We can wholeheartedly recommend enjoying Germany in the touristic off-season. During high season from Easter to October touristic highlights are quite often overcrowded. Advent season also sees a surge of visitors – at least in towns with Christmas markets. Late winter though is a marvelously quiet time to visit much of the country (apparently not the Alps and other skiing regions). Of course some sights will be inaccessible but most stay open all year round albeit with restricted opening hours. If your one that gets tired of having museums and castles all to themselves and wants to seek some action then you should consider aligning visiting the country with the carnival season.
Theoretically this season starts on November 11th but it definitely is most lively in January and the beginning of February. The actual week of most of the parades starts the Thursday before Ash Wednesday like our Mardi Gras celebrations in the US. There are different types of carnivals in Germany with the oldest and most traditional - and in our eyes the most stunning - being found in the South-West of the country. It derived from an age-old custom to dress up with terrifying masks and costumes at the end of the winter to scare away the winter demons which people back then believed in.
Written by Anna-Barbara Schmidt