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

This is Bleik island (Bleiks?ya), on the northwest coast of Norway. Picture was taken from Norway's 10th largest island, And?ya.It was a beautiful midnight sunset. The lights, clouds and sky was amazing.
Frank Olsen, Norway/Getty Images

With mild weather and plenty of summer events to discover, the Scandinavian countries of Iceland, Denmark, Greenland, Finland, Sweden, and Norway are a great destination for travel in August. With more hours of daylight throughout the month and plenty of outdoor events, tours, and sightseeing adventures, there's no shortage of ways to enjoy your trip to Scandinavia.

However, although the summer season is wonderful for travelers, it also means flights and hotels are a little more expensive, which you can easily avoid by booking ahead to secure budget travel and accommodations.

Scandinavia Weather in August

In August, Scandinavia has warm, pleasant weather with average daily temperatures this month easily reaching 70 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway while Iceland averages closer to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, most Scandinavian countries also receive rain on about half the days of the month, so you will likely run into a summer shower on your trip.

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

City, ​​Country

Average HighAverage LowRainy Days
    
Copenhagen, Denmark 70 F 54 F 16
Stockholm, Sweden 68 F 55 F 14
Oslo, Norway 68 F 54 F 16
Helsinki, Finland 57 F 43 F 17
Nuuk, Greenland 46 F 39F 20
Reykjavik, Iceland 55 F 46 F 23


What to Pack

Short sleeves are perfectly fine for travel during summer in  Scandinavia, but in case travelers hit bad weather, they should always carry a comfortable sweater, a cardigan, or a light jacket.

Laying clothing easily and comfortably is important to ensure you stay warm without getting too hot in the summer, but travelers with a destination in Iceland or Greenland will have to bring warmer clothing.

Furthermore, weatherproof raincoats and windbreakers, regardless of the season, are always a good idea for Scandinavian travelers to bring along.

Tough and comfortable shoes are also essential for your vacation if you enjoy outdoor activities, but otherwise, sneakers will be fine for city travel.

August Events in Scandinavia

No matter where you go in Scandinavia or what time of the month you travel, there's sure to be a musical or theatrical performance, cultural celebration, or special event happening somewhere in the region this August. Along with one-time events, concerts, and shows, August is also Gay Pride Month in most of Scandinavia, so you can expect to see several gay pride events across the region this month.

  • Stockholm Pride: The annual gay festival is held in the capital of Sweden from Friday, July 27, through Sunday, August 5, 2018.
  • Emigration Festival: All month long, you can head to the House of Emigrants in Växjö, Sweden for a look through the cultural heritage of immigration in Sweden.
  • Malmö Festival: This festival celebrating the art, music, food, and culture of Sweden's third-largest city runs from August 10 through 17, 2018.
  • The Way Out West Festival: The three-day music festival in Gothenburg, Sweden, features domestic and international rock, electronic, and hip-hop artists from August 9 through 11, 2018.
  • Etne Market Days: This village market in Sunnhordland, Norway, is open August 10 through 12, 2018, and welcomes over 35,000 visitors, 220 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 from August 17 to 26, 2018.
  • Oslo Jazz Festival: International jazz musicians gather from August 12 through 18, 2018, for a series of free and ticketed shows at various venues around the city.
  • Reykjavik Gay Pride: Iceland's premier LGBTQ Pride celebration welcomes over 200,000 guests (1/5 of Iceland's population) to the country's capital from August 7 through 12, 2018.
  • Reykjavik Marathon and Cultural NightThis annual charity run takes place on August 18, 2018, and will be followed by a free public event celebrating the culture, music, food, and art of Iceland.
  • Copenhagen Fashion Week: Multiple fashion shows, product launches, runway presentations, and special galleries will take over a portion of Copenhagen from August 7 to 8, 2018.
  • Copenhagen Pride Week: The largest annual human rights festival in Denmark takes place in its capital city on August 13 through 19, 2018 (parade is on Saturday, August 18).
  • European Medieval Festival: Also known as the Middlelader Festival, this annual event takes place in Horsens, Denmark, on August 24 and 25, 2018.
  • Aarhus Festival: A village festival that takes over the entire city with art, music, and entertainment from August 31 through September 8, 2018.

August Travel Tips

Bank holidays (national/public holidays) can affect your travel through business closures, more crowds, etc. The only Scandinavian holiday in August 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 phenomenon that keeps the sun in the sky at night.

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.

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.