A trip to Germany is a must for any international traveler in search of stunning sights and architecture, fairytale-style scenery, delicious food and beer, and endless festivals and things to do.
But you need to know the proper time to go to get the ideal German experience! See the best time to visit Germany in our guide, along with the times to get the cheapest rates and smallest crowds.
From the snow-capped Alps and fairytale-esque Black Forest mountains to the cozy Bavarian villages and welcoming beer gardens in Munich, you’ll feel right at home in Germany. Make sure you’re planning your trip at the right time of year with our tips and suggestions below!
Why You Should Visit Germany
Castles, beer gardens, rich history, modern cities, and old world charm — that’s Germany, and if you’re planning to travel to Europe soon, you’ve got to see it for yourself.
Historic buildings and amazing architecture is a major draw for visitors in Germany. Here, you’ll find majestic old castles and fortresses throughout the country, Bavarian half-timbered chalets in the south, and brick Gothic-style cathedrals and homes in the north.
Look for influences from Romanesque, Baroque, Gothic, Bauhaus, Renaissance, and Modernist architectural styles here — they’re everywhere.
Germany has a long history with museums, landmarks, and art telling the stories of its past. History buffs owe themselves a visit to Germany, which has been at the center of world events and wars from medieval times under the rule of Charlemagne to present day.
From the Napoleonic Wars in the early 19th century, the global devastation of World War I and II, and the construction and destruction of the Berlin Wall, you’ll find Germany’s long-running history both fascinating and solemn to consider.
There are 51 UNESCO World Heritage sites here (48 cultural, 3 natural sites) to check out during your visit. Stop by a few of the country’s historical museums filled with millions of artifacts, objects, and meaningful art pieces from Germany’s rich and storied history.
You’ll find museums here specializing in culture and art, historical events, and even luxury, long-standing brands like Mercedes-Benz and BMW. But trips to Germany don’t have to be steeped in history.
Modern Germany is packed with incredible sights and shops, gorgeous landscapes, tasty food and drinks, and bustling cities that will delight even the most seasoned traveler.
Stop by an indoor-outdoor beer garden (biergarten) to drink your fill of stout German beer, typically Pilsner, Black Beer, Hefeweizen, craft beer, and the unique beer-Sprite combo of Radler.
You’ll be able to taste delicious foods to accompany your libations in a biergarten, including German favorites like bratwurst, soft pretzels, sauerkraut, currywurst, potatoes prepared dozens of ways, and crispy fried foods.
With a long-running tradition of good times and good beer, many flock to Germany in time for the yearly boozy Oktoberfest – complete with traditional dress and lederhosen — in Munich.
Eat, drink, and be merry by arriving in time for the festival from September to early October.
Other major cities like Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Cologne are welcoming to visitors and home to excellent shopping (from antiques and trinkets to high-end fashions and handmade pieces).
It’s also home to endless restaurants and bars serving up German and global-inspired fare day and night, and hotels that range from super-affordable hostels to upscale accommodations fit for a king.
Natural beauty is abundant in Germany as well. This is where you’ll find the dense Black Forest mountain range in the southwest filled with evergreen trees, rugged terrain, and storybook villages. It’s also the home of the original cuckoo clock.
Germany’s scenery looks like it’s straight from the pages of a Brother’s Grimm fairytale, which makes perfect sense because this is the homeland of the famed fairytale writers.
You’ll even find sandy beaches along the Baltic coast if you’re looking for a sunny getaway! Chalk cliffs, cascading waterfalls, the snow-capped Alps, weathered sandstone mountains, glacial lakes, and the Rhine River are some of the beautiful natural features Germany is known for.
Hiking, biking, kayaking, and touring the country by car are popular ways to spend your days in this idyllic Old World country.
Make time to see the Fairy Grottoes in Saalfeld, Königssee (King’s Lake) in Bavaria, the Devil’s Wall (Teufelsmauer) in the Harz Mountains, and the 121-foot Urach Waterfall in Baden-Württemberg.
You’ll appreciate the stunning nature and terrain here no matter which part of the country you visit! With so much to see and do in Deutschland, the only question that remains is “What’s the best time to visit Germany?” You’ll find the answer next.
Overall Best Time to Visit Germany
- July-September is the best time to visit Germany
- May-September is the peak season for tourism
- Warmer weather, bigger crowds, higher prices
The best time to visit Germany is from July to September, which is the height of Germany’s peak season. This is when the weather is at is warmest for outdoor activities, beer gardens, and exploring the posh cities with ease.
It’s the rainiest period of the year, but there are lots of indoor activities, museums, restaurants, and shops to keep you busy when it’s drizzling.
Expect warm temperatures in the mid-70s during the summer in Germany, which is mild and just perfect for taking a hike through the countryside, hanging out at a biergarten with the locals, or walking through the city to explore the shops and galleries.
Germans are very social people, so you’ll find that visiting in the heart of summer will give you the ideal experience with the friendly, welcoming locals.
If you’re familiar with some basic German words and conversational phrases, you’ll really enjoy visiting and chatting with locals while you’re out and about in the city! Visiting at the best time of year does have its drawbacks.
You’ll find the biggest crowds of the year during the summer months, which cover Germany’s peak tourism season. From May to September, there’s an endless line of tourists arriving to experience the country for themselves.
As long as you set out early each day and plan a little extra time for waiting in line at popular restaurants and bars, it won’t be a problem.
You’ll notice higher rates on flights, hotels, and attractions during the summer as a result of the influx of tourists at this time of year. But if you want the ideal German experience, it’s more than worth it to go in the summer!
Cheapest Time to Visit Germany
- January-March is the cheapest time to visit Germany
- March-May, October-November offer slightly discounted rates
- Cool to cold weather, little rainfall except in spring, smaller crowds
The best time to visit Germany on a budget is from January to March, which offer the absolute lowest prices you’ll find on flights, hotels, and attractions within the cities.
It’s the dead of winter here, so it’s going to be cold, potentially snowy in the east, and dark with short days where the sun sets around 4:00 p.m. If keeping the trip cheap is your priority, it can still be a great time to go.
You just have to tweak your itinerary a bit! Germany’s tourism industry hits an annual low in the winter, especially after the holidays.
From January to March, you’ll find that you’re one of the few visitors in town and won’t have to deal with long lines or wait times, even at popular establishments and attractions.
You’ll run into limited hours at certain museums and attractions with the days being much shorter in the winter. Be sure to check out the unique (read: odd) Carnival festivals — Fastnacht — in the southern cities and villages during the late winter.
If the German winter seems too dreary, you can find slightly higher but still discounted travel and accommodations rates in the spring and fall shoulder seasons.
From March to May, the weather warms up considerably and tourists begin to arrive in larger numbers. Flowers bloom, highs reach the mid-60s, and festivities pick up as the daylight hours lengthen.
In fall, especially from October to November, prices fall from their summer peak and you’ll have great availability for flights and hotels.
Things cool off rapidly at this time, from the mid-5os to the 40s, and often-freezing temperatures at night. Daylight hours shrink again but you’ll find more time to enjoy the cities and outdoors before December.
Least Busy Time to Visit Germany
- January-March, mid-October-November is the least busy time to go
- Nonexistent crowds in winter and late fall make for a peaceful trip
- Cold weather, but little rainfall and cheaper prices are appealing
To avoid the biggest crowds, the best time to visit Germany is from January to March and (slightly less so) mid-October to November.
You’ll find very little visitors arriving from January-March, after the holidays are over, but it’s a very cold and dark time to visit with short daylight hours.
October to November is a little warmer with longer hours of sunshine, and the limited crowds at this time of year make it suitable for those seeking a peaceful getaway.
January to March is the coldest period in Germany and temperatures are often freezing or very close to it, especially at the higher elevations. You’ll find outdoor attractions and gatherings are limited or shut down during the winter.
So there are fewer things to do around the cities and villages. History buffs can enjoy this time of year for checking out museums (though hours may be limited), and local shops, restaurants, and bars are always a sure source of entertainment and fun.
October (after Oktoberfest ends in the first week) to November is a better time to go, although the crowds at this time will be slightly larger than in the winter.
You’ll benefit with temperatures closer to the 40s and 50s, longer daylight hours, and more options for activities, festivals, and events.
Outdoor dining and gatherings still take place, especially in the southwest. It’s a little rainier than the dry winter months, but not nearly as wet as the summer.
Worst Time to Visit Germany
You know the best time to visit Germany, but what periods should you avoid for the ideal trip? It all depends on what you’re looking for when you go.
If you want to avoid high prices and crowds, don’t go in the summer from May to September. This is Germany’s peak tourism season when prices and crowds reach their maximum. Locals and tourists alike will be out and about enjoying the period of warm weather, long daylight hours, and nonstop events and festivals.
Those who want to avoid crowds of any kind should also steer clear of December, which sees an influx of tourists around the holidays, and September to early October, when Oktoberfest draws millions to Germany, especially Munich.
If you want to avoid cold weather, the worst time to visit Germany is during the winter from December to March.
Things are cold, even snowy in parts, at this time of year and temperatures often reach the freezing point. The Alps, Black Forest mountains, and the northern coast will be the chilliest in the winter.
More Things to Consider
What else should you know before making your merry way to Germany? Here are some helpful travel tips to make your visit perfekt glatt (perfectly smooth):
- Learn a little German before you go. The German language is notoriously difficult to learn, but it’s worth getting a few key phrases and words under your belt to make communication easier while you’re there.
Most Germans don’t speak English, and signs, menus, and notices are all displayed in German language. Your phone can help you decipher a lot, but it’s best to know a few words and phrases by heart.
- Sunday is for rest and relaxation. You’ll quickly find that most stores, pharmacies, and shops are closed on Sundays in Germany due to the Ladenschlussgesetz law. Find other things to do, like checking out a new restaurant or exploring a park, on Sundays while you’re here.
- Carry cash at all times. You’ll want to convert your dollars to euros once you arrive and keep cash on you while you’re out and about. Cash is king in Germany, and many shops and restaurants don’t accept debit or credit cards. It’s a good idea to find all the ATMs near your hotel and around the city you’re staying in so you can always have a good amount of cash on hand.
- Get out of the cities. Germany’s cities are certainly the main draw for tourists, but getting out to explore the countryside and historic architecture outside of the cities will make your trip even better. You’ll be able to trek through mountains and valleys, sit beside glacial lakes and waterfalls, marvel at towering castles and fortresses, and see the true Germany beyond the cities.
- Expect a fee to use public restrooms. Any public restroom worth using (trust us on this one) is going to cost you around half a euro to 1 euro per person. Kids can enter with a parent for free, but changing rooms will cost the same amount as an adult restroom. Don’t use the free toilets – you’ve been warned!
- Nudity is less controversial here. If you plan to visit a spa, sauna, swimming pool, or gym, be prepared to see nudity. It’s less controversial in Germany, and strangers think nothing of disrobing in the showers or changing rooms with others present. It’s not as shocking when you know what to expect, so be prepared or avoid these places.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Germany?
Overall, the best time to visit Germany is during the peak season from middle to late summer in July through September. You’ll have the warmest weather, longest daylight hours, and most options for activities and events in the cities during this time.
It’s a rainy period but there’s plenty of sunshine and clear skies – just check the forecast before heading out each day.
Cheapest Time to Go
The best time to visit Germany on a budget is from January to March, which boasts the absolute lowest rates on flights and accommodations of the year.
It’s winter, so it’s going to be cold, get dark around 4:00 p.m., and many outdoor attractions will be shut down for the season. But you won’t find a cheaper time to visit, and it’s still a nice time to check out museums, restaurants, and bars!
Least Busy Time to Go
The best time to visit Germany without crowds is also in January-March, since fewer tourists come when it’s cold with short days.
You’ll enjoy your visit more by visiting in the slightly-busier, but still uncrowded, months of October to November. It’s warmer with more hours of daylight to enjoy the outdoor attractions that are still open until December.
Worst Time to Go
Avoid visiting in the summer if you’re looking for cheap prices and small crowds – this is the busiest season for tourism in Germany. Christmastime in December and September-early October’s Oktoberfest crowds should be avoided if you’re looking for solitude.
Steer clear of the winter months if you’re hoping to spend a lot of time outdoors and exploring Germany at its finest. It’s a little too cold, dark, and quiet at this time of year to get the full experience.
Germany is rich with history, things to do, natural beauty, and delicious food and beer for eager travelers. You’ll find the culture and language fascinating, and exploring the different regions will show you the many faces and sides of this stunning European country.
Keep the best time to visit Germany in mind, along with our travel tips, to make the most of your trip to Deutschland.
Read these travel guides next to discover the incredible castles scattered throughout Germany and learn the best times to visit surrounding countries on a European tour!