Visiting Norway in winter is a unique opportunity to enjoy the country's stunning snowy landscapes. And, who knows, maybe you’ll even be able to spot the breathtaking Northern Lights for yourself!
Excited to plan your dream Norway winter vacation? Let’s get clued-up about what Norway is really like in winter. We'll include Norway winter temperatures to expect, what to pack, and top winter activities. And, of course, all about Polar Nights during the Norwegian winters.
When is Winter in Norway?
So, when is winter in Norway? As a country in the Northern Hemisphere, winter in Norway is during December, January and February. In reality, Norway winter temperatures start to arrive during November, with the cold lifting during March.
Northern Norway tends to cool down earlier, while winter arrives somewhat later in the southern regions of the country.
Polar Nights in Norway in Winter
Winter nights are long across all of Norway, with the Southern capital city of Oslo experiencing 18-hour nights during winter. However, in Northern Norway, the night is everlasting during deep winter.
These northern areas of the country experience Polar Nights in the winter season. This phenomenon, which is the opposite of the Midnight Sun in summer, means that the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon at all.
While the skies are pitch black in the very north, in some polar regions of Northern Norway, the skies are a deep midnight blue color. This is caused by residual light bouncing off the blue sea and white snow. The further north you go, the darker the skies get, and the longer they stay darker for.
Can I see the Northern Lights on my Norway Winter Vacation?
Yes! Winter is prime time to spot the Northern Lights in Norway. If you’re planning to travel to Norway during the winter season, you’ve got an excellent chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Particularly if you’ll spend some time in the north of the country.
Northern Norway lies within the Arctic Circle, which is the perfect place to watch these mesmerizing lights. The further north you travel, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to spot the aurora.
Skies are darkest during winter in Norway, providing brilliant conditions for the Northern Lights. A cold and dry day is the best, as there won’t be any clouds obscuring your view of this spectacular dancing light show.
Some of the best places to find the Northern Lights during the Norwegian winters are the city of Tromso. We recommend checking the Norway Northern Lights forecast before heading out.
Norway Winter Temperature and Weather
As an expansive country covering a large range of latitudes (from 57° to 78° latitude), Norway winter temperatures vary a lot from the north to the south. The average Norway winter temperature is around -7 °C, although temperatures in Northern Norway can reach as low as -40 °C.
This northern part of Norway experience an Arctic climate of snowfall, severe frost and strong winds during winter.
Oslo and the southern coastal areas experience milder winter weather. Temperatures usually remaining below 0 °C. There can still be strong winds here. The warm water of the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream is to thank for these relatively mild Southern Norway winter temperatures.
What to Wear in Norway in Winter
Wondering what to pack for your Norway winter vacation? We’ve got you covered with our packing list to keep you toasty and warm during the Norwegian winters!
- Hat, gloves and scarf: These are a must to keep you protected from the elements. Particularly when temperatures are bitterly cold, you’ll need a thick scarf and a hat that sits tightly on your head to protect your ears.
- Thermal clothing (underwear, top and pants/trousers): You will need thermal clothing to explore Norway in winter. Make sure this thermal base layer is good quality and covers your whole body.
- Winter parka: A thick, waterproof and windproof winter parka is the perfect outer layer for exploring Norway in winter.
- Woolen layers: Woolen jumpers will keep you cozy during the cold weather. They are perfect for traveling as they don’t require as frequent washing as cotton.
- Winter boots: For city breaks, normal boots with thick socks will suffice. If you’re planning to travel further afield (further north we mean, or into Norway’s interior regions), you’ll need a pair of good quality winter boots.
Top Activities for Your Norway Winter Trip
Get out in the snow and enjoy all this Nordic paradise has to offer during wintertime with our list of top Norway winter activities:
- Snowshoeing: Visit the stunning snowy mountains of Norway during your Norwegian winter vacation. This adventurous activity is super fun and is best done in a group with an experienced guide.
- Skiing: Skiing is one of the most popular activities to do when visiting Norway in the winter. Whether a pro or beginner, you can enjoy skiing on Norway’s incredibly beautiful ski slopes during your vacation.
- Northern Lights hunting: What better activity to do in Norway during winter than go hunting for the Northern Lights? Spotting these dazzling lights will be the icing on the cake of your Norway vacation!
- Dog sledding: Soak in the amazing scenery of Norway in the winter by enjoying a dog sledding tour. Available all across the country, dog sledding is a thrilling winter activity for your Norway trip.
- Take a train ride: Norway boasts some of the most beautiful train routes in the world. Why not soak in Norway’s awe-inspiring, snow-covered landscapes from the comfort of a train?
- Go whale watching: Whale watching season runs from the end of October to January. So taking a Norway winter trip is perfect for spotting these majestic ocean creatures for yourself.
- Discover Norway’s beautiful cities: Winter is a fantastic time to explore the cultural heritage of Norway’s cities. In Oslo or Tromso, you’ll find a whole range of brilliant museums and galleries where you can take a break from the cold.
- Visit the Christmas markets: In December, you can visit Norway’s wonderful Christmas markets all across the country. Sample traditional Norwegian festive treats and enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights.
It’s Your Time for a Norway Winter Wonderland Vacation!
Sound good? Let us help you make your Norway winter adventure a reality by exploring our range of affordable campervan rentals in Norway.
A Norway winter campervan trip will give you the ultimate freedom to go wherever your heart desires. From exploring fjords to traveling the coast. What are you waiting for? Let’s dive in!