Health and Safety
Hamburg: A good place to be
As Germany's second largest city, Hamburg combines the hustle and bustle of a large cosmopolitan city with being a safe and healthy place to live. The city's many green areas encourage a healthy life style, the medical facilities are excellent and the city is safe as long as you follow a few simple rules.
Hamburg has an excellent health care system that includes numerous state-of-the-art hospitals, university clinics and research institutes as well as a tropical medicine institute. Doctors’ practices see patients with appointments and pharmacies have regular and special weekend hours to ensure that health services are available at all times. Health insurance is required to obtain an international student visa. Non-German residents should secure travel insurance or international health insurance from their home country or look into temporary German insurance plans for the duration of their stay. Bucerius staff members are well-versed in German health insurance requirements and are available to assist prospective students with recommendations, regulations and general information.
Hamburg is a very safe city by international standards, especially if one knows and follows a few key rules:
- As in any large city, be alert and try not to walk alone when out late at night or in dark, unpopulated areas. Be sure to be aware of your surroundings especially in crowded areas, like large train stations, as pick pockets and petty thieves have been known to target tourists here.
- Bike paths are for bikers. Pedestrians should take care to stay on their portion of the sidewalk and not stray into the bike lanes that are normally indicated by either a white line or a narrow path in red brick or black asphalt.
- Bikers should be aware of their settings and the surrounding traffic. Pedestrians may unexpectedly dart into the bike lane and cars may not always stop for bicycles – even when bikers have the right of way. Bikers should remain vigilant and stay in the bike lanes riding in the direction of traffic.
- Cross the street only when the signal is green. Germans are sticklers for obeying traffic lights.
- Don’t swim in the Elbe River. While the water quality has improved over the years and people will wade in up to their knees at the city beaches, resist the urge to go for a swim. The large container ships that pass through the harbor at regular intervals create a strong undertow that even professional swimmers cannot compete with.
The number to dial for medical and fire emergencies in Germany is 112. To reach the police department, dial 110.