My family is considering flying into Dusseldorf on December and from there travel Germany. Is it a bad idea to go this time of the year?
It's most likely going to be cold (very cold for a Floridian). And it will definitely be dark. Days are very short in Dec/Jan; virtually all of Germany is on the same latitude as Canada. Almost everything will be closed up on the middle Rhein. If you like cities and indoor things (museums, castles, etc), there will be things to see. Get some good guide books and see what there is to do. Then decide for yourself. I was in Germany one time over New Years, and I found things to do, but I much prefer the other three seasons. October is very nice in Bavaria.
Hi Ernesto, Where do you plan on traveling in Germany? First, be prepared for the cold weather and the possibility of some snow. Second, during Dec., look into visiting the Advent/Christmas Markets in Germany and maybe Austria. They are fantastic. We took a trip for just this purpose in late Nov. 2010 and LOVED them. Here's an example: http://www.duesseldorf-tourismus.de/en/our-top-events/duesseldorf-christmas-market As for "is it a bad idea?".. depends on what you want to do. For us, we are hoping to do another trip for the Advent/Christmas markets again. Paul
Like Paul we have been visiting Christmas Markets in recent winters. They are great as they give you something to do in the long evenings. Sunset on a rainy/snowy winter night comes at about 4pm. Those long evenings would be tough on us after the markets close. Perhaps if you are into classical music, night-life, long hours over supper, etc... it would work out okay.
The key to enjoying Germany in the winter is to go with a different set of expectations than you would in the summer. As other have noted, probably the most important differences are the weather and the amount of daylight. Outside of the Alps, the temperatures probably won't be as cold as you might think, but not exactly warm and toasty either. More important, though, is that the air is usually much more damp. Combine that with the short hours of daylight, and this means that the vividly colored rural scenery you see in postcards isn't there- everything looks misty and gray. And, artificial illumination is kept to a minimum outside of the cities. So, the sun comes up late, everything looks grey, and then it gets dark again quickly. To get the most out of your time, stick mostly with the cities.
Agree with Tom....have different expectations. We went for the fourth time last year and the first time non-summer(Dec.). It snowed 8 of the 12 days we were there and it was 20 to 30 everyday. We were in Nuremberg, Rothenberg, and Fussen. We loved the Christmas Markets, free concerts during this time, and touring the cities and found these were just as enjoyable as summer. Having said that as Tom points out just have different expectations.
Thank you for the advice