You can never count on good weather in Germany, but you can count on a good time in spring (Frühling). The people are restless after a long, cold, grey winter and ready to shake it off in the country's south.
The weather is usually best in May, but no matter if there is rain - or not - here are 10 ways to enjoy Bavaria in spring.
01 of 09
Munich Walking Tour
A walking tour in the rain and cold can be downright dreary so hold off for a nice spring day to do a walking tour of Munich. There are several excellent options in English, German or a selection of other languages.
Remember that even a free tour requires a little monetary gratitude. Tip at least 5 euros for a good tour.
While you are out walking, try to time it so you are in Marienplatz at 11:00 and noon. On the hour for over 100 years, a traditional Glockenspiel chimes, with the three chirps of the golden bird signaling the end of each show.
02 of 09
May Day in Bavaria
Germany’s May Day usually has more to do with workers' rights than welcoming spring... but a Maypole (Maibaum) is still involved in Bavaria. Crafted from a single tree trunk and decorated with colorful ribbons, flowers, carved figures and a village insignia (Wappen). The creation and erection of the pole is a big deal with the constant threat of theft. Once the Maibaum has made its ascent, and often beforehand, the beer tent is open!
03 of 09
The English Garden might sound a little formal, but this sprawling green space is actually Munich's largest park and everyone's favorite destination in warm weather. Visitors can rent a paddle boat, walk the woods, drink their way through its beer gardens (below), check out German canal surfing (really) or even catch some rays in their nether regions. The area around the Universität is particularly notorious for FKK sunbathing.
04 of 09
05 of 09
Germans wait all winter for the biergartens to re-open. The first signs of spring are good enough to throw on an extra sweater and make your way to the beer garden.
Munich alone has over 200 beer gardens serving the best in Bavarian beer.
- Beer Garden Hischgarten - This is the largest beer garden in the world and can seat 8,000 people.
- Beer Garden Augustiner Keller - Looking just as it did when it opened in 1812, this beer garden is the oldest in Munich with Augustiner beer served daily.
- Beer Garden at Viktualienmarkt - Grocery shopping is thirsty work and this biergarten offers the ideal respite. If you are in need of some sustenance, you can bring in your own food and enjoy whatever brewery is on tap that week.
- Beer Garden at the Chinese Tower - Take a break from the English Garden to drink a Lowenbrau in the second largest biergarten in the city. You can't miss it as it is also the site of the giant Chinesischer Turm.
- Beer Garden Aumeister - Another location within the park is is Aumeister. Once the drinking hole for royals, commoners can drink their Hofbrau here today.
If you are around for Starkbierzeit (held after Karneval for about a month) take the time to find a beer hall and engage in the local's Oktoberfest.
Further afield? Locate Andechs Monastery and Brewery above Lake Ammersee to learn some rich area history and taste some truly holy beers.
06 of 09
07 of 09
08 of 09
Germans are serious about their spas and many of the best in the country are in Bavaria. What better way to enjoy the warmer weather and prepare for summer?Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Munich's Spring Festival
When you say "drinking festival in Germany", most people in the world automatically think of Munich's Oktoberfest. Locals know that this phrase could refer to almost every weekend. At Münchner Frühlingsfest (Munich's Spring Festival) it is truly safe to take your drinking outside.