December is a great month for a winter vacation in one of the Scandinavian countries, whether that's Norway in December, Denmark, or perhaps Sweden. When winter activities are in full swing, travelers will experience many seasonal celebrations and holiday festivities, such as Christmas, in Scandinavian-style. Cozy evenings paired with a festive mood will certainly make up for fewer hours of daylight for travelers.
In the winter season, there are several opportunities to enjoy a typical celebration of Christmas in Scandinavia and to observe the mysterious Northern Lights. Travelers should keep in mind that visiting Scandinavia in December is a particularly popular month for winter travel. Thus, travelers should make sure to plan and book their winter wonderland early. There are additional recommended months to travel to Scandinavia as well, for separate celebrations, such as in November or January.
Scandinavian Weather in December
Depending on how far north in Scandinavia travelers go, a typical December day averages around 28-36 degrees Fahrenheit. For exact temperatures at unique Scandinavian destinations and monthly averages, travelers should review the weather in Scandinavia.
The same variation goes for the hours of daylight. Whereas the southern part gets six to seven hours, it may be only two to four hours in the far north of Scandinavia.
In fact, in certain areas of the Arctic Circle, there is no sun at all for a period of time. Travelers will be amazed to see how well the locals have adapted to this. Visitors are further encouraged to learn more about the three natural phenomena of Scandinavia so they are prepared.
Things to Do in December
With the holiday season comes a variety of unique events, celebrations, and countless festivals in December.
Additionally, there are famous Scandinavian winter activities for travelers to engage in, such as:
- Dog sledding
- Ice skating
Partying plays a major role in Scandinavian winter sports as well. In part, that is born of necessity due to shorter days. Visitors should make sure to check when the Scandinavian national holidays are in the country of their choice, as there will be additional festivities and holiday celebrations. Additionally, Jewish travelers may want to learn about how and where to celebrate Hanukkah in Scandinavia.
Packing Tips for December Trips
Travelers headed to the Arctic Circle are encouraged to bring sturdy boots for walking on the snow and ice, a down filled waterproof outfit, and a classic set of hat, gloves, and scarf. Long underwear is also recommended and is a perfect item to wear under clothing every day.
For trips to the cities, visitors can bring a down jacket, and a wool overcoat, just in case of cold weather. Naturally, this is recommended as it's better to have a heavy suitcase once than to be freezing in the cold for a week. Regardless of destination, an insulated coat along with the aforementioned set of gloves, hats, and scarves are the bare minimum for travelers in December.
Bundling up is mandatory.
Events and Holidays in December
- Early Dec: Shop Window Sunday in Malmo, Sweden
- Dec 6: Independence Day in Finland
- Dec 10: Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway
- Dec 10: Nobel Prize Awards in Stockholm, Sweden
- Early and Mid-Dec: Christmas Markets in Scandinavia
- Dec 13: Saint Lucia Day in Scandinavia
- Dec 24: Christmas Eve Holiday - Denmark
- Dec 25: Christmas Day – Scandinavia
- Dec 26: Boxing Day (day of charitable giving) – Scandinavia
Christmas Traditions and Customs in Scandinavia
Travelers can find out about each Scandinavian country's Christmas traditions and customs through the following resources that focus on specific destinations:
- Swedish Christmas Traditions
- Danish Christmas Traditions
- Finnish Christmas Traditions
- Icelandic Christmas Traditions