“Theres no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” I’m not exactly sure where this saying comes from, but I’ve heard it’s a German proverb. In any case, this pretty much became my philosophy when living in Berlin. Germany is best enjoyed outdoors, so it’s important to dress for the weather to make the most out of your time there.
I’ve often been asked about the best times of year to travel to Germany. When you’re spending that much money to travel abroad and putting that much effort into planning your trip, I definitely understand wanting to make sure the weather will cooperate! In my opinion, though, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Germany at any time of year, especially if you have the appropriate clothing, but there are some pros and cons of each season to be aware of.
In my experience living in Berlin, the weather can be pretty unpredictable. It rains a lot in Germany, so I highly recommend brining rain jackets.
These are my preferred times of travel, in order of most to least preferred.
June is probably my favorite time to go to Germany, and the closer you get to the summer solstice (about June 21st), the better! The days are really long–the sun doesn’t usually set until 10 or 10:30pm! Germany is actually quite a bit farther north than most places in the US. Berlin is at about 52 degrees latitude, while Seattle, Washington, lies at about 47. It’s also a pretty safe bet that there will be nice weather at the end of June (although rain is unpredictable). The beginning of June, however, is subject to the Schafskälte, or “sheep’s cold”, which is basically just a cold spell that comes through in the first week or two of June. Most buildings in Germany do not have air conditioning, so I always welcomed the cooler weather!
Another pro to traveling in June is that most of the schools in Germany are still in session, so places that get a lot of tourism may be less crowded. However, most schools in the US are on summer break, so flights prices may be a bit more expensive at that time.
July and August are also excellent months to take a trip to Germany. It will likely be warm and could even get pretty hot. I’d recommend bringing at least one pair of jeans or long pants and a light jacket in case it gets cool at night. Most buildings are not air-conditioned, though, so it could get quite warm at times. Another thing to keep in mind about this time of year is that it’s usually when most of the schools in Germany are on vacation, so certain locations might be a little more crowded, and flight prices might also be more expensive then, too.
Berlin summers really can’t be beat, so if July or August work for your schedule, it will definitely be a great time!
I also highly recommend September and October for traveling to Germany. Flights are usually much cheaper, and the weather is still really nice. It will be much cooler outside, and it might rain, but as long as you’re dressed for it, you’ll love visiting during the fall months.
November and December can get pretty cold, so you’ll want to make sure you have warm clothing–especially warm shoes! However, one of the best things about Germany is visiting the Christmas markets in late November and December. There’s really nothing that can compare with an authentic Christmas market with Glühwein, a traditional mulled wine drink served hot and all the delicious snacks you can find at the different stands. This definitely makes the cold more enjoyable!
Lower flight prices and less crowded city centers are among some of the perks to traveling in the late fall.
April and May are still quite chilly, and there’s a lot of rain. However, flight prices are low, and as long as you bundle up a bit, walking around outside can be quite pleasant. Sometimes the weather will surprise you with some warm and sunny days, especially in May.
The winter months are less fun, especially when it’s really cold and there are no Christmas markets to make it more bearable. However, if you don’t mind cold weather, this might be a great time to go. You can still see all the sights, and the subway cars and most buildings are heated very well, so it doesn’t take long to warm up. This is also an excellent time to enjoy the cafe culture. After a long walk in the city, you can stop in a cafe and get a delicious cup of coffee and some cake or pastries.
The biggest perk to traveling during this time is the price. Flights are generally cheaper since it’s the off-season, and hotel prices may even be a bit lower since they won’t book up as fast.
Like I said before, though, there are really no bad times to visit Germany. It depends on your priorities and what you’d like to see. Dressing for the weather can really make or break an experience, so at any time of year, I recommend bringing clothing for a few different types of weather you may experience during your trip.
Do you have any preferences for when to travel to Germany? Let me know what you think in the comments! Gute Reise!