No doubt about it, Berlin is one of Europe’s sexiest and most exciting cities. Whether you come to while away the hours in its world-class museums, take in it fascinating but sometimes haunting history, stroll through its many peaceful parks or simply get lost in its notoriously wild and hedonistic nightlife, Berlin won’t disappoint you.
And, best of all, Berlin is one of Europe’s most affordable metropolises, which means it won’t break the bank in the way Paris or London might.
But one question remains: When should you come to Berlin? To answer this question, the three main factors you should keep in mind are price, weather, and major events.
More tips for visiting Berlin
• Avoid these 7 first-time mistakes on your vacation to Berlin
• 12 Ways to save on your trip to Berlin
• How to save on a shopping spree in Berlin
• Best (and cheapest) times to visit Europe
When should you visit Berlin?
Below we’ve provided some details about each season, so you can get the low-down on the best time to plan your Berlin adventures.
Winter in Berlin is not for the faint of heart.
Complaining about the weather is one of the favorite pastimes of Berliners, and winter is definitely not the season when the city is at its best. The cold is one thing — and it’s often a wet, biting cold that chills you to your bones — but the other, even harder part, is the lack of sun.
In the winter, it gets dark as early as 4 pm; the skies are mostly dreary and overcast during the day or pelting down a freezing rain. It does snow some years, which brightens things up, but the snow doesn’t stay clean for long.
However, winter is a good time to find good deals on flights and off-season prices at hotels, so if you plan to spend most of your time indoors and are immune to the wintertime blues, this is a good time to visit.
December is the darkest month, but the Christmas cheer in the city helps offset the gloominess, not to mention a glass or two of Glühwein at one of Berlin’s many Christmas markets. On New Year’s Eve, Berlin turns into an absolute war zone, with drunken revelers throwing firecrackers at each other and lighting bottle rockets until the wee hours of the morning. But hotels fill up fast and get pricey at this time, so if you’d like to experience the madness, be sure to book far in advance. Check out our favorite budget hotels in Berlin.
Although January and February are usually the coldest months, in March, you’re likely to see lots of locals, desperate to finally shed their down jackets, hats, and scarves after another too-long winter.
Watch out for these winter events in Berlin
The International Green Week exhibition and Berlin Fashion Week always take place in mid to late-January, so prices and competition for hotel rooms are likely to go up at this time.
In mid to late-February, film buffs and movie industry people fill up the city for the Berlinale film festival, so deals might also be harder to come by.
The same is true in mid-March, when the ITB Travel Trade Show is held, which may raise prices particularly in Charlottenburg, where the event takes place.
After suffering through winter, Berlin comes alive again with the arrival of spring. Crocuses push up their heads from the still half frozen ground and birds sing in trees bursting with new, tender green leaves. When spring comes, Berliners rush out into the streets and parks to bask in the spring sun, which creates a feeling of almost giddy euphoria in what is usually a tough, no-nonsense city.
The only problem is you never quite know when spring will begin.
“April, April, der macht was er will.” This German saying translates as “April does what it wants,” which is a perfect way to describe the month. If you visit Berlin in April, you might get lucky with some t-shirt weather or you might get hail or snow; sometimes you’ll get all three within the span of a week.
May is usually a bit more predictable weather-wise, although it can still be cool and rainy.
In many ways, June is the best time to visit Berlin. The weather is (usually) lovely, the locals are cheerful, there’s life on the street, and the prices aren’t yet quite as high as they will be later in the summer. And if you have snow in late May and June, it’s only “Poplar snow.” Berlin is home to 10,000 Poplar, Aspen and Cottonwood trees whose seeds look like cottony snow that floats through the air and covers the streets this time of year, so keep this in mind if you have allergies.
Watch our for these spring events in Berlin
The Berlin Half Marathon happens in early April, which might make it harder and pricier to find a place to stay.
What could be better than summer in Berlin? Barbecues in the park, a dip in a city lake or public outdoor pool, free festivals like Fête de la Musique, a beer or two on the canal: these are the joys of summer. The only downside? The prices are much higher on airfare, packed hotels and sights swarming with tourists.
If you do come in summer, opt for June. Like we mentioned above, the weather is usually at its best in this month, and prices are generally lower than July and August, especially if you book ahead.
If you manage to find a good price on flights in the high season, go for July over August. August tends to be hot and very humid, and there’s often a plague of wasps buzzing around, which will put a serious damper on your picnic.
But please note summer is sometimes an optional season in Berlin. It can get chilly and rainy, sometimes even in August, so be sure to pack a light sweater and jacket just in case.
Watch out for these summer events in Berlin
The second half of Berlin Fashion Week takes place in early July, so watch out for hotel price hikes, particularly in Mitte.
Fall is a great time to visit Berlin for many reasons. September is often still warm, but it’s less humid than July and August and the wasps are mostly gone.
October is often wetter, but the trees burst in brilliant fall colors and the sky is filled with golden light.
November is usually the darker, colder month when the weather starts to turn, but the month still has the beauty of fall most years. And best of all, the prices in fall for flights and hotels will be cheaper than in the summer which is, of course, the height of the high season.
Watch out for these fall events in Berlin
Two big events that might have an effect on hotel prices in the fall are Berlin Art Week and the Berlin Marathon (both in mid-September), so keep these in mind when making your travel plans.
Your favorite time to visit Berlin?
When is your favorite time to visit Berlin? Let us know in the comments below!
The post When to visit Berlin as a budget traveler (and what dates to avoid) appeared first on EuroCheapo's Budget Travel Blog.
Source: Euro Cheapo