Preparing for Travel

Preparing for Travel

Before commencing your research stay at the Institute, there are a number of practical issues that you will need to address. These include satisfying the formalities for your entry into Germany, finding accommodation and taking out health insurance. Below you can find the most important information, links and platforms on these topics.

Entry formalities

Traveling to Germany involves your first complying with certain formal requirements. Euraxess Germany, an information and advice point for internationally mobile researchers, provides important information for the advance planning of a research stay in Germany.


If you have to apply for a visa to enter Germany, you will need a Hosting Agreement (Aufnahmevereinbarung) from the Institute.

If you plan to finance your stay out of your own means, please contact the library. Your contact person is Mrs. Halsen-Raffel. Please follow the library’s information on access and registration before you make your request.

If you were granted an MPI scholarship, you will receive the Hosting Agreement on request from Ms. Schröder ().

You can find further important information on visa and entry formalities on the homepage of Euraxess, the Federal Foreign Office and the Hamburg Welcome Portal.

Formalities for stays of more than 3 months

If you plan to stay in Hamburg for more than 3 months, you will have to register as a resident within two weeks after your arrival. Please find further information about the registration procedure and the online appointment tool here.


Please take care to search for an accommodation in a timely manner. Accommodation for only a few months is hard to find and often rather expensive in Hamburg. We advise our guests to consider accommodations outside the direct neighborhood of the Institute, if need be. Hamburg has a very good network of bus and train lines, so that you will be able to reach the Institute relatively comfortably from other parts of the city too.

Please find more advice on apartment-hunting in Hamburg here.

Health Insurance

Health insurance for your stay in Germany is mandatory.

First of all, please check, whether your existing health insurance covers treatment costs in Germany. This usually applies for EU citizens. Please contact your health insurance provider in any case, however. If your existing insurance does not cover treatment costs in Germany, you need to extend it or take out additional insurance for the time of your stay in Germany. As a rule, guest researchers have to take out private health insurance. You can find more information and links to various private insurance providers at EURAXESS Germany, the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation's information and advice portal for international researchers. If you choose an inexpensive travel insurance policy, please pay close attention to the risks that are not covered. Depending on your personal situation and needs, a more expensive insurance policy might be the better choice for you.

Scholarship holders please contact Ms. Schröder ().

National Holidays/Sundays

Most shops, medical practices and offices are closed on national holidays and Sundays. The Institute (including the library) is also closed on these days, as well as throughout Christmas and New Year’s Day.

National holidays in Germany 2023/2024:

  • Christmas: Mon 25.12 + Tue 26.12.2023
  • New Year’s Day: Mon 01.01.2024
  • Good Friday: Fri 29.03.2024
  • Easter Monday: Mon 01.04.2024
  • Labor Day: Wed 01.05.2024
  • Ascension Day: Thu 18.05.2024
  • Pentecost: Mo 20.05.2024
  • Day of German Unity: Thu 03.10.2024
  • Day of Reformation: Thu 31.10.2024
  • Christmas: Wed 25.12 + Thu 26.12.2024
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