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Headed to the beautiful region of Bavaria, Germany? No matter which time of year you visit, we’ve got packing tips for your trip. Keep reading to find out what to wear in Bavaria!
What to Wear in Bavaria
Written By: Angela Sterley & Lola Mendez
Fairy tale castles, luxury cars, and a whole lot of beer. The southernmost region in Germany is a hotspot for visitors from all over the world, and for good reason.
In Bavaria, you’ll discover many picturesque villages that are reminiscent of a fairy tale. From medieval homes in Bamberg, historic adorned bridges in Nuremberg, and the hilltop castle in Heidelberg, there’s much to discover in Bavaria besides the famous Oktoberfest in Munich.
Bavaria Style: casual, yet clean
Locals in Bavaria tend to dress casually, so there’s no need to bring your finest outfits. While there’s an emphasis on casual dressing, Germans – along with many Europeans – dress in a clean and put-together style.
This means it would be more appropriate to choose jeans or a trendy pair of trousers over leggings.
And yes, you’re bound to actually see some dirndl dresses and lederhosen even if it’s not Oktoberfest, though it’s generally not in most Germans’ daily wardrobe.
We have helpful tips to avoid looking like a backpacker in Europe – find out what they are!
What to Wear in Bavaria: Summer
July is usually the hottest month; summer temps fall in the range of 77-86°F. The weather can leave you clutching onto your umbrella one day and sunbathing by the river the next. Not to worry: as long as you bring the right clothing, the region can be easily enjoyed no matter the weather.
Start by reading these Europe packing tips for summer:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Summer Travel
- How to Choose the Best Shoes for Europe
- The Ultimate Packing Guide for Europe
- Best Suitcases for Traveling Europe
Near the Bavarian Alps, rainfall isn’t uncommon, even in the middle of the summer. This ranges from nights of heavy downpour to full days of a light drizzle. The rain can come out of nowhere and leave you ducking into nearby shops to escape getting soaked.
Since it’s summer, the temperatures will likely still be moderate even on rainy days. Lightweight rain jackets are perfect for the summer months as a top layer to keep you dry without overheating and to easily store in your bag if the weather clears up.
Also, don’t forget to throw in an umbrella that’s easy to carry around for the unexpected downpour. If you’re exploring the country, you may not be in an area where you can easily duck under shelter. An umbrella could feel like a lifesaver.
Read these tips on what to wear on a rainy day!
Waterproof, non-fabric shoes
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than spending the day in soaked shoes, so bringing along waterproof shoes is a must in this region.
Make sure you have at least one pair of completely waterproof shoes with you (like ankle boots) since the downpours can be excessive. This is especially true when visiting villages near the mountains that tend to experience more rain than other areas.
These are the best travel shoes as chosen by TFG’s readers. Find out what they are, why they’re recommended, and why you may want to wear them, too!
Sweaters are a must
When it’s pouring rain and you’re stuck inside a restaurant or taking an evening stroll on what was a beautiful sunny day, you’ll be happy you brought a sweater. Bring a versatile sweater to keep you warm and cozy when the sun doesn’t agree to make an appearance.
Even though alcohol is known to help keep you warm, many biergartens are outdoors in the summer, so a sweater or jacket is still essential to keep you comfortable as the temperature drops with the sun.
Find out why we love these lightweight jackets for travel!
Swimsuit and towel
Despite the rainfall, there are a number of beautiful sunny days in the region. Refreshing lakes and rivers are plentiful in Bavaria, so don’t forget your swimsuit.
If you’re in Munich on a warm summer day, you’ll want to join the rest of the city taking in the sunshine. Head over to the Englischer Garten, one of the largest urban parks in the world, where locals don their summer dresses and swimwear.
Remember to also bring a towel and sunblock to reapply after cooling off from the heat by floating down the river. Though if you do forget your swimsuit you aren’t completely out of luck as many locals take in the sun here sans swimsuit – or anything else.
Comfortable walking shoes
Whether you’re in one of Bavaria’s stunning cities or exploring the countryside, you’re bound to be doing a large amount of walking. Bring a comfortable pair of shoes that will not leave you begging to change halfway through the day.
Both comfortable sandals or closed-toed shoes are recommended since the weather can vary drastically in the summer.
Looking for comfortable and cute walking shoes for travel? Our readers share their top brands!
Pack a variety of bottoms
Since the weather can be unpredictable, it’s important to not turn up with a suitcase full of shorts even in the summer. Though packing a few warm weather clothes is recommended, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll experience a few days on the cooler side.
Pack a couple pairs of long trousers or jeans as you’ll likely wear these for many of your days in Bavaria and certainly in the evenings. Do pack at least one pair of shorts for the warmer days, specifically if you’ll be partaking in activities that aren’t appropriate for dresses or skirts.
Take a look at the best pants for travel and find out what styles top our list!
This region is home to both a portion of the Alps as well as the Bavarian Forest, which both boast endless hiking trails. If you plan to take advantage of Bavaria’s nature, then pack an outfit you’re comfortable hiking in.
Biking is also one of the most common ways to get around – both in the country as well as in the cities. Munich is very bike-friendly and has extensive bike paths for riders. Bikes can be rented throughout the city. If you plan on riding, bring a pair of shorts or long pants and comfortable shoes.
The moderate summer temperatures make layers an important part of an active wardrobe here, so pack thin layers the can be peeled off as the temperatures change and as you continue to hike or bike.
Stylish workout clothes are a great option to maximize your travel wardrobe. Find out how to use them to create cute travel outfits!
The best way to enjoy the warm summer days in Bavaria is to wear a summer dress, which is ideal for exploring the cities or visiting a fairytale castle (a dress makes it a bit more believable that you truly belong in the castle, right?). If you’re planning on visiting one of the many lakes or rivers, choose a dress that can work as a swimsuit coverup, too.
You might want to have a versatile dress that can double as an outfit for going out or dining at a nice restaurant. There’s no need to dress up at most biergartens, though; casual outfits work just fine for pouring back large beer-filled steins!
Find out how to turn any of your dresses into a versatile dress!
What to Wear in Bavaria: Winter
Snowcapped Bavarian Alps, quaint village streets, and piping hot local delicacies make Bavaria an ideal getaway for a white Christmas. Bavaria’s winter can be extreme with low temperatures and high snowfall. Even warmer days will have a chill due to the ever-present overcast.
Pack an assortment of thick socks, waterproof outerwear, and layers for warmth and you’ll be able to enjoy this winter wonderland. Just remember, at the end of the day there’s always some warm, spiced mulled wine (locally called glühwein) waiting to warm you up!
With winter temperatures dipping down as low as 30-37°F, you must double up on layers!
Most restaurants and hotels crank up the heat during the winter, making a vast temperature difference between indoors and outdoors. You’ll want to be able to strip off a few layers when you get indoors!
Start by reading these general tips on packing for winter travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Winter
- How to Pack for Cold Weather
- How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather (without the bulk)
- The Best Travel Shoes for Winter
Pack a light pair of ankle socks but also a heavy wool pair that goes further up your leg for extra warmth. Add a thin pair of leggings or thermal pants that you can wear under jeans on extra cold days or for hikes in the Bavarian Forest. A layering pro will wear a tank top covered by a turtleneck then a sweater.
Discover our top brands for the best thermal underwear for women!
Stick to neutrals for the layering pieces so you can mix and match them daily. Pack colorful sweaters to keep your wardrobe – and vacation photos – unique and memorable. Look for items that have a high percentage of wool because it’s great against the cold.
Bring outerwear options
Pack a stylish winter coat for days exploring towns and evenings out. Choose something that stands out from the crowd with a bright color or bold pattern.
Down jackets are the best way to stay warm when traveling in winter!
Some days, you may hike a hill to catch a sunrise, visit a remote village, and enjoy an outdoor cultural festival followed by German brews at a biergarten. Make sure to taste the local smoky beer in Bamberg!
For these days, you’ll be glad to have a down vest in your luggage. These take virtually no space but can be a life saver on freezing days. Wear a water-resistant jacket over the vest, ideally one that has a thermal or flannel lining for extra warmth.
Cold Weather Accessories
You may start to feel like you’re wearing the same thing daily, as you’ll probably keep your coat on much of the time. An easy way to differentiate your outfits without sacrificing warmth is to pack a selection of your favorite cold weather accessories. They take up much less space than packing two winter coats.
Check out our favorite fashionable winter accessories for women!
Choose hats, scarves, and gloves that coordinate or have fun details like pom-poms, faux fur, or an intricate pattern. If it’s very cold, take a lightweight scarf to tie around your neck and chest underneath your jacket and then throw on a wool plaid blanket scarf over your shoulders.
Pack a durable faux leather pair of gloves because a thin fabric pair won’t stand a chance at keeping your fingers cold during the snow. You may even want to bring a pair of wool mittens to layer over your gloves. If you forget something, you can always buy it there, too!
Leave your ballet flats, sneakers, and high heels at home for a winter trip. Rain boots may not be the most comfortable option for exploring a city but if you prefer dry feet, then they’re your best option.
Water-resistant hiking boots for exploring lush nature are also good to bring along and can be worn in the city, too. Fold your socks over the top of the boots for a stylish look.
Traveling somewhere with rain or snow? Check out our top picks for the best waterproof boots!
Winter sport gear
Many people visit Bavaria to enjoy winter sports from December to March. Many shops rent snowshoes, skis, poles, boots, goggles, and accessories.
If you prefer to bring your own sportswear, try to pack lightweight and durable pieces. Bring your own face ski mask and ski gloves that have a strong grip to help you hold onto the poles as you fly down the slopes.
These ski essentials will help you decide what you should and shouldn’t bring when staying in a resort or winter rental!
Even though it’s winter, sunblock is key to making your ski experience enjoyable. The snow can reflect harmful UV rays and give any exposed skin a serious sunburn that may hinder the rest of your trip. Be generous when applying SPF before hitting the slopes!
If you’ve booked a ski lodge with a hot tub, then don’t forget a swimsuit! It’s best to wear a one-piece to keep as much as your skin covered when it is outside of the water. You may want to consider packing a plush robe to leave just outside the tub to jump into anytime you exit the hot tub.
Do you have anything to add on what to wear in Bavaria, Germany? Please comment below!
For more ideas on how to pack for Europe, please read below:
- Ten Step Packing Guide for Europe
- How to Choose the Best Shoes for Europe
- What to Pack for Trips to Germany and Cologne
- What to Wear in Munich (Oktoberfest): Insider Style Tips
Suggested travel resources:
- Lonely Planet Europe on a shoestring
- Lonely Planet Germany (Country Guide)
- Travel Shoes for Europe
- The Best Carry-on Suitcases for Europe
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Author Bio: Angela Sterley is a Los Angeles-based travel and lifestyle blogger. She has a background in the fashion industry and is on a mission to explore all the world has to offer. Join her adventures on Destination Drifter and follow her on Instagram.
Author Bio: Lola Méndez is a full-time traveler sharing her adventures on Miss Filatelista as she adds to her collection of passport stamps. She travels to develop her own worldview and has explored 46 countries. Passionate about sustainable travel, she seeks out ethical experiences that benefit local communities. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.