Throughout history, Germany has been known by many names.
What we know of as Germany today wasn’t established until the years following the end of WWII.
However, Germanic tribes have been settled in the area for over 2,000 years.
Since the Berlin Wall fell just before the 90s, Germany has grown into one of the top European tourist destinations.
Today, there are 84 million people who call the country home.
Germany is just a tad smaller than the US state of Montana.
That’s a lot of people packed into a sort of small area.
Considering 185 million people visit this European nation each year, Germany is quite accommodating.
The country is ranked quite safe in comparison to the rest of the world.
However, we’re going to go through 10 cities to avoid or be very careful on your next trip.
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Germany
- 5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Germany
- Germany Safety Overview
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Most Dangerous Cities in Germany
800,000 people call the city a river through it home.
Even though Frankfurt has one of the most diverse populations in Germany, that’s a lot of people to wrangle in.
So, naturally, crime follows.
On the crime index, Frankfurt comes in at 45.
The biggest problem in the past few years has been drugs.
The Weser River brings a recreational vibe to Bremen.
Checking out the Gothic and Renaissance architecture is another alluring aspect of visiting Bremen.
Perhaps the chill environment is what makes some people want to bring in drugs.
On the crime index, Bremen is at 45, and the drug problem rate is at 59.
About an hour and a half drive from the Denmark border, Hamburg is the last big city in the north.
Another unique aspect of the city is the Elbe River runs through it.
Hamburg rates 42 on the crime index.
Most of the criminal activity comes from dealing drugs and theft.
Following closely behind are vandalism and assault.
It’s not every day that a capital city isn’t the top-ranking city for crime, even in safe countries.
Berlin is on the crime index at 43.
Drugs and property crimes are the most reported criminal issues taking place.
On a positive note, for the past several years, Berlin has seen a decreasing crime rate.
One of the longest-established cities in Germany, Cologne goes so far back that the Romans had a colony there.
Let’s not forget the always-popular Rhine River is a part of that story.
Now, the crime index has Cologne at 41.
Most of what’s committed are drug or property crimes.
Hanover might have one of the most interesting histories in Europe.
More than just a city in northern Germany, The House of Hanover was an empire.
The royal family of the area went so far as to rule over Great Britain and Ireland at one point.
Today, Hanover is part of Germany and is usually pretty trustworthy.
With a crime index of 41, most of the crimes come from drugs and property damage.
It would take a pinch over half an hour to get to the Netherlands from here.
Known for its art scene, Düsseldorf has a picturesque portion of the Rhine to look out at.
The crime rate is at a calm 34.
Most of what the authorities have to deal with here is the influx of drugs and theft.
Saxony-Anhalt, as a state, has the highest crime rate.
In one year, there are just under 8,000 crimes for every 100,000 people.
The national average is 6,200.
A high percentage of crimes being committed is property related.
Saarbrucken is a busy urban area bordering France with the Saar River running through it.
The crime index is 51 and a lot of it is due to drug dealers.
Coming up behind drugs is vandalism and theft.
10. North Rhein-Westphalia
This western German state borders the Netherlands and Belgium.
The Netherlands might be part of the drug issue in this part of the country.
Either way, it has been a problem along with property crimes.
5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Germany
1. Oktoberfest Safety
One of the biggest tourist attractions in Germany is the celebration of Oktoberfest, which takes place in September.
This is an over-the-top tradition that has been serving Munich and beyond for the past 200 years.
While much joy can be had drinking beer and connecting with other festive patrons, be sure to keep a few things in mind.
For one, it’s never a good idea to overdo alcohol.
As much fun as it is to take part, you still have to get back to your lodgings that evening and want to do so in one piece.
It may be hard to find a designated driver at such an event, so be sure to have transportation lined up.
In addition, be sure to have someone who isn’t attending who can check up on you.
This can be done from anywhere in the world.
You just need one person who can agree to call and make sure you made it to bed okay.
2. Keep Valuables At Home
Pickpocketing is an unfortunate side effect of a tourist town.
To avoid the hassle of losing your wallet or other important belongings in a foreign country, plan.
First of all, don’t bring big or flashy accessories on the trip.
If you have expensive items that need to come with you, lock them up in the hotel room safe.
Don’t load a wad of cash into your wallet, either.
Being flagrant with many is an easy way to attract criminals.
There are see-through pouches that are worn around the neck that is big enough to fit your phone, cards, and hotel key.
Keep a copy of your passport there, too.
Wear it under your shirt so no one knows it’s there and nothing can be gained from your pockets.
3. Mix In The Crowd
Unlike many destinations, Germany does not stop once the sun goes down.
Big cities are lit up at night, making romantic walks hard to resist.
If this sounds like you, make sure to check out the streets before going down them.
Only walk around when there’s a decent number of people doing the same thing.
What you don’t want is to be the only person on the street.
It’s hard to take in the beauty of the architecture when you’re paranoid about the person walking up from behind.
Just to be extra safe, look up the local police station and hospital in case of an emergency while you’re out.
4. Avoid May 1st
Spring sounds like the ideal time of year to travel.
However, you may want to plan a trip around Labor Day, May 1st.
This is an annual holiday where workers come out in hoards to protest.
While it’s easy to admire their spirit, you don’t want to get in the mix of protests as a traveler.
Even though these protests lean towards peace, it’s not impossible for things to get a little bit rowdier than intended.
If possible, either leave before or after the 1st or head to a smaller city where protests are less likely.
5. Be Mindful
Unlike some places in the world that are a bit laxer, Germans take their manners pretty seriously.
If you’re meeting up with someone or have an appointment, go out of your way not to be late.
Being late, having an attitude, or talking loudly are viewed as inappropriate and rude.
The consequence of such could lead to a German expressing their distaste for whatever it is you did.
This rings true even more so in places where someone might be intoxicated.
If you push someone’s buttons in a situation like that, it might get violent.
Avoid all the issues of being rude by being mindful of where you’re at and what you’re trying to do.
Germany Safety Overview
READ THE FULL REPORT: Germany Safety ReviewSafety Index:
- OVERALL RISK: LOW
- TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
- PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM
- NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW
- MUGGING RISK: LOW
- TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
- SCAMS RISK: LOW
- WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Germany safe for solo female travelers?
Germany is an excellent choice for women to start their solo journey in.
Generally speaking, the country is known for having a low crime rate and many of the citizens are happy to make a tourist’s acquaintance.
That bodes well for everyone, especially women.
It’s also not uncommon to find a German who can speak at least some English.
So, asking for things isn’t as difficult as it might sound.
Just be careful to take the normal precautions that you’d take even being alone back home.
What's the safest city in Germany?
Munich often tops the list of safest cities in Germany.
They are often voted as one of the top places in Europe to live.
Residents also love how walkable the city is.
On the crime index, Munich comes in at 18 and violent crimes are almost non-existent.
There’s plenty of history, things to do, and safe streets to fall in love with in Munich.
What percentage of Germans speak English?
Over half of the German population speaks English at some level.
That makes traveling through the country just a tad more helpful.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for Americans to move to Germany with the goal of learning German.
Years go by and so many Germans want to practice their English with a native English speaker that learning German is harder than they thought.
The cities with the highest number of English speakers are Karlsruhe, Munich, Dresden, Bremen, and Düsseldorf.