The Best Time of the Year to Visit Norway

The Best Time to Visit Norway

TripSavvy.

When to go to Norway is a common question among first-time Norway travelers. The best time to go to Norway suitable for most travelers is early summer, especially the months of June and July. The weather is pleasant and the days are long however it is also peak season. The other seasons offer plenty to do, though it can be cold and days are very short.

Weather

Compared to some of its Northern neighbors, Norway's weather is quite mild. That's because of the Gulf Stream which gives it a temperate climate, however temperatures can vary wildly depending on where in Norway you are. More northern areas can have temperatures reaching into the 80s Fahrenheit (27 degrees C) during the summer and some of the snowiest winters. Generally speaking, Norway experiences four seasons with cold winters and mild summers. For more detailed informations, read our guide to the weather and climate to Norway.

Tourist Attraction Availability in Winter

Many major outdoor attractions, including some mountain hiking paths, are closed in the winter. The large amounts of snow coupled with cold conditions make it dangerous for people to visit. If there are trails or outdoor sights you especially want to see, look up the closure schedule before booking your flight. Whatever you do, do not ignore closures and posted warnings. They're there for your safety.

Peak Season in Norway

The summer is Norway's peak season. The weather is nice and the longs months of darkness are broken with almost constant daylight. Because of that expect lines at popular attractions to be longer. Accomodation and flights will also likely cost more. To get the best of both worlds, plan your trip for late Spring or early fall. May and September are wonderful alternatives for when to go to Norway and get lower rates, and the weather in Norway will still be mild enough for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

Spring

Even though it's spring the weather will still feel like winter. Don't expect temperatures much higher than 40 degrees F (4 degrees C) though days are starting to get longer. Ski season also stretches well into spring with resorts open as late as April. In May it's warm enough to enjoy the outdoors and summer tourists haven't started arriving yet.

Events to check out:

  • The biggest literary festival in the Nordic region happens every May in Lillehammer. Celebrating its 25th year in 2020 the festival has readings, concerts, exhibitions, and more.

Summer

That's the time of the Midnight Sun, so you'll get very long days in southern Norway or even sunshine around the clock in northern Norway. And with the warm weather, there are many things to do and places to go in Norway. You can hike the mountains, explore the fjords, or get to know the country's cities. The months of June and July are also the time for Norway's highest tourism levels, so while all sights and attractions will be open, you will see some tourist crowds.

Events to check out:

  • See short films from Norwegian and international filmmakers at the Grimstad Norwegian Short Film Festival in June.
  • Adventurous travelers flock to Voss in late June for a week of extreme sports at Ekstrem Sport Veko.

Fall

Fall is the ideal time to visit for travelers looking to save money. The weather is starting to cool off but hasn't reached the winter lows yet. Fall is also a shoulder season as summer is over, but the ski season hasn't started yet. As such lodging and flights are cheaper in fall than in other seasons however popular outdoor attractions have begun to close. If you're traveling to Norway to see some natural beauty, time your visit for September when the weather is still mild enough for sightseeing. Northern lights season begins in October.

Events to check out:

  • Jazz lovers should head to Lillehammer for the DølaJazz Festival in October for performances from local and foreign musicians.

Winter

Days are very short in the winter, lasting only 5 or 6 hours. However the upside to the short days are the ample opportunities to see the Northern Lights. Winter can also be bitterly cold. Much of the country will be covered in snow so if you don't like the cold stuff, visit during a different time. Avid skiers and snowboarders can start hitting the slopes as early as November. Besides hunting for the Northern Lights, expect to spend time doing indoor activities like exploring a museum or two or catching a live show.

Events to check out:

  • The Tromsø International Film Festival is the country's largest and it takes place each January. In 2019 more than 60,000 films were submitted. Also because of the short days, films can be screen outdoors.
  • Stay in Tromsø to enjoy music of all genres, stage performances, lecutures, exhibitions and more at the Northern Lights Festival from the end of January to February.
  • Bundle up and head to the Ice Music Festival in Finse on Feb. 7 and 8. Celebrating 20 years in 2020 this festival features music played entirely on instruments made from ice.
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