Spring in Germany is full of fresh green leaves, colorful blossoms and fun festivals. We’ve got lots of things to do in the spring months of March, April, and May.
Germany is a fantastic destination no matter the season. Spring has the fewest tourists, which is great for you because prices are much lower than other times of the year. Castles, museums, markets, really everything is still open, and not only are there fewer people getting in your photos, you will typically have some gorgeous flowers adorning the area.
This is one of our favorite times of year to head out and not worry about the weather too much. We know it’s going to rain, so we just plan for rain. What does that mean? We bring a rain jacket and umbrella, and split our plans into half indoors and half outdoors. Flexibility is the key. We know you will enjoy spring in Germany as much as we do!
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In this article, we’ll tell you how to start planning your trip to Germany during the spring months of March, April, and May. You’ll find out:
- German Weather in Spring
- What to Pack for Your Spring Trip
- Spring Festivals and Celebrations
- The Top Things to do in Spring
- The Best Places to go and enjoy Spring
Weather in Spring
Spring can be pretty fickle in Germany. Some years you will have plenty of sunshine days with some cool, but fresh breezes, but other times it can still be chillingly cold and it might even snow.
As you can see from the graph, no matter where you go in March, it’s still going to be pretty cold. Luckily, the temperatures climb steadily and by mid-April it’s warm enough to get outside with a light jacket. Then by May it’s getting quite warm. You’ll note that no matter which spring month it is, you are looking at quite a bit of rain in the country. How else are they going to have such beautiful flowers?
What to Pack for Spring
The key to enjoying the varied temperatures, rainy days, and some cool breezes is to cocoon or layer your clothes. Here are some items that we highly recommend you bring with you on your trip:
- The Lanbrella, a compact umbrella that comes in a variety of colors and doesn’t take up too much space in your backpack.
- Sivvan Women’s Comfort Long Sleeve T-Shirt/Underscrub Tee, which again comes in a multitude of colors and is great for layering.
- Columbia Women’s Arcadia Casual Jacket. This is one of my favorites. I like to get one size too big, then if it’s colder than I thought it would be, I wear my fleece under it. True layering.
- Columbia Women’s Benton Springs Full Zip Fleece Jacket, my favorite piece of clothing. I think I’ve worn it every season, and I love the way it fits. I never leave home without it.
- KAVANYISO Men’s 70% Merino Wool Hiking Socks Breathable Athletic Crew Thicken. These are a lifesaver when beating the tourist sidewalks of a city like Tokyo. And of course they’re great for outdoors activities as well.
- Columbia Women’s Redmond V2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, perfect for all-terrains and keeping my feet dry and warm.
Spring Festivals and Celebrations
As the temperatures get warmer, and the lime green takes over the landscape, daffodils and tulips begin to make an appearance, and those winter blues are washed away. It’s a time of renewal and reawakening, and there are a few ways to celebrate spring.
- Munich’s Starkbierfest (Strong Beer Festival) – runs the two weeks before Lent, and you can celebrate in the Paulaner am Nokherberg.
- Easter is just as festive as Christmas. The few weeks leading up to Easter Sunday you can see decorated Easter wells in Franconia, and you can find Easter markets in most cities and towns.
- April sees a few great spring fests (Frühlingsfest). These are smaller beer and family fests usually coinciding with a handicraft market, just to have tons of fun outside. Nuremberg (1st 2 weeks of April), Stuttgart (3rd week in April until the 2nd week of May), and Munich (last week of April until the 2nd week of May).
- Spargelzeit or Time for Spargel – One of my favorite seasons, is spargel time, the harvesting of white asparagus, and it’s a big deal in Germany. The season begins sometime in April and ends too quickly in June.
- May 1st – Maypole celebrations abound, especially in Bavaria.
- Erlangen Bergkirchweih – a huge beer festival set partially in some caves (last week in May).
8 Best Things to Do in Spring in Germany
The weather isn’t usually too bad in spring. There are some nice days to get outside and hike and bike and have fun, but many days will be less than perfect, so we suggest finding things to do that give you an inside as well as outside option.
Here’s are some things we think are really fun in spring:
- Check out some decorated Easter fountains and an Easter market or two.
- Join in a maypole celebration in a quaint Bavarian town.
- Take a cooking lesson. We learned how to make bratwurst.
- Visit some museums and even the Berlin Reichstag or a tour of the old Tempelhof Airport, and if you’re with the kids design your own chocolate bar at Ritter Sport.
- Go to a festival, ride the rides, try the beer, like at the Erlangen Bergkirchweih.
- Visit some castles. They are fun inside and out. Two that we love are Mespelbrunn and Wartburg, but really, there’s so many.
- Take a ride on an electric boat on the Königssee.
- Throw a dart at the Germany map and go explore some picturesque cities.
Where Are The Best Places To Visit in Germany in Spring?
Franconia – Easter Fountains
In the state of Franconia, which is somewhat in central Germany, the townspeople love to decorate their fountains for Easter. Throughout the region there are painted Easter eggs and pine boughs adorning the fountains for a few weeks leading up to Easter.
Bavaria – Maypole Celebrations
May 1st is a fun day in Bavaria. Many of the small towns and villages will have traditional Maypole celebrations. Weiden in der Oberpfalz has a great one each year. From putting the pole up to dancing with ribbons around the pole, it’s a lot of fun.
Nuremberg – Make Bratwurst
Cooking lessons are a lot of fun and really give you an insight into the culture. We loved spending the day making bratwurst and then eating it in a myriad of ways at a truly inspirational butcher in Nuremberg.
Berlin – Some Great Indoor Activities
Berlin is full of things to do where you don’t have to face the cooler or rainy weather. We really enjoy all the museums on Museum Island, such as the Pergammon. There are so many museums to choose from you’ll never have to get wet. And if you are interested in the Cold War, a tour of Tempelhof is a must.
Other things we really enjoy indoors in Berlin are going to the Ritter Sport outlet and visiting the Reichstag. At Ritter Sport we love designing some chocolate bars, then going up to the café to see their newest foodie creation. The Reichstag is super cool, innovative, and architecturally fascinating for a government building.
Erlangen – Go to a Beer Fest
Jim and I love a good beer fest, and one of our favorites is held at the end of May in Erlangen. One of the coolest things about this fest is that all the breweries have stored their beers in caves. As the festival took hold, they then started selling the beer out of the caves for the beginning of summer. Of course there’s everything a good beer fest has, good food and music, and a sense of camaraderie as well. It’s a lot of fun.
by Hannah and Adam of Getting Stamped
Germany is the perfect place to visit during the spring. The amount of tourists is nothing compared to the summer months and with that comes lower hotel prices. We love visiting all the famous castles in Germany and one of our favorites is Lichtenstein Castle in the Echaz Valley. Be careful not to get it mixed up with the beautiful country of Liechtenstein and its castles.
This gorgeous Gothic-style castle has incredible views of the valley and town below. The castle was built in 1840 but was damaged during World War II and has since been restored. You can still go inside the castle but you’ll have to purchase a guided tour for €8 to do so.
If you don’t want to go on the tour you can enter the castle courtyard for only €2. Before the entrance to the castle, there is also a little restaurant and Biergarten that we suggest stopping by. Make sure to check their hours as they have seasonal hours. The castle is open year round but only daily April through November.
by Jessica of Independent Travel Cats
Germany has a lot of castles, but I think my favorite so far is definitely Burg Eltz. This medieval castle is only open to the public from about April to October each year. Spring is a great time to visit Burg Eltz for a few reasons. First, it is not normally too crowded in the Spring months as summer is the castle’s busiest time of year.
Spring is also a nice time to visit because the weather is normally temperate and it is not usually too cold or too hot. However, it does rain fairly often this time of year in Germany so I’d pack a rainjacket or umbrella.
This season also means the leaves on the trees are growing back and the flowers are starting to bloom, which gives an extra incentive for exploring the pretty forested area around the castle. You can arrive at the castle a number of ways (e.g., by car, bus, etc.) but you can also get there by taking a short well-signed hike from Moselkern (see our post for tips of the points where you can pick up the trail) which allows you to enjoy either a 40 minute or 1.5 hour walk through a wooded area via a path that leads to the castle.
This is a pleasant walk in the Spring or Summer months, although do be prepared for some mud along the trail. Spring is also a nice time to enjoy some of the surrounding towns and villages along the Mosel Valley as most businesses are open but the summer crowds have not yet arrived.
by Tilly of Travel Junkie Girl
Easily Germany’s most beautiful Alpine lake, Königssee is nestled in the far south-east corner of Germany near the town of Berchtesgaden and surrounded on three sides by Austria. It’s a fabulous place to visit in mid-late spring ahead of the summer crowds.
You explore Königssee from the water as the mountains rise dramatically from the edges, so the only way of reaching the far end of the lake is by boat. Aim to start exploring early in the day so you have time to stop at the beautiful church of St Bartholomä half way down the lake and then again at Salet to walk the short distance to the dazzling crystal waters of Obersee.
Fully enclosed by jagged peaks, you’ll experience some superb mountain reflections on this lake. The ferry’s summer timetable starts on the 21st April with boats running to Salet from 9am.
From the village of Königssee you can take a cable car up Jenner Mountain for some epic views of the lake and neighbouring peaks or head to nearby Obersalzburg to catch the mountain bus to Kehlsteinhaus, Hitler’s famed ‘Eagle’s Nest’ mountain retreat. The latter is only open from mid May due to snow.
Rüdesheim am Rhein
by Rohan of Travels of a Bookpacker
Rüdesheim am Rhein is a picturesque little German town and the perfect spot for a spring getaway. Rüdesheim is famous for its Riesling wine and the town is surrounded by vineyards. After a day out wandering, you can relax with a traditional German meal and a glass of the region’s finest wine!
In the old town you’ll find traditional German houses as well as many small shops, restaurants and museums. Drosselgasser is the most famous street, a pedestrianised cobble-stone street lined with hanging signs and truss housing.
As well as strolling the quaint streets of the old town, you can also take the cable car to the Niederwald monument and enjoy the spectacular views over the old town and the Rhein river. From the monument, there are several walking paths which take you through peaceful forests to viewpoints over the river as well as some castle ruins.
Rüdesheim is a great location for a weekend break and is close to Frankfurt and Cologne. For an excellent meal, great wine and a comfy bed for the night check out Weingut Magdalenenhof.
by Eric of Penguin and Pia
As a port city, Hamburg is a wonderful destination to visit in the spring. One of your first stops should be the harbour where you’ll be able to see the numerous ships and smaller boats that call the harbour home.
The waterfront is lined with shops and restaurants and you’ll have a great vantage point to photograph the Elbphilharmonie. If you’re lucky to catch a warmer day, it’s a great spot to sit outside and enjoy a drink or bite to eat.
Only a short walk away you’ll find the famous warehouse district – also called Speicherstadt. These red brick factory buildings and iron bridges are an iconic part of Hamburg’s history.
If you wander through the city centre, you can’t miss the beautiful town hall and the numerous vendors lining its square – perfect for grabbing a snack (read: currywurst) and enjoying the buzzing atmosphere.
Finally, if you want to get a better view of the city and work off those calories, you should climb the tower at St. Michaelis Church. Whatever you end up doing, you’ll surely enjoy your spring wander in Hamburg.
by Sofie of Wonderful Wanderings
Münster in Western Germany is a great city to visit in Spring as it’s located by the Aasee, a large lake around which you can cycle and walk, but it also offers water activities like swimming and sailing.
In April, the Spring Fair takes place in the city. It’s Münster’s biggest carnival and draws over a million visitors every year. If you rather keep things a bit calmer, skip the carnival and take a stroll around the old town on a weekday. There are plenty of medieval houses and other monuments to admire.
The port area is a fun place to go for a drink. Once a goods shipment center, it’s now the place to be for creatives, art lovers and foodies. If you want to watch your budget a bit, just get a picnic and sit down on one of the blocks and benches lined along the waterside. And if you have a car, a visit to one of the many stately houses with beautiful gardens around Münster is highly recommended.
by Sarah and Justin at Travel Breathe Repeat
Do you want everything a pretty German city has to offer without hoards of tourists? Go to Mainz! It’s a bit off the beaten tourist track, but the city has so much to offer all kinds of travelers. History lover?
Mainz has Roman ruins, a top-notch archaeology museum, and a museum dedicated to the inventor, Johannes Gutenberg. Is art more your thing? At St. Stephen’s Church in Mainz, there are unique blue stained glass windows created by artist Marc Chagall.
Enjoy fine wine? Mainz is the largest wine district in Germany and is especially known for white varieties like Riesling. Like walking around delightful old towns? Mainz has one of the most picturesque, complete with half-timbered houses.
And last but certainly not least, Mainz is a great starting point for a Rhine River cruise, which would be especially lovely in sunny Spring weather.
Located just 30 minutes from Frankfurt Airport, Mainz is easy to get to and should definitely be on your German travel itinerary this Spring.
by Lauren of The Down Lo
Munich is great in spring because it is the perfect base to experience the best Bavaria has to offer. The city is unique in that you can both ski or surf in the same season, and the weather is mild enough to hike to Germany’s incredible castles.
Neuschwanstein is only an hour and a half away by car, which is perfect for a day trip, but if you want to get in a last powder day or two on the slopes, take the train a few hours south to Zugspitze. The view from Germany’s highest peak is incredible and you can also pop over to the Austria side for a quick visit.
In the city, hit the waves at Eisbach, a small channel on the river, which runs through Munich’s central park. When you’re ready for a pick me up, head to Marienplatz to sample local delicacies at the outdoor market and then treat yourself to a beer crawl hopping between the countless pubs and breweries.
by Randi and Michael of Just a Pack
Saxon Switzerland National Park is located in the Saxon region of Germany, about an hour’s drive from Dresden, on the Czech border.Nearly 100 km² in size, the massive national park is an excellent spring hiking destination in Germany. Lush forests, impressive sandstone mountains, and the Elbe river are among the main attractions.
However, a massive man-made bridge called the Bastei is the star of this national park. The stunning bridge was built in 1851 and links several massive rock formations together, which visitors can walk across.
It serves no defensive or commercial purpose, and existed solely for people to bask in the intimidating beauty of the region. Not much was done by way of tourism back in those days, so this stunning bridge was well ahead of its time.
If you’re seeking some of Germany’s most stunning nature and impressive man-made feats this spring, Saxon Switzerland National Park will not disappoint.
by Margherita of The Crowded Planet
After all the years in Germany I cannot say I have seen many places as beautiful as this one!
There are many cities in Germany that are especially wonderful in Spring, and I think Dresden is definitely one of them. The town can be bitterly cold in winter, and boiling hot in summer, but in spring the temperature is just right – and if you’re lucky enough to have sunshine, Dresden will look just wonderful! If you’re wondering what to do in Dresden, my answer would be… where do I start?
You can visit the charming Altstadt, the ‘Old City’ reconstructed exactly as it was after being bombed to the ground at the end of WW2. Or you can opt to base yourself in artsy Neustadt, home to great street art, independent coffee shops and craft beer bars – if you’re visiting in June, don’t miss the colourful three-day Neustadt Festival, in memories of Neustadt’s time as a ‘micronation’ in the 1990s.
If you’re visiting Dresden in spring, it’s also the perfect time to hike Saxon Switzerland, a perfect day out from the city!
by Andrew and Emily of Along Dusty Roads
After months spent hidden beneath layers of blankets and running from the cold, spring offers up the opportunity to venture once more outside – and if you’re heading to Germany, Dusseldorf is the perfect city to explore!
In the beautiful old town, the cobble-stone streets become alive with the footfall of the first tourists and the old beer breweries for which the city is famous begin their brisk trade – it’s often even warm enough to enjoy your first taste of altbier in the sun.
It wouldn’t be spring however, without the bloom. Venture to one of the city’s several large parks to enjoy the vast open spaces, transformed with color under carpets of daffodils and bluebells.
Or, for those who have always had a dream to visit Japan during cherry blossom season, the huge Japanese population in Dusseldorf (Europe’s second largest) means that in many areas, the trees are full of pink. Be sure to head to EKO-Haus for the largest collection.
by Stuart of Go Eat Do
If you enjoy history then the city of Nuremberg is a great place to spend a couple of days in the springtime.
For impressive views over the city head up the 13th-century Sinnwell Tower at the Imperial Castle. Dusk is one of the best times of day for an atmospheric walk along the city walls with views of the illuminated fortress.
To dine on traditional German cuisine and sup regional wine, step inside the Heilig-Geist-Spital, which was built as a hospital in medieval times. The building juts out over the River Pegnitz, making it one of Nuremberg’s most photographed buildings.
Infamously, Nuremberg was the location for Nazi Party rallies of the 1930s. On bright spring days the expansive rally grounds can be a thought-provoking place to stroll. Triumph of the Will, the propaganda movie directed by Leni Reifenstahl, celebrates the 1934 gathering. The tribune, from where Adolf Hitler delivered his speeches, still stands.
For insights into the rise and horrors perpetrated by the Nazi regime, visit the museums at the Documentation Center and the courthouse where post-war trials were held.
After the latter, why not stop by the nearby Lederer beer garden for refreshment?
by Kathryn of Travel with Kat
Bamberg is a picturesque town in Upper Franconia on the river Regnitz. It’s a fabulous place to explore on foot in the springtime once the cold winter weather is over.
Don’t miss attractions include the Old Town Hall, a beautiful building in the centre of the river, Bamberg Cathedral of St. Peter and St. George, which dates back to the 11th century and is one Germany’s most famous cathedrals, and Little Venice, a row of quaint half-timbered houses on the river bank which were once the homes of the town’s fishermen.
They are best viewed from Am Leinritt on the opposite bank of the river. These are just a few of the staggering 2,000 or so buildings in Bamberg deemed worthy of UNESCO World Heritage status.
Bamberg, however, isn’t just famous for these wonderful historic buildings, it is also well-known for its fabulous smoked beer. I was told it was an acquired taste but I loved it straight away. Bamberg’s smoky bacon flavour beer makes the perfect accompaniment to traditional German sausage, sauerkraut and mashed potato.
by Wendy of World Wide Wendy
If your heading to Germany in spring, I can highly recommend a stopover in Baden-Baden.
It’s a quiet, charming town in the neighbourhood of Stuttgart. The place has many beautiful hotels housed in historic buildings. We stayed in Brenners Park Hotel & Spa, part of the Leading Hotels of the World. The hotel garden lays along a small river and the Lichtentaler Allee. Perfect for a romantic stroll with your beloved one.
Baden-Baden is famous for its historical Roman bathhouse. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon. In case you like a more modern spa, they built a brand new one across the street. It also has one of the most beautiful casino’s in Europe. Take the 40-minute tour and enjoy the luxury of former days. On top of that you can eat the best pastries ever at Café König.
Even though spring is low-season for tourists, there is still plenty to do. We always look forward to the flowers, Easter markets, May Day celebrations, wandering through cities with great museums. We like getting a good mix of indoor and outdoor activities. Take advantage of those lower airline and hotel prices, and start planning a spring trip to Germany.
Which of these wonderful places do you want to visit in Germany in spring?
Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.