Norway In October: The Ultimate October Guide

October is kind of a transition month in Norway, and acting as a late autumn in some years and early winter in others. It’s among the least popular months to visit Norway as a tourist, but Norway in October is still incredible in it’s own way!

If you’re looking to see the most popular tourist attractions without standing in queues or being in a crowded space, October is the month for you! But just let me warn you, you will need to find your winter clothes when visiting Norway in October, because it’s getting pretty cold at this point.

Let’s take a look at Norwegian in October, from what to do, where to go, and of course the best inside information to making your October visit a success.

Finnmark in autumn
Finnmark in autumn. Photo published with permission.

The weather in Norway in October

October is the first month that begins to be pretty cold in Norway. Just forget about wearing a t-shirt outside, and rather focus on finding good and warm clothing.

The average temperature will vary a lot in Norway in October, and begin much warmer at the start of the month than it is at the end.

There will also be a very big different between the south and north of Norway, and you will need more winter clothing if you are travelling to Tromsø or even further north.

You will definitely want to check the weather forecast before going out in October, especially if you are leaving for a hike or day trip that will be mostly outside.

You might get to experience snow in Norway in October, but it’s not going to be a winter wonderland with a big snow cover just yet. The flow of it tends to be that it snows in the late evening, night or early morning hours, then melt away during the day.

Let’s take a look at the expected temperatures and the weather for some popular cities in Norway in October.

The weather in Oslo in October

Oslo is the biggest city (as well as the capital) of Norway, and attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every month, even in the off-season in October. There is typically no snow or anything like that this far south in Norway, but you might get lucky and get some snow in the night time.

Expect the temperatures to be between 7°C (44 °F) and 12°C (53 °F) in the middle of the day, but around 0 – 2°C (32 – 36 °F) in the night time.

This means that there will be frost on the ground, so be careful when going outside in the early morning hours. It might just be slippery!

Woman outside the Opera in Oslo. You might want to war a scarf like she does in Norway in October.
Woman outside the Opera in Oslo. Photo published with permission.

The weather in Bergen in October

Bergen is well known for its rain, and October is no exception. There are one average 15 days of rain in Bergen in October, so pretty much half of the days will be rainy!

The temperature is not quite as cold as most other parts of Norway due to Bergen’s proximity to the ocean, and it’s typically between 7 and 9 °C in the night, and between 9 and 13 °C in the day.

It’s not going to be anywhere close to freezing temperatures, so there’s no need to prepare for snow in Bergen in October. Sorry, but it’s just not going to happen!

Bryggen in Bergen
Bryggen in Bergen in fall. Photo published with permission.

The weather in Tromsø in October

If you’re visiting Tromsø in October, be prepared for a wet visit. It won’t be many rainy days, but you are statistically likely to see a lot of snowfall.

The average temperature is typically between -5 and 0 °C in the late evening, at night or in the early morning hours, and just above freezing in the day. This means that most of the rainfall will come down as snow, but it will usually melt in the daylight.

This leads to a lot of slushy ice, to bring winter boots or waterproof shoes!

It’s also worth mentioning that Tromsø will have only 5 to 6 hours of daylight per day in October, so it’s beginning to get dark. However, this also leads to some amazing opportunities for the northern lights, but we will get back to this topic later on in the article.

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

Hiking in Norway in October

Many tourists come to Norway to hike, either for recreation or to see some of the incredible natural wonders like Trolltunga or Pulpit Rock. But what’s the hiking like in Norway in October?

Hiking in the mountains in October is typically much more challenging than in earlier months, due to the risk of there being frost and small patches of ice on the ground.

This makes trails more slippery, and increases the need for good equipment. Even at good trails in the mountain, you are likely to encounter patches with frost and slippery rocks.

That said, it’s perfectly possible to go hiking in Norway in October, but bring waterproof and warm clothing (we recommend wool under-layers) even this early in the winter.

Some trails are closed in October due to chance of snowfall. This includes the famous Trolltunga hike which closes at September 30.

Ørsta in autumn
Ørsta in autumn. Photo published with permission.

And the same principle as the weather applies; further into the month and further north will make it more likely to experience frost, ice or even snowfall.

It’s not really a problem to hike in the mountains for most of October, but be prepared to take it easy.

Shorter hikes in the forest or lowlands are perfectly nice in October, and the color palette makes it an incredible time to go exploring the amazing nature.

There are thousands of shorter hikes all over Norway, and October is just amazing if you just want to go on trails without planning on going high up in the mountains.

Person alone at Pulpit Rock
Person alone at Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen) in late autumn. Photo published with permission.

Should you expect crowds in October?

October is typically considered the off-season for tourism in Norway, both for foreign tourists as well as Norwegian tourists. Summer season is long gone, but the winter skiing season has yet to start, so you’re right in the sweet spot.

In other words, there are very few crowds in Norway on October!

This is great for those of you that don’t want to be stuck in long queues to get to see pieces in the museums or get stuck in a line when hiking at the popular trails.

It should be fairly easy to find accommodation, and it’s also likely going to be pretty cheap since most places will have many spare rooms available.

That said, I urge everyone to book accommodation online before arriving in Norway. This will save you some money and time, and make sure that you actually have a place to spend the night.

Seeing the aurora borealis in October

You can often be able to see the northern light (aurora borealis) in northern Norway in October, especially in the last half of the month.

You will have to be a bit lucky to see the northern lights in October, but there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of seeing the northern lights:

  1. Check out the aurora borealis forecast to find a good night.
  2. Go far away from the city to reduce any light pollution.

You will typically want to be in Tromsø or even further north to have a decent chance of seeing the northern lights as early as October, but it’s absolutely possible.

Northern lights outside of Tromsø
Northern lights outside of Tromsø in the winter. PS. the photo is from later in the winter. Photo published with permission.

Camping in Norway in October

Many people opt to use the free camping as a means of making their visit to Norway a bit cheaper, but it’s important to keep in mind that it will get very cold to spend the night in a tent in October.

It’s not a big problem as long as you got decent camping equipment such as a good sleeping pad, but it does absolutely require good equipment in October and later.

Winter wild camping is not for beginners, and camping in October is just on the edge of what beginner campers can handle without putting their safety at risk.

Most campsites in Norway are long closed by October, so your only option left is to go wild camping in nature.

I recommend not to go wild camping in Norway in October unless you are absolutely sure that you can handle it.

Tent on Hardangervidda

What Norwegians typically do in October

Norwegians typically use October to take it easy, and enjoy time indoors. It’s getting colder and darker outside, so Norwegians often combat this with what we call “kos“, which can be translated to cozy, but also means so much more.

Families with cabins will use October as a good opportunity to spend a lot of time there. The cabin will be a base for hiking, picking cloudberries, and to eat incredible meals. We often see cabins that are owned by entire families, so you have both grandparents, the adults and children in the same cabin, spending time together across generations in the weekends.

Some people own modern cabins with saunas, hot tubs and everything you find in regular houses, while others opt for more traditional cabins without electricity.

You can easily rent cabins as a tourist, but they will be pretty pricey in October.

Cozy cabin

October is often a lazy month for Norwegians, and we tend to use this time to just focus on the day to day activities like school or work, and just enjoying that for the month until the pre-Christmas season kicks in at the beginning of November.

Visiting the Norwegian fjords in October

Many people are asking if you are able to visit the fjords in Norway in October, and you most certainly are!

October is a great time to visit the Norwegian fjords, and you will be surprised by it’s late autumn beauty.

The fjords are still incredible in October, and it’s just something magical about seeing the brown and orange on the mountainsides rising from the fjords.

Two people watching the fjords
Two people watching the fjord. Photo published with permission.

Events in Norway in October

October is not really a month where a lot of stuff happens in Norway, but there are a few festivals and events to be aware of:

  • Insomnia Festival. The Insaomnia Festival is in Tromsø, and features electronic music.
  • Lillehammer Jazz Festival. This 4 day long festival in Lilehammer features a lot of jazz bands and artists, and makes for an unforgettable experience.
  • Oktoberfest. This beer festival originally originate from Germany, but Norwegians love beer, so it’s becoming more and more common to have a public Oktoberfest in most big cities in Norway.

Frequently asked questions about Norway in October

Below are some of the most common questions we get asked about visiting Norway in October, so hopefully you will find all you need to know there. And if not, let us know in the comment sections, and we will make sure to answer with what you need to know!

What is the weather like in Norway in October?

The weather tend to be rainy or clouded with a small chance of some snowfall during most of October.

Can you go skiing in Norway in October?

It’s usually a bit too early to go skiing in Norway in October, but it’s possible in a few locations far north such as in the Lyngen Alps.

How cold in Norway in October?

Southern Norway will typically have temperatures between 7°C (44 °F) and 12°C (53 °F) in the daytime, and around 0 – 2°C (32 – 36 °F) at night.

Is October a good time to visit Norway?

It really depends on what you expect, but it is a great time to visit if you don’t want crowds and are OK with colder temperatures. Just bring enough clothes, and you will have a great time in Norway in October.

Do Norwegians celebrate Halloween?

Halloween is a pretty new tradition in Norway, and you can think of it as a scaled down version of the American celebration. It’s mostly younger people who uses it as an opportunity to party and dress up, but children might come to trick or treat in the cities.

And as you can expect, Halloween is celebrated on the last day in October.

Is there snow in Norway in October?

There can be nights with snowfall in Norway in October, but the snow will most usually disappear in a few hours when day begins. The first real snowfall that stays on the ground tends to be in late November.

The further north you are, the higher the chances of seeing snowfall is.

Lofoten in autumn
Lofoten in autumn. Photo published with permission.

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.

3 thoughts on “Norway In October: The Ultimate October Guide”

  1. This was very informative. Taking a cruise in October. Hopefully we will see the northern lights. We will be stopping overnight in Tomoso.

    • Hi, Laura.

      I’m glad you liked the article!

      And best of luck with seeing the northern lights 🙂 You will need a bit of luck since you’re only there for a single night, but it’s definitely possible if the weather and aurora plays along.

      Best regards


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