Norway is at its best and brightest from May to September. Late spring is a particularly pleasant time – fruit trees are in bloom, daylight hours are long, the weather is mild and most hostels and sights are open but uncrowded. Summers are marked by the phenomena of the midnight sun, especially north of the Arctic Circle. At Nordkapp, in the far north, the sun stays out from 13 May to 29 July, but nowhere in the country – even the far south, experiences true darkness between late May and late July.
Unless you’re heavily into winter skiing or searching for the Aurora Borealis of the polar nights, Norway’s cold, dark winters are not the prime time to visit, and many hostels and camp grounds outside of major cities close.
The country is at its best from May to September, and at its worst between November and March when average temperatures are below freezing. The typically rainy climate of mainland Norway is surprisingly mild for its latitude – thanks to the Gulf Stream, all coastal ports remain ice-free throughout the year. Average July temperatures are 16°C (61°F) in the Oslo area and 11°C (52°F) in the north, though temperature extremes are always possible. In January, the average maximum temperature is 1°C (34°F) in the south and -3°C (27°F) in the north. However, it can get much colder, especially in areas away from the coast. In midsummer the north sees no night and even southern Norway has daylight from 04:00 to 23:00 . On the other hand, most days in winter are at best comparable to twilight.