I’ve traveled to Germany twice. The first trip was during May, typically considered a fantastic time to visit Germany. The weather was warm but not hot, and tourist attractions were busy but not overwhelmed. For this trip, I’m spending November here, dividing my time between Dresden and Berlin. And I have to admit, I’m completely blown away by how beautiful it is to be in Germany in autumn! Here are my favorite reasons that it has been so special to travel to Germany in fall.
Road Trips are More Spectacular with Fall Foilage
I’ve done my fair share of traveling for fall foliage. I’ve road tripped through the New England, famed for its spectacular colorful autumn displays. Last year, I spent autumn in Ireland, Romania, and Bulgaria, which all have wonderful fall foliage, especially when you get to the mountains in the Balkans. But Germany in fall? It’s my favorite so far.
Driving through Saxony, it seemed like the entire countryside was dressed in bright orange and yellow. I’ve never seen leaves this deeply hued anywhere in the world.
And the Towns and Cities are Full of Bright Red Ivy
While the trees are seasonally decorated, it’s the red and orange ivy that really takes my breath away. It’s everywhere, turning simple homes into cozy cottages and stately buildings into works of art.
Since my favorite look is red glasses and red lipstick, I’ve had so much fun taking silly selfies in front of these gorgeous red ivy walls. Maybe a little too much fun.
German Cuisine Simply Tastes Better When It’s Cold Out
German food is hearty! It’s meats and potatoes, things made of cabbage, and things that are covered in sauces and gravies. Desserts are fantastically decadent cakes and tortes. These are the kind of foods that warm you right up after a day of sightseeing in the cold!
And While There are Always Tourists, There are Much Fewer in Germany in Fall
Everywhere I’ve been so far, the crowds have been thin or non-existent. A tour that is normally fully booked had only two other people on it. I’ve been on tours by myself, and I’ve been the only person in a small museum. Wherever the crowds typically go, I’ve seen only a handful of people. I love being able to enjoy and photograph some of Germany’s most beautiful places without having to fight through throngs of tourists!
You Can Dress More Fashionably Since You Won’t Be Sweating All the Time
I love wearing dresses and scarves, but during the summertime, Europe is simply too hot. I love knowing I can do my makeup and it will actually stay on my face instead of sweating right off. And while I absolutely love my travel sandals, it’s fun to wear actual shoes and dresses and not feel uncomfortably hot.
It’s More Rewarding to Visit the Museums When You’re Escaping the Cold
I love visiting museums, but sometimes it’s hard to tear myself away from wandering beautiful city streets. However, I’ve found that I’m delighted to get a little break from the cold and dive into a museum or two in between my regular walking explorations. And bonus, there aren’t very many other people in them. Sometimes I’m even in a museum completely alone!
And You Can Enjoy the Opera or Ballet Since They’re In Season
If you come to Dresden in August and want to see an opera, too bad. It’s out of season. However, you can go to a show in the autumn when the new season begins. Combine a night at the opera with an after show torte, and I’m basically in heaven.
You Can Find Great Off-Season Bargains
When the travel season ends, so do the high prices. You can snag better deals on hotels, car rentals, and sometimes even a better price on tours. While I would never suggest traveling offseason to somewhere where the offseason is unpleasant (or closed down) simply for better prices, if you’re traveling somewhere wonderful in the off-season, then the deals are an awesome bonus.
And You Can Enjoy that the Nightlife Starts Earlier
If you want to go out, but you also don’t want to stay out too late, then go after the time change. It’s dark right now around 5 pm, so no one will blame you if your evening starts closer to 8 pm than midnight. Germany is famous for its nightlife, and while not all bars or clubs open early, you can pretty much always find somewhere fun to get started.
Finally, Towards the End of Autumn, Germany’s Famous Christmas Markets Open
I haven’t been to a Christmas Market here yet, but I’ve been to many in Vienna, Bratislava, and Sofia. I have the start date for Germany’s metaphorically circled on my calendar. While I was in Dresden, I got to see them already starting to set them up.
Have you traveled to Germany in autumn? Are you planning a trip to Germany in fall and looking for travel tips? Leave your best Germany autumn travel tips and any questions you have below!
More Germany Travel Resources
- What to Pack for Germany
- 21 Things to Know Before Traveling to Germany: Tips & Advice
- Exploring Wartime Berlin (Podcast Episode)
- 13 Perfect Berlin Souvenirs & Gifts Plus Berlin Shopping Tips
- 27 Pictures of Dresden to Inspire Your German Wanderlust
- 13 Quirky & Enchanting Things to Do in Dresden Neustadt
- 17 of the Most Instagrammable Places in Dresden, Germany
- How to Get from Berlin to Dresden on the Cheap & Hassle-Free
- How to Get from Dresden to Berlin
- The Best & Worst Dresden Tours
- Dresden Street Art: 15 Famous Pieces and Offbeat Gems
- The 50 Most Beautiful Castles in the World
- 11 Stunning Catholic Monasteries
5 Things to Pack for the Trip to Germany in Autumn
Planning a trip to Germany? Make sure you don’t forget these!
- The Lonely Planet Germany guidebook for your trip. I’ve been looking for a hard copy here since I don’t like getting stuff delivered to me in Bulgaria, and I can’t find one. Definitely get your guidebook ahead of time.
- Jackets since the weather can be mercurial. One day I wore sandals, the next I was happy to have my leather jacket. I have two jackets with me, a leather one for colder days and a jean jacket for when it’s just sunny but cool.
- A Camera since Germany in fall is super photogenic. I used a mix of my Nikon D810 and my Samsung8 smartphone.
- A Full Sized Travel Towel for anyone taking advantage of Germany’s plethora of good hostels. This is the best travel towel in the world, and you’ll need it if you are staying in hostels or anywhere that requires you to bring your own towel.
- Travel Insurance Policy information, because things happen on the road. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’re going to be doing any hiking, road tripping, or outdoor activities in Germany.
I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for two years, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance when participating in outdoor activities. Even in the big cities like Berlin, though, you’ll be happy when you’re able to replace your stuff if it’s lost or stolen.