The Best Time to Visit Munich

The Best Time to Visit Munich

Munich
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The best time to visit Munich is in the springtime, from late March through mid-May, or the first few weeks in September before the Oktoberfest crowds hit. In these time frames you’ll likely find pleasant weather and lots of fun events going on from festivals to concerts, plus they all coincide with many Munich school holidays, so not only will tourists crowds be reduced, the city itself is often quieter and calmer. Summer and the Christmas and New Year’s season are very popular with Munich visitors for the sheer number of outdoor activities available in the summer and for the Christmas markets and holiday atmosphere in the winter, but they can both garner larger crowds and more expensive accommodation.

Peak Season for Munich

Munich has several notable “peak seasons,” the most famous being Oktoberfest, which lasts from the end of September until the beginning of October, making accommodation challenging and expensive around this time of year. Summertime is also considered a peak season with higher accommodation rates, as well as right around Christmas time, as many tourists like to visit Munich’s charming Christmas markets. Also note that for about a week in April, the BAUMA convention fills up hotels just as quickly as Oktoberfest — it’s worth checking the BAUMA dates if you’re thinking of traveling to Munich in April, though the rest of the month is relatively quiet.

Famous Events and Festivals in Munich

As previously mentioned, Munich’s most famed festival is Oktoberfest, taking place in the fall — a massive beer party, essentially, so perhaps best avoided if that’s not your scene. Other smaller beer festivals might be a better bet if you’d like to have a similar experience but stay away from crowds, such as Starkbierfest in March and Fruhlingsfest in late April-early May. The charming Auer Dult takes places several times a year, and the popular Tollwood festival replete with concerts, a circus, various performing acts and lots of food and art is held twice yearly in winter and summer. Various holidays ranging from Christmas to Fasching (Carnival) have many associated festivities to explore.

Weather in Munich

Munich’s weather can be a bit unpredictable at times — some years you’ll see a hot April and a rainy, cold May, or a stormy November followed by a balmy December. Overall, though, temperatures and climate tend to be on the mild and moderate side; it’s not often you’ll encounter a winter blizzard or a sweltering, humid summer day. Bring layers just to be on the safe side no matter what the season, but you’ll be likely to get some beautiful weather during late April through early October.

January

Typically one of the colder months of the year in Munich, the main advantage to visiting Munich in January is it is one of the most off-peak months to visit after New Year’s, so you’ll likely get some good deals on accommodation and travel fare. If you enjoy skiing, Munich is an excellent base for a January visit- you can easily get to a number of ski resorts by train all less than 2 hours away from the main station.

Events to check out

  • The city goes wild with fireworks on Silvester (New Year’s), and the bridges around the Isar river are excellent viewpoints.

February

Another rather cold month (sometimes colder than December and January), February can nevertheless be a great time to visit Munich in part due to Fasching (Carnival).

Events to check out

  • During Fasching, the bakeries churn out delicious krapfen, specialty doughnuts, and there are various Fasching parties and balls throughout the city.

March

March in Munich can have weather ranging from sunny and lovely to the last hurrah of winter with some snow — anything goes! If the weather doesn’t cooperate, it’s a perfect opportunity to check out some of the cities’ excellent museums, art galleries and indoor pools.

Events to check out

  • The annual Starkbierfest (“strong beer”) festival is a good way to experience a Munich beer festival with the locals — but beware, the beer is indeed strong, as the name suggests!

April

April, particularly the latter half, can be a gorgeous time of year in Munich with all the spring flowers bursting into bloom. Easter often falls in April and you can find egg hunts, the Easter bunny (a German invention!) and Easter masses throughout the city.

Events to check out

  • Fruhlingsfest is the little sister of Oktoberfest and much more cozy and local. This festival kicks off the outdoor season for events in Munich.

May

Outdoor pools start to open up in May, which is often when the weather takes a turn for the stunning in Munich. A great time of year to picnic in the English Garden or by the Isar river.

Events to check out

  • Lange Nacht der Musik is a full night packed with concerts and performances all around the city.

June

June is a lovely time of year to visit Munich; you’re typically guaranteed nice weather without it getting to be too hot. It’s also the perfect time to go hiking in the pre-Alps, less than an hour’s train ride away. Visitors tend to start showing up now though, so make sure to book accommodation in advance.

Events to check out

  • Hofflohmarkte: The highly popular Munich courtyard flea markets transform a neighborhood every weekend into a buzzing opportunity to check out beautiful hidden courtyards and pick out some bargains.

July

July is usually peak beer garden and grill month in Munich. Take the S-Bahn down to a nearby lake, such as Starnberg or Ammersee, for a perfect summer’s day.

Events to check out

  • Tollwood: This popular outdoor festival features well known musical acts, a circus, art displays and organic international food vendors.
  • Klassik am Odeonsplatz: Come hear some of Germany’s finest orchestras play classical music outdoors on the famous Odeonsplatz square.

August

August is a bit of a funny month because many locals are gone on holiday while tourists come to visit. It’s typically one of the warmer months of the year, so beer gardens, outdoor swimming pools and lakes are excellent options in Munich during August.

Events to check out

  • Kino, Mond und Sterne is open air cinema at the Olympic park with a variety of films, some shown with subtitles.

September

September is one of the peak months of tourism for Munich due to Oktoberfest, which despite its name mostly takes place in September. The earlier half of the month is a particularly nice time to come- the weather is typically warm and sunny without the onslaught of visitors towards the end.

Events to check out

  • Oktoberfest is Munich’s most famous event, drawing thousands of visitors to the beer tents, carnival rides and live entertainment.

October

Though it often cools down during the latter half of the month, early October tends to be balmy and the changing foliage looks stunning when you walk around the city.

Events to check out

  • Auer Dult is a charming thrice-yearly festival that is low key and fun for everyone; you can hunt for antiques or ride a historic Ferris wheel.

November

Whilst November is typically not the nicest month in terms of weather (usually cold, but no snow), there’s still much to be enjoyed this month in Munich.

Events to check out

  • The Bavarian celebration of St. Martin’s Day is held on November 11. There are lantern processions, bonfires, and the traditional “St. Martin’s goose” meal with roast goose, red cabbage, and Bavarian dumplings.

December

This is Munich’s most festive time of year, with charming Christmas markets ranging from artsy to traditional to hyper-local that purvey mulled wine, gingerbread and Christmas stollens and a vast array of other delicacies as well as live music, puppet shows and some rides for young children. Entertainment options are often holiday-themed, and things take a turn for the cozy with the weather.

Events to check out

  • Weihnachtsmarkt and Christkindlmarkt are some of the most beloved Christmas markets in Munich. They include a medieval market by Odeonsplatz, the market by the Chinese Tower in the English Garden, and the artsy winter Tollwood festival.
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