Norway in January: Winter and Northern Lights


If you are used to the first month of the year being a disappointment, you have obviously not discovered touring Norway in January. Snow covers much of the inland areas of the country during this time of year, while fjords remain as beautiful as ever. Plus, there are plenty of winter sports to get the adrenaline flowing and the Northern Lights above the line of the Arctic Circle are beginning to hit their stride too. Join us for everything you need to know about Norway in January right here.

Norway Weather in January

The new Holmenkollen Ski Jump in Oslo
If you are an adrenaline junkie, you have to jump different ski jumps across Norway

Unfortunately, you do not win any prizes for thinking that it gets cold in Norway in January. Even so, it remains one of the best months to visit the country. Temperatures in Oslo and across the country’s south are the warmest, although they are is still a couple of degrees above the freezing point. Tromso and the Arctic Circle, on the other hand, can remain below the freezing point even on sunny days. Be prepared for snow at any time (and rain around Bergen), although neither will have any significant impact on your plans since Norwegians have learned to work with nature rather than against it.

For a seasonal overview, read our article on the best time to visit Norway.

Weather in Norway in January - Rainfall and Temperatures

Avg Daily (°C)12691620222016104-1
Avg Nightly (°C)-7-7-31711131274-1-5
Avg Daily (°F)33.835.642.848.260.86871.66860.85039.230.2
Avg Nightly (°F)19.419.426.633.844.651.855.453.644.639.230.223
Avg Rainfall (mm)504060405080709070907050

Why Visit Norway in January

Aurora Borealis, Lofoten islands, Norway. Mountains and frozen ocean. Winte
Witness the spectacular Aurora Borealis from Norway's Lofoten Islands
Panoramic view of Tromso at sunset, Norway
Explore Tromso and just wander around downtown for an urban adventure, Norway

Stunning panoramas aside, there are a huge number of reasons to consider visiting Norway in January. Here are just a few of them.

  • New Year’s Eve: It may technically be the dying hours of December, but the people of Norway know how to enjoy new year celebrations as madly as anyone else!
  • Northern Lights: January is one of the best months in Norway to see the Northern Lights. Head for the country’s far north if you do not want to miss out on the opportunity to see this surreal spectacle.
  • Better rates: With the Christmas period coming to an end, it is a low season for tourism in Norway in January. This means more pocket-friendly prices for travelers and discounts on accommodation and activities.
  • Fewer crowds: There is no need to contend with crowds during your vacation in Norway in January. Take in the highlights at your own pace and soak up stunning scenery undisturbed.

Where to go and what to do

Wooden houses on the banks of the Norwegian fjord in Bergen, Norway
Rent beautiful wooden houses for a winter getaway on the banks of the Norwegian fjord in Norway

Come prepared with the right winter outfit and there is nowhere off limits when exploring Norway in January. Night owls will want to spend at least a couple of nights touring Oslo enjoying New Year’s Eve parties. While in the capital, you might also want to discover its highlights including the modernist Copenhagen Opera House. Traveling to Bergen and Alesund make excellent gateway destinations to fjords, where a number of excursions await. Further north, Trondheim is home to the country’s coronation church. Head for the Arctic Circle if you wish to engage in a variety of activities ranging from ice fishing and snowmobiling to reindeer safaris to off-road adventures. Be sure to spend at least one night in the frozen north to try and capture the Northern Lights in all their glory. But failing that, Alta is close to some of northern Europe’s most important cave paintings and countless ski resorts also await your attention in the area.

Grab your thick sweaters and woolly hats because a trip to Norway in January is worth every penny. An array of activities and unique experiences await every traveler heading for the country during this month. You can be one of them by contacting our local travel experts for a customized Norway trip.

Alternatively, check out our Norway tours in January for more ideas.

Other Related Articles:
Norway in February
Norway in December

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  • Tamara Kukovalsky
    Tamara Kukovalsky
    Travel Expert in Norway & Sweden
  • Emma Vestrheim
    Emma Vestrheim
    Travel Expert in Finland & Norway
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