Winter is one of the best times to visit Germany. From the Christmas markets to the winter snow sports, there’s so much great stuff to do! Here’s what you should pack for your perfect winter vacation in Bavaria, Germany.
Germany is so picture-perfect in the winter time, and Bavaria is a classic German winter destination. With cozy villages, winter sports like skiing and ice skating, and of course the classic Christkindle Markets, a winter vacation to Bavaria is truly magical.
But if you’re like me and have no idea how to pack for actual winter weather (I’m from the South, what even is snow?), packing for winter in Germany can be a daunting task.
Lucky for you, I have been there, done that, and can now tell you just what to pack (and what I wish I would have packed) for a winter trip to Bavaria, Germany.
Winter Weather in Bavaria, Germany
All across Germany, you’ll typically find winter weather that’s around freezing with frequent snowfall. In the mountainous region of Bavaria, you can expect temperatures in the 30s with plenty of snowfall, especially as you climb higher in the mountains.
We visited Bavaria for Christmas, and ironically it was warmer in Germany than it was back home (a crazy winter storm had swept across the US).
So we had pretty comfortable temperatures while in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Hohenschwangau of around 40 degrees and even staying above freezing into the night. We did have a lot of cloudy, drizzly days that we would have rather been snow days, but overall we were happy with the weather.
Up on the mountains, we had no problem finding snow for skiing, sledding, and other winter fun we don’t normally get to have back home!
Packing Tips for Winter in Bavaria
For clothing, you’ll want to pack layers and waterproof everything. Warm and practical will win out over stylish every time. I also have a few suggestions for helpful gadgets and fun things to bring when you pack for Germany, if you’re so inclined.
Winter Clothing to Pack
A nice, big winter coat. I brought my own puffy coat with a hood that I love, and a puffer jacket works well for both women and men. You may also want to invest in a ski jacket. The key is to get something waterproof for the snow and rain.
Warm, waterproof pants. Think hiking pants that are quick-dry or waterproof snow pants. For skiing, they also sell overalls or bibs that help keep the snow from getting up under your jacket and into your pants.
Layers for warmth. You’ll want a base layer, like thermal underwear or moisture-wicking active wear. Your middle layer should be something warm like a fleece jacket, thick sweater, or a sweatshirt. Then your protective outer layer should be your big winter coat.
The winter essentials: Hats, scarves, gloves, ear muffs. I love my beanie hat, an infinity scarf, and waterproof gloves, which are a must (avoid cotton gloves that will just get soaked through playing in the snow).
Wool socks for keeping your feet warm inside your winter boots.
A bathing suit (wait, what?) because some Bavarian hotels have their own Saunas, hot tubs, and indoor pools!
You can rent everything you need for skiing at most ski resorts. So if you don’t have a good ski jacket, snow pants, overalls or bib, or waterproof gloves you’ll be able to rent those for your ski day along with skis, ski boots, helmets, goggles, and poles.
Winter Gear to Pack
An electric hand warmer for keeping you warm on the go. Heated gloves are also a good option
A wet clothes bag for packing up all your snow day clothing (or bathing suit) that didn’t quite dry before you have to go home.
A pair of small binoculars, that don’t take up much luggage space, so you can watch the skiers coming down the mountain and just enjoy the sights of Bavaria in general.
A compact umbrella that’s easy to pack away, because there may be snow up on the mountain and rain down in the valley.
A water-resistant backpack that you can carry through the rain and the snow knowing that all your valuables are safe and dry.
A plug adapter and voltage converter so you can keep everything charged in your hotel room. Here’s what German sockets and plugs look like, and with a voltage converter you won’t have to worry so much about what you plug in.
A portable battery pack to keep your phone and camera charged on the go for all the pictures and videos you’ll be taking.
A pair of sunglasses or even ski goggles to protect your eyes from the sun bouncing off the blinding white snow.
Sunscreen because you can still get a sunburn in the winter.
Whatever gear you may need for your snow sport: skis, snowboards, ice skates, you name it!
Things to Do in Bavaria, Germany
Now that you know what to pack, it’s time to start planning your Bavarian winter vacation! Check out these top destinations in Bavaria, Germany.
- 4 Things To Do When You Visit Munich, Germany
- A Magical Winter Vacation in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
- Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Hohenschwangau, Germany
- Visiting Hohenschwangau Castle in Hohenschwangau, Germany
Where to Stay in Bavaria
There are so many amazing places to stay for the winter in Bavaria. To get an idea of some of the amazing accommodations, check out my recommendations below:
- Where We Stayed: Hotel Zugspitze in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
- Perfect for Skiers: Alpenrose Bayrischzell Hotel in Bayrischzell
- Top Munich Hotel: Hotel München Palace in Munich
- Near Neuschwanstein Castle: Hotel Villa Ludwig in Hohenschwangau
- Stay in a Castle: Burg Rabenstein in Ahorntal
Ready to visit Bavaria, Germany? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Book Your Flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find Accommodation: You can find top hotels in Bavaria using Booking.com.
- Start Packing: Check out my packing list resources so you’re prepared for your trip.
What’s on your packing list for winter in Bavaria, Germany? Let me know in the comments!