Travel Visa Requirements & Safety

German flag.

Germany is part of the European Union’s Schengen Area. The Schengen Area is comprised of 26 European countries which have abolished passport and any other type of border control at their common borders. Once a traveler has entered a country that is part of the Schengen Area, they are granted freedom of movement within the 26 member states of the area.

United States citizens do not require a visa to visit the European Union or Germany. This visa exception allows stays of up to a total of 90 days within a 180 day period. Stays of longer than 90 days will require a residence permit from Germany. Entry into Germany using the visa exception for United States citizens requires the following:

  • A valid passport with at least three months validity beyond the planned departure date from the Schengen area.
  • Two blank passport visa pages.
  • Documents showing a travel itinerary (i.e.: airfare receipt showing entry to/from the EU) and proof of a confirmed hotel reservation.

For more information, read Understanding European Visa requirements and the Schengen Area.

Travel Safety & Advisories

For the most up to date and detailed information on the safety of travel to Germany, read the country report authored and released by the United States Department of State at

Resources In An Emergency

If you encounter a medical emergency or are a victim of a crime in Berlin, contact the local authorities immediately. Although 9-1-1 is the emergency number in the United States, that is not true in the majority of other countries. Read this FAQ article I wrote to locate the appropriate emergency contact numbers: What Are The Emergency Response Telephone Numbers In Other Countries?

The U.S. Embassy in Berlin can also be a resource to American Citizens. It is located at:

Clayallee 170
14191 Berlin, Germany

Contact information is listed below:

Phone:  +49 (30) 8305-1200
Phone (24-hours/Emergency):  +49 (30) 8305-0

The nearest city bus stop is within 250 meters, about one block away from the Embassy. Bus routes 115, 285, N10 and X10 provide service to the stop, which is located on the street outside the Oskar-Helene-Heim U-Bahn station. The U-Bahn station is served by metro line U3, but it is NOT wheelchair accessible.