First off -- let it be known that I'm a total baby when it comes to cold weather. I'm a summer chaser/California girl, but now I find myself leaving for Germany in the winter, so... what do I pack? What does the weather feel like?
I'm going to be traveling around the country, but know for sure I'll be in Munster and Berlin, which are currently 48 and 37 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. Weather reports show drizzle/rain every day this week, so I'm assuming it will be the same when I'm there.
I'm packing most of the typical stuff that I'd bring on a Tahoe ski trip (thick socks, leggings under my pants, gloves, scarves, extra lotion for dry skin, hair products to prevent frizzy hair, etc). Is there anything else? Do I need earmuffs? How about rain boots? How hardcore is the rain? I would prefer not to have to pack rain boots, but can if it's necessary. Otherwise, I'll be wearing knee high leather boots with thick socks. Any other tips? What's the wind and wind chill like?
. lip balm is important. But you can buy in Germany. It s Nivea country. Doesn't matter in anyway. Visit to museums. Cheer up.
Make sure you pack some lip balm...you'll need it! Because of the weather change, I would recommend taking some cold/flu over-the-counter meds just in case your body reacts to the change in temperature and you end up with a cold. It's better having it packed than trying to get it translated at the local pharmacy.
Fellow sun chasing Cali girl here. You are on the right track with your Tahoe clothing. I bought a waterproof black semi-puffy rain jacket with a detachable hood that provides great coverage at Burlington Coat Factory for 39 bucks. It has great seaming and when I detach the hood it's stylish and versatile for European travel. Also agree you need one great big warm scarf to wrap and wear different ways with different clothes. I also bought some short wedge waterproof boots in Spain. Take them to Europe every year and then i get them re-soled by my shoe guy. You might want gloves with texting pads, and don't forget a cross body bag with tons of zipper pockets and a clip on one end so you can detach and wrap around a table or chair when you are out. Have fun...Germany is great.
you won't need rain boots, they are too cold.
How about just buying a decent coat once you're in Germany? You won't freeze to death right away if you bring a jacket and you probably won't find what you need in California. Buy something that's waterprrof and "fluffy" with a hood and you're good to go.
And there's really no need to be scared. The buildings are well insulated, so it's always warm once you're inside and there is no need to spend ages outdoors.
Get a decent coat, some boots (uggs are fine), a scarf and a hat that's all you need.
Münster and Berlin are both away from the coast (means less rain) and kind of in the north (means warmer), so you will be fine.
Pack layers! The waether can change so often. As long as you have waterproof shoes if you are doing a lot of walking around or hiking you will be fine. I always wear a hat usually when I'm out so maybe at least ear muffs or a hat in case.
For fashions sake, don't worry about rain boots! Grab a pair that might have a bit thicker sole because it might just be slushy rather than truly wet! If the wind isn't blowing, it probably won't feel too cold. I would take a scarf that you can get wrapped around your neck and/or bring up high enough to cover the bottom of your face. Wouldn't worry about earmuffs (as they take up too much space in a bag and you can't put them in a jacket pocket), but might consider a ear "wrap" sort of like a large headband. You can keep it in your pocket or purse until you might need to cover up the ears!
I dont really know how the weather is there in Münster. But bring I nice jacket, which also protects you from light rain.
Where I am currently, we probably won't see any snow until late january. Münster is a bit higher, so it might be diffrent. It seems to be a very mild winter. You probably will have some colder days also more wind than usual, but you should be good.
To warm yourself up you can get some "Glühwein" at the christmas markets or get some "Kinderpunsch", this is "Glühwein" with no alcohol. I dont think it will be to bad. Heck I am running around in a t-shirt right now, because for me its to warm for sweatshirt or jackets. only at nights I need something.
I dont think you need rain boots, its fashion wise here not as common as in the US but it starts to pick up. Rather bring some good boots which are kind of water resistand. Yes I know, women are very obsessed with their boots ;). Once you get snow there I would recommend to clean your boots with a little bit of water or wipe them off wet, because they use salt for the snow and ice, but this is not the best friend of your boots and if it dries in, you probably get ugly spots or small damages. Depends on the boots.
Another thing I would recommend you to pack is a power travel adapter and a multioutlet strip. Therefore you need only one adapter and can plugin all your chargers for phones, toothbrush or whatever you have.
Maker sure first the chargers support 240V. Pretty much all phone and laptop chargers do, but not all of the other once like for electric toothbrush...
You also should get cash. Credit cards are not very common in germany and not a lot of places take them. Go in germany to a local ATM and insert your debit/credit card (debit would be probably lower fees) and get cash right there. This saves you all the fees on the exchange counters and is usually cheaper too. Thats what I do.
Hope this helps a bit and worst case I am here too, if you need anything give me a buzz...
Debbie, we lived in Germany for 3.5 years and each winter was slightly different, so it's hard to foresee the rainfall. It sounds like you're on the right track. Do bring warm scarves that you can wrap up in and wrap around your head as needed. Earmuffs aren't necessary if you have warm scarves. (And scarves are more common there fashion-wise).
It can get really wet - think of a Pacific Northwest winter - winter in Seattle or Portland. If you don't mind your pretty black boots getting wet or you're going to be doing mostly city travel and walking on pavement, then those might be fine, but if you're doing anything outdoorsy and don't want your leather boots to be wet, then bring some nice wellies with liners and thick socks. I wore tall UGG boots there and never felt overly warm.
The wind/wind chill totally varies by location - it really isn't going to be any worse than it would be in the American NW. If you bring lots of layers, you'll be fine.