September is an especially wonderful time to visit Norway, as the last bits of summer transition into the golden hues of early fall. Temperatures in southern Norway are in the 60s Fahrenheit during the day, 50s in the evening. Keep in mind that above the Arctic Circle, fall weather arrives earlier than in the rest of the country—depending on where you travel, you could experience sudden weather changes in just a few hours. Don’t forget to pack warm layers for chilly mornings and evenings, a waterproof jacket, and comfortable walking shoes with good grip for all sorts of terrain.
Crowds & Costs
With the start of shoulder season, September is a great alternative to the summer months if you want to skip the crowds. You can find lowered rates for flights and hotels, more availability for accommodations, and enough daylight hours for enjoying outdoor activities and sightseeing.
Where to Go
This is a great time to explore Norway's best-loved gems after the peak crowds have long gone, and there's not a region in the country that doesn't offer plenty to do. Most travelers will either start or end their trip with a few days in the capital of Oslo—the fastest-growing capital in Europe with sophisticated culture and restaurants. A classic route from here is taking the train along the famous Flåm Railway through the central mountains. Then, ferry to Bergen and explore its UNESCO World Heritage site, chic boutiques, and cobblestoned streets.
While on the west coast, consider a road trip through the Nordfjord from Bergen all the way to Ålesund. This beautiful city received an art nouveau makeover after a devastating fire a century ago. From here, you can take a ferry through the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord and stop in the village of Hellesylt for picnic supplies. Here's the Ultimate Guide to Norway's fjords.
A fun detour from the Geirangerfjord is the famous Trollstigen Road, a masterpiece in engineering and Norway’s most visited tourist road. In fact, September is a great time for a self-drive tour with fewer tourists clogging the roads. Here's a guide to the Top Road Trips in Norway.
What to Do
With the late summer weather, there are still many things to do in Norway. Explore the cities like Oslo, Trondheim, Bergen, and Tromsø for Norway's best museums, sculpture parks, restaurants, and cultural attractions. To get into the countryside on a more relaxed road trip, you can explore fjord-side small villages and their attractions before they hibernate for the winter, as well as wooden stave churches all over southern and central Norway by car and ferry.
Central Norway's well-maintained trails and many national parks are still welcoming to trekkers before the snow kicks in (though remember to bring layers and wet weather gear just in case of inclement weather). This is also a great time to accomplish mega-popular treks like Pulpit Rock and Troll's Tongue after the summer hikers have dispersed. For more off-the-beaten-path trails, head north for an adventure in the Lofoten Islands or continue north to Vesterålen, an even more remote archipelago, for guided safaris and whale watching.
Events in September
Bergen Food Festival. This early September festival attracts the area's best food producers—a great place to meet locals and buy high-quality products/souvenirs.
Nordic Light Photo Festival. This huge photography festival attracts big names and tens of thousands of visitors to its exhibitions and workshops in September.
Oslo Marathon. This annual event mid-month draws some of Norway's best long-distance runners.
Traveling to Norway in September? Check out these great itineraries.
Norwegian Highlights: Oslo, Bergen & the Sognefjord. After exploring Oslo, you'll ride the Flåm Railway—one of the most scenic in the world—followed by ferries to villages like Balestrand and Fjærland. There's also a guided kayaking trip and a longer ferry to Bergen, where you'll spend your last full day with a local who will show you the best of this charming city and its surrounding mountains.
The Trollheimen Ultimate Hiking Experience. Surround yourself with Norway's iconic landscapes as you take on one of the most famous hiking areas in Norway: Trollheimen. Sleep in mountain cabins and on summer farms. Best for seasoned hikers, this tour includes 7-8 hours of hiking each day.