Hiking with rucksack in nature

April 24th, 2022

How to Dress for Success in the Norwegian Weather

April 24th, 2022

Written by

Man on UpNorway journey to Losæter

Sondre Sommerfelt in collaboration with Up Norway

A cosmopolitan travel writer

Tailor your own journey. Come on Up!

Man overlooking the Geiranger Fjord

Tailor your own journey. Come on Up!

As local experts and travel curators, we'd love to tailor your perfect holiday escape. Just answer five simple questions so we'll know where to start.

This Up Guide is written by insider Sondre Sommerfelt; A cosmopolitan anthropologist, travel writer and cultural entrepreneur, for Up Norway.

Sondre is an Oslo-based travel writer, sailor, skier and cultural critic. He loves the outdoors and city life (who doesn’t) and knows everything that moves on Norway’s cultural and music scene. Enjoy his humorous - yet useful - guides to Norway.

If there's one single piece of information whose accuracy this guide can guarantee, it's that the weather will change

To Put It Bluntly: Norway’s Weather Can Be Unpredictable. Despite sharing the same latitude as Alaska, Greenland and Siberia, Norway nevertheless has a pleasant climate compared to those places thanks to the Gulf Stream and warm air currents.

That said, Norway has the most variable weather in the world, and some of its biggest temperature differences: the country can offer everything from full- blown storms to temperate chillout zones, with temperatures varying from freezing Arctic conditions to a balmy Mediterranean calm within days (or, if you’re lucky, minutes.) On one occasion, a 45.9 degree difference between Norway’s hottest and coldest place was measured on the same day.

So yes, the Norwegian climate can be complex, but let’s focus on fundamental positives. You may not swelter in Norway in August, but summers are instead usually pleasant, with plenty of light. The North, meanwhile, enjoys the finest Northern celestial phenomena: you can enjoy the midnight sun in summer, while Northern Lights will keep you fertile through winter.

Strolling around Bergen in the rain

‘Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær' (There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes)

Dress for success, people, which means dress for each and every surprise that may come your way. That is why locals tend to spend their lives wearing Gore-tex and down jackets throughout the year, or at least keep one rolled up in their rucksack for safety reasons. So bring good outerwear, at least in the winter. Yes, in Norway it’s practicality first, fashion week second.

A tip for inexperienced foreigners: please do as the Scandinavians do – wear a wool layer against your skin when it is cold. Cotton or synthetic fabrics may keep you warm when you are dry, but it does not help when you get wet, humid, or sweat like a sow in a steam room. Wool does the trick. And because it is ‘all natural’, it will not transmit unpleasant body odours, so you can wear it over and over again. (Well, that is the theory!) At the very least, invest in woollen socks. Please! And nope, modern woollen sports fabrics do not itch – try the Merino wool or cashmere varieties. The wool-aficionados of course favour a silk-cashmere mix. That probably goes without saying. So, prepare to gear up before you go out on thrilling outdoor extravaganzas. Even in the summer.

Two women Buying Ski Equipment

About Norway

What is a fjord?

A fjord is created when a glacier retreats after carving its typical U-shaped valley, and the sea fills the resulting valley floor. In Norway, we have 1190 of them. However, Norway’s fjords are more than just pretty scenery. The culture of fjord Norway is as deep as the mountains are tall.

Svalbard - Nansen Polar Expeditions