April in Scandinavia: Weather and Event Guide

Norway Lofoten Reine
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Scandinavia is world famous for many things. However, when most people think of these Nordic countries including Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland, frigid winters, tons of ice and snow, and dark, cold days is usually what comes to mind.

Seasoned travelers will tell you that April is the month in which you should travel to Scandinavia. It is still off-season, with low travel prices, and with warmer weather arriving, you can expect to find spring flowers and green landscapes.

Unfortunately, Scandinavia's skiing season is over in most locations. However, warm weather activities are just beginning.t

At this time of year, polar nights (24 hours of darkness) are still the norm, and thus, you may still get a chance to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) until mid or even late April.

The Weather

By April, the harsh winter weather in Scandinavia finally begins to subside. Temperatures become warmer by the day, however, the climate is still somewhat unstable. There are occasional late winter/early spring storms in Scandinavia's coastal regions, but, by mid-April, flowers are beginning to bloom and are usually visible around Easter time. Average daily temperatures are between 35 - 52 degrees Fahrenheit. Days rapidly increase in length now, and you can expect approximately 13 hours of daylight each day. 

National Holidays and Celebrations

  • Movable holidays this month are the Easter and Holy Week holidays including Palm Sunday, Holy Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday. Maundy Thursday, the fifth day of Holy Week which commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles is also widely observed throughout Scandinavia.  
  • On April 16th, the Dutch celebrate Queen Margrethe II of Denmark's Birthday with a procession and gala, usually in Copenhagen.
  • April 30th is the Walpurgis Night (Walpurgisnacht) holiday in Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. This holiday is named after the English missionary Saint Walpurga. Walpurga's annual feast was held on the first of May and thus, she became associated with May Day, particularly in the Finnish and Swedish calendars. Walpurgis Night is now celebrated on the eve of May Day with lively dancing by Walpurga's fans.
  • In late April, the Bergen International Festival in Bergen, Norway kicks off its two-week long event. You will find a wide variety of performances including music, dance, literature, visual arts, folklore, and more.  The first festival was started in 1953 and has been growing ever since.

Packing Tips

Though it is technically springtime, you will still need to pack warm winter clothes for a trip to any country in Scandinavia. Since mornings and nights can still be rather cold, it is advisable to bring along heavy sweaters and sweatshirts, a warm winter coat, as well as lighter items such as t-shirts, so you can layer clothing easily and comfortably.

Furthermore, a raincoat and windbreaker, regardless of the season, is always a good idea to bring along. Weatherproof shoes are also essential for a Scandinavian trip if you want to enjoy outdoor activities, as well as comfortable walking shoes for exploring the cities.