you get in their way, so avoid walking in these lanes at all costs.
Commercial Travel Risk Services
Intelligent Protection International Limited provides companies and organisations with Commercial Travel Risk Services designed to mitigate risks of staff when they travel for business. If you are interested in these services, please see: Commercial Travel Risk Services.
Emergency services in Berlin
Police emergency: 110 or 112
Fire emergency: 112
Medical emergency: 112
Air Ambulance: 0711 707 070
Time now in Berlin:
Consular information for Berlin
U.S. Embassy Berlin
Telephone: +49 30 8305 1200
Telephone: +49 30 8305 0 (Emergency only)
British Embassy Berlin
Telephone: +49 892 110 90
French Embassy Berlin
Parizer Platz 5
Telephone: +49 305 900 390 00
Canadian Embassy Berlin
Leipziger Platz 17
Telephone: +49 302 031 20
Belgium Embassy Berlin
Telephone: +49 302 064 20
For further embassy information and locations, please see our live travel map below.
Useful websites for Berlin
Healthcare and Immunisations
If you are a British citizen, your UK EHIC card remains valid when travelling to an EU country until it expires, providing access to state-provided healthcare in Germany. After that, British citizens must apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which will cover them for state-provided healthcare in the EU. Nevertheless, you will be required to show proof on arrival that you have travel insurance for your trip.
Berlin is universally known as a leading health region in Europe and is at the heart of renowned medical activity. Berlin’s top general hospital is the University Clinic Charité in Berlin Mitte. EU citizens that are in possession of an EHIC card are entitled to reduced medical costs when travelling in Germany. Non-EU citizens should check if a similar procedure exists. It is advised to take out necessary travel health insurance to avoid any excess costs.
Below is a list of some of the most prestigious hospitals in Berlin with access to English-speaking medical staff:
University Clinic Charité
Telephone: +49 304 5050
Martin Luther Hospital
Telephone: +49 308 9550
Park Klinik Weißensee
Telephone: +49 309 6280