Is Berlin safe to visit? A comprehensive safety guide
Berlin is the German capital city and also its largest. History and culture are some of the city's strong points, and it also offers a fabulous nightlife. You'll fall in love with the architecture of the palaces, art galleries and museums, and there are plenty of places for shopaholics to have some retail therapy, too.
As a major city, Berlin attracts about over 13 million travelers each year. It is also the most populous city in Germany with about 4 million citizens of its own. Most people say the best time to visit Berlin is between May and September since that is when the weather and climate are the nicest, but anytime that you choose to visit will be wonderful.
You're probably excited to begin your vacation in Germany, but first, you should do some research about the city to make sure you have a safe and fun time. The best way to keep track of your belongings is to find somewhere safe to store them in Berlin. Consider downloading the convenient Bounce luggage storage app, you can contact their 24/7 support team at any point during the day or night.
Is Berlin safe to visit right now?
Germany is generally a very safe country and is tied with Croatia for the 17th rank on the Global Peace Index. However, at the time of writing, there is currently a travel advisory and you're urged to exercise a high degree of caution when traveling here, so be on the lookout for suspicious behavior in crowded areas. Before booking your trip we recommend that you check the official travel guidelines put in place by the government in your home country, as travel restrictions are bound to change over time.
On its own, Berlin is known to be a very safe city and you'll not be at risk of any violent crimes. That being said, petty crime exists in every town and this one is no different. The most common issues that tourists experience include pickpocketing and scammers who mainly target tourists.
However, if you know how to protect yourself and your belongings you can avoid being a victim of these petty crimes. Below we'll introduce you to some safety tips that can help you during your trip, but in the end, your safety depends on the use of common sense and preparation which is why you should do additional research before heading off to Germany.
Top petty crimes and scams in Berlin affecting tourists
Despite the fact that Berlin is one of the top safest cities it does have a few safety issues as any other major city would. Listed below are a few that you should be aware of and what you can do to protect yourself.
Scams and frauds
As you explore the tourist attractions, like the Berlin Cathedral, for example, you might encounter locals who try to either help you with your luggage, ask for money or try to sell you something. Although these people are not dangerous they might try to steal your things or charge you an unreasonable amount of money for an item or service after they've helped you, and in some cases, they can be quite pushy.
Steer clear of shady individuals and firmly shut down any efforts of collecting money or offering help from locals who are not part of an official company or excursion, and never hand off any of your belongings to a stranger.
Pickpockets and bag snatching
Be extra aware of your surroundings while you're visiting any must-see landmarks or tourist areas, as pickpockets like to go there to grab wallets, bags, smartphones or other valuables from unsuspecting visitors. To avoid being a victim of purse snatching or theft, keep your bag close at all times, and maybe even hold it in front of you when traversing through crowded streets.
Be careful to not have your wallet or phone sticking out of a pocket as thieves can grab it and walk away before you even notice that it is gone. To make sure that your things are safe while you go sightseeing, have peace of mind and stow them at a nearby Bounce location.
Violent crime is not common in Berlin at all, but it is important to be aware of it in order to stay safe. Mugging will most commonly happen at night or in quiet areas, as muggers do not often strike when there are witnesses.
The best way to protect yourself is to avoid sketchy neighborhoods, a few of which we'll introduce below, and do not travel alone at night. If you think that you're being followed, find the nearest store or restaurant to go in to ask for help or call a taxi to bring you somewhere safe.
Is Berlin safe to travel alone
Berlin is a safe place for anyone to visit, even if you're a solo traveler. The chances of you being a victim of crime is very low, especially if you stick to the areas often frequented by tourists. If you're visiting Berlin alone you might benefit from learning a few German phrases, just so that you can ask for help or directions in the event you ever get lost.
This is an amazing city, and in fact, Berlin is one of the top recommended places for solo female travelers to go. On the Bounce Women Travel Safety Index this country is ranked in 25th place. Women are at no more risk than men here, as long as they avoid dangerous neighborhoods. In general, women should feel pretty safe in Berlin, even while walking alone or using public transport.
Safest neighborhoods in Berlin
Despite the fact that the Berlin crime rate is so low, it is a big city and there are some places that can be a bit dangerous. Keep reading to find out some of the safest places in town, as well as a few neighborhoods that you might want to avoid.
As the historic center of the city, Mitte is a safe and popular place for tourists to stay. The nearby Potsdam square, Brandenburg Gate (or Brandenburg Tor), Museum Island and the many cafes and bars make it a great place to enjoy your vacation.
This is a trendy bourgeois district that you'll definitely want to stop by as you visit Berlin. It is perfectly safe for tourists, too.
This neighborhood is both quiet and chic, making it safe for everyone to visit. You can relax here, even if you're traveling with young kids.
Now that you know about Berlin safety, which places should you be careful in? Gorlitzer Park has a reputation for drug dealing and is probably the most dangerous part of town. You should also be cautious in Kottbusser Tor, Riga Street, Hermannplatz and Leopoldplatz. You should also be careful when navigating Alexanderplatz at night.
Is Berlin public transportation safe?
The U-Bahn (subway system) and S-Bahn (commuter railway) as well as the buses in Berlin are safe, convenient and reliable ways to navigate around the city. There is also a tram network that can bring you through the neighborhoods to the east. You might encounter some traffic using the buses during rush hour, and if you don't want to be stuck you can always use the cycle lanes to get to nearby areas by bike.
You'll be safe using all of Berlin's public transport services at any time of day or night. The biggest issue that you'll see is the homeless communities that can sometimes be found near transport hubs like train stations, but if you keep a safe distance and do not interact with them they will not bother you. If you're traveling after dark and feel uncomfortable, stick close to the other citizens waiting for the public transit, and don't use subways or commuter trains that are empty.
Important emergency numbers in Berlin
Most cities have a series of numbers that you can call in an emergency to get connected to the police, medical professionals or other people who can help you out. Having a list of the numbers handy is an important part of staying safe in Berlin. When you use your phone in Berlin or other European cities you should be aware of your embassy number.
- Fire and Medical Assistance Emergencies: 112
- Emergencies That Require Police: 110
- Poison Control Centre: (030) 192-40
- Medical Emergency Services: (030) 310-031
- Berlin Citizens Helpline: 115
Insider tips to help you stay safe in Berlin
Most major cities around the world have some degree of crime, but in comparison to other places, Berlin does quite well. It is a very safe city and tourists can feel comfortable knowing that they will not be in any danger as they make their way through the town.
Now you're prepared to take your trip to Berlin, but there is still more that you can learn about this city. Check out this guide on How to Get Around Berlin to learn all that you can about navigating from east to west Berlin, and read Where to Stay in Berlin: The Ultimate Guide before you book your hotel.