Rain (or snow) falls predictably across the country throughout the year, hampering travel plans of the ill-prepared. If you’re not used to cold temperatures, travelling outside the late spring to early autumn will chill you to the bone.
(Canadians, don’t worry: You’ll actually get respite from the cold if you visit Germany in winter!) There’s a distinct high season in Germany, peaking in the summer months and around the holidays when the German Christmas markets kick into full gear.
Accommodation prices in spring are higher than in winter, but don’t tend to reach summer levels. The exception is around the two-week Easter school break when German families travel around the country for spring festivities.
Book your flights and accommodations in Germany well ahead of time to avoid paying more than you have to. September and October can still see warm days while in November the mercury begins to dip faster.
In mid-autumn, the fall colors are out in full force, one of the most beautiful times to visit Germany. Oktoberfest is held at the end of September in Munich and Christmas markets begin to spring up all over Germany starting in November.
Fall is a good time to find cheap airfares and hotel deals. What to wear : With the cooler temperatures of autumn in Germany, you’ll need to bundle up.
High temperatures sit at a cool 5ºC (41ºC) in both December and February with January falling in between. Airfares and hotel rooms should be at their lowest in the peak of the winter low season around January and February.
What to wear : Throughout the winter, you’ll need warmer clothing including warm outerwear. With the cooler temperatures, you’ll need to pack gloves or mittens and a toque to keep your ears warm.
Accommodations and airfares to Germany plummet after the Christmas high season, making it easy to find good deals if you can withstand the cooler temperatures. Where to go : Even with the cold temperatures, conditions are ripe for winter sports at Germany ’s ski resorts.
Alpine skiers should pack their bags for one of the many ski resorts in the Bavarian Alps. Overview : Like January, February in Germany sees cold temperatures in the single digits on both sides of freezing.
Besides, hitting up the top ski resorts in Germany, beeline for the capital for the Berlin International Film Festival, one of the world’s biggest. Visit the Rhine River cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz for the biggest Carnival festivities.
For a vitamin D fix, visit Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, March’s sunniest places in Germany. The Cologne Literature Festival and Leipzig Book Fair both take place in March.
Overview : At the height of spring in Germany, expect cool to mild temperatures throughout the country. Overview : Falling just before the summer crowds converge, May is a great time to travel to Germany.
Visit Welder (Havel), an easy 30-minute drive and one of the quicker Berlin day trips, for Baumblütenfest, the largest fruit wine festival in Germany. The Frühlingsfest, Germany ’s biggest spring beer festival, also takes places at the beginning of May in Stuttgart.
With the summer crowds yet to fully descend, May is the perfect time to dig into all the best things to do in Berlin. Overview : With spring officially kaput, June brings with it warmer temperatures and rain.
Overview : Warm, but rainy, July falls at the height of the tourism high season in Germany. As July is among the rainiest times of the year in Germany, you’ll want to pack a lightweight raincoat and a travel umbrella.
Overview : Like July, August is one of the warmest, wettest and busiest months in Germany. If you want to avoid the chaos of Oktoberfest, drink up at the less raucous Berlin International Beer Festival.
Where to go : German wine festivals kick off in late August and early September. If you’re planning to travel to Munich during this time, remember that the city will be booked solid months before.
Plan on searching out the best places to stay in Munich and booking your accommodations six months (or more!) October is drier than both September and November, and with the mild temperatures, it’s a good time to take on outdoor activities in Germany.
Where to go : If you missed catching the tail-end of Oktoberfest in Munich, head off to Stuttgart in Baden-Württemberg for Cannstatter Weyden, the second biggest of all beer festivals in Germany. With the cooler temperatures, the scenes of autumn in the Black Forest, under its misty morning fogs, are also at their most mysterious and beautiful.
Expect more rainfall in November than October and don’t be surprised if you find snow swirling about. Visit Berlin for the most raucous party in Germany featuring live bands and more unauthorized fireworks explosions than you’re probably comfortable with.
By the time May rolls around, Germans begin taking to the streets and beer gardens to celebrate the coming of the warmer weather. Although April is a little drier, May is much warmer and more comfortable for undertaking outdoor activities in Germany.
Other than catching the tail-end of Oktoberfest in Munich, hotels in Germany begin reverting to low season prices. Without the crowds (and road construction) of summer, you’ll find October a quieter and easier time to travel around Germany, especially if you plan to rent a car.
March is till cold and stiff, but the end of the month brings some life back to the land. The real spring season begins come April and trees start to blossom.
Summer makes for the peak tourist season in Germany, as it does in the rest of Europe. The northern parts of Germany see a slightly less air temperature than the south, with highs reaching 20 °C.
Autumn is a shoulder season and a good time to visit to avoid crowds. October is the time of drying leaves and everything green is overnight turned to gold.
One of the best reasons to visit Germany during October is the iconic Oktoberfest held in Munich that starts in September-end and goes on until November beginning. Beer flows like water at this time and every café, bar, pub is festooned in its spirit.
The major northern chunk of Germany, due to proximity to the sea, has windy green winter. Only the Christmas time is a saving grace and carnivals keep the spirit of the country high in December.
It's impossible to depend on it being sunny and warm anywhere in the country, but with the help of a little of data on sunshine and rainfall, it's possible to say where you'll have the best possible chance. So without further ado, we present the top 10 “great weather German cities.
Chemnitz can rejoice at being officially named the sunniest city in Germany ! At the other end of the scale, the five least sunny cities in Germany are all in North Rhine-Westphalia, where the sun shines on average for a mere 3,3 hours per day.
In fact, the cities with the highest average temperatures are largely located in the sun-deprived western states. Offenbach am Main secures the number one spot with an average annual maximum of 15,4 degrees.
Honorable mention goes to the cities Erfurt, Berlin and Magdeburg, which all have less than 500 mm of rain, hail and snow per year. If you’re on your way to Oldenburg, don’t forget your umbrella: with 1.072 mm of precipitation per year, it is officially Germany ’s rainiest city.