Germany has a moderate, seasonal climate split into 4 periods of 3 months each: winter, spring, summer, and autumn each year. Summer and spring are great for sightseeing in quaint towns, exploring vineyards, and enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking and camping.

Though you may experience below-freezing temperatures in winter, the Bavarian Alps attract snowboarders and skiers, while the ever-popular Okoberfest transforms just about every major city into a massive party in autumn. Check out this guide on when to visit Germany to make the most out of your vacation.

  • Best time to explore the cities

    Best time to explore the cities

    Cities in Germany are teeming with historical sites, vibrant nightlife spots, and museums that are open all year round. Autumn is usually the best time to explore Munich, Berlin, and Hamburg as you get to explore on foot and see the changing foliage. However, Oktoberfest takes place in late September, so bear this in mind if you’re not a fan of crowds.

  • Busiest time to visit Germany

    Busiest time to visit Germany

    Summer is when Germany enjoys clear skies and warm temperatures, attracting the highest number of crowds in July and August. It’s also the best time to enjoy open-air music festivals, such as Rock am Ring in Mendi and Berlin’s Pride Parade. While you get to enjoy good weather in Germany, you may need to book your flight and accommodations early as prices are highest during this time of the year.

    In early autumn, Germany hosts its annual Oktoberfest, the world’s largest beer festival. While it officially lasts for 2 weeks (late September until early October), there are plenty of beer gardens and breweries in Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and Dresden that stay open until the start of winter.

  • Cheapest time to visit Germany

    Cheapest time to visit Germany

    The cheapest time to visit in Germany's big cities is between January and March, though you will have cold temperatures and long, dark nights to contend with. If that sounds unappealing, you should try to plan your vacation around late spring (March to May) or late autumn (October to November). The weather during these times of the year can be a bit unpredictable, but you get to enjoy the advantage of fewer crowds and lower hotel prices than the peak summer season.

    The best part about Germany is that there are festivals all year round, such as Berlin Festival of Lights in October, Stuttgart’s Canstatter Volksfest from late-September to Mid-October, and Rhein in Flammen (Rhine in Flames) from May to September.

  • Our favorite places in Germany in winter

    Our favorite places in Germany in winter
    • Nuremberg is the best city to enjoy Germany’s extravagant Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas markets). Every year, the surrounding hills are packed with skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, while the city square features beautifully decorated stalls selling mulled wine, wooden toys, and Christmas décor.
    • Ski resorts in the Bavaria offer plenty of sports such as snowboarding, skiing, and tobogganing. A good alternate is the Black Forest, where you can find expansive cross-country skiing trails.
    • Berlin hosts its annual Berlinale in mid-February, and showcases more than 400 movies and documentaries by filmmakers from across Europe.
    • Karneval in Cologne is a 6-day festivity with massive crowds dressed up in wacky costumes and loud music all over the city.
  • Our favorite places in Germany in spring

    Our favorite places in Germany in spring
    • Bavaria is teeming with medieval castles that make for breathtaking photos, especially when the flowers are in full bloom. By mid-May, the Bavarian Alps make for excellent hiking excursions for nature lovers.
  • Our favorite places in Germany in summer

    Our favorite places in Germany in summer
    • With temperatures ranging between 20°C and 27°C, summer is the best time to hit up Germany's wine region of Bad Dürkheim.
    • Berlin's Gay Pride sees fun street parades, open-air concerts, and exhibits dedicated to the LGBT community.
  • Our favorite places in Germany in autumn

    Our favorite places in Germany in autumn
    • Munich (and the rest of Germany) transforms into a massive celebration thanks to Oktoberfest. The Theresienwiese fairground is where you can enjoy endless supply of Bavarian beer and food, live bands, and games for 3 weeks.
    • September in Hamburg sees the Reeperbahn Festival, when hundreds of music concerts, art exhibitions, conferences, and film screenings held in and around St. Pauli district.
Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveler