July is high season for Norway. Expect long days of gorgeous summer weather, a lively vibe not only from tourists but locals who spend as much time outside as possible, and loads of fun events like Scandinavia's largest food festival. This monthly guide will tell you what to do and where to go (and how to beat the inevitable crowds).

Weather

With the warmest temperatures of the year, it's no surprise that July lures flocks of visitors to Norway. In the southern regions such as Oslo and the Bergen/fjord area, temperatures typically linger in the mid-70s Fahrenheit during the day, dropping to the mid-60s at night, while daylight lasts for 16-18 hours per day. Above the Arctic Circle, the sun never sets during the first half of July so there are long days of spectacular scenery and outdoor activities. No matter where you travel in Norway, it's best to bring some layers and a waterproof jacket. 

Crowds & Costs

July is Norway's busiest month for tourism. Most sites and attractions will be open with extended hours, but you can generally expect more crowds and higher prices. Travelers should be aware that accommodations throughout the country book up months ahead of time, so advance planning is recommended.

Skip the mainstream hotels, which book up fast, and consider these unique lodging options instead. This is the ideal time to head inland, north of the Arctic Circle, or towards smaller coastal towns inaccessible by the large cruise ships that teem with eager tourists. 

Where to Go

Travelers this month will enjoy very long days in southern Norway and even sunshine round-the-clock in northern Norway for the early part of the month. Every region of Norway will have something to offer, from the summery towns along the southern coast (check out more on Stavanger's food festival below), to the archipelagos above the Arctic Circle. 

The Lofoten Islands are a popular summer destination and offer dramatic seaside mountains dotted with red wooden houses. These islands are easy to hop between via bus, car, or bicycle. Head to nearby Vesterålen for access to hiking trails, farmland, and peaceful beaches. You can also explore Norway’s northernmost county, Finnmark, or venture out to the rugged archipelago off the coast called Svalbard if you have ever dreamed of spotting polar bears in the wild. 

If you’re short on time and want to see more of southern Norway, opt for a 'Norway in a Nutshell' tour, which connects travelers to Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord (branches of Sognefjord) via a memorable ride along the historic Flåm railway. Once in Bergen, explore its cobblestoned UNESCO World Heritage site, chic boutiques, and traditional restaurants for which the city is famous. 

Here's the Ultimate Guide to Norway's Fjords. For more ideas, check out Top Road Trips in Norway and Getting Off-the-Beaten-Path in Norway.  

What to Do

With prime summer weather and a general enjoy-every-moment attitude from the locals, there are many things to do in Norway, including island-hopping, cruising fjords, and hiking. Oslo's outdoor restaurants and cultural attractions will be in full swing, and a slew of music festivals in July help celebrate the summer season. 

Active travelers can head to Norway's well-maintained national parks that welcome mountaineers from all over the world—here are a few to consider. This is also a great time to accomplish popular day hikes like Pulpit Rock and Troll's Tongue. In addition to hiking, other summer outdoor activities in the fjords and mountains include kayaking, mountain biking, fishing and surfing thanks to the Gulf Stream's warm waters. Or, go whale watching in the wild at the tiny fishing village of Stø in Vesterålen—it's the perfect spot, with observational safaris under the midnight sun. 

Events in July

Gladmat. This event in July in Stavanger is said to be Scandinavia's largest food festival. You can join foodies from all around the world in discovering quality ingredients and dishes in Norway’s beautiful southwest coast. 

Riddu Riđđu Festival. The festival, which takes place every July,  started in 1991 with a group of youngsters barbecuing and discussing their identity and their Sami culture. Today, it is recognized by the Norwegian government as one of 12 main festivals in the country.  You'll get to know the great indigenous culture of the Samis, combined with the latest and most trending artists from the most northern parts of Norway as you enjoy the festivities under the midnight sun. 

Kongsberg International Jazz Festival. This open-air jazz festival (Norway's 2nd largest) features international artists over four days in early July across various venues in town. There's also a popular jazzfest (said to be the oldest in Norway) in the town of Molde during a week in mid-July. 

Arctic Sea Kayak Race. The annual Arctic Sea Kayak Race is held over six days in July. This is one of the biggest challenges in competitive sea kayaking. There's a less-intensive kayak touring or beginner's course.

St. Olav Festival. In honor of St. Olav complete with Viking costumes, this festival offers a medieval market, and classical, folk, pop, and jazz concerts. 

Traveling to Norway in July? Check out these great itineraries. 

Norway's Summer Fjord Tour. There are nearly 1,200 fjords along Norway's western coast and this trip covers the cream of the crop: Lysefjord, Sognefjord, and Geirangerfjord. You'll also get a chance to explore tiny fjord-side villages along the way, not to mention Oslo, Bergen, Ålesund, and Trondheim using a mix of fun travel modes along the way.

Bergen, Fläm & the Hardangerfjord. This 5-day jaunt highlights Bergen, where you'll explore hilly streets, UNESCO-listed architecture, and surrounding mountains on your own and with a local guide. Day-trip through the Hardangerfjord to a manor in Rosendal, ride the scenic Flåm Railway, and ferry through the longest fjord in Norway—all while returning to the city each night to enjoy a lively restaurant scene.

More Helpful Information

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Norway in August
Best Time to Visit Norway
How to Spend a Week in Norway