Germany Travel in Winter

Frozen canal in inner Hamburg at night
••• Frozen canal in Hamburg. Allan Baxter/Stone/Getty Images

Planning to travel to Germany in winter? Here’s what to expect from the winter season (December – February) in Germany, from weather, and airfares, to winter sports, festivals, and events during the German holiday season.

Airfares and Hotel Rates in Winter

Take advantage of fewer crowds and lower rates in winter – with the exception of December, when the holiday season is in full swing and traditional German Christmas Markets draw thousands of visitors from around the world.

Airfares and Hotel rates tend to go up at the end of November and beginning of December, but you will see a significant dip in prices in January and February.

Germany in Winter Weather

Bundle up! German winters are cold, with temperatures often dropping below zero, which in turn results in some great winter sport and skiing areas in Germany, especially in higher German regions such as the Bavarian Alps. Other parts of Germany are often blessed with a white Christmas as well, but there is no guarantee for snow: German winters can be unpredictable, and you should always be prepared for rain.

Average Temperatures…

  • in December: Average low 27° F, average high 41° F
  • in January: Average low 23° F, average high 40° F
  • in February: Average low 25° F, average high 41° F

Packing List for Germany

Germany in Winter - Events and Festivals

Find out what’s happening in Germany, month by month; here are the best festivals and events in Germany in winter:

Germany's Christmas Markets

Christmas markets are a wonderful part of the German holiday tradition and a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. Every German city celebrates the season with at least one Christmas market, usually from the last weekend of November and until Christmas Day.

New Year in Germany

Germans celebrate New Year on the eve of January 31st. Join the locals who spill into the streets at midnight, bring some champagne, marvel at the many fireworks in the night sky, or shoot of your own rockets - you can buy fireworks in every German supermarket.

If you want to join Germany’s biggest New Year Eve Party, head to Berlin’s open-air party at Brandenburg Gate or simply light off your own fireworks. 

Winter Sports and Skiing in Germany

Looking for some action-filled vacation? From the Alps to the Black Forest, Germany offers many winter sports areas, whether you are into downhill skiing, cross country skiing, or snowboarding.