When is the best time to visit Germany?
Given the variety of things to do in Germany – from festivals and events to forest treks and hiking, the ideal time for a German vacation depends just as much on the weather as it does your preference for particular activities and adventures. Remember, timing is everything.
The German climate follows a predictable central European pattern – warm between April to August and cold from September to March. If you want to increase your chances of a dry holiday, then visit between July and September. Temperatures during this period fluctuate within the 68°F – 86°F range.
With chilly, wet and gloomy weather conditions, January is Germany’s coldest month. The northern parts of the country are wet while the southern region experiences frequent snow. Average high temperatures range between 37°F- 41°F.
- Visit Neuschwanstein Castle in winter – a fairytale setting
- Go museum-hopping in Berlin
- Ski down world-class slopes at Garmisch-Partenkirchen
It’s still winter across the country, though temperatures might be a couple of degrees higher than January. Average daytime temperatures are around 41°F. It’s one of the leanest tourist periods in Germany so if you are looking for hotel and airfare deals, February is your month.
- Try out cross country skiing in the Black Forest
- Movie buffs can head to the Berlin International Film Festival – one of the biggest in the world
- Have a good time at the Fasching or Carnival in Cologne
The country shakes off its winter blues, though the early part of the month can still experience cold temperatures. Mornings and evenings are chilly and it is best to wear layers if you are traveling through the country during this month. Daytime highs reach 48°F towards the end of the month.
- Sample delicious Easter goodies at the Nuremberg Easter Market
- The Leipzig Book Fair is a must-visit for all bibliophiles
Spring officially arrives in Germany with 14-15 hour days and the mercury reaching the high 50s, but April is still an unpredictable month, with some days experiencing a mix of rain, sunshine, and hail. Expect crowds, with locals traveling for the Easter holidays.
- Welcome pleasant weather with the Frankfurt Spring Fair
- Walk through a tunnel of cherry blossom trees in Bonn
With daytime highs around 67°F and the crowds yet to come, May is one of the best months to travel to Germany. Be advised that while it is generally sunny and pleasant, there is a greater chance of rain this month.
- Sample some of Germany’s finest beer at the Frühlingsfest in Stuttgart
- Head to Beelitz for the Spargelfest and find out why the asparagus is a national obsession
- Hike the Elbe Sandstone Mountains
Days are long and warm with temperatures ranging between 71°F – 77°F. Southern parts of the country tend to be hotter than northern regions that benefit from the cooling influence of winds from the Baltic and Northern Sea. There is still a likelihood of rain and it’s advisable to carry a rain jacket or umbrella.
- Celebrate Bach in his hometown of Leipzig at the Bach Festival
- Explore charming Dusseldorf
- Enjoy beachside bliss at Rügen Island
July is one of the best times to visit Germany and, naturally, the peak tourist season and therefore a relatively expensive time of the year to visit. Temperatures are in the range of 77°F – 84°F, though there is a high likelihood of rain.
- Indulge in water sports in Bodensee
- Enjoy a picnic by the Elbe River in Dresden
- Stroll around Lübeck – a UNESCO World Heritage site
August is warm and wet and a popular month to visit Germany. Tourists pour into the country as temperatures hover around a pleasant 75°F. There are plenty of festivals and outdoor activities to participate in.
- Cruise down the Rhine River
- Drive down the Romantic Road from Wurzburg to Fussen
- Tour the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
The weather begins to change and by the end of the month and you will find mornings and evenings to be quite chilly. Temperature averages drop to around 68°F. Millions of tourists visit the country for Oktoberfest, which begins this month, so if you are planning to join the fun, remember that you will have to plan at least six months in advance.
- Be part of the merriment that surrounds the Oktoberfest in Munich
- Cycle around the picturesque town of Potsdam
- Enjoy the scenic landscape as you drive down Germany’s Wine Road
Germany is firmly in the mid of autumn, with shorter days and temperatures dropping further into the mid-50s. However, the weather is dry and there are plenty of sunny days, making the month a good time to visit the country.
- Witness the migration of cranes at the East Frisian Islands
- Watch Berlin’s iconic buildings light up at the Festival of Lights
- Delight in brilliant fall foliage at the Black Forest
It’s beginning to look a lot like winter in November with low temperatures just above freezing and high temperatures between 41°F – 45°F. If you want to ski down some of the country’s slopes without the crowds, this is the month to visit Germany.
- Try out a spin or two at an ice skating rink
- Be part of the country’s oldest fair at Bremen
Temperatures drop to below freezing in the night and barely touch the 40s during the daytime, but it is still a good time to travel to Germany. The country comes alive with Christmas markets and holiday festivities lighting uptown squares and buildings.
- Walk under a million lights at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Berlin
- Get into the festive spirit at one of Germany’s many Christmas markets
- Welcome the New Year at the ‘Party Mile’ in Berlin
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Seasons in Germany
High Season – The high season in Germany occurs over three periods through the year. You will find the highest number of visitors in the country during these times: June to August, Oktoberfest in September, and the Christmas period from mid-November to mid-December. With the Christmas markets opening across Germany between the 22nd to 29th of November, this is one of the best times to visit Germany. Three of the biggest and most popular markets take place in Berlin at the Charlottenburg Palace, in Leipzig at the Marktplatz (market square), and in Nuremberg at the Nuremberg Market Square.
Off Season – The colder German weather kicks off in November and lasts until March/April. Snow is a common occurrence in the South and East across the likes of Dresden, Stuttgart, Augsburg and Munich, with temperatures dropping as low as 33.8°F. By March, snow is less of an issue and intermittent rain is more common.
Best Time for Sightseeing
Aside from good weather, it’s also a good idea to be aware when popular festivals and events are on. The German summer is packed. The Schützenfest Hannover, the Freiburg Wine Festival and the Berlin Culture Festival all take place in July. The Frankfurt Apple Wine Festival is in August. Oktoberfest in September brings huge numbers to every city, particularly Munich. Large crowds and extensive queues are typical during the peak summer months of July to September, so if you prefer it less busy, this might not be the best time to visit Germany despite the great weather. Early summer and October are best if you wish to avoid queues and crowds.
What to Pack for Germany
Good Walking Shoes
The German transport system is fast and efficient, but you will get a much better taste of each individual city by walking. It’s advisable to bring with you at least one good solid pair of walking or running shoes.
Travel adapter plug
This is a must. And remember–the German one is the two-pronged cylindrical version.
Rainwear and Sunwear
This depends on which time of the year you are traveling, but it’s best to wear comfortable loose clothing and pack a light raincoat and compact umbrella, just to be on the safe side.
Check your mobile phone network and have it set up before arrival. These days no one uses maps unless it’s in an app, so it’s also advisable to carry a backup battery or battery pack with you.
Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months from your date of departure from Germany. You will need about two blank pages in your passport for each country that you visit in Europe.
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