Health & insurance
Hamburg is a healthy place; your main risks are likely to be sunburn, foot blisters, mild stomach problems and – the big one – hangovers.
Before You Go
No vaccinations are required for travel to Hamburg, but the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that all travellers be covered for diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and polio.
Citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein receive free or reduced-cost, state-provided (not private) healthcare coverage with the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for medical treatment that becomes necessary while in Germany. It does not cover emergency repatriation. Each family member needs a separate card. UK residents can find information on how to obtain the card at www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC.
You will need to pay directly and fill in a treatment form; keep the form to claim any refunds. In general you can claim back around 70% of the standard treatment cost.
Citizens of other countries need to check whether there is a reciprocal arrangement for free medical care between their country and Germany.
A signed and dated letter from your doctor describing your medical conditions and medications, including generic names, is a good idea. It is illegal to import codeine-based medication without a doctor's certificate.
Availability & Cost of Health Care
- Excellent health care is widely available from Rettungsstelle (emergency rooms) at Krankenhauser (hospitals) and at Arzt (doctors' offices).
- For minor illnesses or injuries (headache, bruises, diarrhoea), trained staff in pharmacies can provide advice, sell prescription-free medications and make doctors' referrals if further help is needed.
- Condoms are widely available in drugstores, pharmacies and supermarkets. Birth control pills require a doctor's prescription.
Tap water is drinkable in Hamburg.
For information on the city's medical services, visit www.healthcare-hamburg.com.
Asklepios Klinik St. Georg One of Hamburg's better and more central hospitals.
Hauptbahnhof Apotheke Wandelhalle Late-opening pharmacy inside the northern hall of the Hauptbahnhof.
Roth's Old English Pharmacy Historic, centrally located pharmacy.