Norway: a beautiful country where the weather can change in an instant, no matter what time of year. To help you prepare for your next Scandinavian adventure, we have put together a packing list for your big Norwegian getaway.
Bundle up! The average winter temperatures in Norway range from -13° to 30°F. However, there will be no need to add a complete new arctic wardrobe. Almost all Norwegian tour companies offer thermal packs to save their travelers from freezing and are included in the price of the tour.
While this suit will help keep you comfortably warm, you will need to remember the additional under-layers as well. In this case, wool is going to be your closest friend. Between socks, sweaters, underwear, gloves, and hats with ear flaps, anything with wool lining will be beneficial to keeping you toasty.
Try and purchase gloves with touch-screen capabilities to prevent you from having to take them off any time you want to take a call or picture on your phone. If you deeply value being warm over using your phone, mittens will keep your hands more toasty against the freezing temperatures. Additionally, a warm, wind- and waterproof winter coat is a necessity when visiting Norway in the winter.
Whatever you choose to put on your feet, make sure that your shoes are at least 1. warm and 2. waterproof. For reference from the locals, many Norwegians wear Sorel winter boots. Depending on your agenda of activities while in Norway, it might be helpful to add stabilizers, such as snow spikes or traction cleats, to your boots to prevent any unwanted slips that could create an unexpected Norwegian hospital visit.
The months of June, July, and August are considered summer in Norway; however, the ever-changing forecast does not always reflect this season. With temperatures varying from 42° to 75°F depending on the time and region you are traveling in, your wardrobe must be prepared for all seasons. The key to traveling throughout Norway in the summer is dressing in layers.
Pack a variety of T-shirts, long-sleeves, fleece jackets, and warm sweatshirts, and you will be ready to face any type of weather. Additionally, you should always keep a rain jacket by your side for the many unexpected rain showers you are likely to encounter. And, similar to tops, it will be useful to pack a variety of bottoms as well ranging from shorts to long thermals.
For a good night’s rest, a sleep mask will save you from the endless days, where the sun can shine until midnight. This will come in handy — especially in the accommodations that do not offer blackout curtains.
If looking for more specific recommendations regarding fashion, locals tend to stick to a neutral color scheme including black, blue, gray, and beige, contrasting with the bright pastels of the city of Oslo’s architecture.
In the wet weather you will want a sturdy pair of rain boots to keep you dry throughout the puddles. Locals are often seen wearing rain boots from brands like Danish Ilse Jacobsen. Both short and tall boot styles are commonly seen around Norwegian cities. On sunnier days, locals flood the parks to take advantage of the rare beautiful weather. They are often seen sporting shorts and summer dresses as they lay in the rolling grass and soak up the sun.
As Norway is an extremely expensive country, if you have some extra room in your luggage for a selection of food staples or snacks, this is a great way to save some extra money on your journey. This also means more room for souvenirs on the way back!
To provide more context on the prices you’ll come across in Norway, a basic street hot dog will cost you upwards of $6 USD. Choosing staples such as granola bars, cereal, pasta, beans, and bread can really come in handy depending on the activities you will be participating in while in Norway.
You can be environmentally friendly — and also save some cash — by avoiding single-use water bottles. Choose instead to bring your own reusable one. You will be set with an endless supply of water as the tap water is safe to drink in Norway! Or if you prefer hot drinks, a compact mug or thermos will keep your coffee or tea nice and toasty on the road for you. Lastly, pack reusable utensils that can be washed and re-used (instead of thrown away) to cut down on your trash contribution.
In the year-round cold temperatures, your skin will be inevitably drier than usual. Lip balm, lotion, and moisturizers will be your lifesavers for both men and women.
Additionally, even in the cold climate, sunscreen is more than likely to come in handy as temperatures often do not reflect the sun intensity.
Batteries drain a lot faster in the cold. Do not miss a great photo opportunity by packing a few spare batteries for your camera and a portable charger for your phone. (Note that GoPros are a very popular waterproof camera option in Norway with the ever-changing weather.)
You will also want a European electrical adapter as Norway has 220-volt electricity and uses type C/E/F electricity plugs. If heading on a long road trip through Norway, a phone cradle will provide hands-free, safe navigation through your drive on unfamiliar roads. As phone service can get spotty in some areas of Norway, a map and a compass can be your best hope if you get lost; fortunately, they take up little space.
So there you have it, the essential packing list for your Norwegian getaway. We hope this helps you prepare for your exciting trip in immensely beautiful and rugged Norway.
Let us know in the comments if we’ve missed anything, and stay tuned for an exciting new Acanela trip to the Land of the Midnight Sun. In the meantime, make sure to check out our trips to Iceland, Greenland, and Finland!
Post written by: Kirsten Cusack, @kirqsak