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Norway is a unique destination, yet it does not draw as many tourists as other European countries. It still remains quite a large mystery to most of the world. Norway has a lot to offer to tourists – from the architectural marvels in Oslo, to the famous fjords, and the stunning northern lights that make the entire country seem like an otherworldly wonderland.
However, most of Norway’s charms lies on the smaller roadways and in the quaint little towns. So, find out what the weather in Norway is like, and when is the best time to visit Norway.
- Best time to visit: May – June, September – October
- High Tourist Season: June – August
- Low Season: November – April
- All Seasons: May – June (spring), June – August (summer), September – October (fall), November – April (winter)
- The best time to visit Norway is during the shoulder seasons, in spring (between May and June), and fall (between September and October), when the weather is amazing and there aren’t that many tourists.
- The high season to visit Norway is between mid-June and August. This is when the crowds will be at their peak, so make sure to book your accommodation well in advance.
- The low season in Norway is the entirety of winter. There are few ski slopes that are open during the time, but it is bitter cold and most attractions will shut down.
- The Northern Lights are best seen at higher altitudes, it is mostly visible during the colder months, between September and March.
Norway is a country of dramatic landscapes and proportions – whether you’re looking at the Northern Lights, or the stunning fjords, or the glaciers or archipelagos; you will be baffled by the sheer size and magnitude of it all. It’s a country of exceeding beauty, where nature plays small tricks on you, making you believe you’re not on earth, but rather, on some mystical wonderland (you will definitely fall for the Fata Morgana).
The weather in Norway should always be a point of determination when it comes to planning your holiday, but to be honest, the best time to travel to Norway mostly depends upon what activities you wish to indulge in. Some people prefer the long days and hiking opportunities of the summer, whereas some others prefer the snowy sports heaven of the winter! So, read on and find out when to visit Norway.
May to June – Spring / Good Season
May – June is the spring season, and the weather in Norway takes a turn for the sunny. Wildflowers start blossoming across the country, which will give you great views. However, in a number of places (especially in higher altitudes), the snow would have just thawed, so beware of the sludgy snow beneath your feet! The waterfalls begin to swell in most parts of the country as well.
- Avg. Temperature: 58° – 65° F / 14°– 18° C (in Oslo)
- Rainfall: 102 – 107mm (in Oslo)
- Season: Spring
- Highlights: Norwegians love celebrating the arrival of spring, so there are a few holidays during this period – including the National Day on May 17, where people dress up and make merry. Since the weather is so good, there will be a number of outdoor activities, such as music festivals as well. This includes the Midnight Sun Marathon in Tromso, and the Norwegian Wood music festival in Oslo (both in June). This is a wonderful time to visit the fjords, as most of the waterfalls will be brimming!
June to August – Summer / High Season
June – August is the peak summer time. This is usually considered the best time to visit Norway, since this is the high tourist season. Train, bus, ferry and flight connections will be most frequent, and this is the best time for you to spot the famous Midnight Sun, which gets more prominent, the further north you head. There is a chance you might spot some rain during this period, so be prepared with an umbrella, especially if you’re traveling to Northern Norway, or Trondelag! This is the busiest period in the calendar, so book your hotel rooms in advance; otherwise they will sell out pretty quick.
- Avg. Temperature: 63° – 65° F / 17°– 18° C (in Oslo)
- Rainfall: 107 – 137mm (in Oslo)
- Season: Summer
- Highlights: Blueberries start ripening everywhere, so grab a few of them, and enjoy the midnight sun during the summer. If you want to go on some cultural explorations, you can enjoy the Arts Festival in Harstad, the Midtsommarfest in Tysvær and more. Except for Northern Norway, this is one of the best times in the entire year for you to go hiking or biking on the trails, as the weather is incredibly warm, and the snow would have thawed a long time ago! You should not miss the Riddu Riddu festival, celebrating the Sami culture in Norway that happens every July.
September to October – Fall / Good Season
The fall colours take hold of the country, and the glorious colours look stunning scattered across the Norwegian vistas. The weather starts becoming cooler, compared to the summer, but there is still no snowfall. Rain starts in the other parts of Norway, so carrying rainproof clothing would be a good idea. If you want to chase the warmth during these months, head to the coastal areas. The frequency of transport will reduce, as the number of tourists goes down, so plan accordingly. Accommodation and travel tickets will be sufficiently cheaper during these months.
- Temperature: 44° – 61° F / 7°– 16° (in Oslo)
- Rainfall: 54 – 61mm (in Oslo)
- Season: Fall
- Highlights: This is the season for you to go picking berries and mushrooms in the mountains – they are found everywhere! The coastal areas are especially great, as there is lesser rain, and it’s warmer as well. The rainy season might dampen some of your trekking plans, but that can be resolved with some waterproof gear. The autumn colours look too stunning, so you should definitely not give up on a hike into the forests during this season.
November to April – Winter / Low Season
Winters in Norway can get rather harsh, thereby limiting the number of tourists that visit the country during this period. The days are quite dark, so you will have to put up with shorter days to enjoy. However, by December, the snowfall will start. This will definitely bury the higher altitudes in a lot of snow, but areas like Tromso and Oslo will look stunning, especially around Christmas time, when all the decorations go up!
- Avg. Temperature: 20° – 46° F / -6°– 7° C (in Oslo)
- Rainfall: 30 – 148mm (in Oslo)
- Season: Winter
- Highlights: Head to Tromso for the Tromso International Film Festival. There is a higher chance of you getting a sight of the Northern Lights during this period, but you have to make sure that you’re at the higher altitudes – in areas such as Svalbard, Kirkenes, Alta, Tromso, Harstad, Bodo, or Bardufoss. The Christmas in Norway is quite magical with the snow covered cities, and the beautiful decorations, so you should definitely not miss out on that either!
Travelling to Norway? Chat with a local travel specialist in Norway who can help organize your trip.
Tamara Kukovalsky Travel Expert in Norway & Sweden
Alice Heijbel Travel Expert in Norway
Adrien Heriaud Travel Expert in Iceland & Norway