|Frankfurt am Main||$355|
After long periods of war, conflict and discord, Germany today is a fascinating place for travelers. From the port city of Hamburg and the quiet beaches of the Baltic Coast, down through the capital Berlin and financial capital Frankfurt, to Bavaria in the lush south and on to Munich, travelers booking airline tickets to Germany will be spoiled for places to visit. Germany is so rich in history and culture – from centuries ago and to more recent – that you’ll need weeks to even experience a fraction of it.
A flight to Germany often conjures up images of fairytale castles, built long ago when emperors and princes ruled, that are as welcoming as its picturesque villages, as well as gardens maintained by Europe’s most elite. You’ll surely want to visit as many of these beautiful castles as you can. There are also many museums for history buffs to spend a day in, World War memorials to reflect at, old buildings and hidden stairways to get lost in, and one can even stand in the same spot where the Berlin Wall once stood. Or, grab a brat and a beer and simply kick back in one of the many pubs dotted throughout the country. The German passion for perfection even filters down to its favorite drink. In fact, Germany has a Purity Law that dates back to the 1500’s, ensuring the very highest standards when it comes to the amber nectar. From pagan festivals to Oktoberfest, and lots of lederhosen in between, there’s a different reason for everyone to book a flight to Germany.
The sights of Germany are mainly dependent on what time of year you travel. The summer season hosts hundreds of outdoor festivals and concerts. Then of course you have the world famous Oktoberfest, the world’s largest beer festival, which is held in mid to late September and runs to the first weekend in October. If you book airline tickets to Germany in the winter, you’ll see its little villages are lit up like a Christmas tale. Its exciting cities with world-famous museums and galleries have charming, and meticulously restored, old towns where they host the centuries-old Christmas markets. Germany’s snow-covered mountains, seaside resorts, nature reserves and national parks provide plenty of opportunities for recreation throughout the year.
Germany is also undoubtedly one of Europe’s most diverse locations, consisting of different regions and sharing its borders with a number of countries including Switzerland, Poland, France and Austria. This diversity is reflected upon its people and also informs its cuisine. In general, the fare is hearty and simple. Favorite snacks during Oktoberfest are sausage, chicken, käsespätzle, sauerkraut, and beer of course.
For many, flights to Germany mean pilsners of beer and late-night clubs, while for others it means a chance to experience centuries worth of history. For the more relaxed traveler, there’s sidewalk cafes to lounge at and conversations to be had with locals in one of the country’s many magnificent squares. No matter why you book a flight to Germany, it’s bound to be an experience you’ll never forget. Here are some tips to help you plan your trip to this charming land.
Germany’s seasons have distinct characteristics. It’s cold and wet during the winter and temperatures drop from near freezing to well below freezing the further east you travel. If you make it to April and May for the spring, you can see all the fruit trees and flowers bloom. Summertime is warm, although you will encounter the occasional cloudy, rainy day. It doesn’t get too, too hot though usually. Temperatures range between the upper 60’s and mid-80’s (Fahrenheit). A visit in the fall will allow you to see the beautiful fall foliage.
A country that never fails to surprise, visitors arriving on cheap flights to Germany will want to take the time to explore its many historical regions and local diversity.
You’ll struggle to find cheap flights to Germany from May to late October as there are a lot of events and festivals. The weather is also at its best and flight tickets are a lot more expensive. Munich’s Oktoberfest is the most popular event on the festival calendar. This attracts millions of visitors each year, boosting the price of flight tickets and accommodations, so advance bookings are essential. Many foreigners of course prefer summer for travel due to the warm weather, festivals and outdoor activities, but flight prices will be at their highest during this time.
The peak months do vary slightly depending on where exactly in Germany you want to fly to but, as a rule of thumb, make sure to secure your flight tickets two or three months earlier to get the cheapest prices. If you’re planning on traveling to Berlin, choose your time wisely as the city is busy all year round, with vacationers in the summer and business travelers in the winter booking out hotels and snapping up cheap flight deals. Reservations to Frankfurt’s auto show in September and the October book fair are normally booked years in advance so if you were hoping to make a quick visit next year you might need to plan much further ahead.
Germany isn’t just a popular summer destination either, as the ski resorts in the Bavarian Alps make it a great place for a winter vacation. Christmas markets and fairs transform Germany into a magical wonderland for the festive season, and attract thousands of overseas visitors. Because Christmas and New Year can be busy, you’ll want to book your flights to Germany in advance rather than hope for a later festive deal.
The off season is generally from November to April (with around Christmas and New Year’s being outliers) as the temperature drops during the winter and the rain becomes more common. Spring is a nice time to visit as the temperatures warm up a bit, and you will be able to see fruit trees and flowers in bloom, and there are many fairs and Easter celebrations.
You’ll find the cheapest flights to Germany around this period but it’s still wise to book in advance. Once you’ve narrowed down your final destination, check to see if there are any folk festivals going on during or around the time you want to visit as this will increase the price of your flight tickets.
Some flights to Germany can be incredibly cheap at certain times of the year. You should still book two months in advance to guarantee a better price than a last minute deal though. If you aren’t restricted by dates then you can find the cheapest flights to Germany by simply comparing a few airlines, dates and destinations and then securing the flight tickets for the cheapest ones available. If Berlin ends up being your place of choice, then try to secure seats on the left hand side of the plane for fantastic views of the skyline.
Germany’s major cities are well-connected to the United States by air. From New York City, the flight to Berlin or Munich takes between eight and nine hours. If you’re flying from Miami, you can expect to arrive in Miami or Berlin in less than ten hours. Flights from the west coast take longer — you’ll spend approximately eleven and a half or twelve and a half hours in the air when flying from LA to Berlin or Munich.
Germany is home to several large international airports in Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf and Berlin. For the best availability, check out the Frankfurt Airport, which is the fourth busiest airport in Europe. Many major U.S. and international carriers serve this sprawling hub, including American, Delta, United, British Airways and Emirates. Farther south, the Munich Airport receives flights on American, Delta, United, KLM, Air Canada and more.
The weather in Germany can vary dramatically based on your destination city and the time of year. Winters are typically cool or cold in most German cities, so you can stay comfortable with warm layers, a waterproof shell and a warm hat. For truly cold days, do as the locals do and add a warm scarf. German summers are often warm — in Berlin, July temperatures often hover in the 70’s (Fahrenheit) — with cooler evenings and occasional rainstorms, so light layers and an umbrella should keep you comfortable. If you’re heading to a mountain town such as Mittenwald or Berchtesgaden, be sure to pack hiking boots and a warm jacket for the cooler-than-normal alpine weather year-round. Most importantly, pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes for navigating historic cobblestone streets and busy train stations.
There are multiple international airports in Germany, including Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL), Berlin Schonefeld Airport (SXF), Munich Airport (MUC), and Frankfurt Airport (FRA). All offer efficient rail and bus services for reaching the city centers, as well as other options. Travelers can also obtain a Rail & Fly ticket at the same time they book their flight to Germany. This is a stress-free option for when you land and depart as it offers connecting rail services to and from any German airport free of charge. Here are a few other tips for getting to where you need to go from each of these airports.
Berlin Tegel Airport is the airport that most passengers will use when flying into Berlin currently. It’s conveniently located only five miles from the city. As the fourth-busiest airport in Germany, Berlin Tegel handles more than 20 million passengers per year. A newer airport (Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport) is currently being built adjacent to Berlin Schönefeld Airport, and Tegel Airport is scheduled to close sometime in 2018.
In the meantime, the fastest way to get to the city center from Tegel Airport is to take the Airport Express bus. The bus stop is located outside of Terminal A/B, and tickets can be purchased on-board, from the ticket machines outside the terminal building, or the ticket counter near the exit of Terminal A/B. Prices are very affordable. The bus service has numerous routes and runs very frequently from the airport, however. Due to the high number of routes and choices available it might be wise to ask someone at the airport which bus would be the best option for you, depending on where you need to go exactly. You can also grab a taxi, but it will cost significantly more than the bus will. However, it can be a quick and efficient method if you don’t want to try and navigate the public transport options. You can also rent a car if you’d like; the car rental center is located on the lower floor near Terminal E. Lastly, be aware that U-Bahn (underground transit) and S-Bahn (urban rail) trains do not service Tegel directly.
Berlin Schonefeld Airport is situated in what was previously East Berlin and is 11 miles southeast of the city center. The airport is a popular gateway into Berlin and the eastern side of Germany. Although currently the smaller of Berlin’s two international airports as it mostly handles charter flights and low cost carriers, it is undergoing a major upgrade. Originally, the new Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport that is scheduled to open sometime in 2018 was supposed to replace both Tegel and Schonefeld airports, becoming one single commercial airport serving Berlin and the surrounding area of Brandenburg. However, because of the rising number of passengers flying into the area, it was decided that the new airport would only replace Tegel, and that Schonefeld would be expanded. The new airport is being built adjacent to Schonefeld, and the plan is to incorporate part of the airport’s existing infrastructure into the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport. Also part of the plan is to use Schönefeld’s terminals until at least 2023 to handle low-cost carriers as part of the new airport.
From Schoenefeld Airport, you have three public transportation options to get to the city center: the regional train (Airport Express), the S-Bahn, and the bus. The fastest way to get into the city center is by taking the Airport Express train, which run every half hour from Flughafen Berlin-Schoenefeld station, very close to the airport terminal. The S-Bahn trains operate between every ten minutes and half an hour, but take a little longer than the regional train to get to the city center due to the number of stops they make. The bus service has numerous routes and runs very frequently from the airport. Due to the high number of routes and choices available to travelers, it might be a good idea to ask someone at the airport which bus would be the best option for you. Buses can also take you to U-Bahn stations, Berlin’s underground rapid transit railway, where you can then travel to where you need to go. If you’re not on a budget, taxis are also available for you to take and are parked right outside the arrivals hall. Just understand that it’s not the cheapest option. Like at Berlin Tegel, rental cars are also an option.
The S-Bahn rail service is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to get into the city especially if you are carrying luggage. It runs directly from the airport every twenty minutes so you don’t need to worry about rushing too much. You can also take a Lufthansa bus from the arrivals Terminal of the airport. Taxis are available but they are a lot more expensive than the other options available. That said if you can split the fare with some friends then it could be a viable choice.
The city is easily accessible from the airport and is only about 7 and a half miles away. Again the S-Bahn trains are the easiest and most convenient ways to travel and it runs around every fifteen minutes. The AirLiner Bus makes multiple journeys to the city too. It runs every thirty minutes and the journey shouldn’t last longer than half an hour either. You can opt to get a taxi but it will cost you a lot more than the S-Bahn train. If you happen to have some friends traveling with you and can split the cost, then it can work out as the best option out of the three.
After you’ve gotten to where you need to go, as you’ve probably realized by now, Germany has an excellent rail and bus network for getting around the country, as well as major and regional airports if you’d rather fly. Another option is a cruise on the Rhine or Main River.
Germany has an excellent rail and bus network for getting around the country, as well as major and regional airports. Another option is a cruise on the Rhine or Main River. Some cities have areas that are best explored on foot, such as the historic districts in Berlin and Frankfurt. Public transportation is the best way to get around a city, however. Berlin in particular has an excellent public transportation system. Taxis are also available, but will of course cost a bit more.
Although driving is possible in the cities, public transportation is better as the rush-hour traffic is frustrating. In Berlin, parking is a problem, especially since parking restrictions are not always clearly marked. When parking in a garage, pay before going to your car. Insert the ticket into the machine, pay the amount, then retrieve the ticket. Go to your car and when you exit insert the ticket in the slot to raise the barrier. While many rural general sections of the Autobahn have no posted speed limits, other parts as well as many other freeway-style highways have a speed limit of 80 MPH as recommended by the German government. Drive carefully in order to not get a speeding ticket.
Germany offers something for every type of traveler. In Berlin, explore the remnants of the Berlin Wall, dance the night away at techno clubs or check out the Ishtar Gate of Babylon on Museum Island. Enjoy natural beauty on Malerweg Hiking Trail, or take a cable car ride to the summit of Zugspitze, the country’s highest mountain. History buffs can learn about the Holocaust at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, wander through the labyrinthine Imperial Baths in Trier, or admire the 600-year-old architecture of the gothic Cologne Cathedral.
During the winter holidays, you can participate in one of Germany’s most beloved traditions: Christmas markets. At these fairy-tale markets, which run from late November through December, you can sip hot mulled wine, snack on classic sausage dishes and shop the open-air booths. Many, including the popular Nuremburg Christkindlesmarkt and the charming Dresden Striezelmarkt, provide regular live entertainment for visitors.
If you’re after stunning castles, mountain vistas and storybook towns, the “Romantic Road” has you covered. Rent a car or book a tour for this 220-mile route, which extends from Fussen in the south to Wurzburg in the north. Stops along the way include the picturesque streets of Rothenburg ob der Tauber and the towering Nueschwanstein Castle, which inspired the castle in Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty.”
For families, Lake Constance offers boating and swimming, while the Europa-Park theme park offers live entertainment and carnival rides. Active travelers can experience world-class powder at the Ochsenkopf ski resort or enjoy miles of cross-country skiing in Oberammergau.
Tips for your stay in Germany
Thanks to its wealth of international airports, flying out of Germany is a breeze. Whether you’re flying a domestic airline such as American or Delta, or an international carrier such as British Airways or Lufthansa, Cheapflights can help you find the perfect itinerary. Visit https://www.cheapflights.co.uk for the top flight deals for routes out of Germany.
Buses and taxis serve most major German airports, so it’s easy to make your flight. Staying near a rail station? Consider taking the train. Most major airports in Germany, including Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Munich, offer convenient on-site train stations. If you’re traveling on weekends or Monday mornings, allow extra transit time in larger cities such as Frankfurt and Berlin. Beware of airport locations — Frankfurt Hahn Airport, for example, is located nearly two hours by bus from the city center.
Once you choose a destination and departure city, be sure to check out our Germany airport guides for more detailed travel information and helpful tips.
(prices quoted are from London)