The best time to visit Munich

Want to hang in outdoor beer gardens or hit up the slopes? Find out the best time of year to do all of that and more.
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No matter the weather, Munich has great things to do both indoors and out, from park Frisbee games to getting cozy over afternoon tea. Springtime boasts beautiful flowers and Frühlingsfest (a much more laid-back version of Oktoberfest), summer offers perfect outdoor activity weather for hiking, biking and beer gardens, autumn shows off amazing foliage and possibly the city’s best weather, and winter allows for winter sports and getting into holiday spirit.

When to visit Munich

Munich, Germany
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Davide Mainardi

Spring

A feast for the senses awaits during springtime in Munich. On the culinary side, the legendary Bavarian asparagus season --short and beloved-- kicks off. The flowers and trees burst into bloom, outdoor flea markets resume, and some fun festivals like Wannda (an arts festival with a circus tent) pop up around this time of year. In terms of weather, spring can be very hit-or-miss. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a light breeze and just enough sunshine to make being outside feel perfect, or you may end up with weeks of rain or even the tail end of a snowy winter.

Munich, Germany

Summer

Summer is the perfect time to engage in some of Munich locals’ favorite pursuits: beer gardens, barbecuing, swimming (in lakes, rivers and public pools) and hiking in the nearby pre-Alps or even more local treks right around the Munich suburbs, like the popular Andechs monastery hike (easily accessed by S-Bahn). You’ll see locals spending time on the Isar river banks or picnicking in the parks, and outdoor music and film festivals abound. The weather is usually characterized by blue skies and puffy white clouds, just like the colors on the Bavarian flag. Be warned, all of this comes at a price: Rates for accommodation can be high in summer.

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Munich, Germany

Autumn

Probably the most famed season in Munich thanks to Oktoberfest, autumn is hard to beat. The trees burst into magical colors, the weather is often either just as warm or warmer than summertime (at least in September) and families can be seen strolling the English Garden or riding their bikes through the falling leaves. If you visit during Oktoberfest, be prepared for the most expensive accommodation and travel costs possible in Munich due to the high demand. If you’re not interested in Oktoberfest, early-to-mid September or mid-October are also great times of year to see the city. Weather usually starts getting chilly in late October.

Munich, Germany

Winter

If you’re willing to brave the cold, Munich can be charming and magical in wintertime, with its famed Christmas markets throughout the city that offer Gluhwein (mulled wine), gingerbread and other yummy treats. If you’re into outdoor winter sports, there are spots around the city for cross-country skiing and sledding, and downhill skiing is an easy train ride away from the central train station. Fasching (Carnival) offers parades and costume balls. Accommodation is often at its lowest during winter, particularly in November and late January through February. However, weather is also very hit-or-miss in winter: you might get perfect white snow, or you might get freezing temperatures and slushy rain.

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