Summer in Germany: 19 Beautiful Places to Visit & Things to Do

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Planning a summer vacation to Germany? Here are the best summer destinations around Germany, along with some helpful travel tips!

Berlin Dom and TV Tower
Berlin Dom and TV Tower

Is Summer a Good Time to Visit Germany?

Summer is many traveler’s favorite time to visit Germany.

If you’re a big fan of festivals or concerts, one of the biggest draws are all the cultural events that take place during these months. From lively wine and beer festivals to open-air concerts and street celebrations, there’s always something exciting happening all around the country. 

It’s also a great time for outdoor activities, whether it’s hiking in the Alps, swimming in lakes, visiting the beaches of northern Germany, exploring national parks or cycling through picturesque countryside.

Lastly, the warm and generally pleasant weather creates the perfect backdrop for sightseeing and taking pictures!

What is Germany Like in the Summer?

The summer months are typically considered to run from June through August, though warm summery weather can being in May and continue into September. I’ve been in Germany for more than one May or September heat wave!

During the summer you can expect anything from mild to warm temperatures to long, hot, sunny days. Hotter summers have become more frequent with global warming so heat waves are to be expected at some point during a typical summer.

But you also need to be prepared for rainy days, since these months actually have the highest average precipitation. I’ve also experienced days or even a couple weeks of cloudy, rainy weather.

In terms of travel, summer has always been the peak tourist season. We recommend booking everything from airfare, hotels, tours, and entrance tickets for popular sights like Neuschwanstein castle or the Reichstag dome in Berlin as early as possible to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.

What to Pack for Summer in Germany

  • Lightweight clothing: Pack breathable and versatile clothing like shorts, t-shirts, dresses, skirts, and lightweight pants
  • Sun protection: Don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to shield yourself from the sun
  • Comfortable walking shoes: Bring sturdy, comfortable shoes for sightseeing! Hiking shoes are also a  good idea if you plan to hike or do outdoor activities. I like to bring a pair of comfortable sandals to wear, as well.
  • Swimsuit:  Essential if you plan to visit lakes or coastal areas. Watershoes are also a good idea.

These are just a few essentials to get you started. For more tips, read our ultimate Germany packing list and the 15 things we always take with us to Germany (and beyond).

Where to Go in Germany in Summer?

View from Cochem castle

Rhine Valley & Moselle Valley

With their rolling vineyards, rivers glistening under the sun, surrounding beautiful towns and villages exuding a relaxed vibe, and the many castles, the Rhine Valley and Moselle Valley are popular travel destinations for the summer holidays.

Castle Eltz (Burg Eltz) is one of the main attractions in this area for many travelers and a must-see. Another attraction are the vineyards. Although harvest time is typically in the fall, it’s nice to visit during this time to see them in full bloom.

For all wine lovers, a fun activity would be to do a vineyard tour like this one in the Moselle Valley where you can spend soaking up the beautiful  scenery, taste premium wines, and learn about the wine-making process of different vineyards.

The Moselle Valley region is also home to charming medieval villages like Cochem, Beilstein, and Bernkastel-Kues – all worth visiting for their fairy tale atmosphere and historic buildings.

Summer is also a great time to visit the area because the boat cruises along the rivers are running on a regular basis (provided the water level is high enough). The Rhine river especially is the perfect place to explore by boat tour. There are lots of different options to choose from depending on the route you prefer.

We recommend doing the Castles Tour river cruise operated by the Köln-Düsseldorfer cruise line. This boat ride from Bingen to Koblenz takes you to many of the castles in the Middle Rhine. You can also do a shorter portion if you prefer. We’ve done the Bingen to St. Goar portion and enjoyed it.

Along the way, you can explore any of the quaint medieval towns by the river like Bacharach, Rüdesheim, Boppard, or St. Goar. It’s also a good idea to visit these small towns during summer because the majority of shops and restaurants are open full hours!

Black Forest waterfall
Black Forest
Black Forest walking path

Black Forest

Another popular destination during summer is the Black Forest. It’s a beloved region for good reason! It’s associated with a variety of things like the famous Brothers Grimm fairy tales, Black Black Forest cake, breathtaking natural beauty, and charming historic cities like Freiburg, Triberg, and Gengenbach.

The diverse landscape of the Black Forest makes it a great place to do a wide range of outdoor activities – perfect for nature lovers!

There are lots of different hiking and walking trails that go through scenic wonders like the Triberg waterfalls, Ravenna Gorge and the Wutach Gorge, and mountain peaks like Feldberg and Schauinsland. If you’re looking for something more laidback, there’s nothing better than spending a day relaxing or swimming in any of the Black Forest’s pristine, beautiful lakes like Schluchsee (largest lake in the region), ​Titisee, or Mummelsee.

The region is also famous for spa towns like Baden-Baden and Bad Wildbad, where you can relax in thermal baths or hot springs.

If you’re traveling with family, a fun thing to add to your itinerary is the Europa-Park in Rust. It’s the largest theme park in Germany with over 18 different themed areas and 13 roller coasters.

Another one of the best things about visiting the Black Forest is its location! If you’re looking to maximize your summer holiday by visiting another European country, you can easily take a day trip to France or Switzerland!

Colmar, a picturesque French city known as Little Venice, is only around an hour away from Freiburg. Larger Strasbourg is another an easy France day trip. Also located an hour away is Basel in Switzerland, known for its historic center and a great starting point for exploring the rest of Switzerland.

These are just some things you can do during your summer stay in the Black Forest, but make sure to read our complete guide of things to do and see year-round!

Lake Constance (Bodensee)

There’s no better time to visit Lake Constance than summer! This crystal-clear lake is a popular tourist destination but it’s also a favorite place for many locals. It’s located near the Swiss and Austrian border at the foot of the Alps in southern Germany and not too far from Lichtenstein.

Konstanz is the largest city on the lake, known for its historic old town and the nearby Mainau Island. There’s also Lindau, situated on an island in the eastern part of the lake, with its charming old town, harbor, and the Lindau Lighthouse. Meersburg, Friedrichshafen, and Überlingen are other beautiful towns on the lake.

For fans of water sports, the lake is ideal for sailing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, and canoeing. You can rent equipment or join local classes to try these activities. The well-maintained cycling path that encircles the lake is perfect for bike enthusiasts, offering picturesque views of villages, vineyards, and the lakeshore.

Summer is also festival season around the lake, with live music, open-air shows, and cultural special events taking place in the various towns and cities.

Harz mountains
Harz mountains

Harz Mountains

The Harz Mountains region in northern Germany is another haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Summer is an ideal season to visit and make the most out of the vast network of hiking and nature trails for all skill levels.

If you’re a bit more experienced, we recommend hiking the Brocken, which is the highest peak in the Harz. It’s a relatively strenuous and steep hike but you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views.

But if you prefer to skip out on the hike, there are other ways to explore the mountains! The region is known for its historic narrow-gauge railways, like the Harzquerbahn and Brockenbahn, which offer scenic train rides through the mountains. You can also drive to scenic outlooks.

Don’t miss out on charming towns like Wernigerode, Quedlinburg, and Goslar, with their well-preserved medieval architecture. The region has a rich history associated with mining and the vast network of mines in these towns have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some other famous landmarks include the and the Quedlinburg Castle-Hill and Wernigerode Castle, which can be reached by the Harzquerbahn or on foot.

Bastei Bridge
Bastei Bridge in Saxon Switzerland

Saxon Switzerland

Saxon Switzerland is one of the most unique places in Germany, characterized by its striking sandstone cliffs and dramatic gorges. The summer months are a perfect time to admire the vibrant landscapes and go on outdoor adventures.

We’ve day tripped here a couple times from Dresden but you can also spend a couple days exploring the region.

The Saxon Switzerland National Park is home to hiking trails with varying levels of difficulty. One of the most popular routes is the Malerweg (Painter’s Way) which winds through picturesque valleys and offers views from rocky outcrops.

This route leads you to the famous Bastei Bridge, stunning, bizarre rock formations that stand over 600 feet over the river Elbe. Rock climbing is also a very popular activity here because of the rich variety of sandstone formations, but climbers must be trained and follow certain rules to protect the cliffs. 

For a more leisurely experience, you can take a scenic steamboat cruise along the Elbe River, passing by the sandstone formations and charming villages, like Bad Schandau and Kurort Rathen. Here you’ll find the Rathen Open Air Stage, a natural stage in a deep valley that’s used as an open-air theater. During summer weekends, you can watch shows varying from traditional performances, musicals, and plays.

Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle from MarienBrücke (Maria Bridge)

Füssen Area (Neuschwanstein Castle and More)

Fussen serves as a gateway to one of Germany’s most popular tourist attractions, Neuschwanstein Castle. This fairytale castle receives tons of visitors year-round, but summer is especially busy. With its iconic turrets and picturesque backdrop of the Bavarian Alps, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular.

If you’re looking for something less touristy, we recommend going to the Tegelberg! The Tegelberg mountain rises steeply from the foothills of the Alps near Schwangau and offers different outdoor activities. You can hike along scenic trails or take the Tegelbergbahn cable car to the summit.

If you’re feeling adventurous, experience the thrill of paragliding and view the landscape of the castle and lakes like Alpsee and Forggensee from above. In the summer, the Sommerrodelbahn or summer luge ride is finally open! It’s located directly at the foot of the mountain and is a fun activity for kids and adults alike.

Zugspitze Eibsee Cable Car

Zugspitze & Eibsee

Eibsee is a lake at the base of the Zugspitze mountain. In the summer, the crystal-clear waters are great for renting boats and cooling off from the heat by swimming in the cold water. You can also hike around the lake (takes approximately 2 hours – I recommend going in the morning when it’s cooler) as an enjoyable way to take in stunning mountain views. After a long day of summer activities, you can grab a drink and relax at the lakeside beer garden. 

Zugspitze, the highest peak in Germany, is situated south of the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria. While it may be more known as a ski resort, summer is a good time to visit this area, too. There may even still be enough snow on the glacier for sledding. But summer also provides the opportunity to hike to the very top of Zugspitze to get panoramic views, especially during clear, sunny days. However, do keep in mind that it can get quite crowded in the summer months.

Rügen island
Chalk cliffs of Rügen

Rügen Island

Summer on Rügen Island, which is tucked away on the Baltic Sea in northeastern Germany, is a coastal paradise that remains somewhat off the beaten path for many non-German travelers – perfect for avoiding the crowds of tourists during the summer peak season.

The island is known for its sprawling coastline and beautiful beaches. Rügen is a place of relaxation. You can stroll through charming seaside towns like Binz and Göhren, where you can enjoy ice cream on the promenade or enjoy seafood at waterfront restaurants in the fresh sea air.

For more active things to do, there are plenty of hiking trails in the chalk cliffs of Jasmund National Park, offering panoramic views of the coastline.For a unique experience, hop on a ferry to Hiddensee, Rügen’s carless neighbor. Here, you’ll find unspoiled beach landscapes and a tranquil atmosphere. It’s the best way to truly unwind and disconnect!


Across from Rügen Island you’ll find Stralsund, a German city that combines the laid back atmosphere of the coast with history and culture. The Old Town of Stralsund is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s home to important buildings like the Gothic Old Town Hall and historic churches like St. Mary’s Church.

The town’s location on the coast offers fantastic opportunities for relaxed days by the waterfront, taking in the sea breeze. Stralsund’s waterfront promenades with their outdoor cafes and restaurants are a great spot to sip on local beers while enjoying summer sunsets over the Baltic sea. You can also easily take a ferry to the nearby islands of Rügen and Hiddensee for more summer beachfront adventures. We really enjoyed exploring Stralsund when we spent a week on Rügen.


Rostock, a vibrant coastal city in northern Germany, is a fantastic destination to explore during the summer season. Its sandy beaches along the Baltic Sea coast, especially Warnemünde Beach, invite sunbathing, swimming, and leisurely strolls along the promenade. The nearby seaside district of Warnemünde makes for a great day trip for an even more relaxing atmosphere by the beachfront and marina.

If you plan your visit in August, don’t miss the Hanse Sail, one of the largest maritime festivals in the Baltic region! During this festival, over 250 traditional ships of all types from all over the world visit the coast of the city of Rostock. There’s also another maritime event that takes place later on in September called the Rostock Cruise Festival, where cruise ships are accompanied by fireworks as they sail out onto the Baltic Sea.

Wattenmeer near Cuxhaven

Wattenmeer (Wadden Sea)

The Wattenmeer is an intertidal zone made up of mudflats, sandy shoals, dunes, wetlands that stretches along Germany’s northern coastline by the North Sea. This is one of the most beautiful places in Germany because it has remained largely undisturbed. It has also been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its natural beauty and diverse flora and fauna.

Summer is an ideal time to visit and try unique outdoor activities. During low tide, you can join guided mudflat hiking tours to walk across the exposed mudflats while discovering marine life like crabs and shellfish. As an important stopover for migratory birds, summer brings increased bird activity so avid bird watchers will be able to spot a variety of species.

There are also usually seal safari tours operating throughout June to September, allowing you to observe these creatures lounging on sandbanks or swimming gracefully in the water from a safe distance.

The Wadden Sea is also dotted with picturesque islands like Sylt, Föhr and Amrum. In summer, ferries and boats offer regular services, making it convenient to explore these islands’ unique cultures, landscapes, and beaches.

wine in Würzburg


Würzburg, a charming city in the heart of Bavaria, truly shines during the summer months. With its stunning architecture, lush greenery, and vibrant cultural scene, it’s an ideal destination for the warm months.

One of the quintessential summer experiences in Würzburg is savoring the local wine. The city is located in the Franconian wine region, known for its excellent white wines particularly the Silvaner and Müller-Thurgau varieties. 

You’ll find numerous vineyards and wine cellars in and around Würzburg, making it a wine enthusiast’s paradise. The best way to enjoy these wines is at one of the many outdoor restaurants or wine bars or on the Old Main Bridge with picturesque views of the city and the Main River. We not only enjoyed a glass of local wine on the Old Bridge but also picked up a bottle in the farmer’s market in the Marktplatz.

The city’s green spaces, like Hofgarten or the Ringpark along the river, are also great spots for picnics with wine or leisurely strolls.

Rothenburg Plönlein
Rothenburg Plönlein

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a town frozen in time with its well-preserved medieval architecture and intact city walls, is especially enchanting in the summer. One of the highlights during this season is the Night Watchman Tour. While this tour is available throughout the year, they offer it more regularly during the summer.

In this walking tour, you’ll be guided by the Night Watchman, in his traditional attire, who takes you on a humorous journey back in time through the cobbled streets of Rothenburg after dark. This tour is offered in English and in German.

Summer also brings a vibrant festival atmosphere to Rothenburg. The town hosts various events like music festivals and outdoor performances in its charming squares. Aside from this, the weather is just great for getting lost in the charming streets of Old Town. But do keep in mind that Rothenburg is quite touristy so it can get very crowded during the day since it’s peak season.

Read our full guide on the best things to do and see in Rothenburg!

Hamburg Rathhaus


Hamburg is one of the best cities to visit during summer! You’ll get to experience the city in full swing with outdoor festivals and events like the Christopher Street Day Parade in early August and Isamarkt – an outdoor market that is nearly 1 km long (fun fact: I used to walk through this market on my way home from school when I lived in Hamburg as a teen).

Because of the warm, pleasant weather, it’s also the best time for going on boat trips along the harbor or exploring the canals by canoe (which is super fun). The Alster Lake is also a popular spot during summer for barbecues, swimming, or simply relaxing by the shore. 

Check out our accommodation guide for the best places  to stay in Hamburg!

For an exciting summer adventure, you can also go on a day trip to Heligoland, a small archipelago in the North Sea that’s easily accessible by ferry. It’s known for its white sand dunes, beautiful red rock cliffs, and diverse bird colonies.

If you want to stay closer to the city, the Elbstrand beaches, such as Övelgönne and Wittenbergen, are a good option. These urban beaches provide a quick escape from the urban hustle and bustle.Read our full guide on the top things to do and see in Hamburg!

Munich New Town Hall with Glockenspiel
Munich New Town Hall with Glockenspiel


As one of the most popular German cities for visitors, Munich is always bustling with life and activity and summer is no exception. One of the city’s most iconic summer traditions is the beer garden experience, which you can find all throughout the city center. A must-visit is the Chinese Tower Beer Garden in the English Garden. It’s one of the biggest ones with over 7,000 seats. It’s also connected to a restaurant where you can enjoy Bavarian cuisine and on certain days, there’s live music performances which adds to the fun and lively summer atmosphere.

Aside from the Chinese Tower, the English Garden is a popular spot for just hanging out, picnicking, or strolling around. One unique feature is the Eisbach, a man-made river that flows through the park. In the summer, you can even float down the river or just watch surfers riding the waves. 

Check out our accommodation guide for the best places to stay in Munich!

Summer also brings a lot of festivals in Munich. One of the highlights is the Tollwood Summer Festival held in the Olympiapark usually from June to September. This multicultural event features live music, art installations, a vibrant market with handcrafts and international gastronomy. Read our full guide on the top things to do and see in Munich!


While you may think of Frankfurt as mainly a city for transiting or layovers, the city is worth exploring for a day, especially during summer! There are several events and outdoor activities taking place like Museumsuferfest, a multi-day cultural festival held along the banks of the River Main during the last weekend of August. It features stage productions, live music performances, art exhibitions, museum presentations, and delicious food stands. If you’re a big fan of classical music, the Palmengarten (Frankfurt’s botanical garden) also hosts open-air concerts during the summer months amidst the blooming greenery. 

Check out our accommodation guide for the best places to stay in Frankfurt! 

Frankfurt is also a great base to do day trips to nearby castles, wine festivals, and scenic landscapes. In the Frankfurt Rhine-Main region you’ll find festivals like the Rheingau Wine Festival in August where you can sample excellent local wines. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Taunus Mountains, located a 40-minute drive from Frankfurt, offer a range of recreational opportunities like hiking and cycling.

Read our full guide on the top things to do and see in Frankfurt!

Heidelberg across the Neckar River


Nestled in the Neckar River, Heidelberg is a delightful destination to explore in the summer. It’s home to the Heidelberg Castle, fascinating castle ruins that date back to the Middle Ages. During mid-June to the beginning of August, one of the most anticipated events takes place – the Heidelberger Schlossfestspiele (Heidelberg Castle Festival). This festival features a series of open-air theater performances in the courtyard, ranging from plays, operas, and concerts. 

Check out our guide for tips and more information on visiting Heidelberg Castle!

Summer is also the perfect time to enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Philosopher’s Walk (Philosophenweg), a scenic path offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city. We also recommend checking out Königstuhl (King’s Seat), a mountain situated on the edge of Old Town that you can reach by hiking or cable car for views of the city and the Neckar Valley. Summer is also the best time to take the Neckar River Cruise and relax and enjoy the sights from a romantic river boat.

Read our full guide on the top things to do and see in Heidelberg!

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Here’s how we can help you plan your perfect trip in 2024

GERMANY TRAVEL PLANNER: Just getting started? Have questions about Germany’s confusing train tickets or how to find the best guided tours? Not sure which parts of Germany should be in your itinerary (and what to leave out)? Our Germany Travel Planner answers those questions and more via how-to videos, our interactive Germany Planning Map, City Cheatsheets, and MUCH more. Click here to unlock the best of Germany the easy way!

GERMANY TRAVEL CONSULT: Feeling overwhelmed? Itinerary just not coming together? Wonder if a few tweaks would take your trip to the next level? Book a Mini or Full consult with Cate! She’ll help you create or tweak your itinerary, recommend train tickets/passes, hotels, things to do, guided tours, show you how to buy train tickets, orient you to specific cities, help you plan out day trips, and answer your Germany travel questions.

ACCOMMODATIONS: We recommend using Booking.com since they have widest range of accommodations available from hostels, boutique hotels, luxury chains, aparthotels, at the best prices. Check out our accommodation guides for specific recommended hotels.

WHAT TO PACK: If you’re bringing your phone, be sure to bring this plug adapter, this power bank, and this wrist strap. They’ve been lifesavers for us! You can see our other packing essentials here and here.

TICKETS & TOURS: For guided tours, day trips, private tours, and skip-the-line tickets, Get Your Guide is our go-to!

TRAINS & BUSES: To research train schedules and buy tickets or a Germany Rail Pass, we recommend the official Deutsche Bahn (German Rail System) website (and download their DB Navigator app). For buses, look at FlixBus , which offers tickets for routes within Germany and to other European countries. FlixBus is often cheaper than trains but can take longer.

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