Berlin stole my heart long ago. Since I first visited over 10 years ago, I’ve always felt a special kinship with the capital of Germany. After visiting Berlin numerous times since over various seasons, I would never suggest there’s a time of year when you shouldn’t visit. But depending on what you want to do, there is a best time to visit Berlin.
What you’ll find below is a guide to help you plan your trip around the ever-changing Berlin weather. I’ve broken down the weather in Berlin both by season and by month with suggestions on what to expect, what to wear and what to do in Berlin.
Table of Contents
When to visit Berlin: A weather overview
As with most weather in Germany, Berlin sports a typical continental European climate. Temperatures swings between seasons are large, soaring above 30ºC in the height of summer and bottoming out well below 0ºC in the winter months.
Germany’s reputation for grey skies isn’t completely absent in Berlin. Rainfall is more or less spread evenly throughout the year with the summers seeing slightly more rain because of the heat.
On average, Berlin is one of the drier German cities. Comparing the weather in Munich, for example, Berlin gets about 375mm less rain and is, on average, warmer throughout the year despite its northern location. If you’re looking to escape the wrath of Germany’s bleak weather, Berlin’s the best place to do it!
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Weather by Season
- When is spring: From mid-March until May
- What to expect: Shaking off a grey cold winter, Berliners take to the streets in spring to soak in the sun and the rising temperatures. Berlin’s parks and gardens bloom while outdoor spaces open up to the rush of those escaping their winter hibernation. Cool temperatures are still common in March but soon give way to the warm days of May. Spring is, in general, one of the driest times of year and is a great choice for when to go to Berlin. While the temperatures can’t compete with the hot summers, the bright sunny days of spring are worth wearing a few extra layers.
- What to wear: The first throes of spring will require throwing warmer outerwear onto your Germany packing list and clothing to deal with the still-dipping mercury. Although spring is one of the driest seasons in Berlin, always carry a waterproof rain jacket in your daypack to be prepared for the ever-possible German rain.
- When is summer: From June until August
- What to expect: In summer, Berlin truly comes alive. The city is always buzzing as locals and tourists fill the streets to enjoy the heat while it lasts. Daytime temperatures peak above 30ºC. Summer is the rainiest season in Berlin, although that hardly seems to stop the action. With the craziness of summer’s high season, you’ll need to choose where to stay in Berlin well ahead of time to avoid problems.
- What to wear: Throughout most of the summer in Berlin, wandering around the streets is most comfortable in lightweight travel pants or shorts and a T-shirt. Nighttime gets cooler. You may need a light sweater and pants to stay comfortable. As always in Germany, carry one of these top-rated lightweight rain jackets in your daypack for inevitable summer showers.
- When is autumn in Berlin: From mid-September until November
- What to expect in autumn in Berlin: The intense heat of summer in Berlin leaves as September rolls in. The frequent rainstorms of summer step aside for the drier days of autumn. Warmth still resides throughout September, after which a quick cooling-down spirals into October and November. Autumn is a colourful time of year in Berlin as the leaves transform into a kaleidoscope of reds, yellows, and oranges as winter looms. Along with spring, autumn often comes on top when settling on when to visit Berlin.
- What to wear in Berlin in autumn: Dropping temperatures, especially towards the end of November, means you’ll need to pack some warmer clothing into your travel backpack including warmer outerwear like a fleece jacket or softshell jacket. As always in Germany keep a travel umbrella and rain jacket handy.
- When is winter: From December until early March
- What to expect: While my sub-30-degree-celsius-northerner genes would somewhat disagree, for most “normal” people cold is the first word that pops to mind when describing winter in Berlin. Winter temperatures often sit below freezing, even if just under the 0ºC mark. The coldest days slip down to less than -10ºC. Winter days in Berlin are not just cold, but cloudy, wet and short.
- What to wear: To stay comfortable in Berlin during winter, pack thick warm outerwear with suitable winter hats and gloves. Waterproof shoes or boots are a must for keeping your feet dry in the wet winter months.
Weather by Month
- Overview: Bundle up! January is the coldest month in Berlin. Temperatures below freezing are common throughout January. Although Berlin’s pleasantly warm compared to my insanely cold home of Northern Ontario, Canada, most non-northerner travellers will find outdoor activities in Berlin less than appealing during January. Be sure to double-check your winter packing list so you won’t be left out the cold!
- Average Temperature: -1ºC / 30ºF
- Avg. Low: -3ºC / 27ºF
- Avg. High: 2ºC / 36ºF
- What to do: Berlin hosts one of the biggest New Year’s celebrations in Europe. Over a million people take to the streets around Brandenburg Gate to brave the cold to set off fireworks while listening to popular German and international bands jam out in the blustery chill of January.
- Overview: If cooler winter temperatures don’t bother you, you may not mind visiting Berlin in February. It’s slightly warmer in February than January with less precipitation. February is, on average, the driest month in Berlin.
- Average Temperature: 1ºC / 34ºF
- Avg. Low: -2ºC / 28ºF
- Avg. High: 4ºC / 39ºF
- What to do: The colder weather will do little to stop move buffs from star-gazing at the Berlin International Film Festival. Berlinale, as the festival is colloquially known as, is one of the biggest and most popular film festivals in the world.
- Overview: The beginning of March in Berlin is still fairly winterish in outlook. Temperatures below freezing and snow are still not quite off the books. The end of March sees the mercury rise to more spring-like highs and lows. Aside from February, March is the driest month in Berlin alongside October.
- Average Temperature: 4ºC / 39ºF
- Avg. Low: 0ºC / 32ºF
- Avg. High: 8ºC / 46ºF
- What to do: With the cooler temperatures, festival season in Berlin has yet to spring forth in March. Music lovers should check out the MaerzMusik, a contemporary music festival with a philosophical bent.
- Overview: As April kicks into high gear, the spring officially feels like it’s hit Berlin. The daytime temperatures get a little warmer with March in the rearview mirror. Colder days and nights aren’t uncommon in Berlin in April. Bring some warmer clothing just in case.
- Average Temperature: 9ºC / 48ºF
- Avg. Low: 4ºC / 39ºF
- Avg. High: 13ºC / 55ºF
- What to do: Culture vultures will love the chance to soak up the sounds of Festival Days Berlin, the city’s leading opera and classical music festival.
- Overview: Once May rolls around, the cooler temperatures of early spring begin to swing towards the warmer days of summer. Although May is generally wetter than April, it’s a much drier month than June, the rainiest time of year in Berlin. Coupled with the warm temperatures and lower tourist crowds, May is one of the best months to travel to Berlin.
- Average Temperature: 14ºC / 57ºF
- Avg. Low: 8ºC / 46ºF
- Avg. High: 19ºC / 66ºF
- What to do: With the unofficial festival season still a month away, May doesn’t have much in the way of events save a couple conferences. The pleasant May weather, though, makes it the perfect month to explore the city and hit up some of the best Berlin day trips Try out a day trip to the beautiful Prussian city of Potsdam or to other interesting German cities like Dresden or Leipzig.
- Overview: If you liked the temperature boost in May, you’ll love travelling to Berlin in June! The first official month of summer in Berlin brings more heat. Unfortunately, there’s a trade-off (or two.) June is the rainiest month in Berlin with over 71mm of rain on average. Over the month, tourist numbers also begin to climb steadily in Berlin. Although not as busy as July or August, June can still get crowded. Expect to pay a little more for your Berlin accommodations and to have to book ahead by several months.
- Average Temperature: 17ºC / 63ºF
- Avg. Low: 12ºC / 54ºF
- Avg. High: 22ºC / 72ºF
- What to do: The first month of summer sees Berlin’s festival season ramp up. In the beginning of June, Berlin showcases its diversity in the Carnival of Cultures in Kreuzberg. From mid-June to mid-July, the Berliner Volksfestsommer, the city’s largest folk festival, takes places on the Zentraler Festplatz northwest of Mitte.
- Overview: July is, on average, much drier than either June or August. Daytime highs and lows are on par with August as the two hottest months in Berlin. Tourist numbers are at their highest in July. You’ll need to choose your Berlin accommodations well ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
- Average Temperature: 18ºC / 64ºF
- Avg. Low: 13ºC / 55ºF
- Avg. High: 23ºF / 73ºF
- What to do: The warm weather in July leaves everything within the city limits up for grabs. Several festivals kick off in Berlin in July including the Jewish Film Festival, Berlin Fashion Week, the Lesbian and Gay City Festival in Berlin, and Classic Open Air at Gendarmenmarkt. Besides the festivals, the beautiful July weather beckons exploration of the surrounding area. Escape the bustle of the city on a relaxing trip to the Spreewald.
- Overview: Along with July, August is the hottest month in Berlin. The warm temperatures bring with it an ever-looming possibility of rain showers. Tourism is generally close to its peak in August, and begins to taper off towards the end of the month. To find better deals on hotels in Berlin, push your travel plans into late August.
- Average Temperature: 18˚C / 64˚F
- Avg. Low: 13ºF / 55ºF
- Avg. High: 23ºF / 73ºF
- What to do: Towards the end of August, the Berlin Circus Festival kicks off at Templehofer airfield. The 10-day festival features some of Europe’s best circus performers.
- Overview: With the tourist crowds of August heading back home, September is one of the best months to travel to Berlin. The temperatures in September are still generally warm with a marked drop in the number of rainy days. Most of the main tourist sites around Berlin still operate in full swing with a fraction of the summer visitors to jostle with for room.
- Average Temperature: 15ºC / 59ºF
- Avg. Low: 10ºC / 50ºF
- Avg. High: 19ºC / 66ºF
- What to do: As one of the best times of year to visit Berlin, much of what you’d want to do in Berlin is accessible. The warm weather and lower tourist numbers make September a great month to ply into some of the top Berlin day trips.
- Overview: Between September and October the fall season really starts to show its colours. Literally and figuratively. October is one of the best times to go to Berlin to see the city at its most colourful. Although the days are getting cooler and shorter, a smart packing list will keep you comfortable in the outdoors.
- Average Temperature: 10ºC / 50ºF
- Avg. Low: 6ºC / 43ºF
- Avg. High: 13ºC / 55ºF
- What to do: Berlin lights up in October as the Festival of Lights transforms the city into a glowing art-piece. Major Berlin tourist attractions like Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin TV Tower, and the Berliner Dom erupt into a cavalcade of colours and patterns that’s absolutely spellbinding.
- Overview: With autumn in full swing and winter just around the corner, expect a much chillier visit to Berlin in November. In general, November is a grey & wet month and is not the best time of year to visit Berlin. Towards the end of the month snowfall isn’t out of the cards. Dress warmly and pack gloves and a toque in anticipation of cooler November days.
- Average Temperature: 5ºC / 41ºF
- Avg. Low: 2ºC / 36ºF
- Avg. High: 7ºC / 45ºF
- What to do: Towards the end of November, the streets of Berlin begin to ring with festive spirit as Berlin’s famous Christmas markets start to set up shop. The Nostalgic Christmas Market at Opernpalais opens in late November transforming this iconic square off of Unter den Linden into a fairytale winter village.
- Overview : It’s hardly surprising that December is one of the coldest months in Berlin. With the days become increasingly shorter and the possibility of snow always on the horizon, many travellers steer clear of Berlin in December. That could be a bit of a mistake! Bundle up and visit Berlin in December to see the city at its most magical under a thin blanket of snow and lit up with festive spirit. Let’s not forget the chance to shop at one of Berlin’s famous Christmas markets before they wind down for yet another year.
- Average Temperature: 1ºC / 34ºF
- Avg. Low: -1ºC / 30ºF
- Avg. High: 3ºC / 37ºF
- What to do: It’s okay to not love the cold days of December in Berlin. But trying to keep a smile off of your face while perusing Berlin’s Christmas markets is impossible! Winterwelt at Potsdamer Platz, Weihnachtszauber at the Gendarmenmarkt and the Alexanderplatz Christmas Market are among the best Berlin Christmas markets to check out.
The verdict: When is the best time to go to Berlin?
The best month to visit Berlin is May or September.
Although Berlin is an awesome city to visit year-round, it’s hard to not recommend visiting in the late spring and early autumn shoulder seasons.
Why visit Berlin in May or September?
Both May and September offer warm temperatures and drier conditions than during the summer months. Although not as hot as summer, many travellers prefer the warmth of late spring and early fall to the often stifling German summer heat.
In both May and September, tourist numbers are also a far cry from those during the summer peak seasons of June to August. Finding a good place to stay in Berlin is much easier in both months. At popular tourist sites, both May and September will present shorter wait times and more elbow room.
The one disadvantage to travelling in May or September is missing out on one of Berlin’s most famous attractions: Christmas markets. If you’re okay with cooler temperatures, darker days and a little snowfall, time your trip instead for late-November to mid-December to fill your days with some German holiday spirit.