With snowy winters, hot summers and plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to fit all seasons, Munich has something to appeal to visitors throughout the year.

Whether you want to flock to (or avoid) the city’s famous beer festival, explore the famous Christmas markets, or find the perfect sunny day things to do, here’s our guide to help you decide the right time for your visit to the Bavarian capital.

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July to August is the best time for budget travelers

High summer can mean high temperatures in Munich, but the city’s ample outdoor offerings certainly help to take the edge off. The clear waters of the Isar River are perfect for a cooling dip, while the green parks and leafy beer gardens offer plenty of shade and refreshment. Even though it's the high season, visitors will find they spend most of their time outside doing free activities, which helps to reduce costs – perfect for budget travelers. Plus most beer gardens allow you to bring your own picnic if you buy a drink. 

Pack summer clothes and sunscreen, but also a light waterproof or umbrella as sudden thunderstorms and downpours are not uncommon.

Shoulder season months are great for being outdoors

The transitional seasons of March to June and September to October are a great time to visit Munich. The comfortable climate means you can whizz around on bikes without breaking a sweat while making the most of this easy-to-navigate city. Come in spring for the start of beer-garden season, or (and?) in fall for the city's big beer event, Oktoberfest.  

Oktoberfest attracts millions of visitors every year, resulting in inflated hotel prices and early bookings. If you want to include Oktoberfest in your trip, then plan far ahead. If you don’t want to take part in the festivities, it’s better to avoid the city during this time. 

November to February are the best times to explore Christmas markets and museums

The initial onset of colder and darker days is compensated for by the arrival of Christmas markets at the end of November, as the glow provided by mulled wine and holiday lights soon makes you forget about the chill. Combine this with the first snow and children being pulled to school on sleighs and it all becomes rather fairy-tale-like. 

Once the festive charm subsides, however, January and February can seem dreary. Many locals head to the mountains during this time in search of “proper” snow. Several slopes are accessible by train, and you can often spy passengers clutching their skis at Munich’s central station. Back in the city, the city’s many cafes, museums and galleries are a good place to keep warm – and stimulated, too. 

People curling on a frozen canal on a very cold winter's day
The canal at the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich may freeze over in the winter months © StreetFlash / Getty Images

January is a quiet time to visit

January is a subdued time in Munich, particularly the first week of the year when many places remain closed after the Christmas break. If the ice allows, some head to the frozen Nymphenburger Canal for a spot of skating or a game of Bavarian curling.
Key event: ISPO Munich.

It stays cold through February

As the cold weather drags on, many locals escape the city and make the most of the nearby ski resorts. Some color arrives with Fasching (carnival), when children and adults wear silly costumes for events around the city. 
Key event: Fasching.

March marks the end of winter

Beer gardens can start to open in March, as the sound of clinking glasses under the trees heralds the unofficial end of winter. Over Lent, the so-called strong-beer season (Starkbierzeit) begins with breweries producing just that – and throwing parties to celebrate it.
Key event: Starkbierfest.

April is filled with folk festivals

Folk festivals that get going in April bring carousels, roasted almonds and beer tents to the city, as well as more people than normal wearing Tracht (traditional Bavarian dress). 
Key events: Maidult, Frühlingsfest, Theresienwiese flea market, Stroke Art Fair.

Eat asparagus in May 

May is peak season for the German delicacy white asparagus. Just about every city chef adds the beloved vegetable to their menu, and the stalls at Viktualienmarkt overflow with bundles of “white gold.” 
Key events: Maidult, Frühlingsfest, Lange Nacht der Musik.

Cyclists on a bike path pedal past sunbathers and picnickers on the lawns of the English Garden, Munich
Relax in Munich's parks and green spaces during the hot summer months © LOOK / Getty Images

June is full of events and festivals

Summer starts to ramp up with long lines at ice cream parlors and packed tables at beer gardens. The annual film festival attracts movie buffs from around the world, while arts lovers flock to festivals of opera, theater, and the circus arts. 
Key events: Munich Film Festival, StuStaCulum, Opernfestspiele, Tollwood.

Stay cool by the river in July

As temperatures rise, parts of the Isar River feel almost beach-like with deck chairs, umbrellas and barbecues lining the banks. It’s never too hot for another folk festival, though.
Key events: Jakobidult, Opernfestspiele, Christopher Street Day, Kocherlball, Tollwood, Klassik am Odeonsplatz.

Summer events continue through August 

Because of the Bavarian school holidays, August can feel quiet in town as families head out on vacation. Munich still offers plenty to do, however, as open-air concerts, outdoor cinemas and street festivals continue to provide a great summer program. 
Key events: Hans-Sachs Straßenfest, Tanzwerkstatt Europa, Münchner Open Air Sommer.

September marks the start of Oktoberfest

Despite its slightly misleading name, Munich’s famous beer festival kicks off in September. While Oktoberfest takes place on Theresienwiese, the excitement spills out onto the streets and into public transport all over town. In other words, you can’t miss it.
Key events: Munich Marathon, Oktoberfest.

October brings lovely fall colors

After the final fanfare of Oktoberfest, some normality resumes in Munich in October. The city’s trees turn a beautiful mix of orange, red and yellow, with some gloriously sunny days providing a perfect blue backdrop. 
Key events: Kirchweihdult, Lange Nacht der Münchner Museen.

The lights of a Christmas market in twilight in front of New Town Hall on Marienplatz
Christmas markets add cheer to cold winter evenings in Munich © Murat Taner / Getty Images

Christmas markets start to open up in November

As the cold arrives, locals start to wear their winter uniform: long puffer jackets and colorful beanie hats. Toward the end of the month, Christmas market stalls start to appear in squares around the city. 
Key events: Christmas markets, Tollwood Winter Festival, Munich Literature Festival.

December is full of winter celebrations

December sees tourists and locals alike head to Munich’s multitude of Christmas markets, from the classic stalls in Marienplatz to the “Pink Christmas” market organized by the local LGBTIQ+ community.  
Key events: Christmas markets, Tollwood Winter Festival.

This article was first published January 2022 and updated July 2023

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Munich, Germany - October 1: famous beer tent called Hacker-Pschorr and people at the biggest folk festival in the world - the oktoberfest on oktober 1, 2018 in munich.
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