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What to wear in Norway in Winter (December, January & February)

What to wear in Norway in Winter (December, January & February)

Do you want to know what to wear in Norway in Winter? In this guide, we will tell you EXACTLY what to pack for Norway no matter if you are visiting in December, January and February and if you are staying in Oslo, Bergen or heading further North into the Fjords this is the guide for you.

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This includes guidance on how to dress for the weather, dress codes as well as Norway special events in Winter.

Please note: this is not a skiing packing list. If you plan to go skiing in Norway please check out our dedicated skiing packing lists.

Winter Weather Norway

Winter in Norway is classified as December, January and February and is known for long cold winters, but how cold does in get?

How cold is Norway in Winter?

Oslo opera house covered in Snow
WHat to wear in Oslo in Winter

How cold Norway in Fall feels very much depends on when you visit. However you can typically expect below freezing temperatures in Winter with average temperatures being 20s-30sF aka -6 to -1C.

Therefore if you are traveling to Norway in Winter it is really important to be prepared for cold weather, snow and ice.

How rainy is Norway in Winter?

Norway can be rainy whatever month you are visiting. However Winter is one of the rainiest seasons, with December and January being particularly rainy. No matter what Winter month you are traveling in we recommend packing a compact waterproof jacket and waterproof walking trousers along with some shoes that can cope well with rain.

Note: we always recommend checking the forecast at your destination(s) 7 days out from travel to make sure there are no expected weather fronts i.e. heatwaves or cold snaps.

Traveling to other Nordic countries? Be sure to check our our related guides:

What to Wear in Norway in Winter

Before we get onto the specifics of what to wear in Norway in Winter for women and men, we wanted to reiterate that we think it is a great idea to pack a capsule wardrobe. It means you are less likely to lose your luggage when travelling and prevents you from overpacking. For help in packing a capsule wardrobe check out these posts.

Best Shoes for Norway in Winter

But first we will turn our attention to shoes for Norway in Winter. And it is worth noting that the shoes you need for cities such as Oslo and Bergen are very different to those you need for hiking and Fjords. But the first shoe we recommend putting on your packing list is:

Waterproof Boots

You can get lots of snow and rain in Winter so it is really important to have a boot with some waterproofing and thick soles that can cope with icy surfaces.

Hiking Boots

If you plan on doing more outdoor activities in Norway like hiking near Fjords, and mountains then we recommend packing hiking boots. I prefer these over hiking sandals as boots with some waterproofing will cope better if you get rain.

What to Wear in Norway in Winter for Women

Woman looking at sunset in winter landscape in Norway
What to wear in Norway in Winter (Packing Lists and Outfit)

Winter Coat / Jacket

A winter coat / winter jacket is absolutely my number one pick for any Norway Winter packing list no matter your itinerary. And the coat you pack should be very practical for very cold weather. This means a coat with plenty of insulation as well as waterproofing and wind resistance to deal with the Norway winter weather.

Some of our favorite brands of coats for Norway in December include:

Click here to shop coats for Norway.

For more information on how to pack Winter Coats for travel check out this post

Hat, Scarf and Gloves

Winter accessories are a must for Norway in December.

I would recommend taking with you a matching scarf and gloves set that match your winter coat to finish off the look. But be sure to get gloves that are touch screen compatible so as you are likely to be taking lots of photographs.

You may also want ski gloves with another pair of gloves that are touch screen compatible underneath to cope with the extreme cold temperatures.

ON top of these you may also want ear muffs to protect all your extremities.

Click here to shop winter accessories


We recommend taking either walking trousers, ski trousers or some thicker lined leggings for spending time outside.

Whereas for cities we recommend a combination of thicker trousers such as jeans, cordouroy trousers or even some thick wool pants on days when you are planning on being more indoors.

Jeans are perfect for sightseeing during the day in cities when inside and you can pick whatever style you feel most comfortable in. But for outdoors thicker and insulated trousers are best. And you may also need a thermal base layer.

Skirts and Dresses

It is too cold for me in Norway for dresses and skirts for sightseeing. I would only even consider wearing a dress for restaurants. However even then it would have to be a very thick dress with thermals underneath maybe and certainly paired with thick tights or fleece lined leggings and boots.

Click here to shop dresses for Norway in Winter.

T Shirts

T Shirts are a great base for cities in Winter. But you will need tees with long sleeves to use as a base layer.

Click here to shop t shirts.


Layers are absolutely essential for Norway in Winter. I would pack a mix of sweaters, hoodies and fleeces.

Hoodies are a great casual top layer for sightseeing in the day at places such as museums, interactive spaces and galleries. However I like to have something smarter for evenings.

I personally never travel in Winter without a merino wool sweater. Merino wool is one of my favorite fabrics to include in a Winter capsule wardrobe. That is because it provides extra warmth as they are an insulating fabric but is also compact unlike a thick knit. Therefore it is easy to pack and doesn’t take up a lot of space in your case.

And fleeces are useful for outdoors as they are quick to dry and are a thin but very insulating layer.

Shop layers for Norway here.


For those traveling to Norway in Winter we recommend packing thicker, flannel pjs.


Absolutely essential for those who plan on spending any time outdoors in Norway in Winter.

Click here to shop merino wool thermals.

Swimwear (optional)

You may find it hard to think about swimwear on a winter vacation in Norway however if you plan to use saunas then you may want swimwear with you. H

Underwear and Socks

Goes without saying. The best socks for Norway have to be either hiking socks or merino wool socks that are insulating.

Shop merino wool socks here.

Also if you plan on packing any dresses we recommend having thick tights or fleece lined leggings to go underneath them.

What to pack for Norway in Winter for Men

The packing list for men is quite similar as the ladies packing list for Norway in Winter and we recommend packing:

Thick Coat

A practical warm coat with some insulation as well as being water proof and wind resistant is a good idea for Norway in Winter.

T Shirts and Shirts

Long sleeve t shirts are an essential in Winter, as well as a button down shirt for fancier restaurants.


Jeans are great for sightseeing in Winter in cities but you may want thermals underneath them.

You may also want to add a smarter pair of chinos or smart wool trousers to the packing list too for nights out and fancier dinners.

However for more outdoor activities and going North you may want some fleece lined trousers too! For a winter sports packing list for Norway click here.

Shop men’s travel chinos here.


A hoodie, fleece and sweater alongside your coat / jacket are the perfect layers for 7 days in Norway.


If you plan on spending anytime outside be sure to have thermal underwear with you.

Underwear, Socks and Pjs

Including thicker socks.

What to pack for Norway in Winter (Non Clothing)

Person looking at northern lights in Norway
What to wear in Norway in Winter (Packing Lists and Outfit)

  • Crossbody Bag  – I always travel with this type of bag as it is a great pickpocket deterrent anywhere in the world.
  • Backpack – for storing items on your day trips.
  • Universal Travel adaptor – Norway uses European plugs
  • Power Pack / battery packs
  • Sun screen – necessary even in Winter.
  • Lipbalm  – absolutely an essential to protect your lips from cracking in the cold.
  • Moisturiser – needed to protect your skin from drying out in the cold weather.
  • Camera
  • Travel First Aid Kit
  • Blister plasters
  • Toiletries – for our essential toiletries packing list click here. These could be purchased in the big cities easily, however it can be easier when not familiar with language to have them packed with you
  • Hand Warmers – as the weather is so cold in Norway in Winter we recommend packing a plentiful supply of hand warmers with you to add into your gloves.
  • Ice Scraper (optional depending on car hire) – If you are renting your own car then you may want to bring an ice scraper / deicer with you. This way you can clear your windows and head off early in the morning.

FAQs About Norway in Winter

What do you wear to Norway at Christmas?

There are no special dress code in Norway at Christmas. it is most important that you dress for the weather. However if you are going to Christmas market remember your thermals.

Do you need winter boots in Norway?

Yes you will absolutely need winter boots in Norway. We recommend having fleece lined snow boots worn with a couple of pairs of socks.

How many layers to wear in winter Norway?

If you are visiting Norway in Winter you are going to need at least 3 -4 layers on every day . This should consist of thermal base layers, insulated layers like merino wool sweaters and thick insulated coats paired with winter accessories.

On top of that you may also want some hand and body warmers too!

Can you wear jeans in Norway in Winter?

You can wear jeans indoors in Norway in Winter. But for outdoors you would want a thermal base layer under them and in some locations you would want thicker fleece lined trousers or thermal insulated jeans.