Your Complete Norway Packing List: Seasonal Must-Haves

Hiking in Norway

Your Complete Norway Packing List: Seasonal Must-Haves

Hiking in Norway

Hei hei!

Most people know Norway as a popular destination with charming towns and UNESCO-listed fjords, but did you know it’s also home to many types of climates? From windy shores to snow-capped mountains and sunny cities, Norway has it all—which means it’s good to have a seasonal packing list for Norway handy because of the different weather you’ll experience. 

Like a local, you’re sure to enjoy the best activities each season offers… with the right clothing and gear, of course! 

Whether you’re traveling to Norway in the summer, winter, spring, or fall, plan to purchase and pack your must-have items ahead of time for a smooth and fun trip. 

 

Norway flag at sunset.

 

When considering what clothing to bring, you might wonder if Norway is always extremely cold. Not at all! 

Southern and Eastern Norway get warmer temperatures, while the Western and coastal regions get more rain and wind. And Northern Norway? It gets cold thanks to the Arctic climate, but you’ll stay warm with plenty of sunshine during summer.

Now that you know about Norway’s versatile climate, let’s talk luggage and my favorite Norway travel tips!

 

What to pack for Norway?

 

Suitcase packed with warm clothing.

Don’t forget to pack wool layers (or silk thermals, as an alternative)!

 

In this article, I’m sharing insider tips to help you stay warm and dry year-round—no matter where you are in Norway. Plus, you’ll learn what accessories and gear are my favorites for traveling and my top tips for saving space in your suitcase so that you can bring home plenty of Kvikk Lunsj Chocolate!

Get even more Norway travel tips and exclusive behind-the-scenes photos, videos and more on my Patreon!

How should you dress for a trip to Norway? Layers, Layers, Layers

Don’t be caught off guard by a sudden change in temperature!

Some parts of Norway, like the Northern region, can have all four seasons in one day, so I recommend wearing layers. 

Like a true Norwegian, you can stay warm by pairing a light wool first layer with an insulating layer, like a fleece jacket or down/wool sweater or jacket. Then, top your warm layers with a windproof and waterproof shell jacket—and enjoy plenty of time outdoors, no matter the weather!

In Norway, wool is a must-have. It’s also perfect for traveling to colder climates because it’s a breathable and insulating material (that doesn’t get smelly like synthetic materials!). Wool stays warm when wet or damp, and you only need a thin layer to keep you cozy. And it’s eco-friendly! 

When choosing your wool type, I recommend Merino wool—it’s itch-free and has greater temperature and moisture control. If you don’t tolerate wool (it makes you itchy), try silk thermal underwear, an alternative natural fiber that retains heat.

 

Packing list for your summer trip to Norway 

Norwegian summer temperatures can be pleasant, around 12 – 18°C (52 – 65°F). However, temperatures can increase to 25°C (77°F) or higher from mid-June through August.

What should you wear in Norway in the summer? Pack lightweight, breathable clothing with a rain jacket or waterproof poncho for unexpected showers.

If you’re used to warm summer nights back home, you might consider packing a thin wool or silk thermal for potentially chilly summer nights in Norway (see packing list for spring and fall below).

Summer packing list

 

Packing list for your winter trip to Norway

Pål wearing a warm winter outfit in Norway.

My warm winter outfit in Norway!

 

Although the winters are cold and snowy, there’s still plenty to do! 

The average winter temperature is around -7°C (19.4°F), so when thinking about what to pack for Norway in winter, don’t forget your thermal layers and an insulated jacket for all the outdoor adventures you’ll do!

Winter packing list

 

Packing list for your spring or fall trip to Norway

Spring and fall are considered the “shoulder seasons,” with mild temperatures and occasional rain or snow. Pack waterproof, windproof and warm clothing when traveling during these times, just in case!

Spring and fall packing list

 

Infographic with information about packing seasonally for a trip to Norway.

 

What is the dress code in Norway?

 

A night view of Karl Johans Gate, the main pedestrian street in Oslo.

Karl Johans Gate. The main pedestrian street in Oslo.

 

In everyday life, the Norwegian style is pretty outdoorsy. However, when going to restaurants or bars, Nordic fashion leans toward smart casual or “dressy casual” rather than overly casual, like ripped jeans and faded T-shirts. 

If you plan to enjoy a nice dinner at a restaurant or go to a bar—and want to blend in with the locals, be sure to pack your smart casual attire. For example, when going out on the town, you’ll find that Norwegian men typically wear button-down shirts and dark pants or jeans, and Norwegian women opt for stylish tops, jeans or slacks, dresses and skirts.

What kind of shoes should you wear in Norway?

For a night out, choose close-toed dark or leather shoes. Comfortable sneakers are perfect for everyday shoes in the city.

 

Pål and Rick Steves selfie in Oslo, Norway.

Rick Steves and I show an example of a casual button-down men’s shirt in Oslo.

 

Dressing for Norway’s Independence Day

The 17th of May in Norway is our National Day—with many celebrations! If you’re in Norway to celebrate, you’ll notice that a lot of people dress up in black suits and national dresses. You won’t see too many people in casual or outdoorsy type clothing on this special day! 

You don’t have to dress up to join the festivities, but the smart casual style, like a nice shirt or dress, is best for going out on the 17th of May. To celebrate like a local, add a Norwegian ribbon to your outfit, which you can find in the supermarkets.

 

Pål celebrating the 17th of May at The Royal Palace in Oslo, Norway.

Wearing a suit and Norwegian ribbon for the 17th of May celebrations at The Royal Palace in Oslo.

 

Now that you know how to dress like a Norwegian, whether hiking in the wilderness, dining in the city, or enjoying the 17th of May festivities—let’s talk about the must-have accessories and gear for your trip!

 

My favorite accessories for traveling globally and in beautiful Norway!

 

Pål enjoying a picturesque hike in Vettakollen, Norway.

Enjoying a picturesque hike in Vettakollen, Norway.

 

With these must-have travel items ready to go, you won’t worry about stopping to buy them during your trip—which means you have more room in your budget to enjoy extra relaxation time at the Sauna!

 

 

As a seasoned traveler, I’ve learned many ways to help make my trips smooth and easy, and I know these extra tips will help you, too! 

My top travel tips 

  • When packing your suitcase, roll your clothes to save space.
  • Use packing cubes or vacuum-sealed bags to maximize luggage space.
  • Pack a variety of clothing that you can mix and match outfits.
  • Don’t forget a small first aid kit, medications, and, of course, fingernail clippers
  • Don’t overpack (just yet)! Leave plenty of space for souvenirs and chocolates.
  • If you’re going to Norway soon, don’t forget your trusty Norway Travel Guide!

 

Ready? Let’s go to Norway!

With my tips on how to stay warm and dry in Norway, the must-have accessories and gear, and how to pack like a pro—you’re sure to enjoy plenty of Nordic adventures anywhere you visit in Norway!

Remember, Norway has diverse climates, so you can truly experience it all. Like a true Norwegian, you must always prepare for a variety of weather. That’s part of the fun!

 

Now that you’ll be busy packing your suitcase, why not let a local take care of the Norway Tour Planning for you? 

I offer custom Tour Planning, including a done-for-you daily itinerary and insider tips so you can check everything off your travel wish list.

Book your tailor-made tour plan today, and get ready to experience the best of Norway! 

 

Your friend in Norway,

Pål

Pål of Norway With Pål

Pål of Norway With Pål

Norway native, veteran travel guide, sailor, filmmaker, and writer (you might have seen me in one of Rick Steves’ guidebooks!). I want to help you enjoy Norway the right way — like a local. Learn more about me.

DISCLAIMER: Products on this page may contain affiliate links, and I might make a small sum per purchase. For you this does not affect the product price, but supports me and my work, and makes me able to continue sharing my passion for Norway with you. Read the Disclaimer policy. Thank you, tusen takk!

2 Comments

  1. Pamella Parr on April 8, 2024 at 6:12 pm

    Looking forward to seeing where my great grand parents came from!
    Thank you for the wonderful tips.

    • Pål on April 8, 2024 at 6:13 pm

      You are welcome! Enjoy your journey here

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