Eight signs summer has arrived in Germany

Rachel Loxton
Rachel Loxton - [email protected] • 24 Jun, 2019 Updated Mon 24 Jun 2019 11:54 CEST
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How do we know summer has arrived in Germany? Well, we're seeing more naked people and getting soaked in thunderstorms. Here's a few more signs.

Shops sell out of fans

Photo: DPA

When temperatures rise to the late 20s and 30s, Germany gets sticky. That's because of the heat, but it's also exasperated by the lack of air conditioning in many public places. Apart from the odd shop or modern office, it’s quite difficult to get a blast of cool air as the mercury rises.

READ ALSO: Heatwave in Germany - temperatures of 40C forecast

And don't even mention public transport, especially the U-Bahn, which has already transformed into a sea of body odour and it's only June. 

Those who've had enough of waking up drenched in their own sweat every morning will probably head to a shop with the aim of buying a cooling fan, only to find that it's impossible to find one. 

Last year in the heatwave, fans of all shapes and sizes sold out in stores across Germany. Our advice: purchase one on the next cooler day so you can be smug when the heat creeps up again.

Failing that, write a reminder in your diary to pick one up in winter when there's sure to be a large supply, and hold onto it for dear life for all future German heatwaves. 

Germans head to the lakes

The Helenesee in Brandenburg. Photo: DPA

The Germans are generally big fans of the outdoors all year round and now that sunnier days are here they will flock in huge numbers to the many lakes or outdoor pools in the country. 

The best way to do it is figure out your route in advance - as some lakes require careful public transport planning, pack a picnic and lots of liquid (no, beer doesn't really count. We mean water!)

Plus, don't forget your sunscreen and take care when swimming in water. 

It's also worth nothing that beaches can be very busy at this time of year. Still, we would thoroughly recommend making the most of the awesome water spots across the country, from Bavaria to Brandenburg.

People get naked

An FKK sign at a beach in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Oh Germany, we really know it’s summer when you get your kit off.

Don't be surprised when you get to the lake to find that some people are wearing absolutely nothing. 

Germany has a tolerance of and, in some cases, a fondness for being "textile free." Whether it's one of the country's hundreds of spas and wellness resorts, parks or lakes, many residents here are known for having no qualms about taking their clothes off.

This is the country of FKK - Freikörperkultur - an informal movement that translates to free body culture.

The movement comes to life in summer when you'll find designated FKK spots at beaches and even parks, such as the Englischer Garten in Munich. 

Try not to stare, just go with it and if you're intrigued then think about joining in. What's the worst that could happen? 

SEE ALSO: The dos and don'ts of public nudity in Germany

You get caught in torrential rain

Unfortunately, summer in the Bundesrepublik includes dramatic thunder and lightning storms which bring with them torrential rain. The rain is good for the crops, but it's a little inconvenient for going about your day. 

If you're Scottish like me, you will be used to carrying an umbrella/raincoat around with you at all times. But if you're not in tune with unpredictable weather, then perhaps consider investing in some light waterproof wear. Failing that, it's so warm that you'll dry pretty quickly. 

Some of the lightning storms are quite the spectacle, but watch them from a safe position. 

Strawberries are everywhere

If spring was the season for Spargel (asparagus) then summer is the humble strawberry’s time to shine. Yes, Erdbeeren are available pretty much all year round due to industrial farming but this is when they are at their best. 

Little huts pop up at the side of roads, in train stations and on streets selling tubs of strawbs, making them great for picking up on the way to your picnic.

Heatwave tip: another seasonal fruit that is great for helping you cool down on a summer's day and available everywhere - watermelon.

Festival season gets underway

Would it even be summer in Germany without an array of festivals? From street parties to parades and big music extravaganzas, this country really does try to make the most of the social side of summer. 

There was even a strawberry festival held in Hamburg at the weekend!

As well as the bigger events, such as Fusion, a music festival near Berlin, find out if your neighbourhood or town is hosting a fest as often it's a great way to meet the people who live in your area and make connections. 

The parties are reminiscent of cosy street gatherings, guaranteeing a real local feel. 

Shops shut for a holiday



A post shared by Ballon Oase (@ballon_oase_) on Jun 16, 2019 at 7:26am PDT

Get ready for stores, cafes and restaurants to shut their doors - sometimes for weeks on end - as owners go on their summer holidays. This usually happens in the second part of summer; in fact, some businesses shut for the entire month of August.

But don't be surprised if independent stores or cafes have a sign on their door alerting you to the fact they are closed for a weeks, anytime from now. 

More bikes get stolen


Einen wunderschönen ☕️ guten Morgen euch. Die Sonne lacht und ein herrlicher Sonntag ☀️ steht bevor. Ob eine kleine ? Ausfahrt, eine ? Radtour, ein ?‍♂️ Spaziergang oder gehts ins Freibad? Für was entscheidet ihr euch? Euch auf jeden Fall einen tollen Tag ?. . #hannover #hannover_fotografie #maschsee #maschseeliebe #maschseehannover #bike #fahrräder #segelboot #sport #hannoverliebe #instanature #hannoverliebt #instahannover #meinniedersachsen #meinhannover #hannoverlove #ilovehannover #lovehannover #lowersaxony #niedersachsen #hannoververliebt #hannoverliebe #natur #nature #chillen #love #liebe #fahrradtour #fahrradfahren

A post shared by Matthias - Photography (@hannover_fotografie) on Jun 16, 2019 at 1:27am PDT

This is a depressing but a true fact of life in Germany: as soon as the good weather is back in force, the risk of your bike getting nicked increases dramatically. Of course, thieves are on the hunt for Fahrräder all year round, but as demand goes up in the hot weather, more bicycles are swiped from the street - or even the Hinterhof (courtyard).

It's important to have a good lock or two for your bike to keep it secure. But short of keeping it locked away in your room and never using it, there's not much you can do.

The silver lining is that buying a fairly decent bike in Germany is usually not very expensive due to there being so many around. However, we wish the police did a bit more to crack down on these thefts, which are often organized by gangs in urban areas. 

Have we missed anything out? Let us know your ideas by emailing [email protected] 



Rachel Loxton 2019/06/24 11:54

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