August in Scandinavia: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Bleik island on the northwest coast of Norway
Frank Olsen, Norway/Getty Images

With mild weather and plenty of summer events to discover, the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland are a great destination for travel in August. With more hours of daylight throughout the month and everything from outdoor events to tours and sightseeing adventures, you are sure to enjoy your trip to Scandinavia in Northern Europe.

Although the summer season is wonderful for travelers, it also means flights and hotels are a little more expensive; to easily avoid this, secure budget travel and accommodations in advance.

Scandinavia Weather in August

In August, Scandinavia has warm, pleasant weather with average daily temperatures easily reaching 70 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 23 degrees Celsius) in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Iceland is usually close to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius). Finland is on the cooler side as well. Most Scandinavian countries also receive rain about half the month, so you will likely run into a summer shower on your trip.

The average high and low temperatures in each country in the region vary a bit, so research the weather in your Scandinavian destination and nearby places you plan to travel before leaving on your trip.

City, ​​Country

Average High Average Low Rainy Days
Copenhagen, Denmark 70 F (21 C) 54 F (12 C) 16
Stockholm, Sweden 68 F (20 C) 55 F (13 C) 14
Oslo, Norway 68 F (20 C) 54 F (12 C) 16
Helsinki, Finland 57 F (14 C) 43 F (6 C) 17
Reykjavik, Iceland 55 F (13 C) 46 F (8 C) 23

What to Pack

Short sleeves are perfectly fine for summer trips in Scandinavia, but in case you hit bad weather, always carry a sweater, a cardigan, or a light jacket. Layering comfortable clothing is important to ensure you stay warm without getting too hot in the summer, but Iceland travelers will have to bring warmer clothing.

Weatherproof raincoats and windbreakers, regardless of the season, are always a good idea for Scandinavian tourists to bring along as well. Tough and comfortable shoes are essential for your vacation if you enjoy outdoor activities; otherwise, sneakers will be fine for city travel.

August Events in Scandinavia

No matter where you go or when in August you travel, there is sure to be a musical or theatrical performance, cultural celebration, or special event happening somewhere in the region. August is also Gay Pride Month in most of Scandinavia, so expect to see several celebrations across the region.

  • Karl-Oskar days: Each year for a few days in the summer, Växjö lights up with live music from around Sweden, plus additional entertainment and food.
  • The Malmö Festival: This week-long sustainable festival has been celebrating the art, music, food, and culture of Sweden's third-largest city since 1985.
  • The Way Out West Festival: The three-day music festival in Gothenburg, Sweden, typically features domestic and international rock, electronic, and hip-hop artists.
  • Stockholm Pride: The annual gay festival run by a nonprofit has been held in the capital of Sweden usually in late July and early August since 1998.
  • Etne Market Days: This outdoor village market in Sunnhordland, Norway, is open the first week of August and welcomes over 40,000 visitors, numerous exhibitors, and a full lineup of music and cultural performances.
  • Oslo Chamber Music Festival: Various venues in Oslo, Norway, host world-class chamber ensembles and soloists for special performances.
  • Oslo Jazz Festival: International jazz musicians gather each summer for a series of about 65 free and ticketed shows over several days at various venues around the city.
  • Reykjavik Marathon and Cultural Night: This annual charity run takes place for one night and will be followed by a free public event celebrating the culture, music, food, and art of Iceland.
  • Reykjavik Pride: Since 1999, Iceland's premier LGBTQ Pride celebration has welcomed over 100,000 global guests to the country's capital for over a week each August.
  • Copenhagen Fashion Week: Multiple fashion shows, product launches, runway presentations, and special galleries will take over a portion of Copenhagen, Denmark for a few days.
  • Horsens Medieval Festival: Also known as the Middelalder Festival, this annual event takes place in Horsens, Denmark, for two days.
  • Aarhus Festival: A village festival that takes over the entire Denmark city with art, music, entertainment, and food for 10 days in late August and early September.
  • Copenhagen Pride Week: The largest annual human rights festival in Denmark takes place in its capital city.

August Travel Tips

  • Book your flights, hotels, and dinner reservations far in advance as these accommodations are likely to fill up quickly during the height of summer tourist season.
  • Bank holidays (national/public holidays) can affect your travel through business closures and more crowds. The only Scandinavian holiday this month is Commerce Day (Tradesmen's Day) in Iceland, which always falls on the first Monday in August.
  • Also in Iceland (as well as in Norway's Spitzbergen), August is the best time for travelers to experience one of Scandinavia's coolest natural phenomena: the Midnight Sun. This is a beautiful weather marvel that keeps the sun in the sky at night.
  • Just because it's cooler doesn't mean you're less prone to sunburn or dehydration while outside, so be sure to pack (or buy) plenty of sunscreen and keep drinking water throughout the day, especially if you're hiking or doing strenuous exercises.
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