Do you want to know what to wear in Germany in Winter? Then you have come to the right place. So whether you are going to the cities like Berlin, Munich or Hamburg or heading to the countryside or visiting one of the country’s many Christmas markets we will tell you exactly what you should pack for Germany in December, January and February.
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Weather in Germany in Winter (December, January and February)
Winter in Germany is classified as December, January and February. And as you would expect from any European country in Winter, Germany can get quite cold in Winter. But how cold is it?
How cold is Germany in Winter?
Generally speaking the average temperatures in Germany in Winter range from -5°C/23°F to 5°C/41°F. However if really does depend on the region you are traveling to and the month of travel to how cold it actually is.
However you should always be prepared for some ice and icy conditions if you are visiting Germany in Winter as the average lows regularly drop below zero.
And typically speaking Bavaria, home to Munich tends to be one of the coldest cities in the country but obviously you should expect colder and snowier weather if you are heading into one of the more mountainous areas.
How rainy is in Germany in Winter?
So now you know the temperatures you can expect in Germany in Winter, we will turn our attention to the rainfall.
If you are traveling to Germany in Winter you can expect anywhere between 10-15 days of rain with February usually, though not always, being the driest of the Winter months.
Does it snow in Germany in Winter?
As the temperatures in Germany in Winter hover around freezing, you can indeed get snow. However how deep it is and when it fall depends on the month and area of travel.
Bavaria, whose capital city is Munich, is the state that usually gets the most snowfall. But if you are visiting the mountainous areas or higher ground can see plenty of snowfall.
Other cities however such as Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg can also see snow but it will be less. And there is no guarantee of a white Christmas in Germany.
Note: For more specific guidance on what to wear in Germany in Winter check out our regional guides:
- What to wear in Berlin in Winter.
- What to wear in Frankfurt in Winter
- What to wear in Hamburg in Winter
- what to Wear in Munich in Winter,
- What to wear in Germany in Spring and
- What to wear in Germany in Fall.
Note: we always recommend checking the forecast at your destination(s) 7 days out from travel to make sure there are no expected weather fronts i.e. heatwaves or cold snaps.
And if your trip takes in neighbouring countries be sure to check out our other European Winter guides:
How do local people dress in Germany in Winter?
Locals in Germany know how to rock a Winter Capsule Wardrobe and they know that layers are key to any outfit at this time of year.
Generally speaking local Germans tend to dress practically in Winter. So if you want to dress like locals in Germany you should prioritise dressing for the weather before concerning yourself with fashion.
What to Wear in Germany in Winter
When looking at what to pack for Germany in Winter, layers are going to be your best friend no matter whether you are traveling in December, January and February.
We always recommend not overpacking when traveling however this can prove trickier in Winter due to the layers required. For tips on how to pack light in Winter check out our guides on the 54321 packing method and the sudoku packing method here.
What to Wear in Germany in Winter for Women
A coat is my number one pick for any Germany Winter packing list. While a smart coat can be nice, we recommend packing a more practical coat to fit in with the locals and to cope with the weather.
For this reason we recommend packing something that is insulated for when the temperatures drop below freezing, and has some water resistance for coping with both snow and rain.
Some of our favorite brands of coats for Iceland include:
Hat, Scarf and Gloves
Winter accessories are a must for Germany in Winter, especially December. Again you will be doing lots of outdoor activities and as the Christmas markets are in full swing, you are likely to be outdoors at night too which adds to the chill in the air.
I would recommend taking with you a matching scarf and gloves set that match your winter coat to finish off the look. But be sure to get gloves that are touch screen compatible so as you are likely to be taking lots of photographs.
Depending on where you are traveling to in Germany and what activities you are doing once you get there will depend on what type of trousers you require.
For instance if you plan on going in hiking in places such as the Mosel Valley or into the Alps we recommend taking either walking trousers, ski trousers or some thicker lined leggings depending on your itinerary.
For cities we recommend a combination of thicker trousers such as jeans, cordouroy trousers or even some thick wool pants.
Jeans are perfect for sightseeing during the day. I would recommend picking smarter jeans such as black jeans or dark blue jeans that are more fitted or skinny jeans however you will see all sorts of styles of the streets of Germany. So it is most important that you feel comfortable.
If you want a smarter pant then we love a regular black pant (we love the Athleta Brooklyn ankle pant for travel) or a thick wool pant.
Skirts and Dresses
Germany in Winter, is probably too cold to be wearing dresses and skirts for sightseeing. However I personally like to change into a dress for dinner.
As the nights can be very cold, I recommend wearing a sweater dress or a jumper dress, paired with thick tights and boots with a good sole that can cope if there is ice on the ground.
However as Germany is quite a liberal and multicultural place you can wear the length of dress you feel most comfortable in.
A loose blouse works for the evenings or days layered with a cardigan or sweater.
T Shirts are a great base for German cities in Winter. T Shirts that are plain or are lightly patterned are easier to make work as part of a capsule wardrobe. However graphic or slogan t shirts won’t be out of place on the streets of the major cities in Germany.
For Germany in Winter I would pack layers such as cardigans, hoodies and sweaters.
Hoodies are a great casual top layer for sightseeing in the day at places such as museums and galleries. However I like to have something smarter for evenings.
I personally never travel in Winter without a merino wool sweater. Merino wool is one of my favorite fabrics to include in a Winter capsule wardrobe. That is because it provides extra warmth as they are an insulating fabric but is also compact unlike a thick knit. Therefore it is easy to pack and doesn’t take up a lot of space in your case.
It doesn’t matter where I am traveling to in Europe a pashmina is always on my packing list. A pashmina can be used as a scarf or lovely accessory but can double up as an added extra layer.
For those traveling to Germany at Christmas, and attending the Christmas markets we recommend packing a thick pashmina.
For those traveling to Germany in Winter we recommend packing thicker, flannel pjs.
Whether you need a thermal base layer really depends on your planned itinerary and how much you feel the cold. Personally I feel the cold very easily, so I always wear some merino wool thermals for going to German Christmas Markets in the evening. However my husband would never do this.
You may also need thermals if you plan to go hiking in Germany in Winter.
Underwear and Socks
Goes without saying. Sneaker socks are a good way of reducing sweat and odour in your shoe. If you plan on spending outside either hiking or visiting Christmas Markets then we recommend packing either thicker hiking socks or thermal socks such as those made of merino wool.
What to pack for Germany in Winter for Men
The packing list for men is quite similar as the ladies packing list for Germany in Winter and we recommend packing:
A practical warm coat with some insulation as well as being water and win resistant is a good idea for Germany in Winter.
T Shirts and Shirts
A mix of long and short sleeve t shirts is a good idea, as well as a button down shirt for fancier restaurants.
Jeans are great for sightseeing in Winter. You may want to add a smarter pair of chinos or smart wool trousers to the packing list too for nights out and fancier dinners.
A hoodie, jumper and sweater alongside the jacket are the perfect layers for 7 days in Germany.
Underwear, Socks and Pjs
Including thicker socks and potentially some thermals if you feel the cold.
What to wear in Germany in December Considerations
Although there is definite overlap between what to wear throughout the Winter months in Germany, there are a few considerations you may want to take into account depending on the month you are traveling.
One of the highlights of visiting Germany in December is visiting the countries many Christmas markets. My personal favorite is the Munich Christmas market. However if you are traveling with children then the Nuremberg Christmas market is a great pick.
If you are wondering what to wear to Christmas markets in German, then my top tip is to have lots of layers and be prepared for the cold. The temperatures in Germany hovering around freezing in December, but it can drop considerably cooler at night. Therefore you will want a thick coat as well as layers. And if you like me feel the cold you may also want to pack some thermals.
What to wear in Germany in January
January tends to be the coldest month in Germany along with December. Therefore you will still want to the same packing list including a thick winter coat, layers including a sweater / jumpers, warm trousers and if you plan to be outside lots you may also want some thermals.
What to wear in Germany in February
Out of all of the Winter months in Germany, February tends to be slightly warmer however this isn’t always the case. I would stick to the same packing list of a thick winter coat, layers including a sweater / jumpers and warm trousers for February. However you can probably leave the thermals at home unless you are in the mountains or plan to do lots of hikes etc.
Best Shoes for Germany in Winter
Ankle boots are my number one pick for Germany in Winter. They are easier to pack than knee high boots and if you select the right pair are waterproof and come with good soles.
To cope with the likely snow and ice, we recommend picking something like a Chelsea boot or Dr Martens with a thick sole with good grip.
Note: hiking boots are only really necessary if you plan on going on hikes outside of the city.
What to pack for Germany in Winter (Non Clothing)
- Crossbody Bag – unfortunately any tourist site attracts pickpockets and Germany is no different. Protect your belongings by having a crossbody bag with lots of zips.
- Backpack – for storing items on your day trips.
- Travel adaptor
- Power Pack / battery packs
- Sun screen
- Lipbalm –
- Compact Umbrella
- Travel First Aid Kit
- Blister plasters
- Toiletries – for our essential toiletries packing list click here.
How to dress in Germany in Winter for Special Events
The main special event in Germany in Winter is the Christmas Markets. The German Christmas markets usually start in November but run up until Christmas Eve.
What do you wear to Christmas markets in Germany?
Generally speaking you can wear your normal sightseeing outfit to go to the Christmas Markets. However just be sure to have plenty of layers, a good thick coat which is wind and water resistance and of course a pair of boots that can cope with rain and ice.
Other than this there are no special events in Germany in Winter that requires special packing requirements.
Germany Winter Packing List
So just to recap here is our complete list of what to add to your Germany Winter Packing List
- Waterproof and Wind resistant Coat or jacket
- Scarf, Gloves, Hat and ear muffs
- Thermal base layers – preferably merino wool (optional)
- T shirts
- Thicker weight trousers such as jeans, woolen trousers or corduroy trousers.
- Merino Wool Themeral socks
- T shirts
- Layers such as sweaters, fleeces, jumpers and hoodies
- Warm Nightwear
- Ankle Boots with a good sole for icy conditions.
- Medication and Documentation
- Back Pack
- Travel Adaptor
- Battery Pack
- Travel first aid kit including blister plasters
- Lip Balm
FAQs About Germany in Winter
Can you wear jeans in Germany in Winter?
You can absolutely wear jeans in Germany in Winter. In fact they are an essential on any Germany Winter packing list for cities.
Have you been to Germany in Winter? What did you wear? We would love you to tell us in the comments below!