“Oktoberfest” is far and away the word most associated with Munich, but a percentage of the city’s 13 million annual tourists also visit Munich during other times of the year. In fact, Munich boasts robust tourist arrivals year-round, with more than 800,000 overnight stays even in “slow” months like January and February.
To understand why people flock to Munich year-round, you needn’t look further than the city’s weather. Owing to its location in southern Germany in the foothills of the Alps, Munich is the embodiment of the phrase “four seasons.” Here are a few ideas about what to do in Munich, no matter which time of year you visit.
Winter in Munich
With an average winter temperature right around the freezing mark, it isn’t surprising that Munich gets a lot of snow during the months of December, January or February. If you visit Munich during winter, take full advantage of the snow at nearby ski resorts such as Kitzbuhel, Söll or Ellmau.
Or, stay in the city center and marvel at how the powdery white stuff highlights Munich’s old world charm. You can find some of the best deals on Munich hotels during the winter months, adding to the appeal of taking a trip during this season.
Spring in Munich
As is the case throughout much of Europe, it can take until mid or even late April until Munich’s spring is finally sprung, but once that happens, you might feel like you’ve walked into a scene from the Sound of Music. Head to the Alps and substitute a pair of hiking boots for skis, or enjoy the lush Englischer Garten, in the city center, which will just be getting into full bloom around this time.
Summer in Munich
You wouldn’t believe it during winter, but Munich can get very hot in the summer – recent summers have seen temperatures soar close to 100ºF. Munich might be landlocked, but swimming opportunities are still abundant, particularly at lakes in rural Bavaria such as Ammer See and Starnberger See, which are both within easy reach of Munich’s Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) by train.
Autumn in Munich
You obviously know the main answer to the question “what should I do in Munich in autumn?” – Oktoberfest! But even if you don’t like crowds, beer, or serving girls in traditional Bavarian costumes, there are plenty of reasons to visit Munich between the scalding heat of summer and the deep chill of winter.
Munich is famous for its fall colors, both within the city and in the Alps. Autumn is also a particularly appropriate time to visit nearby Dachau Concentration Camp, where the solemn change of nature from life to death mirrors the sad truth about what happened there.
As you can see, however, it doesn’t really matter when you visit Munich, so long as your only aim is to enjoy yourself. Unless you’re married to a particular event or season, there’s always a reason to love Munich, during all four seasons, and all 365 days of the year!