Germany's Sommer is still very much in session in August, with warm and (often) sunny days and late sunsets letting you squeeze in many activities. Those paying attention might notice the daylight hours shortening toward the end of the month as fall approaches.
Heat and humidity will be at their highest (along with July), particularly in the south and southwest regions of the country. Temperatures in Berlin, the nation's capital, will have an average daily high and low of 75°F (24°C) and 57°F (14°C). Frankfurt is typically the warmest city in Germany, with an average daily high and low of 77°F (25°C) and 59°F (15°C). Places in the Bavarian Alps like Garmisch-Partenkirchen will feel cooler due to their higher altitude, especially near Germany's highest peak, Zugspitze. Meanwhile, the coastal areas in Northern Germany may also benefit from refreshing breezes.
Pack plenty of breathable summer clothing with a few layers for early mornings and late evenings. And bring a rain jacket and umbrella (for intermittent rain showers that are often quickly dried up by the sunshine) and sunscreen for those long days of sightseeing and outdoor adventures.
Crowds & Costs
Given the best weather conditions of the year coupled with the height of the vacation season for those who live in the northern hemisphere, August is one of the busiest and most expensive months to travel in Germany, especially since many Europeans have the entire month off and use their time well.
All this equates to the year's highest rates and the most number of tourists lining up at major attractions. It's essential to make travel bookings early to secure availability, specifically if taking part in any activities that may have limited supply, like the festivals listed below. Advance reservations are recommended if you have your heart set on any notable hotels and restaurants. If you're looking to escape crowds, this would be an ideal time to explore smaller towns and outdoor attractions on your list.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Where to Go
Travelers do not often think of Germany as a beach or island destination, but August is the best time of the year to explore the north coast on either the North Sea or the Baltic Sea, south of the Danish border. Perhaps start with a few days in Hamburg and add extra time to travel around one of the summer hotspots, like Rügen Island with the largest chalk cliffs in Germany at Jasmund National Park, or escape to one of the car-free islands and enjoy the peaceful serenity. History buffs can take a 45-minute train to Lübeck to learn about the former medieval capital of the Hanseatic League.
The bucket-list capital of Berlin is always a lively destination, especially in August, and an excellent way to experience it is on two wheels, with plenty of clear biking paths and routes. You can break up your sightseeing with day trips to see elegant gardens and architecture, like Potsdam and Dresden, or do as the locals do and head for one of approximately 3,000 lakes, rivers, and streams on Berlin's outskirts for a summer swim.
Bavaria's capital of Munich is a great base for taking the train to nearby historic small cities like Stuttgart and Nuremberg. It's also a good place to rent a car and begin a road trip along the Romantic Road with stops in 12th-century medieval towns where you can explore quiet, cobblestone alleys lined with half-timbered homes and colorful flowers boxes. Make your way down to King Ludwig II's Neuschwanstein Castle or head north to Rothenburg au Tauber—perhaps best timed with the August wine festival listed below.
If there's time, continue the drive to Würzburg to see Baroque and Rococo architecture. Then, make your way to Frankfurt, which opens up options in the Black Forest and Rhine Valley for more castles, medieval villages, and picturesque vineyards.
What to Do
Germans love to be outside, and this is a great time to do as they do: get into nature. The country has an impressive array of national parks (16 in total), and a lesser-known option is Eifel National Park, which makes a great day trip from Cologne, where you can walk through forests of beech and ash trees while keeping an eye out for wild orchids.
Berlin offers two nearby national parks. Hikers and rock climbers will find plenty to keep them busy in the dramatic sandstone towers at Saxon Switzerland National Park on the border of the Czech Republic (less than three hours by car from Berlin). And north of Berlin is Müritz National Park, next to Lake Müritz, with a network of guided hikes or cycling trails. Afterward, wander around the attractive town of Waren and spend an hour at the Müritz Museum learning about the region's culture.
Wilderness seekers should head southwest to the Black Forest National Park, which offers a range of outdoor adventures. Alternatively, head to southeastern Germany's Bavaria Forest National Park for family-friendly themed hikes, including a Treetop Trail suitable for kids. You don't need a national park to get into alpine nature, though, with many options for snow-free trails in August—often within easy reach of crystal-clear lakes providing opportunities to swim, boat, fish, canoe, kayak, and even windsurf.
Events in August
Museum Riverbank Festival, Frankfurt. This three-day festival on the last weekend in August celebrates museums, stage shows, and presentations.
Richard Wagner Festival, Bayreuth. This annual event celebrates the 19th-century opera composer in his former Bavarian home of Bayreuth at an opera house called Festspielhaus that Wagner helped design. This event sells out each year, and tickets should be booked in advance.
Musikfest, Berlin. Organized by the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker, this two-week festival in the capital features musicians and orchestras from around the world.
Long Night of Museums, Berlin. For one night in August, Berlin's museums are open late, until after midnight, with special exhibitions and performances.
Rothenburg Wine Festival, Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Wine festivals pop up all over Germany this time of year but keep an eye out for the one in the medieval old city of Rothenburg, which celebrates local restaurants (some that are Michelin-starred) and Franconian wines.