FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT VISITING NORWAY IN MAY
Whatever you’re wondering about visiting Norway in May, we’re here to answer your most commonly asked questions. Is May a good time to visit Norway? Definitely! What can you visit during this time of year? Read below to find out all the details from our local travel experts.
What are the best things to do in Norway in May?
There are plenty of things you can do during your trip to Norway. In May, the days are long and the nights are short, so you can spend more time sightseeing on your spring vacation in Norway.
Plus, with the mild May weather in Norway, you can take advantage of the plentiful outdoor activities. Enjoy Norwegian fjords cruises and scenic hikes at places like Pulpit Rock.
Here are 10 of the best Norway travel experiences in May:
Marvel at the majestic waterfalls such as the Seven Sisters and Bridal Veil
Enjoy a Hurtigruten Coastal Voyage along the west coast
Cruise through dramatic fjords like the UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord
Drive the scenic Atlantic Ocean Road
Board Norway in a Nutshell® in May to experience breathtaking landscapes
Hike in national parks for the country’s best vantage points
See Arctic wildlife and experience midnight sun in remote Svalbard
Celebrate Constitution Day (17 May) with the locals in the vibrant capital, Oslo
Watch dance and music performances at the Bergen International Festival
Attend other music festivals such as Codstock in the Lofoten islands
Good to know: Nordic Visitor itineraries aren’t set in stone. Our Norwegian experts know the country inside out and will tailor your itinerary to create a tour of Norway that suits you.
What are the best places to visit in Norway in May?
May is an ideal month to visit most parts of Norway and explore the top attractions.
Here are some of the best places to visit in Norway in May:
Explore the capital Oslo
and its many highlights and museums
Visit charming Norwegian villages such as Flåm
Stroll through the “Gateway to the Fjords”, Bergen
, and the historic city of Trondheim
Hike up iconic landscapes like the Pulpit Rock
, or see them from the water
Fly north to visit the kingdom of polar bears, remote Svalbard
What is the weather like in Norway in May?
It’s springtime in May, so Norway is transformed with pretty flowers and greenery. The days grow longer and longer and the weather is warming up. It is always colder further north, and wetter on the west coast. You might experience lovely warm days in Southern Norway in May.
What is the temperature in May?
As the country spans such a large distance, temperatures in Norway vary depending on location. The west coast is usually mild thanks to the Gulf Stream, while the north is still cold.
In Oslo and Bergen the average temperature is 11°C (52°F) in May. In Stavanger it is 8°C (47°F), in Tromsø it’s 5°C (41°F), and in Longyearbyen, the main town of Svalbard, it is -3°C (27°F).
Does it snow in Norway in May?
It is unlikely to snow during your tour of Norway in May, as winter has passed. If you’d like to experience snow, visit Northern Norway between December and March.
What are the driving conditions in Norway in May?
If you decide to take on a road trip in Norway, you won’t regret it! It’s an excellent way to experience the country at your own pace. In May, the weather and road conditions are usually ideal to take the wheel and you have plenty of daylight for the journey.
In general, the roads in Norway are of a high standard and are well-maintained. It’s also good to note that Norwegians drive on the right side of the road, like in North America. Rural roads generally have two lanes, but can be narrow and winding, particularly in mountainous areas.
Would you rather take in the view and let someone else do the driving? You could discover Norway on a small group tour or travel via trains and cruises.
What to pack for a trip to Norway in May?
It can get chilly in Norway in May, especially in the mountains or on the decks of cruise ships, so it’s a good idea to bring layers. That way, come rain or shine, you can enjoy the natural beauty of the country.
Here is a list of packing essentials for your Norway trip in May:
Shorts and trousers
Short and long sleeve shirts and at least one warm jumper or fleece
Hat and gloves
Comfortable walking or hiking shoes
Sunglasses, sun hat and SPF lotion
An umbrella can also come in handy. If you’re cruising Norway in May, you might like to bring binoculars to get a closer look at coastal attractions. You might also want to bring an eye mask as the nights can be quite bright, due to the midnight sun.
What to wear in Norway in May?
In the Nordic countries, they have a saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”.
Look at the forecast before travelling and dress appropriately. Bring summer clothes for any warm days, but make sure to bring layers to adapt to the wind, rain or sunshine. If you go hiking or are out at sea, make sure you bring waterproof and windproof clothing.
What are the daylight hours in Norway in May?
In May the days are very long in Norway. In fact, if you visit the north in the last 2 weeks of May, you’ll get to experience the midnight sun phenomenon whereby the sun doesn’t set at all.
In the south, you’ll experience 16-18 hours of daylight in May. In the north, expect between 19-24 hours of daylight.
There is a difference in daylight hours between the beginning and end of the month. In early May, the sun rises at 5:15 AM and sets at 9:15 PM in Oslo. In Tromsø, the sunrise is at 3:20 AM and sunset at 10:10 PM.
By the end of the month, the sun rises at 4:05 AM in Oslo and sets by 10:25 PM. In Tromsø, the sun doesn’t set.
Can I see the northern lights in Norway in May?
It is unlikely you’ll see the northern lights during your stay in Norway in May, as the nights are short and don’t get very dark.
If you’re keen to see the northern lights in Norway, you should plan your trip for the winter, between October and March. The long nights mean dark skies, which make it easier to see the colourful solar activity.
Head to Northern Norway with an aurora borealis tour in Tromsø or Kirkenes to chase the northern lights.
How to tour Norway in May?
Though many of Norway's top natural attractions can be visited in under a week from Oslo, May is a wonderful time to slow down the pace. Venture further into the Norwegian countryside – either on your own or with tour guides.
Travel independently around Norway
To travel at your own pace while soaking up all the fantastic views, you could explore Norway by train or cruise.
Your exciting rail adventure will take you through the mountains to cities like Bergen or Trondheim. If you want to embark on one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world – Norway in a Nutshell® – May is a great month to do it.
Spring is also a good time to cruise Norway’s fjords and seas. Opt for a Hurtigruten journey to sail along the rugged west coast with one of the country’s best cruise lines. You can add shore excursions to places like charming Ålesund and the Lofoten islands.
A road trip in Norway
May is an ideal month for those who would like to take the wheel for a tour of Norway. Drive from Southern Norway to the western fjords at a relaxed pace. Experience incredible roads like the steep, twisting Trollstigen or the dramatic Atlantic Ocean Road.
At this time of year, the road conditions are excellent for touring, and you have decent daylight hours to drive and explore.
A small group tour of Norway
In May, you can choose from a range of guided small group tours to see the wonders of Norway. You could even discover other Scandinavian countries along the way.
These guided tours offer an enriching experience, allowing you to get the most out of your trip thanks to the expertise of a local guide. What’s more, you’ll be travelling alongside 15 people at most, so the trip is still personal for you.
Partially guided tours in Norway
A partially guided tour is a great way to combine solo travel with guided excursions. In May, you could head north to discover Svalbard. Explore the largest settlement, Longyearbyen, by yourself and join fun activities every day such as boat and husky safaris.
Good to know: Whichever of these travel styles you choose, you’ll get all the signature Nordic Visitor benefits. These include access to our 24/7 helpline, a detailed personal itinerary, helpful travel guide and daily breakfast.
Your Nordic Visitor travel consultant will book all your accommodation, and you can add extra nights and activities to your itinerary too.
As a Northern European tour operator, Nordic Visitor specialises in organising trips to this beautiful corner of the world. We have many more ideas and travel tips to help you explore the region your way!
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