Germany travel guide
Misunderstood by many, Germany is one of the most varied and charming countries on the continent. Anyone expecting a homogenous nation conforming to old Teutonic stereotypes is in for a shock.
As a destination, it offers a clutch of truly lovely cities, culture served up in hefty portions and rural scenery so pretty you'll wonder why it isn't on every tourist hit list.
The country occupies a prime position at the heart of Europe – both literally and figuratively. It is home to the biggest economy on the continent, has more inhabitants than anywhere else in the EU and shares land borders with no less than nine other nations.
It's no surprise, then, that today's Germany is more diverse and cosmopolitan than old stereotypes suggest; mixing time-honoured traditions with multicultural modernism and self-confidence.
It’s the nation’s urban highlights that immediately draw the attention. Berlin is the definition of dynamism, having forged a good-time reputation for groundbreaking creativity while still keeping sight of its past.
Elsewhere, the likes of Cologne, Munich and Hamburg provide the capital with able support. Not only are they rich in history, whether in the forms of classical music, fine art or medieval architecture, but they also put pay to the notion that Germans don’t do gastronomy. These days, you can dine and drink extremely well in Deutschland.
Then there's the beautiful German countryside. From the sky-scraping peaks of the Bavarian Alps and pale cliffs of the Jasmund National Park to the castles of the Rhine and moors of the Mecklenburg Lake District, it's nirvana for hikers, cyclists, boaters, motorists and skiers alike.
Travelling around this country is a piece of Black Forest gâteau. Costs are manageable, overcrowding is rare and, despite its size, it could not be easier to get from A to B thanks to an incredibly efficient public transport network. Which proves some of those old German stereotypes do hold true.
357,022 sq km (137,846 sq miles).
236 per sq km.
President Frank-Walter Steinmeier since 2017.
Chancellor Angela Merkel since 2005.
Coronavirus travel health
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Germany on the TravelHealthPro website.
See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Entry and borders
See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Germany.
Returning to the UK
When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.
You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements. You should check that the test result can be provided in the correct format and language. For further information on testing facilities, including those that can provide a result in English you should consult the Patientenservice by telephone (116 117) or contact your local public health authority.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.
Plan ahead and make sure you:
- can access money
- understand what your insurance will cover
- can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned
Both the vaccinated and unvaccinated must continue to adhere to basic non-pharmaceutical guidelines, such as social distancing, wearing masks in enclosed spaces, and regularly ventilating indoor spaces. Wearing a medical-grade mask remains a legal requirement in retail outlets and on public transport.
From 23 August proof of vaccination, recovery from infection or a negative test (up to 24hrs old for rapid antigen testing or 48 hrs old for PCR testing) will be required for entry into:
- Hospitals and social care settings
- Indoor gastronomy
- Participating in events and celebrations
- Barbers, hairdressers, or beauty salons
- Indoor sport such as fitness studios, swimming baths or sports halls
- Hotels (test at arrival and twice a week during the stay)
Children five years old and above are exempt from domestic testing requirements. As school pupils are regularly tested at school, they only need to show their school pupil card to prove their C-19 status. Individual States are able to forgo the above rules under certain circumstances, including where the incidence rate is below 35.
The fully vaccinated can demonstrate their status by either using yellow vaccination booklets ‘Impfpass’ which contain a doctor’s signature and stamp or two C-19 certification apps (the CovPass-App or the Corona-Warn-App; see below). Other vaccination certification is accepted for domestic purposes in both electronic and analogue form as long as it has:
- The date of vaccination;
- Name and batch name of the vaccine;
- Name of the disease against which vaccination was given;
- Name of the person vaccinated, their date of birth and the name and address of the person responsible for administering the vaccination, and;
- Confirmation in writing or in electronic form with a qualified electronic signature or a qualified electronic seal by the person responsible for administering the vaccination.
The NHS COVID Pass letter and app contain this information.
Those who have recently recovered from Covid must show a positive PCR test at least 28 days old but no older than six months.
From 11 October 2021 rapid antigen tests will be no longer be available free of charge. For those who have not been recommended for vaccination, such as pregnant women or children under the age of 18, tests will remain free of charge.
Additional rules apply in settings that can cause super-spreader events, such as mass gatherings, events in enclosed spaces, parties, bars and clubs. State and local authorities can restrict capacity at such venues. The 16 German States have agreed to restrict mass sporting events to 50% capacity above 5,000 participants and not exceed a total of 25,000 participants.
Testing positive for COVID-19 in Germany
Anyone testing positive with a Point of Care (PoC) antigen test is required to take a follow-up PCR test immediately and to self-isolate. Close contacts are also required to self-isolate, although exceptions may apply for those who are fully vaccinated.
In the event of a positive PoC test, the test provider is required to notify the local health office (Gesundheitsamt), which is responsible for monitoring self-isolation and will provide further guidance in individual cases. You can find your local health office by postcode here.
Individuals testing positive must self-isolate in their home or where they are staying locally, or in another appropriate location enabling self-isolation. They may only leave their home and interrupt self-isolation to carry out the PCR test. Germany does not operate a system of managed quarantine in government facilities.
Mandatory self-isolation ceases in the event of a negative PCR test. Otherwise self-isolation lasts for 14 days, or until the local health office confirms release.
Healthcare in Germany
For contact details of English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.
Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health
View Health for further details on healthcare in Germany.
COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Germany
Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. We will update this page when the Government of Germany announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.
The German national vaccination programme started in December 2020 and is using the AstraZeneca, Janssen (Johnson and Johnson), Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. British nationals resident in Germany are eligible for vaccination. All citizens normally resident in Germany covered by statutory or private health insurance can obtain a vaccination. British nationals resident in Germany should consult their state authorities for more information on local arrangements.
Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad. If you’re a British national living in Germany, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.
If you receive your COVID-19 vaccination in Germany, you can get an EU Digital COVID Certificate from in-country authorities. The Certificate proves that you have been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result, or recovered from COVID-19. It will help facilitate your travel within the EU and, in some countries, you can use it to demonstrate your COVID-19 status to businesses and other organisations. For further information visit the European Commission’s EU Digital COVID Certificate page.
To obtain an EU Digital COVID Certificate in Germany you will need a QR code. A QR code may be issued by the vaccine centre or GP where you received your vaccine. If not, a code can be obtained from participating pharmacies (in the German language only). You can then scan the QR code into the two apps used in Germany, the CovPass-App or the C-19 certification feature in the Corona-Warn-App.
For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.
If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.
Crime levels are broadly similar to the UK. Take sensible precautions to avoid mugging, bag snatching and pick pocketing. Be particularly vigilant at airports, railway stations and crowded public gatherings. Do not leave valuables unattended. If your passport has been stolen, you must go to the nearest police station and get a police report.
In 2019 there were 3,046 road deaths in the Germany (source: Department for Transport). This equates to 3.7 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.6 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2019.
If you are planning to drive in Germany, see information on Driving Abroad.
Licences and documents
If you wish to drive in Germany you must carry a valid driving licence, insurance and vehicle documents with you in the vehicle at all times. If the vehicle does not belong to the driver, written permission from the registered owner may also be requested. The minimum age for driving a car in Germany is 18.
You may need extra documents from 1 January 2021.
- a paper driving licence
- a licence issued in the Isle of Man
The German Federal Transport Ministry has more information on the validity of non-German driving licences
If you’re living in Germany, check the Living in Guide for information on requirements for residents.
Driving a British car abroad
You may need a GB sticker or a UK sticker to drive your car outside the UK. From 28 September UK stickers will replace GB stickers. Check the GOV.UK Displaying number plates website for more information on what to do if you are driving outside the UK before, on or after 28 September 2021.
There is an environmental zone (Umweltzone) in some inner city centres. Only vehicles meeting specific exhaust emission standards are allowed to enter the zone. See the websites of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Federal Environmental Agency for further information.
It is illegal to take part in motor vehicle races or rallies on German roads.
You should follow all safety instructions given by the local authorities due to the danger of avalanches in some areas. Always check with the local tourist offices on current snow and weather conditions on arrival. Avalanche beepers (receivers) are the most common rescue devices and when properly used provide the fastest way of locating an avalanche victim. You can get information about the risk of an avalanche occurring from the European Avalanche Warning Service.
Terrorists are highly likely to try to carry out attacks in Germany. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in public places such as restaurants, places of worship and markets (shopping centres).
The German government has announced that increased security has been put in place as a precaution at public buildings, major events, transport hubs and large public gatherings. Terrorists may target religious sites including synagogues.
The main threat is from extremists linked to Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) who claimed responsibility for the 2016 attacks in Germany. There is also a threat from individuals with an extreme right wing terrorist ideology. The German authorities have successfully disrupted planned attacks and made a number of arrests.
Previous attacks in Germany include:
- On 4 October 2020, one person was killed and another seriously injured in a knife attack in Dresden city centre. The perpetrator was arrested.
- On 19 February 2020, two mass shootings targeting shisha bars occurred in Hanau. Eleven people were killed (including the perpetrator) and five others injured.
- On 9 October 2019, two people were shot and killed close to a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle. The attacker was arrested.
- On 19 December 2016, a lorry was driven into a crowd at a Christmas market in central Berlin causing 12 deaths and a number of injuries.
There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.
This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Germany set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact their embassy, high commission or consulate. You may also check with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and travel documents meet their requirements.
If you are travelling to Germany for work, read the guidance on visas and permits as the rules have changed since 1 January 2021.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Entry to Germany
The UK is designated as a ‘high-incidence area’. You may enter Germany from the UK for any travel purpose if you are fully vaccinated.
Unvaccinated children under 12 years of age are allowed to enter Germany without a negative test as long as they travel with at least one fully vaccinated parent. These children are not obliged to provide any kind of evidence (no COVID test, etc.), but have to quarantine on arrival. For them, quarantine ends automatically 5 days after entry.
Those individuals who are not fully vaccinated may only enter Germany from the UK if they are a German citizen; the spouse/partner/child under 18 of a German citizen; a resident of Germany; the spouse/partner/child under 18 of a resident of Germany; serve in an important role; or have an urgent need to travel. Further information about possible exceptions for non-residents is on the Federal Interior Ministry website, under “What constitutes an urgent need for travel”. The decision on whether to allow entry in such circumstances is at the discretion of border guards.
Travellers who are not fully vaccinated and do not meet one of the exemptions outlined above may not currently enter Germany from the UK.
All travellers entering Germany from the UK are required to complete pre-departure digital registration, regardless of vaccination status.
For those individuals eligible to enter Germany who are not fully vaccinated, travel from the UK is generally subject to 10-day quarantine with test and release available after 5 days. Both individuals who can prove recovery from the virus and the fully vaccinated are exempt from quarantine requirements. (See ‘Quarantine after travel from high-incidence areas’ and (See ‘Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status’)
Germany uses a two-tier system of risk categories (virus variant areas and high-incidence areas), with distinct rules on entry and quarantine for each tier. See the complete list of designated areas.
Proof of residence
UK nationals resident in Germany must demonstrate proof of residence. If you are not yet in possession of a residence card, you will be required to provide credible evidence that you are resident in Germany.
This could include an address registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung), a tenancy agreement, a utility bill in your name, or a certificate of application (Fiktionsbescheinigung).
The German authorities have confirmed that individuals who are registered at a German address in the population register (Melderegister), who can present identification (including residence documents) displaying a German address, or documents (paper or electronic) issued in their name by third parties stating an address in Germany, may be presumed to be resident in Germany. A document which has been left in Germany but which can be accessed by someone else may be photographed or scanned and sent to the traveller abroad by email or via cloud for presentation at the border. See the guidance from the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community.
Hauliers from the UK are generally exempt from the requirement to possess a negative COVID-19 test, proof of vaccination or proof of recovery and the requirement to quarantine when entering Germany, provided they were not in the previous 10 days in an area designated at the time of entry into Germany as a virus variant area.
From 1 August 2021 travellers aged 12 or over entering Germany from abroad must possess either proof of vaccination, or proof of recovery, or a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival and present this proof on request to carriers or authorities. If you are aged 12 or over, travelling from the UK and are not fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19, you will need to enter Germany with either a PCR test result that is no more than 72 hours old, or a rapid antigen or other test sample that is no more than 48 hours old. The result of the test required by the German authorities can be either in paper or electronic form.
Molecular based tests (PCR tests) from the UK are accepted in Germany. Antigen tests are accepted as well, provided they meet the minimum criteria recommended by the WHO. This includes tests that meet ≥80% sensitivity and ≥97% specificity, compared to a PCR test. Most lateral flow tests work on the same basis as antigen tests and must meet the same criteria to be accepted. Details on the antigen or lateral flow test manufacturer must be given on the test certificate. ‘LAMP’ (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) tests are also now accepted. Border officials and local public health authorities will not accept a negative test result if there is justified doubt about whether the test meets the minimum performance requirements.
You can find more information about acceptable tests from Germany’s public health agency, the Robert Koch Institute’s, website (PDF available in English via the link). Further information on testing requirements can be obtained from your local public health authority. You can find further details about the current restrictions, including quarantining after a negative test on the German Health Ministry website.
Quarantine after travel from high-incidence areas
From 7 July onwards the UK is designated as a high-incidence area. This means that travellers arriving from the UK, who are not fully vaccinated, are subject to 10 day quarantine, and test and release is available after 5 days. Fully vaccinated and recovered individuals are exempt from this requirement.
If, in the 10 days before you travel to Germany, you have been in an area designated at the time of entry as presenting an increased risk of infection, you must register online in advance of travelling to Germany. On arrival, you must travel to your accommodation and quarantine there for up to 14 days. If you are travelling from a high-incidence area, you can be released from quarantine immediately if you provide one of the following with the pre-departure digital registration:
- A negative C-19 test (only available after 5 days for travel from high-incidence areas such as the UK)
- Proof that you are fully vaccinated (this means that you have taken the last of the recommended doses of a C-19 vaccine authorised in the EU more than 14 days ago)
- Proof that you have recently recovered from a C-19 infection. Proof of recovery is a positive PCR test no older than six months, but older than 28 days
If you are travelling from a virus variant area, you must quarantine for the full 14 days, and do not have access to test to release.
For travel from designated high-incidence areas there are some exemptions from the quarantine requirement, including for frontier workers and individuals deemed to be providing essential activities. Precise rules are set by the federal states, so please consult the provisions applicable in the place where you are staying.
If you have specific questions about the quarantine requirements which apply in your particular case, you should contact the local public health authority in your place of residence. Please also contact your local public health authority for further details on test and release. You can identify the relevant authority here.
Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status
Fully vaccinated individuals may enter Germany for any purpose.
Germany will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.
Evidence of your COVID-19 vaccination status can be provided digitally (through the NHS app or NHS website) or as a printout (this can be requested from the NHS by calling 119). However, a screenshot or photo is not sufficient. Further details can be found (in English) on the German Embassy website.
The German government has published a checklist of acceptable proof of vaccination for entry purposes (under “What constitutes proof of vaccination?”). Such proof must demonstrate that a full course of vaccination against COVID-19 has been completed. The vaccination must be comprised of one or more of the listed vaccines. It must comprise the number of vaccine doses necessary to provide full protection, and at least 14 days must have elapsed since the last required single vaccination. For recovered persons, the vaccination may consist of the administration of one dose.
The proof must be provided in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish and include:
- the personal data of the vaccinated person (at least surname, first name and date of birth)
- date of vaccination, number of vaccinations,
- vaccine name,
- name of the disease vaccinated against,
- characteristics that indicate the person or institution responsible for carrying out the vaccination or issuing the certificate, for example an official symbol or the name of the issuer.
Proof in written or digital form is accepted if it meets the above criteria. For the purposes of inspection by the carrier or border authorities, photographs of written proof are not considered proof in digital form. Proof in digital form should have been issued in digital form by the authorised issuer and transmitted in digital form to the authorised recipient.
The German government notes that, in addition to the above checklist, further requirements may have to be satisfied for the issuance of a digital COVID certificate on the basis of the EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulation.
For further information about transiting Germany, please consult the Federal Interior Ministry website, under the heading “When is transit through Germany permitted?”.
Regular entry requirements
The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:
- you can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training
- if you are travelling to Germany and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days
- to stay longer, to work or study, for business or for other reasons, you will need to meet the German government’s entry requirements. Check with the German Embassy what type of visa and/or work permit, if any, you will need
- if you stay in Germany with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit
Any time you spent in Germany or other Schengen countries before 1 January 2021 does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.
At German border control, you may need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. You may also need to:
- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay
UK nationals resident in Germany should not have their passports stamped on entry and exit, though they are required to demonstrate credible evidence of residence during checks to avoid receiving a stamp (see above). If a resident’s passport is stamped, this has no bearing on their legal status or rights, for instance as a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement. You should consult the Federal Police (Bundespolizei) if you wish, as a resident, to have any stamp annulled. You should bear in mind that if your passport is stamped and you subsequently exit the Schengen area after more than 90 days, you must carry credible evidence of residence status with you.
Entry for British citizens who are resident in Germany
If you are resident in Germany, please carry proof of your residence when travelling.
If you were living in Germany before 1 January 2021, you should carry your residence document (Aufenthaltsdokument-GB), as well as your valid passport when you travel. If you have applied but not yet received your document, carry your certificate of application (Fiktionsbescheinigung).
If you have not yet applied for a residence document GB, you should carry credible evidence that you are resident in Germany. This could include an address registration certificate (Meldebestätigung), tenancy agreement, or a utility bill in your name, dating from 2020.
If you cannot show that you are resident in Germany, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the Schengen area, and your passport may be stamped. This will not affect your rights in Germany.
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip, and renew your passport if you do not have enough time left on it.
Make sure your passport is:
- valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave Germany, or any other Schengen country
- less than 10 years old
The 3 months you need when leaving a country must be within 10 years of the passport issue date.
If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum 3 months needed.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Germany.
Working in Germany
If you intend to work in Germany, you should get detailed information on employment regulations from the German Embassy.
You don’t have to carry your passport with you while in Germany, but if you’re asked to show your passport and you don’t have it with you, the police may escort you to wherever your passport is being kept so that you can show it to them.
It is illegal to cross German pedestrian crossings when the red pedestrian light is on. Offenders risk a fine and payment of all costs in the event of an accident.
Taking food and drink into the EU
You cannot take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries. There are some exceptions for medical reasons, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons. Check the rules about taking food and drink into the EU on the European Commission website.
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Germany on the TravelHealthPro website.
See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Germany.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).
You should get a free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. If you already have an EHIC it will still be valid as long as it remains in date.
The GHIC or EHIC entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as German nationals. If you don’t have your EHIC with you or you’ve lost it, you can call the NHS Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 191 218 1999 to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate.
It’s important to take out appropriate travel insurance for your needs. A GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both before you travel. It does not cover all health-related costs, for example, medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment. Read more about what your travel insurance should cover.
If you’re living in Germany, you can also find more information on healthcare for residents in our Living In Germany guide.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company immediately.
The currency of Germany is the Euro.
British nationals have been arrested for possessing counterfeit currency. Avoid changing money anywhere other than banks or legitimate currency exchange offices.
Since 15 June 2007, new legislation on the controls of cash entering or leaving the EU apply in all Member States. Any person entering or leaving the EU will have to declare the cash that they are carrying if this amounts to 10,000 Euros or more; this includes cheques, travellers’ cheques, money orders, etc. This will not apply to anyone travelling via the EU to a non-EU country, as long as the original journey started outside of the EU, nor to those travelling within the EU.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).
Foreign travel checklist
Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.
The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.
When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.
Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.
Refunds and cancellations
If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.
For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Registering your travel details with us
We no longer ask people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.
Previous versions of FCDO travel advice
If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.
If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.