Here is a list of school holidays in Germany in 2020 and 2021 along with information on additional days off and holiday childcare options.
This guide to school holidays in Germany is to help parents who live and work in Germany mark down the key dates on the calendar and organize the necessary family activities or childcare arrangements. German schools have seasonal holiday breaks, including a long summer break, plus holidays for Christmas and Easter.
International School on the Rhine
The International School on the Rhine is located in the Düsseldorf – Neuss – Cologne region. It offers an excellent international education through full-day schooling in a multilingual environment. ISR offers an outstanding academic program, individual support for students, and several extra-curricular activities through a non-selective, college-preparatory education system.
School holidays in Germany
School holidays in Germany are set at the regional level by each federal state. Each state will have holidays each year for autumn, Christmas, Easter, and summer, plus schools in most states also have a winter break around February. A few states have a break of about one to two weeks for Pentecost around May/June. There are also days off throughout the year which varies between states. Each state sets the exact dates for all school holidays in Germany, although they need to fall within a certain time period.
Holiday dates at private international schools in Germany may be slightly different from general school holiday dates, although they will roughly coincide. Check with your child’s school for details.
German school holidays are often used as a time for families to get together and celebrate festive holidays such as Easter and Christmas in Germany, go away on family vacations or have a local day trip in Germany. Holidays may also coincide with regional days of celebration or German carnival periods.
German school holiday dates 2019–20
- Autumn break: 1–2 weeks between 30 September and 31 October 2019 (Baden-Wurttemburg has a three-day break between 28–30 October)
- Christmas break: 2–3 weeks between 19 December 2019 and 12 January 2020
- Winter break: 1–2 weeks between 31 January and 28 February 2020 (no break in Baden-Wurttemburg, Hessen, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein; break of 1–2 days in Bremen, Hamburg and Lower Saxony)
- Easter break: 2–3 weeks between 28 March and 24 April 2020 (Hamburg has a separate spring holiday across 2–13 March 2019)
- Ascension break: 1–2 day break across 21–22 May 2020
- Pentecost break: 1–2 day break across 1–2 June 2020
- Not all states have both Ascension and Pentecost breaks. Some don’t have a break, some have just one. Baden-Wurttemburg and Bavaria have a two-week break between 2–13 June 2019. Check with your local regional authority or school for details.
- Summer break: six weeks between 22 June and 12 September 2020 (Thuringia has seven weeks from 20 July to 28 August 2019)
German school holiday dates 2020–21
- Autumn break: 1–2 weeks between 5 October and 31 October 2020
- Christmas break: 2–3 weeks between 21 December 2020 and 9 January 2021
- Winter break: 1–2 weeks between 1 February and 21 February 2021 (no break in Baden-Wurttemburg, Hessen, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein; break of 1–2 days in Bremen, Hamburg and Lower Saxony)
- Easter break: 2–3 weeks between 27 March–16 April 2021 (Hamburg has a separate spring holiday between 1–12 March 2021)
- Ascension break: 1–2 day break across 13–14 May 2021
- Pentecost break: 1–2 day break across 24–25 May 2019
- Not all states have both Ascension and Pentecost breaks. Some don’t have a break, some have just one. Baden-Wurttemburg and Bavaria have a two-week break between 25 May and 5 June 2021. Check with your local regional authority or school for details.
- Summer break: roughly six weeks between 21 June and 13 September 2021.
All dates are subject to change.
You can find full details of holiday dates for both 2020 and 2021 by checking with your child’s school.
Additional holidays and days off
The above dates are those that generally apply to all German schools each year, but there are additional days throughout the year where there may be no school. These could be regional holidays that only apply to particular states in line with regional public holidays in Germany, religious days where children of certain faiths are granted time off, or days that apply within individual schools such as staff training days or pupil book days. For full details, check with your local school or have a look on the school website. Many schools such as the International School of the Rhine have calendars on their websites, which list all dates where there is no school.
Childcare during school holidays in Germany
If you are a working parent, you may find yourself in the position of having to find childcare during the holidays if you can’t (or don’t want to) take time off work and leaving the kids with relatives or friends isn’t an option. The main options in Germany are:
- Daycare nurseries: Daycare nurseries (horts) provide out-of-hours school care for primary school children in Germany. This normally takes place after school hours, but many German horts also run holiday provision that includes a range of fun activities. They are primarily for primary school children but in some cases will take children up until the age of 14. You can find information about nursery provision in your area from your child’s school or your local authority. You can also search for nurseries through Kita.
- Summer camps: For older children, there are summer camps that run adventure, sports and language activities. Many of these are popular with expat children in Germany, such as Camp Adventure international summer camp which runs activities for children aged up to 19.
- Paying for an individual carer: You could employ a childminder, nanny, babysitter or au pair. Find out more in our guide to finding childcare in Germany.
Prices and availability for nurseries and summer camps may vary so it’s advisable to book at the earliest opportunity.