Autumn is a beautiful season in Germany and traveling to Germany in fall will give you a good opportunity to experience German culture. There are lots of fall festivals in Germany that you can attend during your visit. And while fall might be sometimes not the best time to visit Germany weather-wise, it is definitely one of the best times to experience German traditions. Germany has 4 distinct seasons and every season is different in terms of weather. There is probably no best time to visit Germany that will fit everyone. The best time to travel to Germany for you will depend a lot on the activities you want to do and whether they are they dependent on the weather.
How is the weather in Germany in fall
Many people are surprised when I tell them that Germany can be quite hot in summer and temperatures like 30°C are not so rare, especially in South Germany. I know that these temperatures are still ok for most people, but if you really don’t like hot weather like me, visiting Germany in autumn could actually be a better option for you. The weather tends to be very pleasant from September to mid-October. In Germany, this period of unusually warm and sunny days between mid-September to early October is called “Altweibersommer” (Indian summer). In October the days start getting shorter and colder. November can be significantly colder than other autumn months, it rains a lot and it can even snow in late November.
Weather in Germany in September:
Average temperature: high 19-20°C/low 14°C
During Indian summer, the temperatures are usually higher than average, so sunglasses and sunscreen are still useful to pack. You might need a light jacket to keep warm at night and umbrella for light showers that are quite common in September.
Weather in Germany in October:
Average temperature: high 13-14°C/low 7-9°C
It gets cooler and feels more like autumn in October. There is still enough sunshine and not too much rain in October.
Weather in Germany in November:
Average temperature: high 8°C/low 2-4°C
November is the coldest autumn month with quite a lot of rain. Another issue with November is that there is less and less sunshine and the days become shorter and gloomy.
The best fall festivals and events in Germany
One of the best things you can do in fall in Germany is to attend different festivals. There are lots of them. From beer to wine festivals and pumpkin festivals, there is an event for everyone.
Munich and Oktoberfest
The most famous beer festival in the world takes places in Munich. The Oktoberfest 2018 will start on 22nd September and end on 7th October. If you dream to see Oktoberfest, this is the best time to visit Munich, but you need to plan your trip early.
If you are planning to visit Oktoberfest, Christina from Happy to Wander has a very detailed guide about everything you need to know about Oktoberfest.
You can easily combine a trip to Munich with a visit to Neuschwanstein – Germany’s most famous castle. Neuschwanstein is beautiful in any season, but in autumn, when the trees turn golden, it has some special charm.
Almabtrieb in Bavaria
Autumn is also the great time to explore Bavarian Alps, especially if you are into hiking. To experience some customs, attend some Almabtrieb festivities in Bavaria. During the Almabtrieb, the animals that spent the summer in mountain pastures are brought down into the valley, where they will spend the winter. You can see hundreds of cows, goats, and sheep decorated with flower crowns. I find it one of the most interesting things to see in Germany in fall.
The Almabtrieb events take place mostly in September and early October. See more dates for Almabtrieb in Bavaria
Beer festival in Stuttgart (Cannstatter Volksfest)
Maybe you’ve been to Munich already or want to explore the different part of Germany, but don’t want to miss the “Oktoberfest experience”. Then why not go to Stuttgart for Stuttgart Beer Festival (Cannstatter Volksfest). Some people say it is even better than Oktoberfest. Maybe because unlike Oktoberfest, this festival takes place two times a year: in fall and in spring. In autumn 2018 the dates are 28 September 2018 – 14 October 2018.
Wurstmarkt in Bad Dürkheim
Are you more a wine than a beer drinker? In the country famous for its beer, there is a surprising amount of wine festivals. Did you know that the largest wine festival in the world takes places every year in Bad Dürkheim, Germany? The festival is already 600 old and attracts more 685.000 visitors every year. In 2018 the dates are 7.- 11. and 14.- 17. September 2018.
There are also many smaller wine festivals in different wine-growing regions in Germany like Rheingau, Mosel etc.
There are also some more family-friendly festivals to attend in Germany in fall. For example, the largest pumpkin festival in the world in Ludwigsburg (near Stuttgart). The pumpkin exhibition is open for two months in September-October and some special events like pumpkin carving happen regularly.
Tag der Deutschen Einheit in Berlin
3. October is the Day of German Unity (Tag der Deutschen Einheit) that celebrates the reunification of Germany in 1990. Probably the best place to spend this day in Berlin, where the biggest celebrations take place.
Festival of lights in Berlin
Another good time to visit Berlin this autumn is during the Festival of lights. Berlin has many tourist attractions and a wonderful time to see them illuminated during the 12th Festival of Lights in 2018 (7–16 October)
Halloween in Europa Park
Halloween has become popular in Germany in the last years. One of the best places to visit for Halloween is the largest amusement park in Germany – Europa Park. Special Halloween events take place in the period between 22nd Sep – 4th Nov 2018. Halloween decorations turn Europa Park into a rather pretty than a scary place. But if you are looking for something really scary, Horror nights in Europa Park are must-do for all horror fans.
Christmas markets in late November
November weather in Germany tends can be really annoying. The days are gray, it is cold and rains frequently. This time is best for cultural trips and indoor activities. On the positive note, Christmas markets in many cities start in the last week of November, so you don’t have to wait till December to visit German Christmas markets.
Beautiful places to visit in Germany in autumn
Freiburg and the Black Forest
The Black Forest is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Germany. Most tourists visit in summer and winter, but early autumn is also a perfect time to travel to the Black Forest. Keep in mind that first week of September is still summer holiday in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, so you might want to book your accommodation in advance if you plan to visit that time. I think I can’t really describe how beautiful Black forest is when the leaves change the colors. Here is a short video form Black forest tourism to inspire you to visit the Black Forest in fall.
Doesn’t it look like straight out of fairytales? Perfect time for a Fairy Tale Tour!
And by the way, like in Bavarian Alps, the Almabtrieb festivities also take place in the Black Forest.
Freiburg, the sunniest city in Germany, is often called the gateway to the Black Forest. You can explore Freiburg on the day trip or make it your base and travel to the Black Forest, France or Switzerland from Freiburg.
Saxon Switzerland National Park
This national park has one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe and is especially gorgeous when the leaves turn red and yellow. Saxon Switzerland National Park is great for hiking if you want to stay a couple of days in the are. But it is also an easy day trip from Dresden if you just want to see the Bastei bridge.
This was just a short list of ideas for a trip to Germany in fall. I am sure there are more amazing things to do and places to visit in Germany in autumn. Let me know in the comments if you have some ideas!