This is my first time travelling as an adult and alone. I am travelling from Panama. I already checked and I don't need a visa. What are the things that I will need? I will be visiting someone I met online, that's why I will be staying in a hotel for the first 4 days, and then depending on how things works, I will be staying with the person, or I will make another reservation for the time left. He already gave me his address, but I'm not sure if they will ask for something else.
Several points of advice.
- While online dating is becoming much more common these days, you should realize that your situation has the potential of becoming a problem for you and an even greater likelihood of being seen as a problem by people like the immigration officials. (Notice how you wrote the neutral "person" and I immediately leapt to assumptions.)
- Even if you are madly in love (especially if you are madly in love ...), do nothing to hurt your long-term chances of living together with your friend. Part of that means making credible plans to leave Germany after the planned end of your visit, and to come back later. Possibly for another brief visit, possibly after application for a residence permit.
- You should have a clear idea where you can stay if things don't work out. That doesn't have to be a firm reservation in a hotel, you could also have the contact details (and price ranges) of several hostels for young tourists with you. They offer anything from single bedrooms to 12-bed dormitories at different prices. You should also know how to contact a battered women's shelter, they would be more competent to help you if there are problems in that regard.
So, with these things said:
- You need a passport which is valid for more than 3 months, no older than 10 years, and contains biometric data.
- As a visa-free national, you can arrive for tourism or business trips. Do not ever suggest that you might like to stay, or that you are not sure if you will actually take your planned return trip. (And that should be the truth and not just a lie. Leave again, let your friend visit you, see where it leads. See below.)
- You have to have money or tickets for your return flight and money to cover your stay. There is no fixed rate for that, but something like like €50/day should be the absolute minimum. Also health insurance.
- You can show your initial hotel reservation, and (honestly) say that you don't know where you'll go from there, that you have the contact details from several affordable hostels (see above).
I think the answer by Michael is wrong, and note how it was downvoted. You can get away with not volunteering information, but do not lie. One lie leads to the next, sooner or later one lie will be exposed, and then you will have a file that says you lied to an EU official.
I know several couples where a German partner married a partner from outside the EU. In each case it was a process that started with visits before it came to a residency permit and then to the marriage. That's the latest point where the authorities will ask if it is a sham marriage or a true one, and little lies at an earlier stage will come to hurt you.
immigration in Germany don't ask as many questions as the US, but they will certainly ask you why you are travelling to Germany and what you are intending to do. The simplest answer is: "I'm visiting friends in Hamburg." If they ask where you know the people from (unlikely to be asked this), you are free to make a white lie and say: "German friends I met in Panama." As for the private story, ignore the strange questions from other posters. In the days of the Internet there are much weirder ways to meet people.