With Oktoberfest not starting until September and the delightful German Christmas markets merely a fond memory, what can you expect visiting Munich in spring? Like so many popular travel spots, spring means warming temperatures and blooming flowers. And in Munich, it means a return to the outdoors as Biergarten culture resumes and a plethora of festivals begin. Spring brings a special excitement to Munich.
Munich in Spring
Admittedly, I’m a little biased but let’s be honest. The city is spectacular at any time of the year. Munich in spring is especially lovely.
Munich Weather in Spring
In Munich, spring usually starts cold and wet. There may even be some snow. Eventually, however, it does warm up. You can even expect a summer-like day here and there with high temperatures and bright sun. But with this uneven weather, you should be sure to keep your umbrella or raincoat close. While Munich is fairly wet throughout the year, June is the wettest month on average. You’ll also need a jacket. The average minimum temperatures in early spring will not be getting out of the 30s (Fahrenheit) and by late spring in June the average maximums reach the low 70s.
Things to Do in Munich in Spring
To say there’s a lot to do in Munich is always an understatement. But the event season really kicks off with the arrival of the warmer spring temperatures.
Awakening from winter, flowers appear all over the city as the trees start to turn green. Perhaps the best place to go flower-spotting is the impressive Munich Botanical Garden in Nymphenburg. There are dozens of spring flowers on display, including a remarkable number of varieties of tulips in a rainbow of colors at the heart of the garden.
Festivals & Events
You know spring has arrived in the city with the start of Munich Frühlingsfest, or Springfest, on the Theresienwiese. With two beer tents, carnival rides and games, plus food and drink, the two-week long festival is so much fun. A smaller version of Oktoberfest, Frühlingsfest includes a kick-off parade where you can see horses pull in carts for each of the city’s six breweries. The festivities continue with a classic car show, Bavaria’s largest flea market, two firework shows, and more.
There’s no such thing as too many festivals. In eastern Munich, you’ll find the spring Auer Dult. The festival takes place three times a year in the shadow of the Mariahilf church. You’ll find all the typical carnival rides and food at Auer Dult, but it’s famous for its large marketplace that’s a mixture of new items, crafts, and flea market. The dishes, in particular, are a draw for shoppers.
In addition to the festivals, you can also expect a number of holidays throughout the spring. In Bavaria, many of these holidays are religious. Among those holidays is a federal holiday known as the first of May. In other parts of Germany, it’s largely recognized as International Worker’s Day. But in Bavaria, the festivities include, among other things, the raising of the blue-and-white swirled Maypoles.
During the cold months of winter and after the quiet autumn, Munich turns off many of the city’s nearly 700 water fountains and boards up some works of art and sculptures that sit in the open-air in parks and squares. You can expect the Brunnensaison, or fountain season, to begin around Gründonnerstag, or Maundy Thursday, in mid-April.
Along with those fountains being turned on and the statues being unboxed, you can also experience the palaces, castles, gardens, and museums across Bavaria with extended hours. Schloss Nymphenburg, for example, opens earlier and closes later.
And with the awakening of the city, you can expect increasing crowds. May, in particular, is a popular time to see the city. While Munich in spring isn’t at peak popularity (yet), the city is busier than in the warm summer months or during Oktoberfest. Spring is still early enough in the travel season that you can enjoy the weather and still get some good discounts.
Spring Food Specialties
You can usually find the odd Biergarten open towards the end of winter (especially in tourist-friendly spots like Chinesischer Turm in Englischer Garten). By spring they are open regularly. With that said, hours may be somewhat limited as the food and drink selection may also be. On a good, but not great, day (weather-wise), you may find you have most of the Biergarten to yourself!
If you’re heading to a Biergarten, you’re probably looking for something special to drink. During the spring months that usually means Maibock or heller Bock beers. In fact, you’ll find this to be the typical beer on offer at the festivals and in restaurants. The beer, which is considered a Starkbier, is light in color and flavor. It’s especially refreshing for those days as the daylight gets longer and the temperatures get warmer.
White Asparagus (Spargel)
Spring is Spargelsaison, the period from, roughly, Easter until St. John’s Eve (Johannistag)! And during Spargelzeit you can expect nearly every German restaurant to include white asparagus, or Spargel, amongst the daily specials. Or they may even have a dedicated Spargel menu altogether! This is one tradition you will want to enjoy!
In the Munich region, the vegetable largely comes from the Schrobenhauser and Abensberg regions. You’ll find it on menus in a variety of ways. But the most simple, and delectable, is poached white asparagus with melted butter or Hollandaise sauce along with pan-roasted potatoes. If you’re feeling extra hungry, you can usually add a “small” Schnitzel on the side.
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All photos, as well as all opinions, are my own.