Norway In November: The Ultimate Norway November Guide

November is the final autumn month in Norway, but Norway is pretty cold and usually partly snowy at this point of the year. Visiting Norway in November is a great option for anyone wanting to experience the country before it gets completely overtaken by Christmas decorations in December, and it’s a good time to visit.

One of the great things about visiting Norway in November is that it’s right in the off-season. The summer crowds are long gone, but the winter tourists have yet to arrive. Most Norwegians spend most of their time at home or at work in November, and there are generally no crowds at any of the popular tourist attractions in Norway.

So pack up some warm clothes and come visit us in Norway in November! You’re absolutely going to love it, so let’s take a closer look at what Norway is like in November!

November in Norway is considered the last autumn month.
Photo published with permission.

What to do in Norway in November

November is a great time to visit Norway, with lots of different options as of what to do, but it depends on where in Norway you are visiting.

If you want to visit southern, eastern or western Norway, you get to see the final days of the Norwegian autumn with all its different colors. This is a spectacular sight well worth seeing with your own eyes!

Finnmark in autumn is often snowy, but not always.
Photo published with permission.

The days are getting shorter, but there are still many hours of daylight left in the southern half of the country. This makes it possible to go sightseeing the great wonders of the Norwegian nature, go on hikes (just make sure to bring a flashlight!) or just spend time getting to experience what Norway is like.

Visiting any of the big cities like Oslo, Bergen or Trondheim is perfectly fine in November, and gives you plenty of hours to explore the city in daylight. Once the sun goes down at 4 – 5 PM, head over to a museum, go see a concert or just do something indoor to get the most of the day.

November tend to be a month with few tourists, and most Norwegian tend to spend most of their time at home. This means that November a great time to visit museums or other attractions, since there will be few people and virtually no queues!

All the major tourist attractions like most museums are open in November, but certain seasonal attractions will be closed or have reduced opening times. This is most common for classic tourist destinations like Flåm that get next to no visits outside of foreign tourists who visits in the summer.

MUNCH Museum
November is a great time to visit the new MUNCH Museum in Oslo. Photo published with permission.

Northern Norway in November

If you’re visiting the northern part of Norway in November, things are going to be very different from what I just described. You are only going to have a few hours of daylight each day, and a decent chance of snow in northern Norway in November.

November tend to be more of a winter month in Northern Norway instead of a autumn month, so bring warm clothing and be prepared for a winter experience.

This makes it possible to do winter activities like skiing, dog sledding or seeing the northern lights already in November, as long as you are far north in Norway.

It’s also important to keep in mind that November is a month that can be warm some years and cold others. The first weeks of November in 2022 was very warm, making it like an autumn month even in Northern Norway. But it can be freezing cold and a true winter month other years.

So you are not really getting any weather guarantees if you are visiting Norway in November; it can flip either way.

Reine Lofoten in winter with snow
Reine village in Lofoten. Photo published with permission.

The weather and temperature in Norway in November

Even though November is an amazing month, it’s definitely cold! The first two weeks of November might feel like a late autumn season some years, but they might also be closer to a full blown winter season other years.

But don’t be fooled by a warm-looking autumn sun; bring a jacket, waterproof outer layers and even consider using wool underlayers if you’re staying outside for extended periods of time.

The final two weeks of November is typically very winter-ish, with a pretty high chance of snowfall, sub-zero temperatures and a nice, winter feel to it.

Keep in mind that Norway is a country with big differences between north and south, and it will be significantly colder far north in Norway compared to the southern half of the country.

Temperatures in Oslo, Norway in November

If you’re visiting Oslo during November, expect there to be between -2 °C and 5 °C during the day, and between -7 °C and 0 °C during the night.

The temperature will typically go below freezing during the night, but rise just past it again when the sun comes up during the day.

Woman outside the Opera in Oslo
Woman outside the Opera in Oslo. Photo published with permission.

Temperatures in Tromsø, Norway in November

The average temperature in Tromsø in November is usually between -3 °C and 2 °C during the daytime, and between -11 °C and -3 °C during the night.

It is rare that the temperature goes over the freezing point in Tromsø in November, so be prepared for a pretty cold visit.

This also means that any snow that falls down will stay, giving it the potential to become a true winter wonderland during November.

Tromsø at night
Tromsø at night. Photo published with permission.

Is there snow in Norway in November?

November is the first month of snow in Norway in most years, and you are likely to experience snow if you spend at least a week or two in Norway during the late part of November.

The average first day of snowfall in Norway is around November 20 for Oslo, and around November 6 for Tromsø.

There is a very high probability of snowfall in November in November, but the snow might not stick around (especially in the south). In the southern parts, it tends to often snow during the night, but then the snow melts away in the next day.

However, there is a pretty decent chance of getting snow cover in areas north of Trondheim in November, particularly in late November.

PS. another option is to head up in the mountains; these are almost guaranteed to be snowy in November. Again, further north and higher up increases your chances of getting a lot of snow.

Snowy road close to Gol
Photo by Jack globetrotter / CC BY-SA 3.0.

Seeing the northern lights in November

You have a pretty decent chance to see the northern lights in northern Norway in November. November is not as great as January or February, but it’s definitely possible to get a good glimpse at the aurora borealis if you travel to Tromsø or further north.

The “problem” with visiting Norway to see the northern lights in November is that there is a somewhat high probability of at least partial cloud cover, so there might be days with amazing aurora shows that you simply cannot see because of the clouds blocking it.

So you need to be a bit lucky to see the northern lights in Norway in November. If you’re staying for a few weeks, then you are definitely going to see it, but it’s a bit of a higher risk to plan to stay only 2 or 3 days (compared to if you visit in January or February).

Northern lights in winter
Northern lights in winter. Photo published with permission.

What Norwegians do in November

November is typically a rather laid-back month for Norwegians who spend most of their time at home, at their cabins, or at work.

The days are getting very short, so it’s pretty difficult to get to spend much time outside since it will be dark just a few hours after we get home from work.

And let’s not forget that November is one of the rainiest months in the entire year, giving us yet another great reason to not spend too much time outside.

This makes November a great time for spending time with our families and focusing on making tasty dinners and having fun inside. So make a nice dinner, light some candles and just enjoy time inside to be like a true Norwegian in November!

As we’re going to be looking closer at very shortly, Christmas preparations begins in late November for most, so you will find that many Norwegians use a lot of time to go shopping for Christmas decorations, gifts and other things we need before Christmas (since December is typically super busy).

Woman looking out at the Flåm fjord
Woman looking out at the Flåm fjord. Photo published with permission.

Events in Norway in November

Early November tend to be a time with pretty few events around Norway, but you will find lots and lots of Christmas related events in the last half of the month.

Once we get to November 15, you will find that most cities, towns, shopping centers and other places will begin to host different types of Christmas events.

Some typical Christmas events we have in Norway in November are:

  • Official openings of Christmas Markets and Christmas Streets.
  • Big “Meet and greet” events for children to meet Santa (and likely get some candy from him).
  • Christmas concerts and Christmas shows.
  • Julebord (a special type of Christmas party).

These will ramp up more as we get closer to December, and keep going for the first two weeks of December as well.

Christmas decorations at Aker Brygge in Oslo
Christmas decorations at Aker Brygge in Oslo. Photo published with permission.

Non-Christmas events in Norway in November

November is generally regarded as a pretty bad time to host big festivals or other events, so you won’t find all that many big festivals in Norway in November.

However, there will be plenty of concerts, shows and other events in all cities, so you won’t have any problems finding things to do in the evening. Any indoor event is just as good in November as other times, so head to a local cinema, concert venue or theater to find something fun to do!

The Norwegian Rakfisk festival

In addition, there’s the Rakfisk festival in early November. This festival honors the semi-fermented troutdish called rakfisk, a traditional Norwegian cuisine, while also providing lots of entertainment.

If you’re interested in traditional Norwegian food festivals, head to Fagernes outside Valdres to participate in this special festival. The exact dates change from year to year, but it’s always in the first half of November.

Frequently asked questions about visiting Norway in November

Is November a busy month for tourism in Norway?

November is not really a popular month for visiting Norway, so there’s very short queues and few people at even the most popular tourist attractions. This makes it a great time to visit if you don’t want big crowds.

Can you go hiking in Norway in November?

November is a bit tricky when it comes to hiking. It might be OK in some years, but not in others. It really depends on what you are comfortable with, and how much snow and ice you can handle. It’s certainly a bit late for going on a hiking holiday in Norway, but there will still be some hiking trails that are perfectly fine in November. It’s not possible to be hiking too much in the northern part of Norway since it will usually be snow by then, so it’s rather time to go skiing.

Is there snow in Norway in November?

The first snowfall in Norway tend to happen sometime during November, but there is a low chance that the snow will stay on the ground for more than a day or two before melting away. The further north you get, the more snow you can expect.

Norway monthly travel guides

This is far from the only monthly guide to Norway we have in store, so check out the other months below if you are interested in visiting Norway in the future.

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