While most travellers effortlessly fall in love with the edgy streets of Berlin or the graceful castles & palaces of Mad King Ludwig II, perhaps the most important question in planning a trip Central Europe’s favourite destination: When is the best time to visit Germany?
The weather in Germany isn’t generally a huge selling point for most visitors. Cool temperatures, rain, and snow are all possibilities throughout the year if you don’t plan your trip to Germany prudently.
Not sure when to go to Germany? Accelerate your trip planning with this complete Germany weather guide including best months to visit Germany and a summary of where to go & what to wear by month and season.
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When to go to Germany: A weather overview
Like all popular European destinations, Germany sees visitors throughout the whole year—rain, snow or shine. And all of these are a possibility depending on when you visit Germany.
Planning out what to do in Germany means dealing with the ever-changing German weather. From chilly and blustering winters to hot and rainy summers, the weather in Germany, much like its neighbours Austria, Poland and Czech Republic, is a real mixed bag. Rain (or snow) falls predictably across the country throughout the year, hampering travel plans of the ill-prepared.
The temperatures in Germany outside of summer are also a problem for travellers from warmer climes. If you’re not used to cold temperatures, travelling outside of the late spring to early autumn will chill you to the bone. (Canadians, don’t worry: You’ll actually get respite from the cold if you visit Germany in winter!)
There’s a distinct high season in Germany, peaking in the summer months and around the holidays when the German Christmas markets kick into full gear. High season isn’t the best option for choosing when to visit Germany. Accommodation prices skyrocket in top German travel destinations like Munich and Berlin, and the tourist crowds can get cumbersome to deal with at popular tourist attractions in Germany.
In low season and in the shoulder seasons, expect a better selection of hotels in Germany. Outside of the summer high season is also the best time to find flight deals to Germany. Savings hundreds per person isn’t unheard of!
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Germany Weather By Season
- When is spring: From March to May.
- What to expect: After a chilly winter, spring brings much needed warmth in Germany. Average low spring temperatures range from a low of 1ºC (33ºF) in March to 8ºC (47ºF) in May. High temperatures range between 8ºC (47ºF) in March to 19ºC (67ºF) in May. Accommodation prices in spring are higher than in winter, but don’t tend to reach summer levels. The exception is around the two-week Easter school break when German families travel around the country for spring festivities.
- What to wear: Spring weather in Germany is unpredictable. Within hours, the sky can change from sun to rain—and even snow or sleet in early spring. Wearing layers in spring is always a good idea. Cart along waterproof clothing in your travel backpack such as a solid rain jacket and a travel umbrella in your travel daypack to keep yourself dry.
- When is summer: From June to August.
- What to expect: Throughout Germany, summer brings heat and humidity. It’s also one of the wettest times of year in Germany. Average summer lows are 11ºC (51ºF) in June and 13ºC (55ºF) in August and average highs sit at 22ºC (72ºF) in June and 24ºC (76ºF) in August. Summer is firmly in the German high season, and is the most expensive time of year for flights and hotels. Book your flights and accommodations in Germany well ahead of time to avoid paying more than you have to.
- What to wear: Lightweight clothing will help you deal with the summer heat in Germany. Carry one of these top-rated lightweight waterproof jackets and a lightweight travel umbrella to prepare for the very likely possibility of rain. If you’re planning to hike in Germany, bring extra layers and a throw a pair of waterproof hiking shoes in your packing list for Germany.
- When is autumn: From September to November.
- What to expect: The autumn temperatures in Germany cool off compared to summer. September and October can still see warm days while in November the mercury begins to dip faster. Expect average lows of 9ºC (49ºF) in September and 1ºC (34ºF) in November and average highs of 19ºC (67ºF) in September and 8ºC (47ºF) in November. Cold and rainy days are fairly common in autumn. In mid-autumn, the fall colours are out in full force, one of the most beautiful times to visit Germany. Wine and harvest festivals peak in the fall, especially around the Rhine Valley and the Mosel. Oktoberfest is held at the end of September in Munich and Christmas markets begin to spring up all over Germany starting in November. Fall is a good time to find cheap airfares and hotel deals.
- What to wear: With the cooler temperatures of autumn in Germany, you’ll need to bundle up. Bring warmer sweaters and warm waterproof outerwear along with you. As always while travelling in Germany carry a good travel umbrella.
- When is winter: From December to February.
- What to expect: Cold temperatures follow you all throughout Germany in winter. Average lows dip to -3ºC (27ºF) in December and -4ºC (25ºF) in February. High temperatures sit at a cool 5ºC (41ºC ) in both December and February with January falling in between. Other than summer, the winter months are also the wettest in Germany. Expect frequent snow. Besides December, winter is one of the cheapest times to travel to Germany. Airfares and hotel rooms should be at their lowest in the peak of the winter low season around January and February.
- What to wear: Throughout the winter, you’ll need warmer clothing including warm outerwear. With the cooler temperatures, you’ll need to pack gloves or mittens and a toque to keep your ears warm.
Germany Weather By Month
- Overview: The coldest month of the year in Germany, January isn’t a popular choice for visiting Germany for most travellers. Expect cold temperatures. Average lows sit at a chilly -5ºC (23ºF) with average highs of only 4ºC (40ºF). Accommodations and airfares to Germany plummet after the Christmas high season, making it easy to find good deals if you can withstand the cooler temperatures.
- Where to go: Even with the cold temperatures, conditions are ripe for winter sports at Germany’s ski resorts. Alpine skiers should pack their bags for one of the many ski resorts in the Bavarian Alps. For Nordic skiers, the beautiful Black Forest provides some of Germany’s best cross-country skiing trails.
- Overview: Like January, February in Germany sees cold temperatures in the single digits on both sides of freezing. Average lows throughout the country sit around -4ºC (25ºF) with average highs hovering at about 5ºC (41ºF). On average, February is the driest month in Germany.
- Where to go: Most of Germany is chilly in February. Besides hitting up the top ski resorts in Germany, beeline for the capital for the Berlin International Film Festival, one of the world’s biggest. Need more action? Nearly every German city also celebrates Karneval (Fasching) in February. Visit the Rhine River cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz for the biggest Karneval festivities.
- Overview: Even with spring officially starting, temperatures throughout Germany are still chilly in March. Average low temperatures hover around 1ºC (33° F), and average highs are around 8ºC (47° F).
- Where to go: Central and Southern Germany are slightly warmer than Northern Germany in March. For a Vitamin D fix, visit Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, March’s sunniest places in Germany. March is also a good month for book worms to visit Germany. The Cologne Literature Festival and Leipzig Book Fair both take place in March.
- Overview: At the height of spring in Germany, expect cool to mild temperatures throughout the country. Lows sit around 4ºC (39ºF) and highs scale up to a mild 14ºC (58ºF). Expect less rainfall in April than in the summer.
- Where to go: Easter celebrations erupt throughout Germany in April. Visit Frankfurt in April to catch the Frankfurt Spring Fair, one of the most exciting spring fairs in Germany.
- Overview: Falling just before the summer crowds converge, May is a great time to travel to Germany. Temperatures begin to warm up and the sun makes more appearances throughout the month. Average lows hit around 8ºC (47ºF) with average highs around 19ºC (67ºF). Compared to April, May sees more rainfall throughout the country.
- Where to go: The month of May kicks off with May 1st Labour Day celebrations throughout the country. Bavaria, Hamburg and Berlin are among the most festive. Wine lover? Visit Werder (Havel), an easy 30-minute drive and one of the quicker Berlin day trips, for Baumblütenfest, the largest fruit wine festival in Germany. The Frühlingsfest, Germany’s biggest spring beer festival, also takes places at the beginning of May in Stuttgart. With the summer crowds yet to fully descend, May is the perfect time to dig into all the best things to do in Berlin.
- Overview: With spring officially kaput, June brings with it warmer temperatures and rain. Throughout Germany averages lows hit 11ºC (51ºF) with average highs floating up to 22ºC (72ºF). June is the rainiest month in Germany.
- Where to go: By June, the summer festival season is in full swing. Zoom over to the Nürburg Ring racetrack, 1 hour south of Bonn, for Rock am Ring, one of the biggest international music festivals out there. Fans of classical music can enjoy Germany’s festival scene, too. Head off to Leipzig for the Bach Festival or the Halle an der Saale for the Handel Festival.
- Overview: Warm, but rainy, July falls at the height of the tourism high season in Germany. Temperatures are mild to hot with average lows of 12ºC (54ºF) and average highs of 24ºC (76ºF). As July is among the rainiest times of the year in Germany, you’ll want to pack a lightweight raincoat and a travel umbrella. Accommodations book up fast and flight prices will be higher than at other times of the year.
- Where to go: Despite the rain and larger crowds, most of Germany is pleasant for travel during July. Many cultural festivals and celebrations festoon the country including the Open-Air Festival in Berlin, the Munich Opera Festival and the Berlin Gay Pride Parade.
- Overview: Like July, August is one of the warmest, wettest and busiest months in Germany. Expect average low and high temperatures to hover around 13ºC (55ºF) and 24ºC (76ºF). Book your rooms and flights far ahead of time to avoid paying more than you have to.
- Where to go: Nearly anywhere in Germany is worthwhile to travel to in August. If you want to avoid the chaos of Oktoberfest, drink up at the less raucous Berlin International Beer Festival. Need some German culture? Visit Bayreuth for the Richard Wagner Festival (if you can find a ticket!).
- Overview: On the whole, September is cooler but drier than August. Expect average low temperatures of 9ºC (49ºF) and average highs of 19ºC (67ºF).
- Where to go: German wine festivals kick off in late August and early September. Oenophiles should set sights on the Wine Festival Stuttgart or Rheingau Wine Festival in Frankfurt. And, of course, who could forget Oktoberfest, one of the best things to do in Munich, falling at the end of September. If you’re planning to travel to Munich during this time, remember that the city will be booked solid months before. Plan on searching out the best places to stay in Munich and booking your accommodations six months (or more!) ahead.
- Overview: The warmth of October can be surprising to some. Although you won’t walk around in t-shirts and shorts, the weather in Germany is often very comfortable in October. Average lows dip to 4ºC (40ºF) with average highs of 14ºC (58ºF). October is drier than both September and November, and with the mild temperatures, it’s a good time to take on outdoor activities in Germany.
- Where to go: If you missed catching the tail-end of Oktoberfest in Munich, head off to Stuttgart in Baden-Württemberg for Cannstatter Wasen, the second biggest of all beer festivals in Germany. Slip over to Berlin to celebrate the reunification of Germany (October 3rd) at Brandenburg Gate or the Festival of Lights, when Berlin’s most famous attractions are lit up in a cavalcade of colours and patterns. With the cooler temperatures, the scenes of autumn in the Black Forest, under its misty morning fogs, are also at their most mysterious and beautiful.
- Overview: There’s still a possibility of warm days in November. But the temperatures drop significantly as winter rages into late November. Average low temperatures for the month hover around 1ºC (34ºF), and average highs drop to a chilly 8ºC (47ºF). Expect more rainfall in November than October and don’t be surprised if you find snow swirling about.
- Where to go: Although a little colder, most of Germany is still pleasant in November. At the beginning of November, music fans should grab a spot among best places to stay in Berlin for the Berlin Jazz Fest, and, if you’re into electronica, Berlin Music Days. Nearly the whole month of November, the DOM Festival Hamburg, an open-air festival dating back to the 14th century, runs in Hamburg in North Germany.
- Overview: By December, temperatures in Germany officially begin to look like winter. Average lows in the country dip to -3ºC (27ºF) with average highs barely peeking into the pluses at 5ºC (41° F).
- Where to go: The best time of the year to visit Germany’s Christmas markets is December when the cool weather and snowfall set a magical scene for Christmas shoppers. Some of the biggest and best Christmas markets in Germany are in Berlin, Munich, Nuremberg, and Frankfurt. Looking for a memorable New Year’s Eve celebration? Visit Berlin for the most raucous party in Germany featuring live bands and more unauthorized fireworks explosions than you’re probably comfortable with.
The verdict: When is the best time to visit Germany?
The best month to visit Germany is May or October.
Why visit in May?
By the time May rolls around, Germans begin taking to the streets and beer gardens to celebrate the coming of the warmer weather. Although April is a little drier, May is much warmer and more comfortable for undertaking outdoor activities in Germany. During May Germany is less crowded than in the peak of the summer tourism high season. Finding accommodations in Germany and flights deals to Germany will also be much easier in May than from June until August.
Why visit in October?
The beginning of October clocks in among the best times to visit Germany. The weather in Germany in October can still be pleasantly warm at times. Other than catching the tail-end of Oktoberfest in Munich, hotels in Germany begin reverting back to low season prices. Airfares to Germany also tend to drop once autumn is in full swing. Without the crowds (and road construction) of summer, you’ll find October a quieter and easier time to travel around Germany, especially if you plan to rent a car.