Terrorism in Germany: How to Stay Safe While Traveling

Germany has increased its security in light of recent and past terror incidents.

When you hear about possible terrorist attacks in Europe, Germany is usually among the countries mentioned as a target. This certainly isn't a reason to avoid travelling there, but there are a few simple tips that can help you avoid getting caught up in a risky situation, or just make security checks quick and painless.

Germany Travel Warnings

An obvious thing to do when planning a trip to Germany is to keep up to date with the news, and travel warnings.

The German government does a pretty good job of keeping people informed about possible threats. This was evident in the November 2010 instance, when the government admitted for the first time there was a 'concrete' threat of an attack. Of course it helps if you speak and read German, otherwise keep checking with your favourite news site, and check back here with WorldNomads.com.

Terrorism in Germany

It's a fact that the leaders of the 9/11 attacks on the United States in 2001 were students based in Germany.

Investigators are also currently monitoring the movements of around German extremists who have received training at terrorist camps in the ISIS controlled regions making the possibility of an attack real.

In July 2006 home-made bombs were found on trains heading out of Cologne. There was also the Sauerland terrorist cell which was busted in September 2007, just as the radical Islamists were planning a series of car bombings in Germany.

In August 2010, an important meeting place for extremists, the Taiba mosque in Hamburg was shut down. Many of the men who attended the terror camps, frequently visited the mosque, sparking a police investigation. September 11 suicide pilot Mohammed Atta also used to frequent the mosque, which investigators say has been supporting terrorism for years.

2016 saw Germany subjected to two terror related incidents; a shooting rampage in a Munich shopping center killing nine people and injuring a dozen and the Berlin Christmas Market attack where a truck ploughed into marketgoers killing 12 people and injuring over 50 others. As a result, security has increased across the country in response.

November 2010 was also a scary time for the country. Bomb scares and evacuations led to an increase in police presence and closures of major buildings.

Increased Security

Police with sniffer dogs patrol all major transport hubs across the country. It's compulsory to carry ID at all times, but this usually doesn't become an issue unless you're involved in some kind of incident. But when a country's on high terrorist alert and you get a random check without your passport on you, things could get awkward.

The Reichstag in general is very tight with security - many tourists wait up to two hours in queues, and undergo extensive airport security style checks. So if this is on your list of must sees, consider booking a tour in advance, or do something many people in Berlin don't do - wake up early and get there first.

Most major tourist attractions like Berlin's Television Tower will do a security and bag check, and museums will make you check large bags and coats into a cloak room. So if you want to avoid waiting in more queues on your day out, pack light. And when it comes to photography, authorities have no problem with you getting snap happy at historic sites.

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11 Comments

  • Jet said

    I'm a American and I don't understand why they would be worried about terrorist attack when the people don't have guns. Our politicians says that if we give our guns to the government then we will have peace. Explain to me how France and Germany with strict gun control have crime. I wonder why the bad people always have guns? Perhaps Europe needs more Muslims to show them love and peace.

  • sara said

    I am also travelling
    to germany this year with my family
    mainly in frankfurt
    But should i be worried
    or not? what areas should i avoid
    please im really worried and thank you

  • Becky said

    My husband are in Nuremberg travelled by train from Frankfurt. My husband is here for business( Siemens )also. We have felt very safe ( I wander around solo while he's at work) save once. Yesterday we crossed a platz and there was an Anti American/ Israeli protest going on. It was small and we just kept walking- no one looked at us or threatened us. If you pay attention to your surroundings you will be fine. Our hotel is next too the red light district and we've had no issues coming and going- we don't tend to stay out late any way- but in general customers who frequent those place and the girls/ guys who work there tend to be low key. It's not like it's Bourbon St in NOLA- you can't pay me 1 million dollars to walk down that street in broad daylight these days let alone after sunset

  • Erik said

    The EU wants terror and chaos, why else would they, despite repeated warnings that ISIS wants to infiltrate europe, let in hundreds of thousands of military-aged aggressive arrogant men from ISIS-infested countries, claiming that they have "lost their passports"? Clearly the most effective way possible to ensure domestic terror.

  • Pola said

    In about a month i'm traveling from Poland to Frankfurt, Germany by plane and then Frankfurt to JFK. Very nervous about it, I hope they really have increased their security procedures.

  • Hakimi bin Abdul Jabar said

    The Similarities Between International Islamist Terrorist Groups such as ISIS (IS, ISIL, Daesh etc.) and Riyadhus Salihin Terrorist Group of the Beslan Tragic Massacre :

    (1) They Rape & Kill Children
    (2) They Commit Massacre of Innocent Lives
    (3) They Take Hostages
    (4) Etc.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/raped-forced-to-eat-flowers--1601732#nav-panel
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/archives/news/159751/freed-isis-sex-slave-says-sick-jihadis-regularly-rape-nine-year-olds-as-she-relives-family-being-massacred/

  • Paul said

    Yes, tell us why rules only apply to some people? Merkel is a traitor of her country. Let her walk outside on her own.

  • hello kitty said

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  • Gershom said

    It is complex, this really is not so much a religion issue as it is a cultural issue. I'll explain: Plenty of Muslims in Turkey, Russia, Albania and other quiet nations remain quiet. Why? Because they are modern and secularized. Now Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia is a different story entirely, those nations are almost 100% Arab and the Arab culture even PRIOR TO Islam was an aggressive and warlike culture where raiders and warriors are glamorous and the peacemakers are seen as "weak" and therefore useless. The Arabs simply mixed elements of their culture into Islam and turned Islam into a sword of conquest and when that was in decline an Imam in Arabia in the 1700's, Imam Wahab began a "reform movement" that transformed Sunni Islam into the sharp sword that it once was. We fight his version of Islam today.

  • Tobias Ploeger said

    I reside in Germany (Hamburg) and I can tell you that travelling to Germany is as safe as visiting NYC, Chicago, Madrid, London, even the coast of France. Germany is a democracy with high security standards.
    Of course, terroristic attacs by stupid suicide bombers have happened. But far less than in any part od the world, except - maybe - Vietnam and Singapore. Security in Germany is tight. So... no fear. If you fear travelling to Germany atm, you should stay at home and hide in the closet ;-)

  • utahred said

    I have toured Europe and I want to give my perspective. The terrorist situation in Europe is far worse than in America. Sure we had our 9/11 in 2001 but we are not experiencing the rapes, beatings, bombing and murders that Europe has yet. There is is media black out on exactly what is happening in Europe because they don't want to shed bad light on Islam. They also don't want to see tourism drop because that is a big money maker. I'm not saying don't travel to Europe, I'm saying use caution. Try to skip Paris, Belgium, Berlin, Greece (French and Belgians don't like Americans anyway). Stay away from large events and crowds. Do your sight seeing in the morning and during the day. If you see a suspicious person, move away from them. Check government websites for warnings and alerts. I suggest using a tour company - they know the safe places and can advise you.

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