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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Germany

Germany Health Care and Vaccinations

Title Special precautions
Yellow Fever No
Typhoid No
Tetanus Yes
Malaria No
Rabies No
Hepatitis A No
Diphtheria No

Health Care

Travel insurance is advised for all visitors. In some medical cases, if you are European, you might be able to receive free treatment if you can show proof of a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) obtained in your country of origin.

The overall standards of healthcare in Germany are excellent. Hospitals and surgeries are well equipped and staff are proficient. In pharmacies, over-the-counter advice is given and standard medicines are sold.

Food and Drink

There's nothing to mark out German produce as particularly risky to general health (although it has a partly founded reputation for being fatty). Tap water is also safe to drink.

Other Risks

Tick-borne encephalitis is present in forested areas all over Germany, however less so in the northern part of the country.

There is a risk of tick-borne Lyme disease from March until October. Preventive measures include insect repellents and skin-covering clothes.

During the summer months, sunburn can be a problem. The southwest generally draws the highest temperatures. The usual precautions apply: use a generous amount of sunscreen and be sensible about how long you spend in direct sunlight. Be aware that a breezy day can sometimes mask high temperatures.

If walking over a long distance in warm weather, it's advisable to drink – and carry – plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing, including a sun hat. Blisters can be another problem for hikers. These can often occur if new walking shoes are being worn across a long distance. Ideally footwear should be worn in before the trip.

As a counterpoint to the balminess of the summer, German winters can be fairly severe. This is generally truer the further east you travel. If you're arriving during the coldest months of the year, ensure you have adequate clothing. At any time of year, in fact, temperatures can be unpredictable – even in July and August, it makes sense to have a sweater (and maybe an umbrella too) with you.

Other health problems that inexperienced travellers might reasonably encounter are the various knock-on effects of too much alcohol consumption. The risk, unsurprisingly, is particularly prevalent among those attending Munich's Oktoberfest. Be aware that some beer's ABV levels can be 6 or 7%, so should be treated with respect.