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16 Best Places to Visit in Germany in Winter in 2023

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Germany is wonderful at any time of the year. It was the very first European country that we ever explored and for that very reason, it will have a piece of our hearts forever. I mean, who doesn’t love fairy-tale castles, schnitzels, medieval towns, and history and it’s even better – when it’s sprinkled with snow? So here are the best places to visit in Germany in winter.

16 Best places to visit in Germany in Winter

Best places to visit in Germany in winter guide
Best places to visit in Germany in winter guide

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This list of the best places to visit in Germany winters is compiled with the help of travelers and local bloggers from Germany. We hope you enjoy this list!

But, let’s look into the winter temperatures and packing for Germany first. 

Weather and Packing for Germany in Winter 

Germany is neither too hot nor too cold in the winter. The climate of Germany is moderately continental. It does experience cold winters with a daily average temperature of around 0 °C (32 °F). So that’s fairly warm compared to where we live.

Winter landscape in the Bavarian Alps with the famous Parish Church of St. Sebastian in the village of Ramsau, Nationalpark Berchtesgadener Land
Winter landscape in the Bavarian Alps with the famous Parish Church of St. Sebastian in the village of Ramsau, Nationalpark Berchtesgadener Land

Northwestern and coastal Germany have a maritime climate – with mild and cloudy winters.


High:5 degree Celsius or 41 degrees Fahrenheit
Low:0 degree Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit 
Snow:Expect frequent snow and rain during winters
Winter Months:December, January, February
Cheapest Months to fly to Germany:December and February 

Here is what you should pack for your trip to Germany in winter

  • Parka or winter jacket – In different parts of Germany, gets pretty cold in winter and it is colder in the evenings. Carry and wear a warm parka or winter jacket. Check out this winter jacket from North Face
  • Winter boots – Wear winter boots in Germany as you are out and about exploring Christmas markets or if you plan to indulge in outdoor activities. Stay warm. Ensure your boots are at-least ankle length, waterproof, and have a good grip.  Get these Ugg boots for Germany
  • Warm/woolen socks
  • Gloves 
  • Scarf – I LOVE blanket scarves. They will keep you warm and cozy. Check out this warm plaid scarf here
  • Beanie or warm hat – Super important to keep your head and ears warm. Check this warm beanie here
  • Thermal pants and tops (or long johns) – Thermal inner tops and pants aka long johns are super handy in European winters. Shop our favorite from Amazon
  • 1-3 pretty sweaters (depending on the length of stay) 
  • Carry moisturizer with up to 24-hour hydration – Shop my favorite Body Shop Vitamin E moisturizer
  • Add a nice woolen sweater dress or a black dress for German Christmas events, special dinners, or New Year celebrations.

1. Munich in Winter

By Norman from Années de Pèlerinage.com

Munich - Best cities to visit in Germany in winter
Munich in Winter

Munich is one of the best places to visit in Germany in winter. Being a local, I know I am a bit biased, but let me explain.

First of all, there is much more snow in the German south than in Hamburg or Berlin. All those half timbered houses and castles just look so much prettier with a little white dusting, don’t you think?

You can also indulge in winter activities like ice skating at the Olympiapark München.

Munich also has over 70 museums. If it’s too cold outside, you can easily escape by marveling at pictures from Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens, or Rafael inside the Alte Pinakothek.

As an alternative, you could also visit one of the 5 palaces within the city limits. Nymphenburg Castle looks extra pretty on a sunny winter day, while the marvelous greenhouses of the adjacent botanical garden will keep you occupied when it’s a bit too dreary outside.

englische garten münchen in winter
Munich in Winter

If you are visiting in December, you can stroll across Munich’s famous Christmas markets and get your fill of German sausages, gingerbread, cookies, and mulled wine.

The real deal-breaker, however, is the many day trips you can take. The German Alps are very close, so you could possibly go skiing.

Or you can take the train/bus to Neuschwanstein Castle (the place that inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle). There are just so many things to do in Munich in Winter!

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: TYRP Munchen City Center Hotel | Book hotels in Munich

MUNICH TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Search Munich tours and activities

Read: A 5 day Munich Itinerary, with a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle

2. Berlin in Winter

By Julie of The Red Headed Traveler

Berlin Christmas market
Berlin in Winter

There’s no escaping the fact that Berlin in winter is cold and that you’ll probably want to limit your walks along the Spree River.  But traveling to the German capital in wintertime also means fewer crowds, which makes visiting its many incredible attractions that much more enjoyable.

In the beginning weeks of winter, the sun sets quite early so a visit earlier in the day to the East Side Gallery, an open-air space located in the former East Berlin, is recommended for maximum visibility.

Berlin Germany in winter
Berlin in Winter

It consists of a series of murals painted directly on a 1300 meter long remnant of the Berlin Wall.

If you’re hungry after walking the gallery and want to get warm, stop in Scheers Schnitzel, a short walk from the underground station. Just know that in Germany, schnitzel is made with pork, not veal as in Austria.

Two museums that are ideal for escaping the plummeting temperatures once it’s dark and also for understanding modern German history are the Topography of Terror and the DDR Museum.

Reichstag Best places to visit in Germany in winter
Berlin in Winter

The first is located on the former site of the SS/Gestapo Headquarters and explains the heinous story of the Nazis.  The second shows what everyday life was like in the former German Democratic Republic.

Winters in Berlin are amazing due to the traditional German Christmas markets. In each and every neighborhood of Berlin, you will find a market to enjoy Christmas fairy lights, local exhibitions, and food.

Most popular markets are set up in the Spandau, Alexanderplatz, and Charlottenburg neighborhoods. 

Berlin Christmas Market
Berlin Christmas Market

German Christmas markets are set up at the end of November, and many go on as far as mid-January.

The perfect hotel for your winter getaway in terms of cost and location is the Grand Hyatt Berlin. The rooms are spacious and it’s within walking distance of many of the city’s most well-known attractions including the most famous of all, the Brandenburg Gate.

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Grand Hyatt Berlin | Search hotels in Berlin

BERLIN TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Search for activities in Berlin here

3. Berchtesgaden National Park in Winter

Panoramic view of beautiful winter wonderland mountain scenery in the Alps with pilgrimage church of Maria Gern and famous Watzmann summit in the background
Panoramic view of beautiful winter wonderland mountain scenery in the Alps with pilgrimage church of Maria Gern and famous Watzmann summit in the background

Berchtesgaden National Park is a protected area located in the Bavarian Alps, only a 3 hour train ride away from Munich and one of Germany’s most incredible natural parks.

If you’re planning to visit Berchtesgaden National Park during winter, get ready for a breathtaking panorama: snow-covered fields with crystal clear streams, frozen lakes, and mountain views of Watzmann massif. 

The main points of interest within the park are Konigssee Lake – by far one of the most beautiful in Germany – Mount Watzmann (the third highest peak in Germany), Johannisbach Valley, and Kehlsteinhaus (Hitler’s former mountain retreat. Eagle’s Nest is not open in winter).

During winter, you can go skiing or snowboarding in the resorts located in Obersalzberg. Or, if you prefer to stay away from the slopes, a walk through the park with some snowshoes is one of the most peaceful and beautiful ways to experience it.

Stay at the no-frills Haus Wimbachtal near the Berchtesgaden National Park with free parking and wifi. 

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Haus Wimbachtal (Ramsau)

4. Trier in Winter

Christmas Market in Trier
Christmas Market in Trier

On the banks of the Moselle, in southwest Germany, lies Trier – one of Germany’s oldest cities.

With settlements dating back to Roman times, it’s a treasure trove of 2 000 years old buildings and monuments. Its picturesque cobblestone streets and plazas are part of why it’s been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1986.

Trier is known for being the oldest city in Germany and one of the oldest cities north of the Alps. It’s also home to some of the oldest churches in Germany, like the 14th-century Roman Catholic Church St Gangolf, which has been an important pilgrimage site for centuries. 

The Porta Nigra, Trier’s most iconic landmark and the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps, is also another must-see.

Trier in winter brings with it a special kind of charm – from its snow-covered cobblestone streets to its Christmas market, this city has something for everyone. With fewer visitors than in warmer months, you can more easily explore all the attractions and get a taste of the traditional German Christmas atmosphere.

For those looking for old-world charm, luxury, comfort, and great service, Hotel Villa Hügel is a great option. Located just outside the city centre in an elegant villa surrounded by nature, it’s a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of Trier; yet with easy access to all the sights.

At Villa Hügel you will be able to enjoy a traditional German atmosphere and explore Trier at your own pace. Whether it’s visiting the Christmas markets, exploring the old city centre or just going for walks in nature, this hotel is a great base from which to do it. 


5. Nuremberg Christmas Market

By Henar from Wander Wings

Nuremberg Germany in winter
Nuremberg Germany in winter

Nuremberg, situated about 2 hours by train north of Munich, is a must for all contemporary history aficionados. It was considered to be the most German city in Germany, which lead to its almost-complete destruction in 1945.

However, well before its key role during World War II, Nuremberg was already an important social, cultural, and economic hub since its origins.

It was home to figures such as Albrecht Dürer, as well as being a media centre with 21 printing houses during Martin Luther’s time helping the propagation of his messages of Reformation, among other things. Here you can find one of the best museums in German-speaking culture and history in the world.

Other than its historical relevance, Nuremberg is also a popular winter destination for its world-renowned Christmas market (“Christkindlmarkt”). Its origin is unknown but it’s believed to date back to the 1600s.

Nuremberg Christmas Markets
Nuremberg Christmas Markets

It takes place every year in the market square from the last Friday prior to the first Sunday of Advent and runs until the 24th of December (unless it’s a Sunday).

It can be chilly during the winter months but enjoying the warm mulled wine in good company and taking in the spirit of the season is an experience you won’t forget, especially if you’re lucky to catch a snowy day.

If you are only visiting Nuremberg for a day, make sure to start by taking a stroll through the old town and climbing up the castle to enjoy the stunning views over the city, it is a must for anyone visiting the Bavarian city and will give you a great overview of where things are.

A great place to stay during your visit is the Five Reasons Hotel & Hostel, in the old town. Here you’ll find both private and dorm rooms, so you’ll surely find something for yourself.  

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Five Reasons Hotel & Hostel | Search hotels in Nuremberg

NUREMBERG TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Book tours in Nuremberg 

Read: How to take a day trip from Munich to Nuremberg 

6. Cologne (Koln) in Winter

By Shang from Zip and Go

Cologne in Winter Germany
Cologne in Winter

While it is easy to miss Cologne and opt for bigger cities like Berlin and Munich, it would be a shame if you never set foot here.

Cologne is well known for its Romanesque churches, its beautiful setting beside the Rhine River, and a wonderful mixture of culture and history.

The Cathedral, also known as Kolner Dom, is a MUST visit in Cologne. It is an easy walk from the colorful Old Town. 

As the largest of the 12 Romanesque churches in Cologne, and also one of the largest churches in Europe, this towering Gothic masterpiece dominates the Cologne Skyline and contains some of the most important treasures of Germany. 

Step inside and climb the 533 to the top of the South Tower for a panoramic view of the city. This scene is as beautiful as it gets. 

Cologne Christmas Markets
Cologne Christmas Markets

At the heart of Cologne is the Old Town, which was miraculously rebuilt after the atrocities of World War II. 

Almost all of the city centre was destroyed, but through the perseverance of the Germans, the entire Old Town was recreated to the minute details. 

Come in here to witness for yourself both the amazing work done by modern builders and also appreciate how beautiful the original Old Town would look.

Here, you can walk through the cobblestoned alleys or stroll along the Rhine River, and when it is too cold outside, hop into one of the numerous quirky and vibrant cafes that line the streets. And not to forget the Cologne Christmas markets are a crowd-puller in the winter!

The best place to stay in Cologne has got to be somewhere in the city center since it keeps you close to most of the attractions and provides lots of convenience and connectivity to the entire city.

We recommend the Maritim Hotel Koln – well priced and with great views across the city and the River Rhine.

There is so much more to discover in Cologne, as it really should make your list of cities to visit in Europe!

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Maritim Hotel Koln | Search hotels in Koln/Cologne

COLOGNE TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Book activities here

7. Bamberg in Winter

By Henar from Wander Wings

Bamberg in winter
Bamberg in Winter

In the north of Bavaria, at about 3 hours by train from Munich, you’ll find the city of Bamberg. A UNESCO World Heritage site in the heart of Germany and part of the Roman remains route through Bavaria.

With an old town made of cute half-timbered houses along cobblestone streets, Bamberg is known for being one of the few cities in Germany that remained almost undamaged during the war.

Besides its stunning old town, cathedral, and castle, its centuries-old family-owned breweries and their unique smoked beer are another reason for many visitors to stop by, besides its stunning architecture, of course!

Bamberg is great to visit at any time of the year, but winter is particularly nice. With fewer visitors than in the warmer months and the possibility of catching the city in the snow with its channels, bridges, and boats, Bamberg is a looker. 

After all, it has a little Venice right in the centre. And in December, the Christmas spirit takes over the whole city with multiple Christmas markets spread all over town.

The Alt-Ringlein Restaurant-Hotel right in the centre of the old town is a good option.

Right across Aecht Schlenkerla, one of the oldest and most popular smoked beer breweries and beer halls in Bamberg, and around the corner from the Cathedral and little Venice, it’s a prime spot to explore the old town.  

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Alt-Ringlein Restaurant-Hotel | Search hotels in Bamberg 

BAMBERG TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Book activities in Bamberg

8. Baden Baden in Winter

Christmas Market in Baden Baden
Christmas Market in Baden Baden

Baden-Baden is a spa town located right between the Black Forest and the Vosges Mountains in the southwestern part of Germany. It’s only an hour by train from nearby Strasbourg, France, which makes it easy to explore both countries during your trip.

In winter, Baden-Baden comes alive with a festive spirit, thanks to its multiple Christmas markets spread all over town.

The best thing about Baden-Baden is its abundance of grand 19th-century architecture and natural thermal springs, which make it a great destination for winter holidays.

Whether you want to soak in the hot springs or explore its nearby nature parks, there’s something for everyone in this charming city.

And if the cold gets too much, you can always take shelter in one of its many cafes and restaurants, or get some last-minute Christmas shopping done at local boutiques and galleries.

For accommodation, Hotel Belle Époque is a great spot to stay. Not only is it located right in the centre of town but also offers views over the city. You’ll be able to explore everything Baden-Baden has to offer while still feeling cozy and relaxed.


9. Hamburg in Winter

By Jenni from Chilling with Lucas

Hamburg Christmas Markets
Hamburg Christmas Markets

Hamburg is full of breathtaking architecture, shops, and restaurants. During winter, the Christmas markets are a fabulous addition to your Hamburg itinerary.

They are just wonderful to explore, like a magical winter wonderland with plenty of gifts and crafts to browse as well as fabulous food and drinks. 

To explore Hamburg intimately, we highly recommend getting a Hamburg card as it allows unlimited travel by bus, train, and harbor ferry. It also gives you up to 30% discount on Harbour tours, Alster trips, and city tours.

You also get up to a 50% discount on various attractions and museums. Up to 28% discount on selected musicals, theatre, restaurants, and coffee shops. 

During your winter visit, ensure you visit the St Nikolai church, it was the world’s tallest building from 1874 to 1876, and it remains Hamburg’s second-tallest structure.

You can take a glass lift to a 76.3m-high viewing platform inside the surviving spire for views of Hamburg’s centre, put into context of the wartime destruction. The architecture and detailing of it are absolutely stunning. 

A harbor tour is also a great way to admire the city lights in comfort. Our enthusiastic tour guide also had everyone laughing. 

Hamburg Christmas Markets
Hamburg Christmas Markets

Hamburg is the second-largest cocoa import harbor in Europe so a trip to the Chocoversum chocolate museum is a must. You take a tour around the museum, learn about the way various chocolates are made, and get to have a few samples too.

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Ibis Styles Hamburg Alster City | Book hotels in Hamburg 

HAMBURG TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Search activities in Hamburg 

10. Zugspitze in Winter

By Darek from darekandgosia

Zugspitze winter view
Zugspitze winter summit view

Who would not want to stand on the roof of Germany, their highest peak, look around and see a sea of mountain peaks covered with a thick layer of snow?

Ready to visit Zugspitze? Just attach skis or a board and ride on the white glacial lying between mountain peaks – this is the must-visit place for winter sports (along with Belchen aka Black Forest) and Harz Mountains!

How to get to Zugspitze? The answer is simple – on the train! Yes, yes, this is not a mistake!

Zugspitze in winter

The Germans really showed off – you can go by train almost to the top. All you have to do is jump on a cog railway, which goes up inside the mountain – it’s are great experience itself! However, for the last section (about 400 m vertically) you have to take a cable car.

Zugspitze is the highest and the only glacier ski resort in Germany. In the skiing season, which lasts here for half a year, snow is therefore guaranteed.

What’s more interesting, you can be sure that it will be natural snow, because at this height German law prohibits the production of artificial snow.

There are 21 kilometres (13 miles) of ski runs to cover, which are always perfectly prepared during the ski season and are great both for skiing and snowboarding.

We highly recommend booking the Eibsee Hotel as your base. It’s not only located at the bottom of Zugspitze but also next to Eibsee Lake – one of the best lakes in Germany. 

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Eibsee Hotel | Search hotels in Grainau/Zugspitze


11. Fussen and Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter

By Dayna from Happily Ever Travels

Neuschwanstein Castle in winter
Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter

Did you know that the castle that inspired Disneyland’s princess castle is a real castle in Germany? If the Neuschwanstein Castle wasn’t on your bucket list before, it will be now!

And somehow this castle becomes even more magical when surrounded by snow in the winter. This whole area along with the view of the Bavarian Alps is absolutely beautiful, and only a few hours away from Munich.

There are also two other castles nearby as well, one in Fussen and the Schwangau Castle in Hohenschwangau, which is just around the corner from Neuschwanstein. 

The castle is open year-round and you can buy tickets online in advance to go inside. The only difference is that the amazing views that you normally would visit to take pictures of the castle are closed during the winter. 

Fussen in winter
Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter

However, if you’d still like to get to those Instagram viewpoints even during winter, you must read about visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in winter without missing anything! 

If you’re looking to get a little bit of that winter magic that Europe provides, there is no better place than Neuschwanstein Castle!

There are cheap hotels in Fussen, just a short bus ride from the castles. However, if you’d like to stay closer to Neuschwanstein Castle, we recommend the Romantic Pension-Albrecht Hotel

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Romantic Pension-Albrecht Hotel | Book hotels in and around Fussen

DAY TOUR TO NEUSCHWANSTEIN FROM MUNICH: Check out this day tour here 

Read: Guide to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich

12. Stuttgart Winter and Christmas Markets

Stuttgart Christmas - Best places to visit in Germany in winter
Stuttgart Christmas – Best places to visit in Germany in winter

Founded in the 10th century, Stuttgart is home to Porsche and Mercedes-Benz. Stuttgart is the sixth-largest city in Germany and is located in the southwestern part of the country. 

Winters in Stuttgart are slightly continental – it is cold, but not freezing cold. The Christmas markets in Stuttgart attract a lot of tourists in winter to the now modern city. The entire city turns into a fairytale of sorts with lights, festivities, and carols. 

Other than the festive markets, visit the Porsche Museum and Mercedes-Benz Museum, as they are open in winter. For history lovers, head to Landesmuseum Württemberg – to admire the remnants of Celtic armor, Roman swords, and jeweled crowns. 

Stuttgart is home to the second-largest complex of mineral springs in Europe, and winters are the best time to cozy up and enjoy the warm and healing waters. 

Stuttgart is also a convenient base for exploring those nearby cities in Baden-Württemberg.

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Book hotels in Stuttgart

STUTTGART TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Search activities in Stuttgart

13. Bavarian Forest National Park in Winter

Grosser Arber Mountain Bavarian Forest
Grosser Arber Mountain Bavarian Forest

Located in the southeast of Germany, Bavarian Forest National Park is one of the oldest protected areas in Europe. 

Known as the Bayerischer Wald locally, the park covers an area of 242.2 sq km and it’s full of lush green forests, deep valleys, pristine lakes, and crystal clear rivers.

In wintertime, the Bavarian forest takes on a whole new personality: snow-covered trees and pine needles, frozen lakes, and streams that look like glass. A fairytale setting, perfect for enjoying nature in all its glory!

The National Park has a lot of activities to offer throughout the year: from winter hiking and snowshoeing to cross country skiing.

With two primary ski resorts to choose from, you can hit the slopes and experience the thrill of winter sports. Tickets are available for around 40 euros, offering great value for your adventure. 

Don’t worry about transportation, as a convenient ski bus connects Silberburg Ski Area to Grosser Arber Ski Resort in the Bavarian Forest. 

The Bavarian Forest is a beautiful place to enjoy the winter season and discover Germany’s wild side! Plus it is located about a 2.50-hour drive away from Munich. 

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Wellnesshotel Riedlberg (in Drachselsried)

Read: 3 days in Munich itinerary

14. Rhine Valley in Winter

By Paulina from Paulina On the Road

Rhine Valley in winter
Rhine Valley in Winter

The Rhine Valley is a stunning region in Germany, running along the banks of one of Europe’s longest and most important rivers.

In winter, it gets particularly magical as snow covers its forests and vineyards, making it an ideal destination for those looking to enjoy the beauty of nature without going too far from civilization. 

Some of the best villages in the Rhine Valley to visit during winter are Bacharach, Boppard, Bingen, and St. Goar.

During the winter months, almost every single Rhine village hosts its own Christmas Market. 

Set in narrow, cobblestone paved streets, it’s the perfect place to enjoy some mulled wine and German sausages. It’s said that mulled wine in the Rhine Valley is some of the best you can get in Germany as the region is famous for its top-notch wines.

The region is also known for its picturesque castles and ruins along the river banks – an ideal spot to take beautiful photos!

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Book hotels near Rhine Valley

DAY TOUR TO RHINE VALLEY FROM FRANKFURT: Book a day tour to Rhine Valley here

15. Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Winter

Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Winter
Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Winter

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is another great destination for a winter holiday. Located right on Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze, this charming Bavarian town has plenty to offer.

Its Alpine setting is perfect for those looking for a more outdoorsy getaway. Skiing and snowboarding are the top activities here, but there are also plenty of hiking trails to explore in the area.

And if you don’t want to spend all your time outdoors, you can also take a look at the spectacular old town and its traditional buildings. The city centre is home to the iconic Wankbahn cable car and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

If you’re looking for accommodation, Hotel Sonnenbichl in Garmisch-Partenkirchen offers a great stay with excellent views of the nearby mountains and a cozy, homely atmosphere.

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Hotel Sonnenbichl in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

16. Mittenwald in Winter

Mittenwald in winter
Mittenwald in winter with the view of the Karwendel Mountains

Just a couple of hours’ drive south from Munich, you’ll find Mittenwald. A tiny Alpine village set against the majestic Karwendel mountains and known for its violin-making tradition. 

In fact, you can visit some of the old workshops around town to witness how they make musical instruments by hand in an ancient craft practiced since the mid-17th century.

The winter months in Mittenwald are a magical time. With its snow-covered houses and the majestic Karwendel mountain range, it looks like something out of a fairy tale.

If you’re into winter sports, Mittenwald is the perfect spot for some back country skiing and snowshoeing in pristine wilderness – with a view! The hikes around Mittenwald are also great to explore the Karwendel mountain range during the colder months of the year.

For cozy accommodation right in the centre of Mittenwald, you can opt for Alpenhotel Rieger. With wooden floors and alpine-style décor, it’s a 3-star hotel with a spa area and they also offer free parking and buffet breakfast!

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Alpenhotel Rieger

No matter where you’re looking to stay, Germany has plenty of winter options for everyone. From charming small towns to vibrant cities, and from outdoor activities to cozy cafes – you’re sure to find something you love!

And let’s not forget about all the delicious German food – from the classic sausages to the local cheeses, Germany has plenty of gastronomic delights for you to discover! 

Visiting Germany in Winter | FAQ & Travel Guide

Famous Zodiac Clock Tower on the facade of the old town hall, Marienplatz in Munich

How cold is Germany in winter?

German winters can be quite cold, with temperatures in December and January often dropping below zero. Although the average temperature across Germany is around 5°C (41°F), it will feel much colder due to the wind chill factor.

The coldest cities in Germany are usually located in the north of the country, such as Berlin where temperatures can drop to -10°C (14°F) and below. In the south, cities like Munich can experience temperatures of around 0-2°C (32-36°F).

The colder months tend to start in December and last until March, although snow is not always present across the entire country during this time. Cities closer to the Alps or the North Sea will typically experience more snow than other cities in Germany.

Overall, German winters can be quite cold but there are plenty of things to do and enjoy during the colder months! Whether you’re visiting one of the many Christmas markets or curling up with a blanket and watching the snow fall, winter in Germany is truly beautiful.

Is Germany expensive in winter?

If you’re considering a trip to Germany during the winter, you’re in for a treat! It’s a great time to travel with the added bonus of lower costs and fewer crowds compared to the bustling summer season.

Germany can be an affordable destination for travelers, depending on your budget. Accommodation prices vary greatly and are generally cheaper in the winter months due to lower demand.

Generally speaking, food is also quite affordable – you can get a hearty meal at a local restaurant for around €10-15 (USD$12-17). Drinks can also be quite reasonably priced, with a beer costing around €3-4 (USD$ 3.50-5).

Transportation prices also vary depending on the city and type of transport. For example, a single bus ride in Berlin can cost around €3 (USD$3.40) or an all-day ticket for one person is around €8 (USD$9).

Which month is very cold in Germany?

December, January, and February are typically the coldest months in Germany. 

Temperatures across the country tend to hover around 5°C (41°F) during these months, although they can drop to -10°C (14°F) or below depending on where you are located. 

Does it snow in Germany at Christmas?

The answer to this question depends on where you are in Germany during the Christmas season. Generally speaking, cities near the Alps or the North Sea such as Munich and Hamburg experience more snow than other parts of the country.

In the south, towns like Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Oberstdorf are known for their ski resorts which offer plenty of snow during the cold winter months.

Best Places to visit in Germany in Winter
Best Places to Visit in Germany in Winter

In the east, cities like Berlin and Dresden tend to experience less snow than other parts of the country, although they still get some flakes during Christmas time.

Overall, your chances of experiencing a white Christmas in Germany depend largely on where you decide to spend it! If you are visiting a city, most likely you may encounter a wet Christmas instead of a white one. 

What do you wear in Germany in winter?

When visiting Germany in winter, it is essential to pack for the cold weather. A good coat, scarf, and gloves should be at the top of your list as temperatures can drop to -10°C (14°F) depending on the city. 

Sturdy shoes are also recommended due to wet and icy surfaces. It’s also important to note that most of the major attractions remain open in winter, although some may close a few hours earlier than usual due to reduced sunlight hours. Therefore, it is advised to check opening times before visiting any sites.

Other items to consider packing for Germany in winter include hats, scarves, sweaters, and thermals – these will all help keep you warm while exploring the country. 

If you plan on visiting any outdoor attractions, waterproof clothing such as snow boots and a coat may be necessary.

Must pack the following

  • Wool Coat
  • Scarves
  • Merino Wool Sweater
  • Dark Jeans or Pants and leggings
  • Insulated Puffer Jacket or Parka
  • Winter boots and warm socks

What is there to do in Germany in winter?

Here is what you can explore in Germany in winter

  • Visit traditional Christmas Markets in Stuttgart, Trier, Nuremberg 
  • Hit festive cities (and learn about their history) – Munich, Berlin
  • Go skiing and enjoy snow-related activities in the Bavarian Alps 
  • Soak in the winter landscape at the Rhine Valley and Berchtesgaden
  • Visit castles and palaces like the Neuschwanstein Castle

Should I visit Germany in winter or summer?

Both seasons have something different to offer – so it all depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for!

Winter is a great time to visit if you’re looking for something cozy and magical. From Christmas markets to snow-covered forests, this season has plenty of unique experiences to offer. 

Although it can be quite cold, the atmosphere of winter in Germany is truly special! It is also not a busy tourist season like the summers. 

Summer, on the other hand, offers a more active holiday with plenty of outdoor activities to explore. From hiking and biking to swimming and sunbathing, there are lots of things to enjoy during this season. 

Fall and spring are great as it’s a shoulder season, and there are fewer crowds in popular destinations. This time of year also brings out some unique festivals such as Oktoberfest. 

Is it worth visiting Germany in winter?

Absolutely! Regardless of whether you’re a winter sports enthusiast or just looking for some great cultural experiences, Germany in winter is worth every bit of effort.

The cities are beautifully decorated with festive lights and decorations, the Christmas markets are buzzing with visitors, and there’s plenty to do – from skiing to snowshoeing to exploring quaint Bavarian towns.

If you’re looking for a unique and memorable experience, Germany in winter is definitely the place to be. The crisp air and stunning snow-capped mountain views make for some truly breathtaking scenery, while the hot chocolate, gluhwein, and delicious local dishes will warm your heart – and of course your belly!

Essential Travel Tips for Germany in Winter 

We hope you enjoyed this list of best German cities to visit in winter, here are some quick tips to help you prepare for your travel. 

Planning your trip to Europe – If this is your first-ever trip to Europe, consider reading our Europe 101 guide.

Schengen Visa – If you require a visa to travel to Europe, most likely it is the Schengen Visa (for those belonging to the Euro Zone or EU, doesn’t include the UK). Read our guide to applying for Schengen Visa.

Travel Insurance – Don’t forget to insure your trip. Get Travel Insurance quotes from Safety Wing here.

German Cities & Germany Travel Resources 

Europe in winter – Here are seasonal European resources that might interest you

Pin: Best cities to visit in Germany in Winter

Best places to visit in Germany in winter
Best Places to Visit in Germany in Winter
Winter Germany Travel Guide

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