We all know that planning is key to any successful trip, so here is our guide to the best time to visit Norway, the beautiful Scandinavian nation.
If one country in the world is guaranteed to blow your socks off, it has to be Norway. It boasts an impressive display of the Northern Lights throughout the winter months.
There are also 1,190 fjords to discover during the warmer months, not to mention the Midnight Sun, countless exciting adventures await you no matter where in the country you go.
A visit to this dreamy Scandinavian country is highly encouraged, but the first thing to plan is which season is best for you, which is what we will delve into right here.
Here is our guide to the best time to visit Norway.
Overview – a brief look at Norway
Norway is an astounding country located in Northern Europe, so much so that it has many geological features that make it stand out amongst the crowd.
For example, during the summer months, you can expect plenty of sunlight during the Midnight Sun. On the other hand, during the winter, you can almost guarantee complete darkness in some regions and very little daylight in others.
With that being said, the country offers you the chance to witness the incredible Aurora Borealis, explore the countless fjords, enjoy plenty of hiking opportunities among the rugged mountains as some of best things to do in Norway during the winter season.
Norway is renowned for being an expensive country, but depending on the time of year you travel, this can vary, so with that in mind, let’s dig deeper by checking out the best time to travel to Norway.
Best time to visit Norway – the pros and cons of each season
Spring (March – May)
Spring can be a great time to visit Norway, considering it is not yet the peak season, but don’t expect the temperatures to be high; instead, pack winter clothes, especially for your outdoor activities.
Some of the ski resorts run into April, so the winter season is well and truly stretched in this part of the world; however, once May comes around, you will start to experience some warmer weather, and some of the popular tourist attractions may begin to open, but the crowds won’t have arrived yet.
Pros: This is ideal for beating the crowds, experiencing lower prices for flights and hotels, and enjoying some time on the slopes after winter.
Cons: The weather may still be quite cold (4C/40F), and some attractions may remain closed until the peak summer season.
Summer (June – August)
The summer months in Norway are the most popular time to visit the country since this is the season when there is more warm weather. While it may be unpredictable at times, it is a far cry from the plummeting temperatures during the rest of the year.
This is the season when you will experience plenty of daylight, and despite more crowds than any other time of the year, the benefit is that you can hike and explore areas during the night, too, when the sun is still extremely bright.
The pleasant temperatures ensure a day out on the fjords is enjoyable, but when it comes to visiting the main attractions and making trips, always book in advance for this time of the year.
Pros: You will have fantastic weather (most of the time), all attractions are open, it is the perfect time for hiking and visiting the fjords, and you can enjoy many hours of daylight.
Cons: Prices will be higher than usual, crowds gravitate to Norway in large numbers, and some attractions may be booked out or sold out, so planning your itinerary is crucial.
Autumn (September – November)
Norway is notorious for being an expensive country, just like Switzerland. Still, if you want to save some money, the best time to visit Norway is in the Autumn season, when the crowds have gone, the weather sees mild temperatures, and the Northern Lights will start to appear from September onwards. You are still bound to have a fantastic time.
Pros: This is the season to save money; the weather is still mild and delightful during September, too, with plenty of opportunities for sunshine while opportunities to see the Northern Lights will begin.
Cons: The temperatures won’t be as warm as the peak summer season, attractions will begin to close, and as the season develops into late Autumn, temperatures will start to plummet.
Winter (December – February)
This is the low season, so prices will be lower than usual, except for around Christmas, when people enjoy dog sledging and festive activities in the Arctic. This is the ideal time for winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and much more.
Pros: The winter ski season has begun, and with the shorter days, the chances of seeing the Northern Lights are incredibly high.
Cons: The weather is at its coldest, visiting the fjords and hiking is not advisable during the cold winter months and the days are short, especially in the far North, which experiences little or no daylight hours.
Norwegian Weather – what to expect
Spring: The days begin to get longer in Spring, with flowers starting to bloom, and while the warmest area to be at the start of Spring is the fjords, Spring arrives to the south before gradually making its way North. You can expect to experience temperatures of around 4.1C(39F), but not much higher.
Summer: From the end of June to early August, you won’t experience nights, as this is the peak time for the Midnight Sun. Days are very long, and temperatures can rise to 25C-30C(77F-86F), making it a comfortable time to visit, especially since the nights never get too cold either
Autumn: This is when the colours of nature start to emerge, and the weather can still be enjoyable up until the end of September but will begin to cool down when October comes around. The average daily temperature during the Autumn days is 13C(57F).
Winter is the coldest time of the year when the average temperature drops to around –7C (19.4F), but it is ideal for winter activities as long as you have warm clothing.
- The weather can be unreliable, so always pack layers and waterproof jackets especially for the coldest months, but even in Autumn, bring some summer clothes, as you may even get sizzling hot days.
- Some key events during the year include the Christmas Markets in the winter, Tromso International Film Festival in January, Constitution Day on 17th May and Ekstrem Sport Veko in Voss in June.
- Temperatures along the coast are always much milder than inland, rarely dropping below freezing.
- Take advantage of the many saunas paired with the cold-water plunges, an everyday activity among Norwegians, even during winter.
FAQs about the best time to visit Norway
What is the cheapest month to visit Norway?
January is the most reasonable time to visit Norway since it is the low season, the weather is very cold, and it is doubtful that international tourists will plan a trip then, hence the lower overall prices. It is a great time to visit one of Europe’s most beautiful countries.
What is the best month to see the Northern Lights in Norway?
Between September and late March, you will get the chance to see the Aurora in the Norwegian skies.
What is the best time of year to visit the Norwegian fjords?
The summer months are ideal for visiting the Norwegian fjords when the weather is at its best, and the colours of the incredible landscape can shine through at the famous fjords.
So, now that you know the best time to visit Norway, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start planning!