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

Oslo, Norway in September

Morten Falch Sortland / Getty Images

Scandinavian weather in September tends to be cool and a little damp, but don't let that stop you from visiting. It's still a great time to see this part of the world because the cost of accommodations and travel is much lower than during the high season, and although the summer tourist season has passed, there's still a lot to do and see in Scandinavia in September, including the beginnings of beautiful fall foliage.

Scandinavia Weather in September

Scandinavia's average daily temperatures this month are generally between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit (16 and 18 degrees Celsius), with nighttime lows dipping into the mid-40s degrees Fahrenheit (below 10 degrees Celsius) for much of the region. As a result, it's one of the best months to visit most of the region thanks to cool weather.

  • Bergen, Norway: 57 F (14 C) / 49 F (9 C)
  • Oslo, Norway: 61 F (16 C) / 45 F (7 C)
  • Stockholm, Sweden: 59 F (15 C) / 48 F (9 C)
  • Copenhagen, Denmark: 63 F (17 C) / 50 F (10 C)

It rains about 15 days out of the month in most areas of Scandinavia, though more northern parts of the region get closer to 20 days, and the total accumulation of rainfall per country is around 55 millimeters (2.2 inches).

What to Pack

In general, you should pack a variety of warm and cold weather clothing that you can layer according to the temperature. Bring long-sleeved shirts, light sweaters, long pants, warm socks, comfortable shoes, and maybe even a heavy coat if you plan to visit the more northern parts of the region. Additionally, the weather can be rainy in early fall, so pack a warm and comfortable sweater and a windbreaker. If visiting the northern parts of the region, be sure to pack winter clothing and gear.

September Events in Scandinavia

Don't let the chance of rain or colder weather dissuade you from visiting this time of year because the event season in Scandinavia is packed full of festive celebrations throughout September. From celebrations of Danish culture in Denmark to Oktoberfests across the region, Scandinavian countries host a variety of events that all can enjoy this time of year.

  • Aarhus Festival (Denmark): Since 1965, the city of Aarhus has hosted this 10-day festival featuring Danish culture. Dance, films, exhibitions, art, food, and kids' activities are among the offerings, along with classical music, rock, and jazz. Every year, the Aarhus Festival has a different theme that informs the performances and exhibitions. More than 1,000 events are scheduled in more than 100 venues.
  • Göteborg Book Fair (Sweden): The Göteborg Book Fair started in 1985 as a trade fair for librarians and teachers but is now the largest literary event in the Nordic countries. One of its main draws is the seminar program that features Nobel Laureates, scholars, scientists, and politicians in addition to authors. The fair spans several days and draws more than 800 exhibitors and 100,000 visitors to Göteborg.
  • Kivik Apple Market Festival (Sweden): The town of Kivik in southern Sweden is the largest supplier of apples to the rest of the country, so in 1988, the town started the Kivik Apple Market festival to celebrate the harvest. Along with apple tastings, dishes, and drinks made with apples, this festival also showcases "apple art," which is exactly what it sounds like: works of art made from apples.
  • ULTIMA Contemporary Music Festival (Norway): Started in 1991, the ULTIMA Contemporary Music Festival in the Oslo area offers concerts, opera, dance and theater performances, and more representing the best of contemporary art. This 10-day event has performances scheduled all-around Oslo at both large-scale and more intimate venues. If you’re coming from abroad, it’s best to purchase your tickets in advance because it tends to sell out.
  • Oktoberfest: Although their names might suggest otherwise, there are several Oktoberfest events in September in the Scandinavian countries. The capital city of Sweden holds its Beer & Whisky Festival, known locally as Stockholm Oktoberfest, in late September. Meanwhile, cities like Oslo, Årnes, and Eidsvold in Norway schedule their local Oktoberfest events in September, too. Finally, during the last two weekends in September, you can experience an authentic Bavarian Oktoberfest in Copenhagen, Denmark.

September Travel Tips

  • Early September is much rainier than later in the month, so be sure to pack a raincoat and waterproof shoes if you plan on visiting earlier. Check the weather before your trip and each day before you set out to see if you'll need to bring rain gear out with you.
  • Despite tourism crowd sizes shrinking this month, you may still want to book your airfare and accommodations well in advance to make sure you get your preferred travel dates.
  • Fortunately, prices will likely be lower this time of year, and you will likely find discounts at popular hotels and restaurants to attract more tourists during this low tourism season.
  • It's best to download maps of your destinations before you leave the United States as internet connections may be hard to come by in more remote locations of the region.
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