Wondering what to pack for Germany in December?
After visiting the Christmas Markets a few times, we’ve learned what to bring for a comfortable, festive trip. Keep reading to learn about the clothes and accessories you’ll need to pack for Germany in December!
READY TO TRAVEL? USE OUR FAVOURITE RESOURCES
Accommodations: Booking.com | Hotels.com | Expedia
Rental Car: Discover Cars
Travel Insurance: SafetyWing
Tours and Activities: Viator | Get Your Guide
December in Germany can be cold and wet, but it’s still such a magical experience!
With the twinkling Christmas markets, traditional glühwein and delicious treats, there’s no better place to be during the festive season. But to ensure your trip to Germany is enjoyable, make sure you’re prepared for the cold winter temperatures with proper clothing.
I travel with my kids, so this Germany packing list includes both women’s and kids’ clothing. And while this packing list is geared towards packing for German Christmas markets, it should also work for visiting other European Christmas Markets, including the fabulous Austrian and Czech Christmas Markets, like the ones in Prague and Vienna.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something through a link,
I may make a commission – at no extra cost to you.
Please read the disclosure for more information.
Weather in Germany in December
When you travel to Germany in December, make sure to pack plenty of warm clothing, as it can be chilly and wet.
There are some occasional sunny days but be prepared for plenty of damp, grey days as well.
Temperatures will vary throughout the country, with temperatures in Berlin averaging between 0°C to 4°C (32°F to 39°F) and cities towards the south of Germany, like Stuttgart, average between 1°C to 6°C (34°F to 43°F).
Munich weather in December will be a touch chillier, with average temperatures ranging from -2°C to 4°C (28°F – 39°F).
What to Pack for Germany in December
When thinking about what to wear to Christmas Markets in Germany, or any other festive events, keep in mind you’ll be outside a lot and will want to pack clothes that are warm and comfortable – and that includes for your feet too!
For clothing, layering is key when thinking about what to wear in Germany in December. With layers, you’ll stay warmer and drier, which is important at this time of year!
You’ll want to bring a base layer, which takes the moisture and sweat off your skin, a middle layer to insulate and keep you warm, and an outer layer to protect from the wind and rain.
A good base layer is made of moisture-wicking material, such as Merino wool, as it’s lightweight and breathable, so it regulates body temperature in a range of conditions. Plus, it’s odour-resistant, which is helpful when you’re travelling!
Another option is to choose layers made of polyester, which are often less expensive. My kids wear the base layer from Decathlon, which is quite reasonably priced and really warm.
For the middle layer, thicker materials like fleece or a sweater will keep you warm and comfortable. My kids wear a fleece pull-over sweater but I prefer to wear a sweater that zips up, so I can adjust if I get hot.
And don’t forget about your feet! Be sure to pack warm socks and good waterproof boots or shoes.
Here’s what we suggest to pack for clothing:
- 2 pairs of pants
- Base layer or thermal pants for long days outdoors
- 1 or 2 base layer tops
- OR 3-4 t-shirts or long sleeve tops to wear as the first layer
- Fleece zip-up or other sweater as a middle layer
- 7 pairs of underwear
- 5 socks – wool are best!
Don’t worry too much about stylish or perfectly matching outfits when deciding what to wear to the Christmas Markets.
This is the time to be practical and warm. After all, you’ll be outdoors and no one will see what you are wearing under your winter coat and hat!
Essential Outerwear to Pack
As well as the clothing mentioned above, you’ll need an outer layer to protect you from the weather.
A good outer layer should be waterproof, windproof and breathable. A jacket with a hood is also essential – you’ll never know when the rain will start!
In addition to a coat, you’ll also want a warm winter hat, mitts or gloves and a scarf to keep the neck warm. For little guys, a fleece neck warmer is a great option and saves the worry of the scarf being untied constantly.
And don’t forget about the feet! You’ll want something waterproof and warm, yet comfortable as you’ll probably be walking a lot!
Bogs are a lightweight, yet warm option for kids, while mom prefers a winter hiking boot.
Outerwear You’ll Need to Pack for Germany in December
- Warm winter coat
- Winter hat
- Warm mitts or gloves
- Scarf or neck warmer
- Warm and comfortable winter boots or shoes
If you’re flying to Germany and wanting to travel carry-on only, outerwear probably doesn’t have to be packed – chances are you’ll be wearing it on the plane!
We always wear our boots, coats and hats on the plane – to keep us warm on the way and from the airport, as well as to save some space in our luggage.
Toiletries can be packed the same as you normally would for any trip, but I always make sure to pack hand cream and lip chap as well, as I find it’s needed in the cold weather!
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
- First aid kit >> here’s what we carry in our travel first aid kit
- Lip Chap
- Hand Cream
**If you’re travelling carry-on only, be sure that your toiletries are under 100ml/3.4oz
- Charging Cords
- E-reader or Tablet
- Travel Power Strip
- Universal Travel Adaptor
- eSIM or SIM card
You’ll want to take plenty of pictures while visiting the Christmas Markets or just wandering around the charming towns in Germany.
While I usually travel with my DSLR, many smartphones take great photos as well.
In fact, I’ve just upgraded to a new lens for my smartphone and found I’ve been using that more than my DSLR.
If you’re looking to save space or worried about pulling out a camera while travelling, you might just want to use your phone as a camera.
E-reader or Tablet
An e-reader or tablet is great to bring along to help pass the time on planes, trains or just to have something to do before bed.
I always bring my Kindle, as I find it’s easier than reading on my phone and it takes up less space than a hardcover book.
Make sure you have all your chargers, cords and spare batteries with you.
And be sure to doublecheck before you leave – there’s nothing worse than arriving in Europe and realizing you left your laptop plug at home…..true story.
Whether you’re staying in a hotel or apartment, it’s always handy to bring along a travel power strip.
This is especially helpful if you have multiple devices that need to be charged simultaneously.
And with different plugs in Germany, a power strip lets you charge multiple devices without having multiple travel adaptors as well.
Universal Travel Adaptor
And don’t forget a universal travel adapter. This is essential in Germany, as most outlets have two-round prongs instead of the standard three-pronged plug we use in North America and many other countries around the world.
You can find specific European travel adaptors or a universal travel adaptor like this one that works anywhere.
eSIM card or SIM for Europe
For those who need to stay connected while they travel, an eSIM card or a European SIM card is essential. Most hotels and many public areas in Germany will have free WIFI, but with a SIM card, you can access data even while out and about.
If your phone supports eSIM, Airalo is a fantastic way to get data while abroad without worrying about purchasing a physical SIM card.
Documents and Money
- Drivers License
- Birth Certificates for Kids or Consent Letter
- Debit cards, credit cards
As with any time you travel internationally, you’ll need a passport, and be sure to check that it is still valid for 3 months from the time you leave Germany.
I also like to carry a copy of my passport and travel insurance details before leaving. It’s always helpful to have these on hand in case the original documents get lost or stolen.
If you’re planning to rent a car, be sure to bring your Driver’s License. An international Driver’s License is not required to drive in Germany as a visitor.
If you’re travelling with kids as the only parent, it’s a good idea to bring a copy of birth certificates (if you’re the only parent listed), or a consent letter for travel if the other parent listed on the birth certificate is not travelling with you.
While you may not be asked for these documents, you COULD be and it’s always better to have them on you, just in case.
I travel solo with my kids and have been asked several times for paperwork, although not in Germany so far. You can find a consent letter template here to modify and print out.
Debit and Credit Cards
You’ll also need some money while in Germany!
Germany uses Euros as currency, and you can purchase some cash before you leave or change it when you arrive. Another option is just to withdraw money once you arrive.
Debit cards will work at any ATM’s, although you may be charged a fee to withdraw money.
Credit cards are widely accepted as well and it’s a good idea to bring one, just in case of emergencies!
It’s also a good idea to inform your bank or credit card issuer that you’ll be travelling so they don’t freeze your account when charges start appearing from Germany.
Other Things You Might Want to Pack
- Travel Clothesline
- Notebook and Pen
- Door Stop Alarm
- Packing Cubes
- Reusable Water Bottle
- Reusable Shopping bag
- Anti-theft Purse
When your clothes get wet, as they probably will when you visit Germany in December, you’ll want to hang them somewhere to dry!
And a clothesline is helpful when washing out clothes in the hotel sink.
Some hotels will have a retractable clothesline in the shower, but we always bring out own, just in case. We travel with this one, as I prefer to use clothespins to hang the clothes, but there are also ones without pins.
Notebook and Pen
I always travel with a notebook, whether to jot down notes about places we visited or info on train and bus schedules.
Door Stop Alarm
This may sound odd, but travelling as a solo parent, this door stop alarm makes me feel more comfortable and safe, especially when staying in an apartment or airbnb.
Packing cubes are an excellent way to keep your packing organized.
Whether you use the packing cubes to organize by family member, types of clothing or even clothing per day, they will help keep your suitcase tidy and make it easier to find things when you need them!
Reusable Water Bottle
While you’ll find bottled water in Germany, it’s also safe to drink the tap water and there are many places with refill stations, making it easy and cost-effective to stay hydrated.
Reusable Shopping Bag
As with many countries, plastic bags are no longer available in stores or shops in Germany.
It’s a good idea to bring your own reusable bag, whether you’re picking up snacks or groceries at the store or if you’re planning on visiting the Christmas Markets.
A good daypack can be used for hikes, days out or even just carrying snacks and water while you’re out sightseeing around town.
You’ll want one that’s lightweight and comfortable. I love the Osprey ones, or if you have the Osprey 55L, it has a removable daypack.
If you’re not carrying a daypack, having an anti-theft purse is a smart idea. While Germany is fairly safe, it’s always good to be cautious while travelling.
When you travel with kids, it’s always a good idea to bring snacks.
Sure, you can pick up snacks while in Germany, but having a few familiar snacks from home is a good idea too.
There are pros and cons to using both a suitcase or a backpack, and really it comes down to personal preference.
I find when travelling in Germany, a backpack is easier for me and saves the hassle of taking a rolling suitcase over the cobblestones or up stairs. My go-to backpack is the Osprey 40L or 55L (and as mentioned above – the 55L has a removable daypack, while the 40L is considered carry-on size for most airlines.)
And don’t forget travel insurance!
If you don’t have travel insurance through your credit card, we recommend Safety Wing. Check out their rates and coverage here.
Final Thoughts on What to Pack for Germany in December
Hopefully this packing list has given you an idea of what to pack for Germany in December. Keep in mind that the days can be cold and wet, so make sure you pack accordingly. But even with the chilly weather, Germany in December is a wonderful time to visit with plenty of charming towns and Christmas cheer. Enjoy your trip!
For more tips on packing lists for family travel, be sure to check out these posts:
- How to Travel with Carry On Only: 11 Tips to Pack Light
- Ultimate Family Travel Packing List
- 5 Essential Documents for Travelling
- The Best Car Seats for Travel in 2022
- The Best Carry-On Luggage for Family Travel in 2022
For more inspiration on visiting Germany in December and the Christmas Markets, be sure to check out these posts:
- Ultimate Guide to Dusseldorf Christmas Market (2023)
- Ultimate Guide to the Mannheim Christmas Market
- Stuttgart Christmas Market – A Great Christmas Market for Kids!
- Visiting European Christmas Markets with Kids
- Best Christmas Markets in Prague
- Best Christmas Markets in Vienna (Plus Highlights for Kids)