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I get asked all the time, “When is the best time to visit Germany?” and while “February” isn’t really at the top of my list, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a BAD time to travel here. But what actually IS there to do in Germany in February? Well, you might be a little surprised at your options!
In this article, I’ll dive into several things to do in Germany in February as well as what you can expect for the weather in Germany in February (it may not be AS bad as you might think!) and why February just might be one of the best months for tourists to visit after all!
Why Visit Germany in February?
1) Cheap Flights to Germany
Historically speaking, February tends to be one of the cheapest months for flights to Germany. Therefore, if you are traveling to Germany on a budget, you can potentially score some great deals around this time.
I’ve seen flights as low as around $450 in February, which is a steal compared to the flight costs (sometimes upwards of 2 grand) in the summer!)
2) There’s Still Plenty To Do
Truth be told, I’ve bought into the German philosophy that “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing” so, I guess take the fact that I say Germany is still worth it in February with a grain of salt. But that being said, the weather actually isn’t AS bad as you might think…but more on that later.
So yeah, grab that long underwear and an umbrella but go on and get out there! But ok, I promise, I’ll include as many indoor options on this list as possible just in case you aren’t too thrilled with the idea of cold, rain on your trip. Read on for my specific suggestions on
3) It’s Off Season For Most Tourist Destinations (AKA less busy!)
If you travel to somewhere like Neuschwanstein in June, you can expect it to be absolutely swamped!!!
Planning a trip to Oktoberfest in September? Yeaaaaah….you and SIX MILLION others!
But spending a weekend in Berlin in February? You might just get to see the Berlin wall without others!
(And if you are wondering if Neuschwanstein in the winter is worth it– the short answer is yes!)
The good news is that Germany isn’t like some Europe destinations where everything just shuts down in off season. No, everything is still open and ready for tourists! The hours may vary compared to full summer days, but pretty much everything is still going to be open year-round but without as many other people!
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Germany Weather (February)
I personally find winters a bit tough, weather-wise in Germany. February weather often has me struggling. It’s not even because of the actual cold or temperatures but because starting in about December (sometimes even November) and going sometimes in through March, there are more days of gray, dreary clouds than sunshine. It can actually be a bit tough mentally.
Insider Tip: Pack your Vitamin D supplements if you are going to be visiting Germany in February
Along with the sun refusing to poke its head out comes the clouds and with the clouds comes the rain. In the Northern parts of Germany, it tends to rain a lot in February, and the further south you go, it may turn into snow. Although, I will say that in the last few years to be guaranteed snow in Germany you’ll want to head to the Alps. Here in Regensburg, we barely had enough snow last year to sweep off the sidewalk all year!
But, just how cold does it get in Germany in February? Again, that is going to vary a bit on where exactly you go, but you can expect an average Germany temperature in February to range from the mid 30s(°F) to mid 40s. So, in all honesty, it isn’t THAT cold, but add some rain to that and it can FEEL a lot colder. Be sure to pack a very warm coat that is also rainproof and have an umbrella in your day bag ready to go. Rain boots or snow boots that are wetproof are also pretty essential for a Germany February.
Things To Do In February in Germany
Karneval and Fasching
2023 Dates: Varies depending on the location for the exact events but Fasching and Karneval are from February 16th-21st, 2023
Both Karneval and Fasching (more or less the same thing- just called different things in different regions) are Germany’s equivalence of Mardi Gras. And while the Karneval “season” technically actually starts all the way back in November, the big party hits the streets (quite literally) in February.
Like most places that celebrate a Carnival Season, in Germany, it’s a time of festivities, “rule breaking” (all in good fun), indulgences, and major partying! Just about every city (and even many small towns) will have their own Karneval or Fasching where people dress up in costumes and parade around. In bigger cities, there are often gorgeous costume balls for adults.
While Mardis Gras in New Orleans gets all the attention for wild nights and raucus, Germany’s Karneval is nothing to scoff at! In fact, it is often seen as one of the best places in Europe to experience the “5th Season”
Where to go to experience Karneval:
- Cologne has one of the biggest and longest celebrations lasting almost a whole week
- The city of Braunschweig’s Karneval (they call it “Schoduvel”) dates all the way back to the late 1200s!!! (February 19, 2023 is this year’s huge parade)
- Mainz has an enormous parade every year on Rose Monday (Monday, Feb 20th 2023)
- Munich celebrates Fasching each and every year
And of course, don’t forget to indulge in all those yummy German Karneval Foods!
Ski in the Alps
February is actually my favorite time to go skiing in Germany! December and January may not have enough snow yet, but you are almost always guaranteed some great powder, especially at the higher elevations, by February.
However, everyone else likes this time to hit the slopes as well, so if you want to go skiing at some of the bigger or better ones, you’ll need to make sure you’ve booked your accommodation well in advance if you don’t want to pay the price (literally). I give my personal recommendations on where to stay and what hotels to book ahead of time in my Best Ski Resorts in Germany article. A few of my favorite locations to head to for skiing and snowboarding are:
- Garmisch and/or the Zugspitze (Bavarian Alps)
- Schliersee (Bavarian Alps)
- Winterberg (Hochsauerland)
- Feldberg (Black Forest)
Hitting the (cobblestoned) streets isn’t always the most enjoyable thing in the winter, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t put on a good face and give it a try! Getting to explore the bigger cities in February does mean being able to go to spots that are typically over run with tourists in other months and having it be slightly quieter!
The other reason why going to the bigger cities in February is a smart idea is because you know things will be open and running, unlike in some smaller villages and towns that rely on tourism, where a lot may close during downtimes. The other nice thing about city sightseeing in February is that most bigger cities are going to have a nice mixture of outdoor walking around but also inside activities that you can tuck into when it’s cold.
Some cities to go to in February:
- Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Visit the Museums
Ok, you know I am getting cabin fever when even I recommend museums!
And yeah, I guess this kind of goes hand in hand with the city exploring. But I actually do find the winter months great for ducking into the many great museums Germany has to offer. If it is raining, head into a museum! If it’s too cold, head into a museum! If you are just looking for something to do, head into a museum! I often find myself getting antsy come late February (after MONTHS of nothing but cloudy days!) and sometimes just need something…anything to get myself out of the house!!!
A few truly fantastic museums to visit in Germany are:
- Museum Island in Berlin actually isn’t just one museum, but 5 world class museums (The Pergamon is arguably the most popular)
- The Dokumentation Zentrum in Nuremberg is truly one of the best museums I’ve been to in my life. If you’ve ever wondered exactly how someone like Hitler could have taken over not just an entire country, but an entire continent, this museum answers that. This is also where the Nuremberg Trials were held.
- The Deutsches Museum in Munich is seriously uuuhmazing. Not being a big “museum person” I balked at going for years. You can spend DAYS in here and still not have seen it all. There is so much that you are sure to find a section that does interest you!
- Zwinger Palace in Dresden is stunning on the outside alone. But head inside for endless galleries, inner courtyards, antique weapons, and more
Attend the Berlinale Film Festival
2023 Dates: February 16th-26th, 2023
The annual Berlinale Film Festival is one of the largest film festivals open to the public in the world. While it originally started in 1951 to showcase the “free world” today it celebrates over 400 films a year. Who knows what celebrities you might brush elbows with here!
Zip Up to The Zugspitze
Even if you aren’t planning on strapping the skis to your feet, the Zugspitze is a surprisingly fantastic place to go, even in the winter! Because it is the highest mountain in Germany, that means that the peak is well above the clouds. I’ll never forget the first time I took a cable car up a mountain in Germany. It was raining and miserable down at the base and we just assumed it was going to be like that the whole day. But as soon as the cable car passed the clouds, we erupted into blindingly bright, beautiful, blue scenery! I could not believe my eyes!
Therefore, the Zugspitze can be a great option even on gray days in Bavaria!
Soak in The Spas
This might just be one of my favorite things to do in February in Germany! (Ok Ok, it might just be one of my favorite things to do ANY time of year! I mean, a day of wellness? YES PLEASE!) There is just something so great about dipping into the warm, thermal spring waters of a German Spa that just instantly lets all your cares and stresses and (supposedly several) ailments melt away. While a lot of people are a bit squeamish about Germans Spas and Saunas (yes, you will be nude at almost all of them), you will learn to get over that fear quickly (no, seriously, I promise!)
A few of my favorite German Spas and Saunahofs are:
Here’s exactly What You Need to Bring To a German Spa as well.
Splash at an Indoor Water Park
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t go swimming! If the idea of wearing just your birthday suit has you a bit freaked out, keep on your bathing suit and find a really fun pool to play at. Germany actually has a lot of really fantastic indoor waterparks, which is the perfect rainy, snowy, or cold day activity!
- Therme Erding (Galaxy): Therme Erding (Outside of Munich) has both the Spa/ Sauna experience as well as a family friendly HUGE water park! It’s a water paradise for all ages! Read my Therme Erding Guide here
- Tropical Islands: (Near Berlin) This enormous waterpark is actually inside an old airplane hanger!!! You’ll feel like you’ve been swept away into the Caribbean!
- Rulantica: (Rust) This is the waterpark counterpart to Europapark and is a seriously impressive and amazing indoor waterpark. I mean, it even has a full sized pirate ship inside!!!
- Badeparadies: This is the perfect place to go in the Black Forest with Kids (and kids at heart!) After all, it is literally called “Swimming Paradise!”
- CenterParcs: While Center Parcs is a fantastic family resort chain, we love going to the CenterParcs in Allgau. It’s indoor swimming complex is absolutely insane (and included in the cost of the resort!) There’s countless pools, a kiddie swim playground, tons of slides, and even a (not so lazy) river!
Ride the Majestic Harz Train Through the Snow
Is there anything more picture perfect than a black and red steam train chugga chugga chooing through snow covered mountains and evergreen trees capped in white? It seriously looks like a picture card and is such a unique (and obviously beautiful) experience!
While there are plenty of routes and lines that take you through the Harz Mountains in Central Germany on the classic steam trains, the one that most tourists love is the route that takes you to the highest mountain in Northern Germany- the Brocken. Most people will choose to stay in the towns of Nordhausen or Wernigerode and then take a day trip on the train.
If you’ve been over on my Instagram page, you can tell that I am not the typical Instagrammer. Nope, I don’t know the first thing about filters and hashtags give me serious anxiety! What you see on my page is the real deal of travel- the meltdowns of traveling with kids in Germany, what Neuschwanstein looks like sans filters, and awkward photos of my not so photogenic hubby.
However, if you ARE the ideal Instagrammer, Germany in February could actually be a dream if you love moody photos!!! With the fog, and often grey skies, you are sure to find locations that evoke all those Insta emotions!!!
A few great places to get some super #moodygrams would be at:
- Burg Eltz is THE location for foggy photos
- Devil’s Bridge
- The Black Forest
- Bastei Bridge
- Lake Eibsee
- Usedom (North Sea)
- Half Timbered Towns (like Monschau)
What is Germany Weather in February Like?
The February weather in Germany is one of the colder months of the year. You can expect temperatures to often hover somewhere near freezing during the day, and occasionally dipping below that. With that being said though, there is often not too bad of a windchill, meaning that the temperature on the thermometer is about what it will feel like outside. For me, being a (US) midwesterner, I find this to be a pretty “mild” winter and find that with enough layers and proper clothing, walking around in 40°F (4°C) is actually quite pleasant….but if you come from warmer climates, it’s easy to see why you may think it is “really freaking cold.”
Does it Snow in Germany in February?
You can expect plenty of precipitation in Germany in February. If you are more South, that will most likely come in the form of rain with occasional snow. However, when it does snow, it’s typically no more than a few inches at a time. In North Germany, this will probably be more rain than snow.
Is It Safe To Drive in Germany in February
If you are familiar with driving in inclement weather, then yes, it’s really no big deal driving in Germany, even in the winter. But yes, there can be snow and ice. Granted, if you are sticking to the Autobahn and main streets, they do a pretty good job of maintaining them quickly.
If you are renting a car, just double check that the tires are winter or all season tires. If you plan on driving into the mountains to go skiing, most places don’t require chains, but it’s best for you to double check first.
What to Wear in Germany in February?
You can follow my Winter in Germany Packing List to know exactly what to wear on your trip in February. Obviously, if you are skiing, you’ll want to throw in some snow pants. But in general you’ll need:
Packing For Your Trip To Germany in February
No matter what, you are going to want to pack layers. This is my golden rule for any Germany Packing List, no matter the season. For February, I recommend:
2 Short Sleeve Tops that can be layered underneath
3 Long Sleeve Sleeve Tops/ Sweater
Jackets/ Sweaters/ Winter Gear
1 Cardigan Sweater to Wear Over Tops
1 Weatherproof Winter Coat
Optional: I always bring a fleece jacket when traveling
Warm Gloves and Hat
2-3 pairs of pants
- For women, I recommend 1 pair of jeans, 1 nicer trousers (even a comfy jogger trouser, like this, can be dressed up or down), 1 pair of leggings
- For men: 1 pair of nicer jeans, 1 pair of trousers
1 Pair of long underwear
2-3 Pairs of Shoes
- Good walking shoes (preferably rainproof)
- Snow or rain boots
Warm socks, like Wool Socks
Obviously, don’t forget things like undergarments and what not!
5 sets of bras and underwear
5 pairs of socks
Loungewear/ PJs for the hotel
Shampoo, conditioner, and soap in travel bottles
Toothpaste and toothbrush
Perfume or aftershave if you so choose
Daily medicine you take
Travel Essentials and Documents
2 Credit Cards with no foreign transaction fees and 2 ATM cards. (I always bring 2 in case 1 isn’t working abroad for some reason)