Best Time To Visit Norway

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Norway is a land filled with amazing natural scenery, quaint rural villages and historically significant seaside cities. When deciding the best time to visit Norway, it’s essential to consider the country’s varied and often brutal weather and climate, depending on how far north you intend to travel. Winter conditions often leave large parts of the country completely isolated.

Keeping the country’s seasons in mind when planning your perfect Norwegian holiday is important to avoid missing out on the impressive Northern Lights, the stunning Norwegian fjords and the quaint towns in the Arctic Circle that Norway is famous for. So here are the best times to visit Norway…

Best Time To Visit Norway

norway best time to visit Sunny day, landscape with mountain, fjord, forest
If you want to see Sognefjord as it looks here, the best time to visit Norway is in summer.

Norway in Summer

Norwegian summers are pretty mild temperature-wise, ranging from an average low of about 8°C (47 °F) to an average high of about 18°C (64 °F).

Norway’s far north sees days when the sun never completely sets, which creates the perfect environment for witnessing the spectacular Northern Lights in Norway’s Arctic Circle region.

Further south, Norway’s fjords spring to life with dramatic waterfalls and rolling green countryside as the blankets of snow are replaced with lush vegetation.

June

  • Daylight hours: 21 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: 8 °C (47 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 16 °C (60 °F)

July

  • Daylight hours: 20 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: 11 °C (51 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 18 °C (64 °F)

August

  • Daylight hours: 17 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: 9 °C (49 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 17 °C (62 °F)

Five Things To Do In Norway In Summer

best time to visit norway fjords Norway viewed from the Mt. Reinebringen.
A stunning panorama of mountains, fjords and Reine fishing village in Lofoten islands, This is why one of the best times to visit is in summer.
1- Visit The Picturesque Geirangerfjord

With over a thousand mesmerising fjords, Norway has no shortage of beautiful fjords worthy of visiting, but few are as visually spectacular as the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Geirangerfjord.

Forming part of the massive Norwegian Fjord Network, the Geirangerfjord’s top tourist destinations include the Bridal Veil and Seven Sisters waterfalls, the soaring 4,905 ft tall (1,495 m) Dalsnibba peak, and the winding Fosseråsa national hiking trail.

Packed to the brim with serene blue water, tall peaks and verdant valleys, the Geirangerfjord is an excellent destination to add to your itinerary and one which guarantees amazing attractions and stunning scenery around every bend.

2- Explore The Royal Palace
best time of the year to visit norway
The best time to visit Norway if you want to tour the Royal Palace is in summer.

Oslo’s Royal Palace was built during the turn of the 19th century and was initially intended to house Norway’s King Charles III, however, the king passed away before the construction of the Royal Palace was completed.

Despite being the residence of reigning Norwegian monarchs King Harald V and Queen Sonja, the Royal Palace is open for tours to the public during the summer and is a great destination to explore if you’d like to get a glimpse of the daily life and lifestyle of the Norwegian royal family.

3- Tour Vigeland Sculpture Park In Oslo
best time to visit norway vigeland sculpture park
If you’re keen to see Vigeland Sculpture Park, one of the best times to visit Norway for this is in summer.

The beautifully manicured Vigeland Sculpture Park pays tribute to the late and great Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland by prominently displaying over 200 granite and bronze sculptures made by Vigeland before his death.

The park is split into multiple areas, such as the Children’s Playground, the Bridge, the Wheel Life and the Main Gate, each with its own theme and collection of sculptures.

Touring the magnificent park surrounds visitors with beautiful nature and fantastic artwork and serves as an escape for an exciting summer’s afternoon out and about in Norway’s capital.

4- Peer Over The Edge Of Preikestolen

Preikestolen or “Pulpit Rock” is one of Norway’s most visited attractions and overlooks the Lysefjord and its surrounding valleys.

Perched 604 m (1,982 ft) above the ground and overlooking the Lysefjord and the surrounding valleys below, Preikestolen is only accessible via a strenuous 10 km (6 mi) hiking trail, which takes roughly five hours to hike.

Although the views are simply stunning, those who wish to experience something truly unique and brave enough should step closer to the edge of the overhang and peer down the perilous plunge below.

5- Take A Scenic Norwegian Train Journey
best time to visit norway oslo aerial of oslo's colourful buildings
The best time of year to visit Oslo in Norway is in summer when the weather is warm and the colourful buildings look charming on a blue-sky day.

Winding past idyllic fjords, snow-covered mountains and thick forests, Norway has no shortage of serene and incredibly scenic railway journeys to choose from, many of which are rated as some of the very best train journeys in the world.

The “Norway in a Nutshell” train journey between Oslo and Bergen whisks you past some of Norway’s best scenery in comfort and style.

The 113 km (70 miles) Rauma Railway was the setting for the movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

It’s a short one-hour journey winding past stunning mountains and dramatic fjords on its way to Åndalsnes from Dombås.

No matter which train journey you decide to experience, you’re guaranteed to be treated to unbeatable vistas and idyllic Norwegian countryside all year round.

Norway in Autumn

best time to visit norway lakes trees reflected in blue lake
If you’re a keen photographer, the best time to visit Norway is in the fall. Pictured here is Dikemark in Asker.

Autumn sees temperatures fall slightly as the first snow appears in Norway’s far north, days get shorter and thick green forests are replaced with spectacular shades of orange and yellow.

September

  • Daylight hours: 13 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: 7 °C (44 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 13 °C (56 °F)

October

  • Daylight hours: 10 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: 3 °C (37 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 8 °C (46 °F)

November

  • Daylight hours: 6 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: -1 °C (30 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 4 °C (39 °F)

Five Things to do in Norway in Autumn

1- Gawk At Artwork In Munch Museum

The Munch Museum houses over 1,200 impressive paintings, 18,000 prints and some 4,500 drawings, as well as memorabilia and books detailing the life of one of Norway’s most famous artists, Edvard Munch.

Opened in 1963, this impressive and expansive museum celebrates all things related to the famous artist known for his iconic symbolist-style paintings.

It is a wonderful facility to spend an afternoon or two exploring all its interesting displays and exhibits.

2- Drive The Arctic Ocean Road

Connecting Averøy with the Norwegian mainland, the 8.3 km (5 mi) driving along the Arctic Ocean Road is often called the world’s most beautiful journey and crisscrosses some of Norway’s most spectacular villages, churches and scenic landscapes.

Built to follow the curvature of the natural islands and coastline, the Arctic Ocean Road hugs and compliments the surrounding scenery instead of disrupting it, making it an incredible feat of modern sustainable engineering.

3- Visit Picturesque Lillehammer

Hitting the international spotlight during the 1994 Winter Olympic Games, the picture-perfect town of Lillehammer is home to the Norwegian Olympic Museum and the Lysgaard Bakken Ski Jumping Arena.

Norway’s unofficial outdoor sports capital, Lillehammer, also has scenic lakeside views and quaint wooden cottages dating back to the 19th century.

Located about 183 km (114 miles) north of Oslo, Lillehammer is a great day trip destination from Norway’s capital and the perfect place to learn more about the country’s rich sporting history.

4- Stroll The Streets Of Bryggen

The historic harbour district of Bergen, Bryggen, is UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its colourful red, white and orange wooden Hanseatic Houses dating back to the early 18th century.

This stunning Norwegian district, seemingly stuck in time, overlooks the Bergen harbour and Mount Floyen in the distance and is one of Bergen’s top tourist destinations that’s perfect for a leisurely Sunday stroll.

5- Drive The Trollstigen
best time to visit norway northern lights people on observation deck over Trollstigen mountain road
The observation deck over Trollstigen mountain road is where you can view the serpentine road. One of the best times to visit Norway for a driving trip is autumn.

Trollstigen, or “The Troll’s Road” in English, is a winding stretch of scenic vistas and 11 sharp hairpin turns that forms part of the National Tourist Route between the Romsdal Valley and Geirangerfjord.

One of the world’s most scenic roads, the Trollstigen climbs to a staggering 858 m (2,815 ft) above sea level and passes by the majestic Stigfossen waterfall.

With many vantage points situated all along the Trollstigen, stopping along the way to admire the fantastic scenery is well worth the journey.

Norway in Winter

best time to visit fjords norway snow-covered village and mountain backdrop
The best time to visit Norway for stunning scenery is winter when there’s a mystical feel in the air.

Winter in Norway brings thick blankets of snow and frigid temperatures, especially in the country’s far north, where most roads leading into the region are completely shut, leaving many towns and villages disconnected from the rest of the country.

Norway’s skiing season commences as thousands of locals and tourists hit the slopes of Lillehammer and beyond to enjoy wintertime fun.

December

  • Daylight hours: 4 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: -4 °C (25 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 1 °C (33 °F)

January

  • Daylight hours: 8 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: -5 °C (23 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 0 °C (32 °F)

February

  • Daylight hours: 8 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: -5 °C (23 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 0 °C (32 °F)

Five Things to do in Norway in Winter

best time to visit norway bryggen street Famous Bryggen street with wooden colored houses in Bergen
Most visitors like to explore Bergen in summer but if you want to avoid the crowds, the best time to visit Bergen in Norway for its charming snow-sprinkled mountains is in winter.
1- Ride The Fjellheisen Cable Car Up Mount Storsteinen

The 420m (1,378 ft) Mount Storsteinen is a popular wintertime destination for exhilarating sports and outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding and paragliding.

It’s also renowned for its spectacular scenery of the Norwegian countryside down below.

The Fjellheisen Cable Car at the foot of Mount Storsteinen makes reaching the mountain a seamless journey that takes less than four minutes and treats passengers with stunning vistas.

2- Ski The Lyngen Alps

Situated in the Arctic Circle in Norway’s far north, the Lyngen Alps spans an area of over 90 km (56 miles) and crosses the border into Sweden.

With majestic fjords, scenic peaks and glaciers, the Lyngen Alps are a wintertime haven for skiing, sledging and joining a snow safari to explore the region’s remote wilderness.

Its distance to the Arctic Circle means that you can ski in the afternoon and glimpse the Northern Lights in the evening.

3- Gaze In Awe At The Northern Lights
best time to visit norway for northern lights Amazing view on the northern lights, beautiful green lights on the sky at night
If seeing the northern lights is your goal, then the best time to visit Norway is from 21st of September to 21st of March.

The dazzling Northern Lights is a natural phenomenon that occurs around the Arctic Circle in Norway’s far north during the long summer days.

The Northern Lights are sun particles that find their way into the Earth’s atmosphere, illuminating the dark night sky with stunning displays of vivid colours and unique shifting shapes.

Even though the Northern Lights are visible in multiple other countries bordering the Arctic Circle, it is one of the best and most accessible regions to view this elusive effect.

4- Visit Norway’s Arctic Cathedral
best time to visit tromso norway dusk at the cathedral
For an otherworldly experience, the best time to visit Norway is winter. Pictured here is the Arctic Cathedral in Tromso.

Designed by architect Jan Inge Hovig and constructed in 1965, the dramatic Arctic Cathedral was purposely designed to mimic the appearance of large blocks of ice.

Making use of materials such as glass and mosaic tiles to achieve this effect, Tromsdalen’s Arctic Cathedral is lit up during the winter months to create a spectacular visual display that is well worth bracing the frigid Arctic temperatures to witness.

5- Sleep In The Kirkenes Snow Hotel
best time to visit arctic circle norway
The roads may be icy but winter is the best time to visit Norway for a real adventure.

One of Norway’s most northerly towns is home to the Kirkenes Snow Hotel, which mimics Sweden’s popular Ice Hotel.

It has rooms with unique snow sculptures, an ice bar serving vodka in ice-crafted glasses and a Sami-inspired restaurant.

Reconstructed in a unique decorative theme every year, the Kirkenes Snow Hotel is a delightful winter experience on the doorstep of the wild Arctic Circle.

Norway in Spring

best time of year to visit norway aerial view of colourful buildings on a canal
Spring is a wonderful time of year to visit Norway’s cities, such as Alesund.

Spring sees the snow start to dissipate and be replaced by waterfalls and green vegetation across the country’s mountains and fjords.

Most mountain peaks are still covered in thick snow, which means skiing remains a popular outdoor activity.

The country’s roads feeding into Norway’s far north are reopened and the public parks and botanical gardens are in full bloom once again.

Temperatures are still quite cold, however as spring draws to an end, the temperatures quickly start to heat up.

March

  • Daylight hours: 12 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: -3 °C (27 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 3 °C (38 °F)

April

  • Daylight hours: 15 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: 1 °C (33 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 7 °C (45 °F)

May

  • Daylight hours: 19 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: 4 °C (40 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 12 °C (54 °F)

Five Things to do in Norway in Spring

when is the best time to visit norway walrus on a beach
The best time to visit Norway for wildlife is from May to September in Svalbard where you can see a variety of Arctic wildlife, such as walruses.
1- Take The Loen Skylift To Mount Hoven’s Summit

The Loen Skylift is a new-ish attraction that opened in 2017 by the Queen of Norway.

Rising to an elevation of 1,011 m (3,317 ft) above sea level, it whisks passengers from the shores of Nordfjord to the very top of Mount Hoven in under five minutes.

Treating visitors to spectacular views of the Nordfjord below, Mount Hoven’s summit is well worth a visit and even has a restaurant that overlooks the majestic Nordfjord.

2- Catch The Ferry From Bergen To Kirkenes
best time to visit norway cruise
The ferries can be extremely busy in summer, so the best time to visit Norway if you’re planning on cruising is autumn or spring. Pictured here is the ferry route from Vangsnes to Hella and Dragsvik.

Lasting an epic 12 days, the Hurtigruten ferry cruise from Bergen to Kirkenes takes visitors past some of Norway’s most remote regions where passengers can freely hop off and on at many scenic towns along the way.

This once-in-a-lifetime journey allows passengers to reach Norway’s far north in comfort and style, not to mention treated to amazing views of stunning fjords, tall mountain peaks and stretches of rocky Norwegian coastline along the way.

3- Visit The Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden

The Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden, or Botaniske Hage as Norwegians call it, is a botanical garden spread over two hectares (five acres) deep in the Arctic Circle in Norway’s far north.

Home to thousands of flora species from across the globe, the Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden specialises in arctic and alpine plant species which are more suited to the Arctic’s brutal climate.

Dazzling visitors with stunning displays of Siberian lilies, Arctic poppies and various varieties of herbs, the Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden is a fantastic destination to visit during Spring to see the garden’s vegetation in full bloom.

4- Venture Up Bergen’s Mount Floyen
best time to visit norway bergen
The best time to visit Norway for the cheapest flights is March. Pictured here is Bergen from Mount Floyen.

Towering over 399 m (1,309 ft) above Bergen, Mount Floyen has one of the city’s best vantage points, hiking trails and a top-tier restaurant notable for its fantastic food and folk music performances.

Mount Floyen is accessible via a hiking path or a scenic funicular, with both serving up amazing panoramic views of Bergen and the city’s surrounding fjords.

5- Visit Oslo Cathedral

Oslo Cathedral is an 11th-century baroque-style church nestled in the heart of Oslo and the first church established in Norway.

The setting for countless historically significant events throughout Norway’s past, including royal weddings and funerals, the Oslo Cathedral’s ornate pulpit, preserved organ and impressive ceiling murals make it a fascinating place to learn more about Norway’s rich history.

best time to visit norway
Looking for the best time to visit Norway? It depends on how far north you’re planning to go.

Are you itching to travel somewhere but can’t decide where or when to go? These posts might help:

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Christina Pfeiffer Travel Writer
Christina Pfeiffer is a writer, photographer and video blogger based in Queensland, Australia. She has lived in three continents and her career as a travel journalist has taken her to all seven continents. Since 2003, she has contributed travel stories and photographs to mainstream media in Australia and around the world such as the Sydney Morning Herald, CNN Traveller, The Australian and the South China Morning Post. She has won many travel writing awards and is a full member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers.