Norway Holidays, Events, Climate and Sightseeing

Holidays and national customs in Norway

Public holidays

There are a number of public holidays that do not have a fixed date, but are based on the location of Easter. Easter takes place on the first Sunday that follows the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which ends on Holy Saturday, is 46 days before Holy Saturday.

The date for Pentecost is then 50 days after Easter. Corpus Christi is celebrated on the second Thursday after Pentecost.

All Saints’ Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the first Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st. On October 31, Protestants celebrate Reformation Day. The Halloween festival also takes place on this day.

Date Holiday
17th of May National holiday
1st of May Labor Day
23rd June Midsummer’s Day/St. Hans Aften
29th of July Olsokfest
December 24th, 25th, 26 Christmas

Source: Countryaah – Norway Holidays


The long, fish-rich coast and the numerous rivers and lakes make Norway ideal for fishing and fishing. However, you need a state fishing license in order to be able to acquire the local fishing license.

Norway offers winter sports all year round.

Hiking trails in Norway are marked with a red T painted on stones or piles of stones.

Golf is growing in popularity in Norway. There are numerous golf courses in the country. Horseback riding tours are offered

in many places in Norway. Water sports such as sailing, swimming, canoeing etc. are very popular in Norway. Boats and equipment can be rented on site.

Special national customs

Alcoholic beverages are only available in special shops in Norway. Spirits may only be sold in Vinmonopolet, a state sales point. You can only get beer in supermarkets and petrol stations. No alcohol is sold on election days.

In Norway the right of everyone applies to individuals. This means that you can enjoy and use nature, but not disturb or destroy it.


Large parts of Norway have a relatively mild climate due to the influence of the Gulf Stream. In the north, however, especially north of the Arctic Circle, winter temperatures are extremely low. In Oslo z. For example, the mean lowest temperatures in January are around -5 °C and those in July around 17 °C. In Oslo, about 750 mm of precipitation is to be expected in the city of Bergen, however, at 1,960 mm.

The best time to travel to Norway

The ideas of what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate depend on a number of factors. Pure cultural travelers certainly see the climate differently than people who want to spend a pure beach holiday, for example. The state of health or age can also play an important role. The best time to travel to Norway is without a doubt from May to September. Winter sports enthusiasts, however, get their money’s worth from January to around March.

Climate table

The following table shows a range of climate data for the country. It should be noted, however, that the climatic conditions in different regions of the country can differ considerably from one another and thus also from the values shown. In addition, such monthly temperature averages say little about the possible current minimum or maximum temperatures. It is not uncommon for average temperatures of around 30 °C to reach maximum values of 40 °C or even more on a number of days. The table therefore only provides a general overview of the climatic conditions in the country.

Month Average number of rainy days Mean maximum temperatures in (°C) Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)
January 14 -02 -06
February 12 -02 -06
March 08 04 -04
April 10 10 01
May 10 16 05
June 12 20 10
July 14 22 12
August 14 22 12
September 14 16 08
October 14 08 04
November 16 04 -01
December 16 at 0 -04


Special buildings


A section of the Stavanger Museum is currently located in the so-called “Swiss style” wooden villa in Breidablikk. The structure is said to be the best preserved mansion in the country and dates back to the 1880s. The interior is still authentic and contains paintings by Kitty Kielland and August Jacobsen, among others.

Bygdø Royal Court The Bygdø

Royal Court covers large parts of the Bygdøy peninsula in Oslo. The current main building on the Bygdø royal court was built in 1733 by Count Christian Rantzau. He was governor from 1731-39. The building was intended as a summer residence. A baroque garden was laid out in the immediate vicinity of the house.

Skaugum Royal Estate The Skaugum

Royal Estate in Asker, southwest of Oslo, is the residence of the royal couple.

Leedal in Stavanger

This royal residence was built between 1799 and 1803 and was the summer residence of the Kielland family. The recently lovingly restored wooden property currently functions as the representative house of the City of Stavanger and of course continues to be the residence of the royal family when they are in Stavanger. Visits are possible outside of these times.

Oscarshall pleasure palace The Oscarshall

pleasure palace is located on the Bygdøy peninsula in Oslo. This castle was built between 1847 and 1852 by the Danish architect Johan Henrik Nebelong on behalf of King Oscar I. The pleasure palace is considered to be the main neo-Gothic building in Norway and is one of the country’s most important national romantic cultural monuments.

National monument of Stavanger

The national monument in Hafrsfjord commemorates the victory of Harald Hårfagre, who fought in 872 the battle that led to Norway’s unification as a kingdom. The monument means peace, unity and freedom and was created by Friz Røed (1928-2002). In 1983 it was unveiled by King Olav.

Oslo Opera House

The new Opera House Oslos was inaugurated on April 12, 2008 in the presence of numerous prominent guests, including the Norwegian King Harald V and Chancellor Angela Merkel. The design of the building, which looks like an iceberg from a distance, comes from the Norwegian firm Snøhetta with its star architect Kjetil Thorsen. The architecture firm won an international competition in 2000. The building, which costs around € 500 million, is located at the end of the fjord in the city’s harbor area in the Bjørvika district. The ensemble has a gross area of 38,500 m² with an audience hall of 11,200 m² and a stage with an area of 8,300 m². The opera house seats 1,370 people. It should be noted that around 36.

Parliament Building (Storting) in Oslo

The building was constructed between 1857 and 1866. Guided tours take place from the beginning of June to mid-September. For example, Wergeland’s mural “Advising the Constitution on Eidsvoll 1814” can be viewed.

Stiftsgården patrician house The Stiftsgården

patrician house is located in Trondhei and was built in 1774-78. It is one of the largest wooden buildings in Scandinavia and is now the official royal residence of the city. Since the coronation of King Carl III. Johan 1818 in the Nidaros Cathedral, the celebrations in connection with the coronation or blessing of the new king – after Carl IV, Oscar II, Haakon VII and Olav V, most recently Harald V – take place here.

Oslo City Hall

The monumental and impressive City Hall was built between 1931 and 1950 according to plans by Arneberg and Poulsson. It soon became a symbol of the city. A carillon equipped with 38 bells takes place in the east tower. City tours also start at the town hall.

Technical structures, Telemark Canal

Laerdals Tunnel

With a length of 24.5 km, the Laerdals Tunnel is the longest road tunnel in the world. It connects Aurland with Laerdal on the route between Bergen and Oslo. It replaces the so-called snovegen (snow path) over the fjell (norwegian for mountains), which is often difficult or impossible to pass in winter, especially by trucks. The lighting of the tunnel was developed with the help of traffic psychologists. In addition, it is interrupted by three large halls, so that one gets the impression of driving not through one, but through four individual shorter tunnels. The three halls are illuminated in yellow and green near the ground and blue further up.

Telemark Canal

The approximately 105 km long Telemark Canal was put into operation in 1861. The stretch of the canal consists mostly of natural waterways (lakes) connected by two canals. The canal in the Telemark region runs from Skien on the south coast of Norway to Dalen on Lake Bandak in inland Norway. With the help of 18 lock chambers in eight locks, a height difference of 72 m is overcome. In the past people, animals and numerous goods were transported across the canal.

The Telemark Canal was of particular importance during the industrialization of the Telemark Province. Incidentally, for a long time the canal was the last canal in Europe that was still used for rafting.

As an economic factor, however, the canal no longer plays a role. It has meanwhile become a technical monument that can be accessed by sport boats but also by canoes and paddle boats during the summer months. In addition, visitors can take part in two to eleven hour trips on the traditional canal ships. The length of the ships on the canal must not exceed 31.40 m, the width 6.60 m and the draft 2.50 m. From April 29 to May 1, 2011, the official opening of the jubilee year for the canal’s 150th birthday was celebrated in Skien.


Ethnographic and Historical Museum

The building was completed in 1903. Inside are the collections on history and ethnology. The Viking collection from the period 800 to 1050 is of particular interest.

Henie-Onstad Museum

12 kilometers west of Oslo is the outstanding Henie-Onstad Museum, which was donated by the Henie-Onstad couple (Sonja Henie is known to ice skating specialists as the “Queen of Figure Skating” from the 1920s. She won ten world championship titles and three Olympic medals). The collection shows art from the 20th century.

Decorative Arts Museum

Of particular reputation is the Baldishol carpet from the 12th century.

Norsk Barnemuseum (Children’s Museum)

The Norwegian Children’s Museum is a special attraction in Stavanger. With the help of exhibitions and activities, the little ones get to know a museum in an entertaining way, which offers a lot of toys, a tree house, labyrinths, games and much more.

State Art Museum/National Gallery

The building from 1879 to 1881 was expanded in 1907 and 1924 in order to be able to present the extensive collection of Norwegian art from the 19th century to the present day. In addition to works by Rubens, Rembrandt, Lucas Cranach, Manet, Matisse, Picasso and Cezanne, there are also paintings by Swedish and Danish masters.

Rock art

There are numerous well-preserved rock carvings from the Bronze and Iron Ages throughout Norway. In Brennholt Park near Narvik there is a 4,000 year old rock carving of a life-size moose. In the villages of Solberg, Begby, Solbakk near Jørpeland on Prekstolen, near Bodø and Hornes you can find rock carvings from the Bronze and Iron Ages. North of Steinkjer you can see rock carvings from the Bronze and Stone Ages, for example moose, reindeer, people, boats, horses and suns. The largest field of rock carvings is located near Alta in Northern Norway. Over 2,000 drawings were counted. These rock carvings were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


Arctic Ocean Cathedral

The Arctic Ocean Cathedral with the 140 m 2 glass mosaic, which is the largest of its kind in Europe, is located in Tromsdalen. The church was consecrated in 1965 and is located at the mainland bridgehead of the 1,036 m long and 38 m high Tromsøbrua, which stands on several dozen pairs of pillars in Tromsøsund.

Stavanger Cathedral (Stavanger Domkirke)

Norway’s oldest cathedral is said to have been started under Bishop Reinald around 1100 and completed around 1125. In the city fire of 1272, the sacred structure suffered considerable damage and had to be rebuilt. Under Bishop Arne, the cathedral church was expanded in the Gothic style. It is the only church in Norway that dates back to the Middle Ages and is still in use. During a renovation in the 1860s, the exterior was changed significantly, so that the cathedral lost much of its medieval look. Further restoration work between 1939 and 1964 was able to repair this “damage”. The last structural work on the church took place in 1999.

Nidaros Cathedral in Nidaros

The Nidaros Cathedral in Nidaros was completed in 1320. It is the most representative Scandinavian architectural monument of the Gothic and with a length of 102 m and a width of 50 m it is the largest sacred building in Norway.


stave church The Heddal stave church is one of the largest and best known of its kind in Norway and was built around 1250.


Stave Churches The Borgund Stave Churches were consecrated by Apostle Andrew in 1150 and the pulpit dates from the late 16th century.


Stave Church The Lom Stave Church was first mentioned around 1270. She’s probably older. In the 17th century it was expanded to become a cruciform church.


University of Oslo

The building complex was built from 1839 to 1854. The auditorium was added in 1911 and decorated with wall paintings by Edvard Munch. The Nobel Peace Prizes are awarded in the auditorium every year. In 2009 about 30,000 students studied here.

University of Stavanger (Universitetet i Stavanger)

The State University (since 2005) of Stavanger currently has around 9,000 students. The university, which was opened by King Harald V on January 17, 2005, is divided into the humanistic, social and technical and natural sciences faculties.

More Attractions


Landa is or rather was an early settlement from around 1000 BC. It can be visited today and offers a house from the Bronze Age and the Migration Period.


The settlement of Lysebotn at the end of the Lysefjord consists mainly of holiday homes. But actually the road to Lysebotn, built in 1984, is the real attraction. It is only passable in summer and ends shortly before Lysebotn in a spectacular serpentine route.

Valbergtårnet in Stavanger

From the Valbergtårnet east of the Vågen harbor basin you have a beautiful view of Stavanger city center, the harbor and the famous fjord. The former lookout point of the fire watchman now houses a small museum. This “vector museum” is on the upper floor.

Ny Alesund and Svalbard

Ny Alesund

The northernmost official post office in the world is located in the small town of Ny Alesund on Svalbard, where around 50 people live. Larger cruise ships often moor in the town, so the town and post office don’t have to complain about too few visitors.


Svalbard is a group of islands north of the Arctic Circle administered by Norway. The main island and the archipelago have the same name. The islands are located at a latitude between around 76 ° 20` and 80 ° 30` north. The archipelago covers an area of 61,022 km² – with around 2,950 residents. The main town on the island is Longyearbyen with around 1,800 residents. The vegetation is a typical tundra vegetation. Polar bears, arctic foxes and reindeer live here on larger mammals. From October 26 to February 16, the sun does not come over the horizon, so it does not get light during the day either. From April 20th to August 26th the sun will no longer go below the horizon. The southern tip of the archipelago is around 650 km from the northern tip of Norway.

More natural beauties

Geiranger and Sognefjord

Probably the most famous fjord is the Geiranger and Sognefjord, with its numerous waterfalls.


The Grefsenkollen, nine kilometers northeast of Oslo, offers a wonderful view of the Norwegian capital Oslo.

Frognerpark in Oslo

The main entrance to the park is at Kirkeveien. The complex houses an outdoor swimming pool, restaurants and the city museum. The artist Vigeland, to whom a museum in the park is dedicated, created the unique Vigeland complex. It consists of a collection of works of art over a length of 600 meters. Also worth seeing is the 17 meter high monolith, which was carved from a single block of marble and depicts 121 intertwined human bodies.

Peninsula Bygdøy

A beautiful destination is the Bygdøy peninsula that lies to the west of Oslo, and for example can be reached by motor boat from the Town Square. There is the interesting Norwegian Folk Museum, which shows Ibsen’s study, among other things.

In Vikingskiphuset three Viking ships from the 9th century can be seen.

Hardangervidder National Park

The Hardangervidder National Park is the largest national park in Norway with an area of 3,422 km². It extends over the provinces of Hordaland, Telemark and Buskerud and borders the Hardangervidda plateau.

The entire park is above the tree line, so you will only find bushes or shrubs here and there is also an arctic climate due to the altitude. A total of 25 mammals and 115 bird species live here.

A tragic accident occurred here at the end of August 2016. At the same time 300 reindeer were killed by lightning strikes.

Large four-legged friends are exposed to a greater extent to the consequences of a lightning strike, as their extremities are very far apart and there is therefore greater tension between them than, for example, between the legs of humans.


The largest glacier on the European mainland is the Jostedalsbreen. It covers around 487 square kilometers. The best known of the glacier arms is the Nidgards Glacier.


The Latefossen is a twin waterfall. He falls 165 m in free fall.


This is a 40 kilometers long, very steep fjord east of Stavanger, which is bordered at its deepest point by rocks several hundred meters high. The fjord offers a number of very attractive tourist spots, including the following:

– Pulpit Rock

The “Predigtstuhl” is a natural rock platform (25 x 25 m) over 600 meters high, from which you have an indescribable view of the Lysefjord. Here you can see visitors sitting on the edge of the platform with their legs dangling over the edge.

It is located around 25 km from Stavanger. The platform can only be reached via a hiking trail (2 to 3 hours!).

– Fløri

The Fløri settlement has a power station (built between 1917 and 1921), with a wooden staircase with 4,444 steps next to the water pipes, which is freely accessible. There is also a group of about 500 seals that live near the power station.

– Kjerag

The highest rock face in the Lysefjord is about 5 kilometers from the end of the fjord. It measures 1,084 meters and is an excellent starting point for base jumping. Most visitors want to see the Kjeragbolten (bolten = bolt), a high-altitude granite ball about 5 m³ that hangs wedged between two rocks. The very brave do not hesitate to climb this rock.

Mosvannsparken in Stavanger

The town’s recreational area extends around a large lake that was once created as a drinking water reservoir. However, water sports are not possible because the entire area acts as a bird sanctuary. The 3 km long promenade along the lake is particularly impressive.

North Cape

The North Cape is a huge cliff on the small island of Mageroya, about 120 km from Hammerfest and is considered the northernmost point of Europe. Once you have reached the North Cape, you can look towards the North Pole from the cliff falling vertically into the sea, which is 307 m high. In addition, in midsummer the sun does not set at night and you can watch the impressive northern lights.


The Oslofjord is actually not a fjord, but rather a rift valley, which stretches from north to south over a length of about 100 kilometers and represents the entrance to Osla. The Norwegian capital is located at the northern end of the fjord. The region around the so-called fjord is the Norwegian concentration point of the population and jobs. An estimated 40% of Norwegian jobs are offered in the region.

Pulpit Rock

The Pulpit Rock at Lysefjord near Stavanger is one of Norway’s landmarks. The rocky plateau of the Pulpit Rock protrudes 600 m vertically into the Lysefjord.

Rondane National Park

The Rondane National Park has an area of over 572 square kilometers. The highest mountain in the park is the 2,178 meter high Rondslottet.

Stavanger Lakes

There are several wonderful lakes in Stavanger that function as popular recreational areas. Probably the most popular is the Breiavatnet in the heart of the city. Further outside there are the lakes Mosvatnet and Stokkavatnet.


The Voringfossen is one of the highest waterfalls in Norway with a drop of 181 m. It is located near the village of Fossli/Eidfjord.

Norway: UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Bryggen (port city of Bergen)

In 1070 the city of Bergen in Norway was founded.

The city became an important transshipment point for grain and fish, and so in 1343 an office of the Hanseatic League was opened there, which was called “Bryggen” (The word “Bryggen” means bridge or the quay in German). The office is on the east side of Vågen Bay and there are around 280 wooden houses.

In 1702 a fire broke out that destroyed almost all of the old houses, the office was rebuilt and remained undamaged until another fire destroyed the office in 1952. Since the historical value was already known, the office was rebuilt in its old form.

The port city was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1979

Alta rock carvings

In the fjord of Alta in the Trømsø region, rock carvings can be found – they represent the working life of the people of that time and also numerous animals.

Hunting, trapping, fishing and also spiritual activities are recognized in the carving, as well as bears, salmon, cormorants among other things

, the age of the oldest carvings is 6,000 years and the recent estimated at 2,000 years.

The rock carvings were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.

Urnes Stave Church

The place Urnes is located in a glacial valley on the north bank of the Sognefjord. A stave church was built there in the 12th century.

Stave churches are churches made entirely of wood, even the roof shingles are wooden.

In this church, Celtic art was combined with the craftsmanship of the Vikings.

The north portal is carved from wood.

Urnes Stave Church was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979.

Røros town and mines

The town of Røros in the Sør-Trøndelag administrative district, at an altitude of 630 m, is located near the border with Sweden – around 150 km southeast of Trondheim.

Røros was founded in 1644 and copper ore was mined here until 1977. In 1646 the first smelter was put into operation. The settlement consists of 80 wooden houses coated with tar.

The welfare system of the mining industry had already been introduced and so the place had a doctor, a priest and a school. The octagonal church was built in 1779.

In addition, horse-drawn sleigh riders, dressed in old clothes, want to revive the tradition of the earlier traders on their old trade routes.

The arrival of over 80 horse-drawn sleighs is a big event in the locality and is accordingly celebrated.

The town and mines of Røros were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1980 and expanded in 2010.

Struve arch

The Struve Arch is called the Struve Geodetic Arc in English. The English name already characterizes a little what this “bow” is about. The Struve Arch is a network of geodetic surveying points, which extend over a length of around 2,821 km over 10 countries from Fuglenes (near Hammerfest/Norway) to a north latitude of 70 ° 40’11 ” and a length of 23 ° 38 ’48 “east of the prime meridian from Greenwich to Staro-Nekrasovka (Ukraine) at a north latitude of 45 ° 19’54” and an east longitude of 28 ° 55’14 “.

The arch was erected between 1816 and 1855 under the direction of the German astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve (1793-1864) and the Russian officer Carl F. Tenner (1783-1859). At that time it was used for the exact geodetic measurement of the earth’s surface and represents the first accurate measurement of a long section of a meridian.

A detailed description of the struvic arch can be found at Goruma here >>>

Vega Archipelago

The Vega Archipelago is located in the Sør-Helgeland region – near the Arctic Circle.

Its area is approx. 1,037 km². The archipelago includes around 6,000 islands, some of which are archipelagos (islands formed in the Ice Age). The largest island is Vega, on which human life could already be proven 1,0000 years ago.

Life on the island was tough and was only made possible by fishing and collecting eiderdown and hunting.

On the island there are fishing villages, duck farms, lighthouses, agricultural areas and harbors for fishermen’s boats. The Vega Archipelago was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2004

Western Norwegian Fjords – Geirangerfjord and Næerøyfjord

The Nærøyfjord is located in the municipality of Aurland, about 100 km inland, its length is 17 km.

The fjord is framed by approx. 1,700 m high rock walls on which there are glacial lakes.

The fjord is sometimes only 300 m wide. The distance between the two glaciers is approx. 120 km.

The Geirangerfjord is about 60 km inland, the surrounding mountains have an alpine character.

There are numerous waterfalls on the fjords, in the vicinity there are forests with deer and arctic foxes, salmon, seals, dolphins, whales and others live in the waters – as well as numerous species of birds.

The western Norwegian fjords were added to the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites in 2005.

Industrial sites in Rjukan and Notodden

The Vemork power station in Rjukan now houses an industrial museum with an exhibition on sabotage by the British and the Norwegian underground movement during World War II.

Electricity is still being generated, but in an underground facility. The hydroelectric power station was built between 1907 and 1911 and powered by the water from the 104 m high Rjukanfossen waterfall. At that time it was the largest power plant in the world. In 1934 a plant for the production of heavy water (deuterium) was built next to the power station building, but it was demolished in the 1970s.

This heavy water factory was the target of Operation Gunnerside during World War II, one of several acts of sabotage by Norwegian underground fighters and the British to make it impossible for the National Socialists, who occupied the country on April 9, 1940, to continue to use heavy water (deuterium) produce.

At the time, heavy water was of great importance for the production of an A-bomb.

The first attack on the plant was on February 27, 1943.

The power plants in Rjukan, including the railway line and the previous accommodations, were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in July 2015 together with the Notodden hydropower plant.

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