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Best Time to Visit Germany

Germany offers lots to travellers all year-round, with the best time to visit largely depending on the experiences you’re looking for. If you want to come for the world-famous Christmas markets, obviously you’ll need to arrive in early winter, but in general, the best time to visit Germany for sightseeing is when the weather is the most pleasant, typically between May and September, with temperatures ranging from the low to mid-70s. Of course, this is also the time when the most visitors arrive, meaning big crowds, long lines for attractions, and the highest prices of the year. If you can come just before or just after the peak season, you’ll avoid the worst of the tourist rush while still experiencing pleasant weather and possible find some discount room rates too.

To help you make the best decision, this is what you can expect in every season.

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High Season/Summer +: June through August plus Oktoberfest and Christmas

Generally, summer is the high season, but Germany experiences another visitor rush around Oktoberfest in late September and early October, and again around the Christmas holidays, from around mid-December through just after New Year’s. During this period, expect the country to be filled with many tourists, and prices to be at their highest of the year. Be sure to book your accommodation and airfare in advance to avoid disappointment.

Summer weather brings warm temperatures, with daytime highs averaging in the upper 70s Fahrenheit – inland areas experience high humidity, with brief rain showers helping to cool things off. Along the northern coast, the sea and winds blow in making for more comfortable weather. If you come for Oktoberfest, it may feel ideal, with temperatures dipping to the upper 60s, often with bright blue skies, although you may need an umbrella occasionally. Those who visit around the Christmas holidays are likely to see some snow with low temperatures below freezing and precipitation relatively common. It creates beautiful wintry scenes for enjoying the Christmas markets, staying warm by sipping hot cider. If you’re here for New Year’s Eve, you’ll find celebrations throughout the country – many ring in the New Year with magnificent fireworks displays, although there is none bigger than in Berlin with its “Party Mile” attracting more than a million to enjoy the live music, fireworks, mulled wine, beer and local German specialities.

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Shoulder Season/Spring, Late Summer and Mid-Fall: April and May, early September and mid- to late-October

If you want to enjoy Germany without the crowds and high prices, the shoulder seasons may be an ideal time to visit. While the weather may be a bit unpredictable in the spring, possibly bringing sunshine, rain, hail and snow all in the same day, it makes a great compromise between the high and low seasons. April will be cooler, with temperatures in the afternoon typically climbing to the upper 50s, and in May the mercury sometimes rises to 70 or higher. If you can visit during the first half of September, it may be the best time of all, bringing diminish crowds, warm weather (low 70s) and plenty of sun. In late October, it may be chilly and wet, but the brilliant colours of autumn make for fabulous photographs and you might score some good bargains on airfare and hotel rooms.

Wine enthusiasts who want to visit the vineyards may want to come in late April or May, or immediately after the late autumn harvest to take advantage of the open-air wine festivals that feature wine tasting and a wide variety of entertainment.

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Low Season: Late Fall through early Spring: November through March, except from mid-December to early January

The dark, dreary days of winter arrive early in Germany, with the cold weather, including freezing rain and snow, beginning in November. As the season progress, snow is likely in many areas, but that also means that you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a beautiful winter wonderland, with places like the Bavarian Alps and Neuschwanstein Castle stunning with a dusting of snow. December is one of Germany’s coldest months with temperatures often just below freezing. If you come in early December, you’ll miss the tourist rush while still being able to enjoy the dazzling Christmas markets with their sparkling holiday lights, delicious foods, hot cider and more. They open on the last weekend of November every year, running through Christmas Day and you’ll find one in every city – in fact, in Berlin there are more than 60 different markets hosted.

Provided you avoid the holiday weeks, you’ll arrive during the quietest time of year. Bundle up and enjoy the sights without having to bump elbows with countless other tourists trying to capture the same picture, and you’ll also be able to take advantage of it all at a more budget-friendly price.

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