TRAVEL UPDATE - Coronavirus (Covid-19)


When is the Best Time to Go and Visit Norway?

By: Camila
Last Updated: 30/07/2019

Planning a Scandinavian getaway and wondering about the best time to go visit Norway? The truth is that this beautiful Nordic nation is a worthy travel destination year-round, so it’s hard to go wrong!

Having said that, each season has its own unique benefits. The summer is perfect for fjord cruises and self-drive tours, while the winter is the ideal time to spot the northern lights and take part in winter activities.

To learn more, read our simple guide to Norway’s four seasons – we’ve got you covered no matter when you visit.

Norway in summer

Best for enjoying the midnight sun & warm waters

June to August is a fantastic time to visit Norway if you want to take advantage of the country’s legendary midnight sun. At this time of year, the days are long and warm, and greenery stretches as far as the eye can see.

How's the weather?

While temperatures in the north (for example in Tromsø) stays low at around 11°C (52°F), temperatures in the south climb into the 20s. Perfect summer temperatures to enjoy sightseeing.

Best places to visit

The warm weather, endless daylight hours, and good road conditions mean it’s a perfect time for taking on a road trip! You could leave from the capital, Oslo, and head west toward the western fjords region.

Make sure to head north to see the famous and UNESCO World Heritage-listed Geirangerfjord.

If you’re keen to venture into the real north of Norway, summer is a good time to go if you want to avoid the coldest, snowiest weather.

We especially recommend touring the Lofoten Islands, just north of the Arctic Circle. This charming archipelago is an idyllic place to enjoy nature, hike, kayak, cycle, boat and fish to your heart’s content, drinking in the astonishing vistas under the midnight sun.

Fun activities to do

The warmer weather of the summer means the lakes warm up nicely, making them ideal for wild swimming. Even if you don’t take to the water yourself, you can still make the most of the weather by enjoying a boating trip.

There are plenty of cruises to enjoy in the summer, but also kayaking excursions if you fancy something even closer to nature. You could adventure yourself onto Aurlandsfjord, from Flåm, or even participate in a kayaking tour of Ålesund in the west.

If you’re in Bergen, why not try the Mt Ulriken zipline to experience the city from a different perspective?

And if you’re a lover of birds, it’s a great time to come to Norway for birdwatching. There are interesting safaris – we can suggest the one in Honningsvåg, in the north of Norway.

Norway in autumn

Best for enjoying crisp nights & scenic hikes

Between September and November, Norway is transformed. The lush greens of the summer have been replaced with the fiery autumnal shades of yellow, orange and red. At this time of the year, the landscape is on the cusp of colourful foliage and the frost of first snow.

This is the perfect time of the year for those who enjoy hiking, and especially for those seeking a quieter ambience. October and November in particular see a drop in visting travellers, meaning any crowds are smaller.

How’s the weather?

Every month the weather takes a drastic dip as the winter approaches. In Oslo, average temperatures come down to around 6°C (48°F) in October, while in the north they are only around 2°C (35°F).

Best places to visit

The cities are must-sees during this season as you have plenty of places to visit, such as museums and attractions. Making your way between Oslo and Bergen, passing by the iconic Norway in a Nutshell® journey.

Going through the country toward the west coast will be an ideal place to spot all the gorgeous landscapes, marking by the colours of autumn.

If you’re looking for a fantastic wildlife experience, make sure to head north, maybe on a Hurtigruten cruise all the way to Kirkenes. This is a good time of year to spot sea life, such as spot humpbacks and orcas in the chilly northern waters.

Fun activities to do

The crisp weather of the autumn means it is a great time for those who love hiking and always seek an interesting viewpoint. That includes the hike up to the famous Pulpit Rock, or even Trolltunga.

If you consider yourself a film buff, you may want to visit Bergen at the end of September to attend the Bergen International Film Festival.

We obviously couldn’t mention Norwegian autumn without mentioning that this is the start of the season to for spotting the northern lights in Norway. From October, you could participate in aurora borealis tours, by bus, dog sled or even snowmobile!

Norway in winter

Best for enjoying the northern lights & winter sports

Norway’s winter is magical! While these months may be cold and dark, the beauty of the landscapes more than makes up for it. The country is draped in thick snow, and the fjords are transformed into mystical ice realms.

Some roads are closed over the winter months, but you can enjoy cruises and train journeys all year long. While not as popular as the summer, it’s still a great time of year to get a different perspectives with the snow-capped mountains and dark skies.

You may be lucky enough to spot some colourful dancing lights in the sky as well!

How’s the weather?

Temperatures fall down to an average of -3 or -4°C (25°F) in both the capital and the north. By the coast, however, which enjoys a more temperature climate, it stays around 2°C (35°F).

Best places to visit

Make sure to head north! Within the Arctic Circle, you’ll be able to enjoy the true meaning of winter.

One of the key draws of visiting Norway in winter is of course the northern lights and the best location to have a chance to spot them is in northern Norway.

In fact, there is a zone called the “Northern Lights Belt”, situated from 65 to 72 degrees north, which is known to have more auroral frequency and intensity. The closer you are to it, the better your odds are!

Both the city of Tromsø and the Lofoten Islands fall directly within this area, so we highly recommend these destinations.

Fun activities to do

Winter may be the ‘off-season’ in some places, but in Norway you’ll find plenty to do! And we don’t mean just looking out the train window at the gorgeous mountains above, or searching for the northern lights.

In the winter months, you’ll be able to enjoy a host of unique activities, from reindeer sledding to dog sledding adventures. You could learn more about Sami culture, stay at the Snow Hotel, or even chase the northern lights by snowmobile.

At the end of January, you’ll also find the Northern Lights Festival, a 10-day music festival held in Tromsø every year.

Near Oslo, you’ll even find Holmenkollen Ski Museum and Tower. The museum is the oldest of its kind in the world and showcases more than 4,000 years of skiing history. You could also head up to the observation deck at the top of the jump tower for views of Oslo.

Another great place to experience the true north is in Svalbard – a Norwegian archipelago located closer to the North Pole. It is one of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas and is famous for its number of polar bears.

Norway in spring

Best for enjoying flora and bird watching

March, April and May are beautiful months to visit Norway. As the winter snows melt, the rivers, lakes and waterfalls swell with fresh water and life. Snow-draped landscapes fade away and are replaced with swathes of lush green.

How’s the weather?

From April to May the weather rises between 0 and 11°C (32-52°F) in Oslo, and up to, on average, 4°C (39°F), but you never know if it may inch a bit higher or lower.

Best places to visit

You’ll definitely enjoy the fjords in the spring! The western fjords are gorgeous all year long, but in the spring, the landscape transforms from wintry to luxuriant.

We recommend taking the Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Voyage from Trondheim down to Bergen, admiring the coast along the way. At this time of year, loads of summery activities reopen their doors and you may be able to take advantage of that.

Fun activities to do

Boosted by the meltwaters, the waterfalls of Norway are at their most formidable during spring. We recommend booking a kayak or rib boat tour at Geirangerfjord to get close to the stunning Seven Sisters and Bridal Veil waterfalls.

One of Norway’s biggest attractions at this time of year is also the spring blossom. By May, the flowers are in full bloom across the country and on a sunny day, the scenery can be out of this world.

In May, when the nicer weather has usually settled in, some roads reopen and one of our favourites is the Trollstigen Road near Ålesund. You could make sure to drive it on a self-drive tour, or to book an optional excursion to go experience it.

Finally, look out for Norway’s Constitution Day. The 17th May is a big deal in Norway, as it marks the anniversary of the signing of the Norwegian Constitution in 1814.

What to pack for a trip to Norway

As you can tell, the weather in Norway should never be an obstacle! We recommend being ready for everything and you’ll be able to enjoy all your planned activities.

For all seasons, we recommend bringing along layers so you can be flexible depending on the temperature. We especially suggest bringing a waterproof jacket and comfortable walking/hiking shoes.

Even in the summer it’s best to have a pair of light gloves, a hat and a scarf handy. And a sleeping mask to help with the light nights of summer.

In the winter, make sure to pack some warm layers (preferably woollen) along with an insulated coat.

And don’t forget your camera to snap away at all the gorgeous landscapes!

Take a look at our most popular Norway vacation and holiday packages to see what all the fuss is about.

Post by: Camila

 Camila grew up between the French Canadian and Chilean cultures, before moving to Scotland in 2012. When she’s not travelling or writing about travels, Camila loves to read, run, and puzzle. Her favourite destinations have been Reykjavík, Copenhagen, Estonia and South Africa. 

Find Camila on LinkedIn.

More posts by Camila

Getting there

We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! To visit the destinations and attractions mentioned in this post - and to discover a few new highlights along the way - check out these recommended Nordic Visitor tours.