September is the first real autumn month in Norway, but it’s still a fairly popular month to visit. It’s best suited for tourists who can handle chilly mornings and evenings, and don’t get too scared by a little rain.
If you are comfortable with colder weather in the early and late hours of the day, September might be a great time to visit Norway. You will find it to be incredible beautiful here in the fall, and it’s still possible to go on mountain hikes, see the popular tourist attractions (without crowds!) and see the best things Norway has to offers.
So let’s take a closer look at the best things to do in Norway in September, and what considerations you should take when visiting Norway in September.
Hiking in September
If you want to experience the incredible nature of Norway, nothing beats hiking in the mountains. Seeing the brown and yellow colors all over is simply breathtaking!
There are thousands of marked trials all over Norway, open to the public for free. You can go on easy 2 hour hikes just outside the big cities, or spend multiple days hiking in a national park like Jotunheimen.
But is September a good month for hiking in Norway?
September can be a great month for hiking, but it’s also a bit more challenging than in the middle of summer. September will have a rapidly changing weather, and you absolutely need to bring warm and waterproof clothing when you leave for a hike.
The first half of September is particularly good, and I find that some of my most memorable and amazing hikes have taken place in early September.
You might be lucky with the weather, but it would be downright stupid to leave for a longer hike without a waterproof autumn jacket to put in when it begins to rain or the wind picks up.
While a little rain might not be a big problem, wind can really make a nice hike that much more challenging. There’s nothing worse than a cold wind if you don’t have a jacket, and it will really cool your body down very quickly.
That said, the falling leafs and changing of the colors in nature can provide with some incredible natural sights in September, so it’s well worth going on hikes if you visit Norway during this time.
Just remember to bring a backpack with some extra clothing just to be on the safe side!
The weather in Norway in September
September is the first real autumn month, and it’s actually a big difference between the start and end of September.
The first half of September will still have a lingering summer weather, but it will be chilly in the morning and evening hours. You might still get some sunny days with over 18 ℃, but there could also be cloudy and chilly days.
As we approach the later half of the month, expect the temperature to be chilly even in the middle of the day. You won’t need a thick jacket yet, but a thin waterproof and windproof jacket is recommended. At the very least bring a good weather or hoodie.
There are 8 days of rain in Oslo on an average September month, but many more if you stay in a town or city close to the sea.
If you stay in Bergen, an average September will have 15 or 16 days of rain! So bring your umbrella and waterproof clothing, and prepare for sightseeing in the rain.
There are fewer crowds in September
One of the great things about visiting Norway in September is that there are few crowds, even at the most popular tourist attractions. All Norwegians are done with their summer holiday, the children are back in school or kindergarten, and even most foreign tourists are home by now.
This means that you will get even the most popular attractions almost to yourself, and don’t have to stand in long queues to get your photo taken at the tip of Pulpit Rock, Trolltunga or the other scenic attractions!
Another big benefit to this is that accommodation is much cheaper in September when compared to in the summer. Most hotels, hostels and cabins will have rooms you can rent, and the small demand leads to lower prices overall.
You usually won’t even need to book accommodation in advance, and most places will have plenty of rooms available.
Seeing the northern lights in September
Most people consider the middle of September to be the start of the northern lights season in Northern Norway.
Seeing the aurora borealis in September is possible, but it’s far from guaranteed. September tend to have a lot of cloud cover, which is terrible if you want to see the northern lights.
A good tip when wanting to see the northern lights in September is to go on a mountain hike to get away from light pollution and get to higher altitude. This will give you a much better view!
It’s important to keep in mind that you might want to visit later in the year to increase your chances of seeing a good aurora borealis show, but with a bit of luck, you might get a decent glimpse of it in September.
Are all tourist attractions still open in September?
Many of the summer season tourist attractions close sometime in September, but are generally open for the first half. This applies to things like zoos, theme parks and lots of outdoor attractions like that.
These places generally tend to have shorter opening hours in the fall, and some even closes down until spring! The final days of the summer season tends to be the first or second week of September.
So make sure to check the opening hours for places you plan on going, because they might not all be open still. And if they are, they will most likely have reduced opening times compared to in the usmmer.
Museums and indoor tourist attractions tend to be open all year round though, so there’s no need to worry about these. Some of these might also have reduced opening times in the off season, so plan ahead even at these.
What about picking some cloudberries?
Norway’s famous cloudberries are usually ripe and ready to be harvested in September, and going on a short mountain hike to look for cloudberries is an amazing experience.
Cloudberries are pretty rare, but taste incredible. It’s also something special about finding and harvesting them all by yourself.
The freedom to roam law allows anyone to harvest and eat cloudberries, even tourists. So just go on a hike and enjoy a snack if you manage to find some.
You can find cloudberries in bogs in mires about the tree limit in southern Norway, and pretty much anywhere close to bogs and mires further north.
Camping in Norway in September
September can be great for camping, but just like hiking, you will need to take some precautions. Since you have a decent chance of rain, always use a waterproof tent and make a plan on what to do if it rains the entire day.
It’s also pretty cold during the night even early in September, and you can expect it to get as low as 3 – 5 ℃ in the middle of the night.
This means that you need a good sleeping bag and preferably wool underlays to wear when sleeping.
You can finally light a campfire again!
Norway has a campfire ban between April 15 and September 15, so after September 15 you can freely light campfire when camping in the wild. This is great news for anyone who plans on relying on tents in the wild to save money on accommodation, or just want to spend multiple days hiking.
It’s still important to take precautions to prevent forest fires when light a campfire after September 15, but at least it’s no longer illegal as long as you can control it.
Is there snow or frost in Norway in September?
Don’t expect snow or even frost if you are visiting Norway in September. It’s still at least one month too early, even though you might see a night or two where the temperature dips below the freeing point for a few hours in the middle of the night.