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 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.
Weather in Scandinavia in September
Scandinavia's average daily temperatures this month are generally between 60 and 65 degrees, although it may be several degrees colder in Iceland. Because the weather can be rainy in early fall, pack a warm and comfortable sweater and a windbreaker. If visiting Iceland, pack winter clothing and gear.
Here are some of the highlights for tourists planning to visit the Scandinavian countries in September.
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.
If you're interested in local Icelandic traditions and know how to ride a horse, you may want to take part in the annual fall roundup of sheep. Most sheep in Iceland graze in pastures all summer and must be herded home before winter begins. These roundups take place in rural areas throughout the country and vary depending on the particular region, so check with local tourism offices to find out when and how tourists may be able to participate.
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.
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.
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.
Although their names might suggest otherwise, there are several Oktoberfest events in September in the Scandinavian countries.
- Sweden: The capital city of Stockholm holds its Beer & Whisky Festival, known locally as Stockholm Oktoberfest, in late September.
- Norway: Cities such as Oslo, Årnes, and Eidsvold schedule their local Oktoberfest events in September. Norwegians take their beer very seriously.
- Denmark: During the last two weekends in September you can experience an authentic Bavarian Oktoberfest in Copenhagen and skip the crowds in Munich.