Germany Warnings and Dangers
The Berlin Wall, along with East and West Germany, are only memories now, but some signs of the country’s tumultuous past are still visible. And while Germany is generally a very safe place to visit, there are some warnings to heed.
Drive with Care
Germans take their speed limits seriously. They have cameras that automatically take pictures, and if you are speeding, you will get a ticket in the mail. complete with a picture of you and your license tag. The Autobahn does have areas with no speed limits, but most areas have speed limits posted. Also note that the acceptable level of alcohol in your blood is lower than in America.
Germany is as safe as anywhere in the world, but every large city has its crime issues. The same warnings applies everywhere: don’t go out alone at night and avoid certain areas. You can ask the locals what areas are not safe at night.
Pickpocketing and Begging
There are purse snatchers and pick pockets around during the day, so watch your valuables closely. Cologne has a reputation for pickpockets at the public markets.
Anything related to the Nazis is illegal in Germany. Just about any relic, photo or weapon is illegal. Giving the Nazi salute is considered very rude and is also illegal. Holocaust denying is also illegal.
Bait and Switch Scams
Sometimes on the street in tourist centers, you might see the old ball and cup game, one of the oldest scams out there. In this game, the con man has three cups, and you have to guess which cup the ball is under. The twist on this in Germany is, the person running the game has another person posing as a tourist, and that person wins. The next person who tries of course loses. The first “tourist” and the person running the game are working together to make the con easier. It is illegal of course, but these games do go on, and there are people always looking for a victim.
Note: How to Be a Good Tourist
Many Germans speak English, and many Europeans speak several languages. North Americans tend to only speak English, and there are usually people in Germany to help you with the language. However, Germans will appreciate it if you learn a few phrases in German. Just a little goes a long way as far as making a good impression.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Germany.