July in Scandinavia is the most popular month for travelers due to the nice weather. Plus, outdoor activities are all open in the summer, even though it might get a little crowded sometimes. Just keep in mind that since this is tourist season, the cost for flights and hotels tends to be high. The best way to avoid overpaying is to book several months in advance.
July Weather in Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a favorite July destination since it is nice and warm during the day and mild at night, even near the ocean.
July shows travelers one of Scandinavia's natural phenomena: the Midnight Sun, a beautiful phenomenon that keeps the sun in the sky at night. This means you get 16 or more hours of daylight to see the sights when the weather warms. The most popular Scandinavian location to experience the Midnight Sun is in Norway at the North Cape (Nordkapp). While locals, who are used to the Midnight Sun, can adjust quickly to the bright nights, travelers may have trouble getting to sleep. During this time, hotels can usually arrange blackout curtains to help.
What to Pack
Short sleeves are perfectly fine for summer travel in Scandinavia, but carry a comfortable sweater or a light jacket as an extra layer. Weatherproof raincoats and windbreakers, regardless of the season, are always a good idea—especially if you plan on visiting Iceland.
Tough and comfortable shoes are also essential for your vacation if you enjoy outdoor activities. Otherwise, sandals or sneakers are fine for city travel.
July Activities and Events in Scandinavia
Summer is prime time for festivals and events in Scandinavia. If you're visiting in July, plan ahead so you can join some of the season's best activities.
- Viking Plays in Frederikssund, Denmark: Every summer more than 250 performers put on outdoor Viking plays. This has been a tradition since 1952 when the first Viking play was performed.
- Kongsberg Jazz Festival, Norway: Kongsberg is an international jazz festival held annually since 1964. There's a jazz festival in Copenhagen, Denmark, in July as well.
- Roskilde Festival, Denmark: Roskilde is one of the largest music festivals in Europe. The eight-day event features 175 concerts and draws a crowd of nearly 130,000 fans. It also has a program of art installations and activism seminars.
- Falsterbo Horse Show, Sweden: Falsterbo has hosted equestrian games since 1920; today, about 1,000 horses and riders compete in this jumping show.
- Karlshamn Baltic Festival, Sweden: This is the biggest free festival in southern Sweden. A large concert stage takes over the town's central square.
- Rey Cup, Iceland: Rey Cup is an international festival for football (or soccer, for Americans). More than 90 teams of all levels come to compete.
- Ólavsøka, Faroe Islands: Located between Iceland and Norway, the Faroe Islands celebrate Ólavsøka, or their National Day, on July 29. The two-day celebration features a rowing race, football matches, concerts, and art exhibitions. The grand finale includes traditional Faroese ballads and dancing in Tórshavn town square.