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Wow it's cold in Germany.

So we leave for our vacation in 3 days and I keep checking the weather and it's seriously cold in Munich. Like, one morning was -3. I was so not expecting that kind of coldness. I don't want to ask the "what clothes should I bring for cold weather" question as the answer is quite obvious and I know it bugs most people ;o) But I seriously don't want to be packing a winter coat (when London/Paris seem to be decent temps for a fall/spring coat). Do we stick with our lighter coats and buy a heavier one when we get there or should I suck it up and pack the winter one..... I'm sure others have been in this situation, would love to hear some replies. Thanks so much.

Posted by
10344 posts

It's a difficult decision this time of year when you clearly see low temps in the interior continental locations like Munich but more moderate temps in London and Paris. You'll probably be the best judge of what kind of coat to bring. Good clothing can be much more expensive in Europe than here because of the VAT 18% and the exchange rate. The €200 coat locals pay costs you $300 when you could already own it here or could buy one here for $175. Look at the 10 day forecasts at And don't guess about Munich weather based on the temps in Paris or London, their proximity to the coast and large bodies of water makes their weather/temps significantly more moderate than Munich, which has more of an interior continental climate.

Posted by
1014 posts

Do not pack the coat. Wear it. If it gets hot on the plane, take it off and put the coat in the overhead. Packing a coat will eat up a lot of luggage space. We wear our coats and sweaters under it on the plane when we travel. Do not forget head coverings. A good hat and/or a warm scarf can also be worn on the plane.

Posted by
1502 posts

The projected highs are 60 - 68 degrees F ( It does get down close to freezing a couple nights.

I would not take a winter coat, as you would be too warm most of the time. Take a sweater or a fleece layer to wear under your coat for early morning or late evening. Even an underwear layer might be enough when added to a light coat and normal clothes.

Regards, Gary

Posted by
9039 posts

Take it from me, it is cold, super windy, & raining to boot. I would rather have a coat with me and not need it then the other way around. You can buy coats here for way less than 200 € if you go to Woolworths or C&A, but do you want to spend your sightseeing time in the department store? The other posters are correct. Wear it on the plane and then put it in the overhead bins. Bring your gloves, a scarf and a hat. Or if you have a coat with a hood, that is the best, especially if it gets yucky out. I tell newcomers to Germany all the time, the weather here just does whatever it wants to, there is never a typical summer, winter, spring or fall. At least that has been my experience the last 22 years. So, plan for the worst and be overjoyed at the best, is my motto.

Posted by
319 posts

I am in Germany right now...I think layers is the way to go. I've been wearing a long sleeve shirt, long sleeve polarfleece and then a light weight rain coat. I can vary the layers as needed.

Posted by
990 posts

Layers are the way to go. Silk and silk-wool blend long undies give warmth and are easy to pack. For me, as long as I have them, I'm fine except in really wintry temperatures. Wearing gloves, hats, and scarves makes a huge difference to comfort--much more than a coat, at least for me.

Consider also how much time you will be spending outdoors in the wee small hours and early morning. You might opt for a later breakfast so that you miss the coldest part of the day, or concentrate on indoor activities in the early morning and leave your strolls and hikes for afternoon.

I try to avoid lugging a bulky winter coat around this time of year, knowing won't need it most of the time.

Posted by
12172 posts

I still think you get by with layering. For warmth I pack a rain/wind shell, one lightweight sweater and one lightweight fleece. If it's cold, I layer a t-shirt, button up shirt, sweater, fleece and shell.

I was in Germany during a similar cold snap a few years ago (I'm sure the direct result of global warming), so we stopped at a department store in Munich and each picked up a knit hat, scarf and gloves to add extra warmth. If I knew ahead of time the weather was going to be really cold, I would probably add those to my packing list.

Posted by
42 posts

Thanks so much for all the replies. I'm a good layer-er so I think that's the way we'll go. I have a wonderfully warm scarf and gloves so between the laters, the spring/fall coat I have and the scarf and gloves, I should be good. Someone mentioned about the amount of time we'll actually be outside and that thought crossed my mind as well. Thanks again for all the advice. I really do appreciate it.

We're off to our first stop in London on Saturday! I'm so excited!

Posted by
20 posts

I just returned from our vacation in Germany Switzerland and Austria. It was cold in Germany, a cold spell came thru this is what I did. I worn long sleeve shirts, a sweater that zipped up with a hood and a wind breaker. I did have gloves and a hat but only put the hat on high in the Swiss Alps. I did purchase a polor fleece jacket and worn it over all the other items when I was in Oberamagau and I was nice and warm. I too was surprised at the cold, I wasn't expecting it but I just layered and was OK. All the other places were fine. I wouldn't take a heavy coat, it is to much trouble to lug around. I hope you had as much fun as we did. You can always buy something over there.

Posted by
10 posts

My wife and I just returned from Germany as well. It was indeed cold and wet but layers are the way to go. Even on the Zugspitze at -5 C we were OK with several layers and a windbreaker/water repelling outer layer. Munich was particularly cold but we walked everywhere and warmed up quickly.