When to Go

  • Although the region has plenty of beer gardens and restaurants that delight in warm weather, much of what's best happens indoors so you can visit any time.
  • Come in summer for outdoor explorations such as cycling along the Rhine, hiking the Red Wine Trail in the Ahr Valley, or rambling around the forests of the Eifel National Park or the Sauerland.
  • Summertime is also peak festival season, with plenty of music, fireworks, fun fairs and other shenanigans filling the calendar.
  • Sure it's cold in December but the Christmas markets will warm you up. Just a couple of months later, Cologne's Carnival is one of Europe's best, with Düsseldorf's not far behind.