When is a good time to visit Germany? Anytime! Every season has its charm (as well as its pitfalls), so when to go depends on your travel type and what activities you are interested in:
Do you love warm, sunny days and don't mind long lines in front of sights and attractions?
Or can you cope with cold temperatures in order to be rewarded with low airfares and fewer crowds?
Is Oktoberfest a must-go? Or May Day or Karneval der Kulturen?
Here is an overview of Germany in all four seasons that will help you decide what’s the best time of year for you to visit Germany.
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Frühling = Spring
Spring is a wonderful time to visit Germany. After a long, cold winter, the whole country welcomes the beginning of the warm season with meals outdoors, a full court for cherry blossoms, traditional Easter celebrations and spring fairs. People are eager to visit Biergartens as soon as possible and if the weather allows, they open as soon as early as May.
Note that as temperatures rise, so do prices for flights and hotels - but they are still considerably lower than in the peak season of summer. May is generally considered one of the best seasons to visit with pleasant weather and loads of national festivals like May Day and Karneval der Kulturen.
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Sommer = Summer
Summer is the height of the travel season in Germany. Enjoy warm temperatures, long and sunny days, although be aware that the country receives its maximum rainfall in midsummer.
No matter the weather, there are colorful open-air festivals, biergartens are well and truly open and enjoyed, swimming in outdoor pools and beaches and many outdoor activities. This is the party season of drinking outdoors and taking your clothes off (yes, really). Just watch out for the summer wasps that seem to enjoy this season as well.
Also remember that these summer pleasures often translate into the highest airfares and hotel rates, and lines in front of popular tourist attractions can become very long. Make sure to book early!
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Herbst = Fall
Fall is a great time to visit Germany. The summer crowds return home and local wine festivals are in full swing, with the changing of the leaves providing a lovely golden hue to the landscape. And as temperatures drop, so do airfares and hotel rates.
The only exception to this drop in popularity: If you visit Oktoberfest in Munich, be prepared for high prices on housing and flights. Over 6 million make their way to the Fest each year and prices can double or triple for accommodations. The best plan is to make your Oktoberfest travel arrangements as early as possible (although here are some tips to make the most of a last-minute Oktoberfest visit).
And bring your jacket and scarf as German fall weather can be very wet and feature sudden cold snaps. Nevertheless, September and early October are some of the best times to visit Germany, especially when the warm summer days extend into fall known as Altweibersommer (Indian summer).
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Winter = Winter
Take advantage of fewer crowds and lower rates in the winter months – with the exception of Christmas time when the holiday season is at its peak. Germany's iconic Christmas markets draw thousands of international visitors. Some of the best can be found in the oldest market in Dresden and the sprawling and historic Nuremberg market.
After Christmas and the wild New Years Eve celebrations, things quiet down considerably and locals dream of going anywhere else...until the weather warms once again and it is spring.
Another thing - don’t forget to bundle up! German winters are cold, with temperatures often below freezing. Be prepared with waterproof boots, winter jacket and warm scarf. Warm up from the inside with steaming mug fulls of Glühwein, as well as these other seven winter drinks.
On the plus side, this cold weather results in some great winter sports and fantastic down-hill and cross-country skiing in Germany. German ski season generally runs between Christmas... and the end of March.