Summer in Germany is SO Fun – Festivals, Nature, Sports, and Food

Summer in Germany is a special time. The long, dark winters really make us appreciate the warm sun that comes out between June and August. Germans seem to come to LIFE during this time. Kids are back out on the streets playing with friends, people are out walking/hiking/biking, families are grilling, hanging out at restaurants and in beer gardens, young adults attend music festivals, and many flock to lakes, rivers and the local public swimming pool to swim.

Summer in Germany - Burghausen, Germany Medieval Festival
Here Kevin and I were enjoying a medieval festival at Burghausen Castle in Burghausen, Germany!

The culture of Germany during the summer is characterized by a vibrant and lively atmosphere. Germans, like many Europeans, eagerly embrace the warmer weather and longer days to engage in various outdoor activities and festivals. Here is what you can expect in Germany in the summer, and our own personal favorite parts!

Why Summer in Germany is a Lively Time

Outdoor Events and Festivals

Summer in Germany is marked by numerous outdoor events, concerts, and festivals. These can range from local fairs and wine festivals to larger events celebrating music, food, and cultural traditions. Cities and towns often host open-air concerts and performances in parks and public squares.

We have been to a number of festivals since we moved here, including a Lichterfest (light festival), Maibaumfest (May Pole Festival), various beer festivals, Gartenfest (garden fest in our local town), and more!

Beer Gardens

Beer gardens are an integral part of German culture, and they become especially popular during the summer months. People gather in these outdoor spaces to enjoy a wide range of locally brewed beers along with traditional German dishes. Read more about how amazing German beer gardens are here!

Summer in Germany - enjoying a beer at a medieval festival

Parks, Sport, Nature and Swimming Activities

Germans love spending time outdoors, and during the summer, parks, lakes, and rivers become popular destinations for picnics, hiking, biking, and other recreational activities. Public parks in cities are filled with people enjoying the sun, reading, or socializing. If there is a river next to the park, you’ll definitely see Germans of all ages taking a dip there! They never miss an opportunity to go swimming, even if the water is cold.

And be prepared to see more skin that you might be used to – Germans don’t shy away from undressing in public, even adults! Young kids will often be seen completely naked. It can be a culture shock for Americans, but we’ve grown to love how comfortable Germans are in their own skin. It’s refreshing!

Germans Love to Soak Up the Sun

You’ll also see Germans soaking up all of the sunlight they can get! They can been seen sitting the direct sunlight, with their eyes closed, just soaking in that Vitamin D. They know that once October and November hit, it’ll be dark and cold again so they enjoy the sun while they have it!

Walking, Hiking and Bicycling Trails are Everywhere!

You’ll also find the walking, hiking and biking trails all over the country to be full of people out enjoying the trails. We LOVE this part about Germany as it’s a huge difference between life here and in the USA. Trails are abundant here and really encourage people to exercise and get outside. Something that’s really different in Germany, compared to the USA, is that a lot of farmland is considered public space. So trails can go right through a family farm. Read more about their “Freedom to Roam” right here!

Summer in Germany - you'll see Germans riding, walking and hiking on the many free trails all throughout the country!
We love how Germans get out on their bikes and enjoy the trails!

Summer Holidays

The summer months also bring the much-awaited holiday season for many Germans. It’s common for families and individuals to take time off work and travel within Germany or to other European destinations for vacation. Popular destinations for Germans include the Spanish island of Mallorca, Turkey, Süd Tyrol in Italy (where they speak German), Austria and Switzlerand.

Summer holidays for school children begin at different times to help curb traffic, but most are off most of the month of August, as is the case for most Europeans!

Grilling and BBQ Culture

Grilling (Grillen) is a cherished summer activity in Germany. Families and friends often gather for barbecues in their gardens, parks, or along the riverside to enjoy grilled sausages, meat, and vegetables.

In our family, we made Saturday evenings our own “Grillabend.” We often invite friends over to join us for a Würstchen feast, with plenty of beer, wine and of course, Aperol Spritz.

Sporting Events

Summer brings various sporting events, such as football (soccer) tournaments, tennis matches, and athletics competitions. Germans are passionate about sports, and these events draw significant attention and participation.

Clothing and Fashion – Trachten (Traditional Clothing)

With warmer temperatures, Germans dress more casually and comfortably during the summer. You’ll see people wearing lighter and colorful clothing. In Southern Germany, you can see many dressed in Trachten, or traditional clothing, at festivals, religious events, weddings, and more!

Summer in Germany - here is a beach in Ostfriesland, with "Strandkörbe.
A beautiful beach in Northern Germany during the summer.

Vacationing by the Sea

Germany has a coastline along the North and Baltic Seas, and during the summer, many Germans head to the beaches for seaside vacations and relaxation. They even have islands where cars aren’t allowed, so they are very calm and quiet. Perfect for a charming getaway!

Cultural Celebrations

The summer also hosts several cultural celebrations and events, such as the Berlin International Film Festival, music festivals, and regional celebrations that showcase local traditions.

Keep in mind that cultural practices and events might vary across different regions of Germany, so you may notice some unique customs and traditions depending on where you are visiting.

Summer in Germany – What Would You Add?

German friends, we’d love to hear from you. What is your idea of the perfect summer? How do you spend your free time in the summer? Let us know in the comments below!

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