Last updated: 17 Feb 2021



Germany has something interesting for everyone to see or do. Lots of cultural attractions, beautiful scenery, great cities and of course the world renowned Octoberfest to add a huge fun factor at that time of the year.

Make sure to see the German Parliament (Reichstag), re-designed by British architect Norman Foster, and the Brandenburg Gate; both potent symbols of German unity.

Stroll along part of the path of the Berlin Wall, clearly marked in the road, from the Brandenburg Gate to glitzy Potsdamer Platz, derelict during Germany's divided years, but now restored as a modern focal point for the city.

Take the kids to Europa-Park, Germany's biggest theme park, at Rust, near Freiburg in the southwest. For the brave it features Europe's highest rollercoaster.

Be pampered. Germany has over 300 spas and health resorts that offer a wide range of traditional and modern treatments. The most famous spa town is Baden-Baden, in the southwest.
Capital:  Berlin (BER)
Currency:  Euro (EUR)
Language:  German. English is widely spoken and understood. 
Dialling code from SA:  + 49
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +1 (1 hour behind South Africa)
Daylight Savings Time: From last Sun in March to last Sun in Oct: UTC / GMT +2 (same time as South Africa)
Public Holidays 2021: 

Jan 1; Apr 2, 5; May 1, 13, 24; Oct 3; Dec 25, 26 (Individual states / provinces may observe additional holidays)

Side of the Road: Right.
Best Time to Go: Year Round. May – September is high season. 
Best for: Medieval Architecture, Museums, Oktoberfest
Plugs: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style round two-pin plugs are in use
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink. 
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. For English speakers in need of a doctor and unable to reach easily a surgery or pharmacy, call 01805 321 303 ( It costs more than an average phone call but you’ll be able to discuss your symptoms in English, and receive medical advice. 
Customs: Normal social courtesies. Do not address someone by their first name unless you have been invited to. When in a shop or other place of business, it is polite to say "guten tag" when entering and "auf wiedersehen" or "tschüss" when leaving. Casualwear is largely acceptable, but some restaurants, clubs and casinos may have a dress code. Punctuality is highly valued. 
Local Offences / Laws: Visitors should carry a form of identification at all times. Smoking in prohibited in public places. 
Duty Free: Germany is within the European Union. If you are travelling from the UK, you are entitled to buy fragrance, skincare, cosmetics, Champagne, wine, selected spirits, fashion accessories, gifts and souvenirs - all at tax-free equivalent prices. There are no allowance restrictions on these tax-free items.

If you are travelling from within the EU, there is no limit on the amount or value of goods you may import, providing your goods are for personal consumption. Büsingen and the Isle of Heligoland are treated as being outside of the EU for duty-free purposes. Goods imported for commercial purposes are subject to duty and the following guideline amounts are in place to determine whether this is the case:
• 800 cigarettes or 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars or 1kg of tobacco.
• 10L of spirits over 22%, 20L of alcoholic beverages less than 22%, 90L of wine (no more than 60L of sparkling wine) and 110L of beer.

If you are arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported into Germany by travellers over 17 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 4L of wine and 16L of beer and 1L of spirits over 22% volume or 2L of alcoholic beverages less than 22% volume.
• Other goods up to the value of €430 for air and sea travellers and €300 for other travellers (reduced to €175 for children under 15).
Prohibited Imports: Unauthorised firearms and ammunition, unapproved fireworks, unconstitutional literature, pornography which is violent or involves children, any food considered a health hazard, narcotics, dangerous dogs, endangered species and counterfeit goods.

Travel Alerts

COVID-19 Travel Advisory: 

  • In a move to prevent the introduction of SARS-CoV2-variants, the German Government on 30th January 2021 has imposed a general ban on travel and entry from countries with widespread occurrence of such virus variants (referred to as areas of variant of concern). These include South Africa, Eswatini and Lesotho.
    The ban has been extended until 03.03.2021 and may be further extended depending on the development of the pandemic.
    More Information:

  • From 8 November 2020 all travellers to Germany have to register online prior to their entry on the website, if they have stayed in a high risk area within the last 10 days prior to their entry to Germany. They must be able to present proof of this registration when entering Germany.
  • You must also be able to bring prove that you are not infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus no later than 48 hours after entry. The responsible authority may require you to provide proof in the form of a test result or medical certificate up to ten days after entry

More Information:


This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

a) German Embassy - Visa Section
201 Florence Ribeiro Avenue
Groenkloof, Pretoria, 0181
PO Box 2023 Pretoria 0001
Tel: (012) 427 8900
Consular Fax: (012) 427 8984
Visa section : 0900-1100 by appointment only. For appointments call 086 100 2245

b) German Consulate-General
Roeland Park, 4 Stirling street, cnr de Villiers and Stirling,
Zonnebloem 7925
PO Box 4273 Cape Town 8000
Tel: (021) 405 3000
Fax: (021) 405 3010
Appointments: 0861 002245


Visa Requirements

  • Visas are required by all South African citizens for a stay of any length of time.
  • Holders of full British passports do NOT need visas.

All applications for Schengen visas must be handed in at one of the Visa Application Centres

1) TLSContact

BFN: 101 on Olympus, Bloemfontein, 101 Olympus Drive, Helicon Heights, Bloemfontein
CPT: Media Quarter, Upper Ground Floor 2 De Smit Street, De Waterkant 8005
JHB: West End Office Park Block C, 254 Hall St, Die Hoewes, Centurion, 0157
PLZ: Ground Floor Building 66, Fairview Office Park, Greenacres, Port Elizabeth

Tel: +27 012 472 3801, Monday to Friday 08:30-16:00

Step 1: Complete The VIDEX Form - The VIDEX form (English or German version only!) should be completed online via the Videx website and printed prior to booking an appointment. The form should be completed in capital letters and must be signed by the applicant in person using black ink.

Step 2: Read the list of documents which need to be submitted with your visa application based on your travel purpose and prepare the documents carefully. Please always choose the correct travel purpose.

Step 3: Create Your TLScontact Account. Please create your personal user account, and activate your account by clicking the provided link in the email sent to you.

Step 4: Input Your Data - Log in to your account, fill in the requested personal data. If you are a member of a group of people applying for a visa together, please fill in the data of those accompanying you too. Submit the group when you finish.

Step 5: Make An Appointment - After logging in to your TLS account and following the appropriate steps, please choose a date and time of your convenience to submit your application at our Visa Application Centre. Do not forget to print out your notification as it will be required at our welcome area on the day of your appointment.

Step 6:  Application Submission - Please note that all applicants aged 12 years and older must personally come to their appointment at TLScontact for biometric data capture and for the submission of the application.

Step 7: Passport Collection - After the German Mission has made a decision on your visa application, your passport will be returned to the Visa Application Centre. You will be notified by SMS as soon as the passport arrives.You can collect your passport in person or by a representative. Note documents that you will need to take with you for collection.

2) Honorary Consul DurbanResidents of KwaZulu-Natal can apply for Schengen and National visas at the Honorary Consul's Office in Durban

9 Kensington Drive, Westville, Durban 3629
Mon- Fri 08:30 - 11:30

Please note that the visa application must be completed online, then printed and handed in when applying. Please make sure to read the following requirements and bring all necessary documents. Appointments in Durban are optional for individuals.


REQUIREMENTS: See General Schengen Requirements for terms and conditions of a Schengen short stay visa and application procedures for multi-destinations.
Additional visa Requirements to the Standard Schengen visa requirements:

• Please ensure there are 2 free pages in the passport.
• An airport transit visa is not required for SA citizens
• A transit visa is required for SA citizens if they leave the transit lounge. A transit visa is not required if they stay in the transit lounge.
• Bank statements of the last 3 months (not from internet) for all first time traveller's to Germany (business or visitor)

TRANSIT VISA: Must have the main destinations visa before applying for a transit visa/or normal Schengen visa eg travelling to the UK/USA first. A TRANSIT VISA IS REQUIRED FOR SA CITIZENS IF THEY LEAVE THE TRANSIT LOUNGE.
• Visas for a longer period than 90 days or for the purpose of taking up employment are not subject to the Schengen agreement. They are still subject to the national legislation of the country of destination. They must be applied for with the consular authorities of the country concerned at least 3 months before departure.
• Only biometric photographs are accepted when applying for a visa. Photos must be clear, in colour and not older than 6 months. Black and white photos are NOT accepted. Please read the guidelines attached to the confirmation email re photos.
• Application forms for passengers under 18 years have to be signed by both parents in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths or an official at the Consulate.
• In addition to requirements for minors - please note: One guardian of a minor (18 years or younger) has to apply on the child`s behalf, with child, and all minors are to produce an unabridged birth certificate and copy of the parents passport.
• Do not hand in the application unless all the necessary documents are provided at the time of application.
• Please submit 2 passport copies of pages of personal data as well as copies of all previous Schengen visa(s) - even if in old passport.
• All documents are to be submitted in the original plus photocopy.

• The photograph required must be loose (ie not stapled to the application form).

Visa Processing Time

Up to two weeks. No on-the-spot Schengen visa will be issued.

Visa Validity

Visas valid strictly as per dates specified on application form.

Visa Cost

Adults: EUR80
Minors: EUR40

The visa fee is fixed in EUR but payable only in ZAR. The exchange rate between these currencies is decided by the German Missions and is updated periodically, therefore the payable amount may differ from those quoted above. Please note that your visa application fee receipt will only quote the fee paid in ZAR.

The service fee, mandatory for any visa application, is EUR 24.51.. This amount has been decided in agreement with the German Government and corresponds to the different services provided by the TLScontact centre (i.e. visa application reception, data processing, information collection, appointments booking, etc.).

The visa fee and service fee are both non-refundable and non-transferable if the visa application is denied by the staff of the German Mission or if the applicant decides to withdraw the application.

SA Representative

SA Embassy
Tiergartenstrasse 18, 10785, Berlin
Tel: 00 49 30 220 730

Travel Health

Compulsory:  None
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Polio