7 Things To Do In Norway In The Spring

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The spring in Norway is a season with a little bit of everything for everyone. Northern lights? Check. Skiing? Check. Green valleys with snow-capped mountaintops? Check!

Norway is blessed with having four seasons, although some might call it a curse. Of all four seasons, spring is in my opinion the best time to visit the country.

Spring kayaking in Ålesund, Norway. Photo: David Nikel.
Kayaking in Ålesund in the early springtime. Photo: David Nikel.

The revival of nature is uplifting to watch, as the last of the lingering snow recedes and the scenery transforms into fifty shades of green.

Even the Vikings had spring fever, offering sacrifices to the Norse gods to ensure prosperity and protection for the community.

So put on your windbreaker, take out your camera and join us as we unwrap the wonders of visiting Norway in spring with our list of 7 things to do in the country during that time!

1. Spring Skiing in Norway

Spring is a great time to ski in Norway. The reason for this is that after a long and dark winter, daylight is mostly back to normal by mid-March, so if the snow cover is there, you can enjoy longer skiing days.

It’s hard to overstate the Scandinavian enthusiasm for the return of the sun. Science does show that daylight has an effect on hormones and mood, so soaking up those rays in the spring is a natural thing to do after the dark months.

Skier in front of a mountain in Norway.
Skiing is popular throughout Norway, especially at Easter.

Spring skiing is a perfect way to do that. There is even a Norwegian word for the mood of such a day: “Påskefølelse” (literally: Easter feeling).

The “Easter feeling” is what you get when you have a sunny day with blue skies, blinding white snow and milder temperatures. So, if you’re in Norway in springtime, do join the locals and try a bit of skiing.

2. See the Northern Lights

Early spring is a very good time to see the northern lights in Norway. Complete darkness is ideal to observe the phenomenon, and it is still around in March and into early April, even high up north.

Another key factor that makes March a good time to observe the northern lights is because of the position of the sun related to the Earth’s axis during the equinox.

Essentially, things are lined up properly in March and September, to maximise the likelihood of seeing the aurora borealis.

Northern lights in Trondheim in the springtime. Photo: David Nikel.
Northern lights in Trondheim in the springtime. Photo: David Nikel.

This advantage is particularly true for the springs of 2024 and 2025, which coincide with a solar maximum. This is a period of intense solar activity, generating the solar storms that result in awe-inspiring displays of light at the poles.

3. Eat Oranges and Kit Ka… Kvikk Lunsj

This is a nice low-cost, authentic Norwegian activity to do in the spring. Don’t ask me exactly why or how, but eating oranges and Kvikk Lunsj (the Norwegian version of a Kit Kat) is a proud Norwegian spring tradition.

A possible explanation for the Kvikk Lunsj is that as a candy bar, it gives you a boost of energy that can come very handy during a long ski trip. As for the oranges, honestly, it beats me…

4. Enjoy Crime Fiction

If you really want to experience the spring just like a Norwegian, read a crime novel or watch a crime drama on TV. The tradition of reading crime novels around Easter time in Norway dates back more than a hundred years.

It originated when a clever book advertisement was mistaken for a news story about a train robbery, captivating the nation. The tradition of going to the hytte (cabin) during Easter also reinforces the habit, since the cabin is a perfect setting to indulge in reading, away from the distractions of modern life.

Nowadays, the tradition has expanded to include television series about crime. So, if you want a taste of what spring in Norway is like for a Norwegian, get a nice blanket and a cup of tea, and the latest crime novel.

5. Enjoy Norway's Landscapes at their Best

Spring in Norway is when the country’s majestic landscapes are at their best. If you are at all into photography, the season–particularly late spring–is one of the best times to get good landscape shots, in my opinion.

Norway's Seven Sisters mountain range in March. Photo: David Nikel.
Norway's Seven Sisters mountain range in March. Photo: David Nikel.

The reason for this is that by mid-May, most trees are starting to have leaves and fields are coloured with different shades of green. Snow is still present at higher altitudes, which decorates mountain tops nicely.

And since the snow is melting rapidly, the country’s innumerable waterfalls are at their most impressive. Add to that the return of migratory birds with the soundtrack they provide, and you are guaranteed a top notch nature-lover’s experience that captivates both the eyes and ears.

6. Take the Coastal Express

Norway’s coastal ferry service, whether Hurtigruten or Havila, is an unforgettable experience regardless of season. But the benefit of an early spring journey is the balance of daylight and darkness.

Daylight enables you to view the larger-than-life, otherworldly landscapes the journey offers, while still allowing for the possibility of a northern lights display. Since you are off-peak, you will generally encounter fewer other tourists.

Milder temperatures make for a comfortable journey along Norway's stunning coastline. If you embark on the journey in late spring, you will get very long days, and even midnight sun at the higher latitudes.

7. Celebrate 17th of May in Norway

17th of May, Norway’s national day, is a day like no other in Norway. I am reminded of a couple of friends who moved to Trondheim in mid-May a few years back.

This coincidence meant that their first experience of walking around town was on the national day. They were blown away not just by the way people dressed, but also by their friendliness.

Oslo schoolchildren parade on Norwegian National Day. Photo: David Nikel.
Oslo schoolchildren parade on Norwegian National Day. Photo: David Nikel.

And it is true that if Norwegians are often perceived as a bit standoffish, on 17th of May they are all a bit tipsy and super social. Oslo is the epicentre of festivities with an impressive parade, a sea of Norwegian flags, and people dressed in their finest.

Elsewhere in the country, smaller towns and communities hold their own celebrations, each with a unique local flavour.

This day is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in Norwegian culture, witness the locals’ national pride, and meet new people eager to share their traditions and stories.

Packing Advice for a Spring Trip to Norway

The main thing to remember when packing for a spring trip to Norway is that it is a season of transition, which means you can get extremely varied weather conditions. To fully enjoy your experience, adopt a flexible layered clothing strategy.

This usually starts with a breathable base layer that moves moisture away from your skin. This can be done either with high-tech artificial fibres, or thin, merino wool t-shirts.

Then, have a middle layer consisting of either artificial fleece or wool, for warmth. Top it off with a water- and windproof shell.

Warm accessories are also a must. Gloves, a hat and most importantly, a scarf are great ways to block the main avenues for heat loss.

Footwear is crucial. Get something that is comfortable to walk on and ideally, water-repellent.

Next, pack some UV light protection. Sunglasses are essential to prevent snow-blindness, and high SPF sunscreen is a must in the spring, since low temperatures can fool you into believing that the sun’s rays are harmless.

Finally, bring a small backpack to carry essentials: a small pair of binoculars, a camera, a power bank for your electronics, and snacks. It’s also a great place to stash those warm accessories we mentioned earlier for those times when they are not necessary.

About Daniel Albert

Daniel was living a perfectly normal life as a journalist in Canada until he was swept off his feet by a Norwegian. He now lives in Trondheim where he still works in communications.

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