Germany in January: Weather, Tips & Festivals

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An authentic experience awaits you in Germany in January. With the days getting shorter and the temperature colder, this is just the perfect time to visit Germany with the cultural attractions, enjoy skiing in the Alps, and try out some warm Gluhwein. Alternatively, you can also unwind at one of the hot baths scattered across the country, from the spa town close to the French border to the historic city of Cologne.

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Germany Weather in January

Frankfurt old town with the Justitia statue in Germany.
Frankfurt can be pleasant and friendly, while the northern coastlines and southern-west districts also have a temperate climate.

January in Germany is one of the coldest times of the year. The average temperature in Berlin, the country’s capital city, is around 3°C during the day and -2°C at night. But the temperature varies based on the region you are visiting. Frankfurt can be pretty warm and welcoming, and the northern coastlines and southern-west areas also see a moderate climate. On the other hand, eastern and southern regions are much colder. Expect mild showers in towns like Bremen and Hamburg, while snowfall is common near Munich. However, Germany's weather in January offers excellent opportunities to ski, as some of Europe's major winter sporting events occur during this time.

Weather in Germany in January - Rainfall and Temperatures

Avg Daily (°C)3.3°C3.9°C3.9°C
Avg Nightly (°C)-1.1°C-1.1°C-5°C
Avg Daily (°F)NaNNaNNaN
Avg Nightly (°F)NaNNaNNaN
Avg Rainfall (mm)625252

Why Visit Germany in January

Berlin skyline with Spree river at sunset in Germany.
Take advantage of fewer crowds and explore the country at your own pace in January.
A woman skiing in the snow at Allgau alps in Bavaria in Germany.
You will love to ski during January as the resorts in Germany provide downhill ski lines and cross-country ski paths.

With the holiday season over, Germany's well-known cities and cultural attractions are calm, affordable, and uncrowded in January. Below are a few reasons you should make a trip to Germany in January.

  • Affordable rates: Travelers visiting Germany in January can benefit from the year's lowest rates as the holiday season has just ended. Make your reservations early to get the best deals on lodging, flights, and activities.
  • Fewer crowds:  January being part of the low season in Germany is a perfect time to have a less chaotic holiday experience. You will explore the country at your own pace without being disturbed by tourist crowds. Some attractions, however, can be closed for the winter.
  • Festivals: Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt, and Baden-Württemberg all observe a national holiday on the 6th of January, often known as Three Kings Day or Epiphany. During this time, you will witness youngsters posing as the Three Kings while caroling and collecting donations for charitable causes. Do not miss out on the Bavarian Sledding Championships and the famous Cologne Music Festival.
  • Ski fun: The ski season in the Alps runs from December to March. During January, countless resorts in Germany provide downhill ski lines, cross-country ski trails, sledding, and snowshoeing, as well as horse-drawn carriage excursions of castles, glaciers, and limestone gorges.

Where to Go and What to Do

Rothenburg ob der Tauber a town in Bavaria, Germany
Explore Rothenburg, a medieval old town in Germany.

Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and Frankfurt are some of the best places to visit in Germany in January. The Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, and Checkpoint Charlie will always amaze you, mainly when fewer tourists are around. In Munich, take tours of bygone churches and breweries. The city is also a perfect jumping-off point to the Bavarian Alps. Take a train through the snow-covered Alpine villages to visit Neuschwanstein Castle.

Take a trip to Hamburg down the beautiful canals and bridges, or take a harbor boat tour around the biggest port in the country. Explore Freiburg, a university town with medieval architecture, the spa town of Baden-Baden, and the enchanting Black Forest.

Admire Frankfurt's art scene while you stroll at the Stadel Museum and Goethe House and Museum. Ice-skating at the Palais Taschenberg courtyard in Dresden, soaking in Cologne’s thermal baths and a cable-car ride to and from Zugspitze are among the other popular activities travelers can enjoy while in Germany in January.

Make sure to pack warm clothes to withstand the cold weather in Germany in January. Bring a thick winter coat, a hat, wool socks, gloves, and thermal underwear. Since rainfall is fairly common, packing an umbrella or waterproof jacket is also recommended.

Despite the chilly weather, January in Germany is the perfect time to experience the distinct vibes, mesmerizing history, and the country’s interesting art and cultural scene. The country is most peaceful this month, and you will most likely find great offers that will make your trip far less expensive. Whether you explore the historic city of Berlin or the enormous Black Forest, the snow-covered tourist hotspots look magical in January.

Check out our guide on how many days to spend in Germany for more inspiration.

Other related articles:
Germany in December
Germany in February

Published by Astha Joshi, updated on November 27, 2023

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