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Top 9 Ideas for Excellent Christmas Holidays in Norway

When the last weekend of November approaches, Norwegian cities become adorned with lights and Christmas decorations and the mood on the streets turns more festive. This unforgettable holiday atmosphere is something that prompts travelers to come to this Scandinavian country from afar and get a chance to experience the Christmas holidays in Norway.

If you plan to travel somewhere for your winter holidays, consider coming to this Nordic country. Here, we have compiled a list of 9 brilliant ideas for how you can spend Christmas in Norway in an exciting, fun, and memorable way.

Visit Norwegian Christmas Markets

Christmas markets in Norway

In the beginning of November of every year, Christmas markets start popping up all over Norway. The entire country seems to plunge into the festive atmosphere of winter holidays, and Christmas markets are the place where you can soak it up in abundance. During the winter holiday time, thousands of Christmas markets occupy the central squares of Norwegian towns and cities.

But, of course, the most impressive, vibrant markets tend to be in Norway’s largest cities – Oslo, Bergen, and Tromsø. If you find yourself in Oslo during this festive time, don’t miss a chance to visit Jul i Vinterland, the main Christmas market in Oslo that appears in the heart of the city every year (runs from November 12 to January 1). There, you will find it all: countless stands with gifts and toys, food stalls serving delicious food and warm drinks, free Christmas activities, and concerts.

Bergen, a city famous for its colorful UNESCO-listed wharf, turns into a genuine wonderland during the Christmas holidays. And the Bergen Christmas Market is a suitable place to experience an unforgettable festive atmosphere in Norway. If you travel furth north, to Tromsø, you will find a couple of lively Christmas markets there. But same as in Bergen and Oslo, the most picturesque one is located on the city’s central square, Stortorget.

Regardless of what city you travel to during your Christmas holidays in Norway, visiting the Christmas markets is a must. That’s the place where you can experience the town’s festive atmosphere at its best, taste traditional Norwegian Christmas meals, and drink the spiritous Gløgg. Christmas markets are the place where all the fun happens: concerts, activities, skating rinks, and accidental acquaintances. After all, there you can buy awesome gifts for your family and friends!


Explore the Festive, Beautifully Adorned Norwegian Towns

Christmas-themed city tours in Norway

The Christmas season is a perfect time to make the first-ever trip to Norway and explore this stunning country on city tours. During this period, the streets of Norwegian cities appear more beautiful than ever, abundantly adorned with Christmas decorations and bustling with people – locals and tourists alike.

There are several travel companies (including ours) that offer Christmas-themed tours in Oslo and other major cities. Such experiences give you a fantastic opportunity to learn about the Christmas traditions in Norway while roaming the city’s lively streets. And the overall festive atmosphere will undoubtedly leave you with an unforgettable experience and positive emotions.

If you were seeking the right time to visit Norway, doing so on Christmas may turn out to be an exceptional idea!


Learn About Norwegian Christmas Traditions

Learn about the Norwegian Christmas traditions

When else to learn about the Christmas traditions in this country than during the Christmas period and while staying in Norway? Grab this opportunity and find out how the Norwegians celebrate this holiday! And, by the way, you may begin doing so in advance by reading our article about the Christmas traditions in Norway.

Traveling to Norway at this time is a great way to experience these festive traditions together with the locals. Head out to the nearest Christmas market and get a glass of gløgg. Stroll through that market past the busy stands that sell handcrafts, souvenirs, and gifts.

And, of course, don’t miss out on tasting the local delicacies! Lutefisk, cured cod, is one of the favorite meals of the Norwegians during the Christmas season. Sausages are also in high demand at the Christmas markets, and there is one type of them you must absolutely try: Norwegian moose sausages. In terms of sweets, people tend to go with churros and chocolate.

Besides, you can get a great insight into the Christmas traditions in Norway is by setting out on a tailored, Christmas-themed city tour! Discover the authentic Norwegian traditions and their origins from a professional, knowledgeable guide.


Travel to the North

Christmas holidays in the north of Norway: Tromso and Alta

If you decide to travel to Norway around Christmas, why not celebrate this holiday where it fits best – the country’s north? Tromsø, one of the largest Norwegian cities, is located in the Arctic Circle and offers plenty of exciting activities during the winter season. If you are looking to make your Christmas holidays as exciting and action-packed as possible, heading to Norway’s north would be a great idea!

During this season, thousands and thousands of travelers flock to Tromsø to experience winter activities that are popular in this part of the world, such as dog sledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and whale safaris. Actually, you can read our full guide to winter activities in Tromsø and think which of them would be best suited for your holiday! And if you can’t live without shopping, Tromsø is a city not to be missed. Also, embark on a trip to the country’s north to discover the unique culture of the Sami people, an indigenous group that lives in northern Europe.

In case you prefer to stay away from large cities and big crowds, you may celebrate Christmas in a much more intimate atmosphere. Alta, a small town northeast of Tromsø, is located within a 6-hour drive from that city. Unlike Tromsø, there are only a handful of hotels and restaurants in this town, but the atmosphere will undoubtedly reward you. Besides, the Igloo Hotel, made completely of ice, gets rebuilt every year around December in Alta. Staying in such a place is an experience like no other!


Catch the Aurora Lights

Catch the Northern Lights on your Christmas holidays in Norway

To make your Christmas trip to Norway truly memorable, you may embark on an adventure and attempt to “catch” the Northern Lights. Norway has plenty of places for a comfortable observation of this captivating phenomenon, and the country’s north is an ideal destination for this safari.

In fact, the very Tromsø and Alta we have mentioned in the previous section are among the best places in northern Europe to observe the Northern Lights. To learn more about their advantages and disadvantages, head to our article on the best places to see the Northern Lights in Scandinavia.

There are multiple ways how you can try to catch the Aurora Lights: embark on a specifically tailored tour, try a tour combined with photography lessons, or do it on your own. In either case, this experience is well worth the effort! To learn more about this experience and how to observe it, head to our article that provides tips for observing the Northern Lights in Norway.


Make a Dream Trip to Lofoten

Travel to Lofoten, Norway and spend Christmas there

Lofoten is one of the most popular destinations in Norway all year round. And if you prefer to travel to places that are somewhat quieter than the noisy large cities of Norway, then this archipelago would be a perfect fit for you!

Seize this opportunity and stay in a cozy cabin in one of the Lofoten’s fishing villages with a picturesque view straight from your window. And if you are a fishing enthusiast, then there is no better place in Norway to travel to than this archipelago. Regardless of whether you are a novice or an experienced fisherman, there are tours and experiences to everyone’s tastes – Lofoten is deservedly regarded as the fishing capital of Norway.

During the winter months, the Northern Lights are a regular phenomenon here. So, if you prefer to come to this archipelago instead of Tromsø but would like to see the Aurora Lights, you will have plenty of chances to do that!

But what attracts travelers to this archipelago the most is Lofoten’s stunning, seemingly endless beaches. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, the water near the shores of this archipelago is always warm. And it’s easy to see why so many travelers come to Lofoten for winter surfing every year. All in all, this stunning archipelago has it all to gift you the most magical Christmas of your life.

Besides, you can read more about the Lofoten archipelago in our article.


Indulge in Skiing Activities at a Local Resort

Skiing and ski resorts in Norway on your Christmas holiday

If you are truly passionate about skiing, Norway offers plenty of opportunities to satisfy your cravings! This Nordic country has many world-class ski resorts, and this kind of choice allows you to pick the option that would be the most suitable for you. Whether you are looking for a comfortable stay with your family or the longest, most challenging trails, you can pick a resort up to your preferences.

Trysil, Hemsedal, and Geilo are among the country’s best ski resorts, featuring dozens of slopes (each) and offering skiing lessons from professional instructors. Other notable winter resorts include Hafjell, Kvitfjell, Voss, and Myrkdalen. In fact, skiing is the national sport of the Norwegians – cross-country skiing tends to be the sport no. 1 in this country.

In case you would like to learn more about the ski resorts in Norway, read our article on that matter.


Set Out on an Exciting Trip Across the Country

Flamsbana ride in winter. Spend Christmas in Norway in a fun way

Traveling across Norway during this season may be more complicated than during the summer (some areas are off-limits due to the weather), but that doesn’t mean that such a journey would not be fun. Embark on a winter adventure and visit the country’s iconic places during this trip. For example, one of the legs of such a trip may be the Flåmsbana ride, the world’s most scenic railway ride in the world, which in winter is not less beautiful than in the summer.

But, of course, there are many stunning destinations that you can visit in winter. So, create your itinerary attentively and in detail. For more ideas on how to spend winter holidays in Norway in a fun and exciting way, check out our blog.


Celebrate Christmas in a Cozy Cabin in the Norwegian Mountains

Stay in mountain cabins in Norway for Christmas

Do you prefer to stay away from overcrowded Christmas markets in large cities? In that case, staying with your couple or family in a secluded, cozy cabin in the mountains may be the right choice! Spend Christmas like a genuine Norwegian, since many of them own such cabins and enjoy the opportunity to spend their summer and winter holidays there.

By celebrating Christmas in this way, you will get a perfect chance to feel the warmth and coziness of such a stay while enjoying the fabulous Norwegian nature. If you are looking for an unordinary way to celebrate this winter holiday, this option may well be what you are seeking!

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