In summer, enjoy warm temperatures, long, sunny days, colorful open-air festivals, biergartens galore, and many outdoor activities. Here’s what to expect from summer in Germany, from weather and airfares to festivals and events.
Airfares and Hotel Rates in Germany in Summer
Summer is not only the height of Germany's travel season, but it is also one of the most expensive times to visit. Between June and August, prices for airfares and hotels are at their highest and won’t go down until September.
Book your flight for about three months in advance to find the cheapest price. Look for accommodations as soon as your flight is booked to find reasonable rates and best selection. To travel the country on a budget, there are transport deals like discounted train travel and a guide to car rental.
In summer, the grayness of winter has finally vanished and summer days are long and sunny...most of the time. There are occasional rain showers and thunderstorms (always bring a rain jacket), but daytime temperatures range between 72 and 80-degrees F. Occasional spikes in temperature can be excruciating as air conditioning is uncommon. The real highlight is how long the light lasts as daytime activities like grill parties extend well into the evening hours.
It is usually warmest in the south of Germany. The Palatinate wine region in the Southwest is blessed with a mild Mediterranean climate and exotic fruits like figs, lemons, and kiwis are cultivated here — a rarity for Germany.
Average Summer Temperatures in Germany
- June: Average low 51-degrees F / Average high 72-degrees F
- July: Average low 54-degrees F / Average high 76-degrees F
- August: Average low 55-degrees F / Average high 76-degrees F
Events and Festivals in Germany
Germany’s summer festival season means many events are held outdoors in the long, warm days.
Between July and August, almost every German city organizes a stadtfest. Locals of all ages enjoy live music, carnival rides, fireworks, and lots of food and drink. Travelers should take part in these free festivities and soak up the local flavor. Harbor cities usually have a seaside version called a hafenfest centering on the water.
Summer brings everything from the immensely popular Rock am Ring to opera festivals to Berlin's explosion of color for Karneval der Kulturen and CSD (Gay Pride Parade). In 2019, Ramadan also falls in early summer.
What to Eat and Drink in Germany in Summer
Ice cream is another summer essential. It doesn't even need to be that warm for Germans to bust out the cones. You will see Germans of all ages — children, parents, and grandparents — slurping up the delicious treat while they still have heavy jackets and scarves on. If the sun is shining, ice cream is a must.
And what better to go with a German meal in summer than a German beer? Hefeweizens, berliner weisse and even radlers (sparkling lemonade and beer mix) all offer a light, refreshing taste perfect for sunny days.
Best Destinations in Germany for Summer
The capital of Berlin is at its best in summer. Lazy days are filled with beers by the Spree, cycling through hazy streets (or even airport runways), and parties have no beginning or end. This is also festival season with the aforementioned Karneval der Kulturen and CSD. Lakes are warm enough for swimming and open-air pools are the perfect place to cool off. If you like your beach with a side of bar, Berlin beach bars are the ideal summer location. Berlin in summer is the reason many people bear the long cold, winter.
The island of Rügen is the largest German island, located in the Baltic Sea. Its legendary beaches (clothed and nude) are a crowd-pleaser for locals and foreigners alike. A must-see is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jasmund National Park, famous for its stunning Kreidefelsen (chalk cliffs). Rügen has been one of Germany’s most popular travel destinations for centuries; Bismarck, Sigmund Freud, Thomas Mann, and Albert Einstein all vacationed here. The best way to tour the entire island is to take the nostalgic Rasender Roland (Racing Roland), a historic steam train, in summer which connects the best towns and sea resorts on the island.
The Naturpark Lüneburger Heide is the oldest nature park in Germany with hiking paths covering its 1,130 square kilometers (440 sq miles). Among the quaint thatched-roof villages there is a colorful heath that transforms into a carpet of purple lilacs in late summer.
Germany’s largest amusement park is composed of mini-foreign lands, each with themed attractions to amuse the whole family. The park can accommodate roughly 50,000 visitors a day. During the summer, the water park has slides and rides, plus outdoor performances and activities. Explore the lands of Portugal and Greece for the best of summer attractions.
Located in Saxon Switzerland south of Dresden, the Malerweg translates to the "Painter's Way". This impressive trail has inspired artists for centuries and is one of the most picturesque hiking trails in all of Germany. The hike is broken into eight one-day stages. This means you can take a day hike or go on an ambitious week-long journey across table-top mountains and narrow gorges. The most popular section is the second stage where the Bastei Bridge majestically crosses the rocks. Built in 1824, the scenic bridge overlooks the Elbe River and leads to the fortress town of Hohnstein.
There is never a bad time to visit the world's most famous castle. Neuschwanstein, nestled in the Bavarian Alps, seems straight out of a fairy tale. Designed by King Ludwig II, it inspired Walt Disney and his Sleeping Beauty's castle. Take a tour through the flamboyant castle's interior including its gaudy artificial grotto, the Throne Room with its giant crown-shaped chandelier, and the lavish Minstrels' Hall. This the most photographed building in all of Germany with amazing summertime views from the train to Marienbrucke.