Best Time To Visit Germany

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East and West Germany reunited three decades ago, bringing together a country with a population of over 83 million. Today, Germany is a country of infinite variety with a North Sea coastline, forests and rivers, mountains to the south and rich history. Germany is Europe’s economic powerhouse, despite the difficulties of reunification. And Berlin, its largest city, is no longer divided, resuming as the capital after almost half a century. 

So, your choice of the best time to visit Germany completely depends on your interests. The October Beer Festival (Oktoberfest) in Munich attracts many visitors, yet others might prefer to walk in the Black Forest or cruise the Rhine. If you’re looking for a slightly warmer climate, go earlier in the year.

Germany is easily accessible as it has land borders with several countries in all directions. Its many international airports offer plenty of choices for visitors. Only China and Italy have more UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with Germany totalling 51 and available all year round. Read on to decide the best time to visit Germany for you.

Best Time To Visit Germany

Germany in Summer

best time of year to visit germany
Rakotzbrucke Devil Bridge in a local park in Germany.

German summers are usually warm, but sunny days cannot be guaranteed however, the advantage of the summer climate is that there are rarely days too hot to prevent you from walking around comfortably.

Germany’s transport infrastructure is excellent.

The autobahns will make it easy for you to cover most of this vast country by car and the rail system encourages those who prefer to relax between destinations.

Cruising is a holiday in itself, and few rivers offer as much opportunity to enjoy the landscape as the Rhine.

The cities in Germany ooze history, and while Berlin may be a top choice, Cologne, Munich, or Heidelberg are just three other cities to consider.

While Germany has fewer choices for beach holidays than Mediterranean countries, some resorts on the north coast are worth considering.

Add the mountains in the south, and you have plenty of alternatives if you want some exercise during your holiday.

A cold beer after exercise tastes that little bit better, doesn’t it? Well, Germany is famous for its beer.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are regional variations:

  • June (Sunrise 0440, Sunset 2130, Average Low Temperature 13C (55F), Average High Temperature Average High 20C (68F))
  • July (Sunrise 0500, Sunset 2125, Average Low Temperature 17C (63F), Average High Temperature 21C (70F)
  • August (Sunrise 0550, Sunset 2035, Average Low Temperature 17C (63F), Average High Temperature 22C (72F)

Five Things to Do in Germany in Summer

1- Explore Berlin
best time to visit berlin germany
Summer is the best time to visit German landmarks, such as the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, without the crowds.

The Berlin Wall has long since gone, but the Brandenburg Gate has retained its appeal.

Maps of the city are readily available, and the city’s transport system encourages visitors to explore independently.

There are plenty of tours for those wanting guides.

Museum Island is one of the places to visit and other museums in different parts of the city.

2- Cruise The Rhine

The Rhine rises in Switzerland and is navigable from Basel onwards.

Cruises are available from Basel, crossing into Germany or you can start near its mouth, typically Amsterdam, before reaching Germany.

There are many options, and the stretch of the Rhine, running through the Black Forest, is gorgeous. The Rhine Gorge from Koblenz has many admirers.

3- Discover The Delights Of Munich

Munich is a city worth exploring on its own, but also a gateway to the Alps, which are visible from the city on a clear day.

If hiking in the mountains is your idea of a great vacation, Munich Airport is a good way of reaching them. And you can enjoy the city as well while you are there.

4- Go On A Beach Vacation
best places to visit in germany for first time
You might be surprised to learn that there are good beaches (such as Binz beach on Ruegen Island) and the best time to visit Germany for a beach vacation is, of course, in summer.

Although Germany is probably not the first place you think of for a beach holiday, look a little harder, and you will be surprised.

Several resorts on the North or Baltic Sea coastlines are popular with locals.

Binz Beach on Rugen Island, Langeoog on Witmund and Wannsee Lake near Berlin all deserve your consideration.

There’s a range of other activities near these beaches, and none of Germany’s beaches is ever too busy.

5- Hike The Black Forest
best place to visit in germany first time
For active travellers, both winter and summer are good times to visit Germany. In summer, the Black Forest has ziplines and other activities.

A relaxing holiday in the Black Forest is an excellent choice for hikers who will love this mountainous region of Germany.

You can take leisurely walks or do absolutely nothing but enjoy the scenery.

Freiburg is the largest town in the Black Forest, an area famous for its spas, vineyards and picturesque villages.

Baden-Baden also provides a good base if you want to see the Black Forest.

Top tips:

  • Check for discount cards available in major cities for travel and visiting the local attractions.
  • Be prepared for showers and temperatures falling in the evening. A light waterproof jacket should cover both eventualities.
  • Don’t expect many shops to be open on Sundays.

Germany in Autumn

best time to visit germany and switzerland
For picturesque villages, the best time to visit Germany is in autumn. Pictured here is Saxon Switzerland Germany.

Once September arrives and schools open again, crowds in the most popular places diminish, beaches become a little less attractive, and many destinations are filled with singles, couples and groups of friends.

Temperatures are still comfortable, and a light jacket or jumper is all you need later in the day.

The weather may not allow you to dine outside, but that is no great sacrifice after an enjoyable day.

The colours in the German countryside are spectacular in the autumn while the markets fill with a wide range of fruit and vegetables.

September is a month of wine festivals across Germany, with the southwest the best place to visit.

Come October, eyes turn to Munich and the beer festival. Other than during the period of the Oktober Festival, accommodation and flight prices drop once the high season ends.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are regional variations:

  • September (Sunrise 0640, Sunset 1925, Average Low Temperature 12C (54F), Average High Temperature Average High 18C (64F))
  • October (Sunrise 0730, Sunset 1815, Average Low Temperature 7C (45F), Average High Temperature 13C (56F)
  • November (Sunrise 0730, Sunset 1615, Average Low Temperature 3C (38F), Average High Temperature 8C (47F)

Five Things to do in Germany in Autumn

1- Drink Beer At Oktoberfest
best time to visit germany for oktoberfest Bavarian German beer barrel with flags, isolated on white background, ready for the beer celebration festival in Munich
If you love a party, the best time to visit Germany is during Oktoberfest.

Bavarian culture comes to the fore, with six million visitors heading to Munich during the festival to drink beer and eat bratwurst.

Oktoberfest in Munich is on many people’s bucket lists, and if you want to feel part of the festival, wear traditional Bavarian clothes.

Lederhosen (leather pants) go well with a checked shirt, knee-length socks and haferlschuh (shoes). That is a man’s wardrobe sorted out. Ladies wear a skirt, blouse, bodice and apron.

2- Attend A Football Game

Soccer is a serious part of German life.

Many teams have large stadiums, and entry prices are much lower than at the top sides in other parts of Europe.

You will find top teams playing in many cities and if you want to attend a game, check in advance if tickets are available.

3- Explore Berlin Without The Crowds
best time of year to visit berlin germany
Autumn is the best time to visit Germany for beautiful colours. Pictured here is the majestic Berlin Cathedral.

Berlin remains an attraction throughout autumn, and you are likely to find lower prices as the summer crowds have gone.

With so much to see in Berlin, you should stay for at least three days, ideally more.

4- Enjoy The Bavarian Alps
best time to visit munich germany English garden with fallen leaves and golden sunlight.
Enjoy a golden autumn in Munich’s English garden. It’s the best time to visit Germany for colour.

The Bavarian Alps are arguably at their best in autumn when daytime temperatures are fine for walking and hiking.

The colours are astonishing.

Take a look at Tegernsee or Wendelstein to get an idea of what will await you if you enjoy hiking.

5- Discover Dusseldorf

Dusseldorf in the west is a vibrant city famous for its art and fashion.

It is an important business and financial centre, but visitors will be more interested in its parks, which are lovely in the autumn, and the elegant shops in its wide streets.

Take a look!

Top tips:

best time to visit germany 2022
Beautiful reflection of the landscape and the sky in the pond of a Japanese garden in the Rheinaue public park in Bonn demonstrates why the best time to visit Germany is in autumn.
  • Cash is king in Germany, and there will be no facility for using your cards in many places.
  • Try to be punctual if you have an appointment as Germans regard punctuality as very important.
  • Recycling is not quite a national obsession, but it is very important, so do as the locals do.

Germany in Winter

what is the best time of day to visit the great lakes in hamburg germany
For an ethereal landscape, the best time to visit Germany is winter. Here’s Lake Osterseen in Bavaria.

You can enjoy a sunny day in Germany in the winter, but temperatures rarely get above cool.

At times, it is seriously cold, with the Alps covered in snow. There is plenty of snow across the country as a whole.

The population is used to, and prepared for, cold winter weather.

Warm clothing and appropriate footwear make daily life perfectly fine.

Roads are routinely cleared when necessary, and transport generally faces little disruption.

The Bavarian Alps offers plenty of good skiing during the winter months, while the open-air markets pre-Christmas are an attraction throughout the country.

Christmas is a significant time in Germany, and in cities like Cologne, markets aimed at Christmas start in late November. The cold is forgotten, and the atmosphere is unique.

Winter conditions offer plenty of outdoor alternatives other than skiing in the mountains.

Cross-country skiing and hiking are both popular, and there is always a warm welcome awaiting if you head to a local inn for refreshments.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are regional variations:

  • December (Sunrise 0810, Sunset 1550, Average Low Temperature 4C (40F), Average High Temperature Average High 9C (48F))
  • January (Sunrise 0810, Sunset 1625, Average Low Temperature -3C (26F), Average High Temperature 2C (35F)
  • February (Sunrise 0720, Sunset 1720, Average Low Temperature -1C (30F), Average High Temperature 3C (37F)

Five Things to do in Germany in Winter

1- Go Hiking And Skiing In The Black Forest
what is the best time to visit germany
The best time to visit Germany for fairytale landscapes is winter and the Black Forest is the place to be.

The Black Forest looks lovely all year round, but during the winter months, there are hiking and skiing trails to follow.

Make sure you pack suitable clothing and equipment if you head there in winter.

The bracing fresh air will give you an appetite for the cuisine that fills winter menus, hearty dishes with great desserts, beer and wine.

2- Go Skiing And Snowboarding
best time of the year to visit germany man sanding next to a snowghost
Here’s why one of the best times to visit Germany is winter. The snowy landscape of Harz National Park is enchanting.

The Bavarian Alps are the main mountains in Germany, but not the only ones where skiing and snowboarding are popular winter pastimes.

Munich is 90 minutes away and the best airport for entry.

Facilities include something for everyone, beginners and experts.

There are floodlit runs at several resorts with sledging and tobogganing available as well.

3- Explore Cologne’s Museums

Cologne is one of Germany’s largest cities, and its Christmas Market is famous well beyond Germany’s borders.

It sits on the Rhine in the west and is rightly recognised for its architecture, especially the city cathedral.

On a wet winter’s day, head to its best museums, Ludwig for modern art, Chocolate for the obvious and Wallraf.

4- Explore Berlin’s Landmarks

Berlin is a city that appeals to tourists all year round however, pre-Christmas is a great time to visit the markets and sales heading into the New Year.

Its many landmarks are quiet mid-winter, and museums can fill up a rainy or snowy day.

Prices of accommodation in mid-winter offer great value, and the city’s restaurants cater for every taste.

5- Discover History In Leipzig

Leipzig is a prominent city that was part of the old East Germany and the largest city in that former state, other than Berlin.

Reunification was a major boost to the city, which is home to many important historical buildings.

These days, few cities in Germany rate as highly for quality of life, so go there to see why that is the case.

Top tips:

best time to visit black forest germany aerial view of snow-covered mountains
One of the best times to visit Germany’s Black Forest for amazing scenery is in winter.
  • Go to Germany fully prepared for cold weather, which means packing to suit the conditions you are likely to meet.
  • Discount fares and accommodation are likely to be available, so look for bargains.
  • German cuisine does not get the attention it deserves, and winter is a great time to indulge. Look online for recommendations and book in advance.

Germany in Spring

what is the best time of year to visit germany peach blossoms and the castle blurred in the background
Spring is the best time to visit Germany for colour. Pictured here is Cochem Castle with peach blossoms.

Spring comes gradually in Germany as it takes a while for temperatures to rise significantly, and warm clothing is still essential until May at least.

It means that outdoor activities are comfortable but require some planning.

Cherry blossom is one of the first signs of spring, and festivals take place around the country to celebrate the new season.

They include festivals celebrating asparagus, which may not sound exciting, but Germans are very capable of making any event fun.

Prices remain relatively low outside school holiday time, and May offers real value with local children still at school.

Crowds rarely exist at any places that become popular in the coming weeks, but Easter is an exception because schools take a break.

There is less rainfall in spring than in any other season, but you still need to have a showerproof jacket and suitable footwear, whatever you are going to do.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are regional variations:

  • March (Sunrise 0620, Sunset 1810, Average Low Temperature 2C (35F), Average High Temperature Average High 5C (41F))
  • April (Sunrise 0610, Sunset 2005, Average Low Temperature 5C (41F), Average High Temperature 11C (52F)
  • May (Sunrise 0510, Sunset 2100, Average Low Temperature 7C (45F), Average High Temperature 15C (60F)

Five Things to do in Germany in Spring

1- Enjoy Baumblutenfest

Early in May, Werder, near Berlin, has a large fruit wine festival, Baumblutenfest, which features wine made from apple, rhubarb, currant and peach.

A day trip out of Berlin will be really fun, and you are likely to meet visitors who have travelled from all over Germany for it.

2- Get Seriously Into Soccer
when is the best time of year to visit germany
Spring is the best time of the year to visit Germany for football.

The football season is well developed by springtime, with Germany’s top clubs vying for cups in Europe and domestic titles.

Bayern Munich is a serial winner, but if you choose Dusseldorf or Cologne for a holiday, why not catch a game there?

3- Go Hiking
germany best time to visit
The best time to visit Germany if you’re keen on skiing is winter but the Bavarian Alps is beautiful at any time of year. Pictured here is Heimgarten Peak.

If you prefer to avoid cold days and snow underfoot, this is the season you can enjoy a slight temperature rise to walk in places like the Black Forest.

The Alps will still be snow-covered until later in spring, but if you look at the forecasts, you may be able to walk and hike in places.

4- Explore Koblenz

The Rhine comes back into its own in the spring, and one of the cities to visit where the Rhine meets the Mosel is Koblenz.

It is an ancient city with lovely gardens and squares.

Its castle, Marksburg, dates back to the early 12th Century and is the only Rhine castle that survives completely intact.

5- Discover Beethoven’s Bonn

Bonn is an interesting city as it was the capital of West Germany until Berlin resumed its status.

Beethoven was born in this city on the Rhine, and the city deserves recognition as a centre for the arts.

You can visit any time, of course, but spring is a good choice as the Rhine comes alive.

Top tips:

  • Perhaps avoid Easter because school holidays mean larger crowds?
  • Be prepared for varying weather, from sunny days to hours of rain. Head inside on a rainy day.
  • Remember, cash rather than card is the way forward, especially in outdoor markets.

Are you itching to travel somewhere but can’t decide where or when to go? These posts might help:

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Steve Smith is a widely travelled man who has lived on the South West Coast of Turkey since 2008. He hails from North East England where he lived most of his life but has been to every continent of the world, with a particular love for Southern Africa and its wildlife. He lists Argentina, India, and Vietnam as other favourite places that he enjoyed greatly while sport is also a passion, cricket and golf as a participant, rugby union and soccer as a spectator.