Norway in late October...
September 24, 2018 5:02 PM   Subscribe

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes” - really? I am going to Norway next month from overseas, and have 10 days there. Am I better off spending only a few days in Norway and then booking a cheap flight to somewhere warmer?

I'll be flying in and out from Oslo to attend a conference. After that I'm free to explore. I won't have a car and I'll be alone. My impression from reading is that daylight will be limited, and the weather will be cold or mixed, but it'll be before things cozy up for the holiday season.

Because cold, dark, solo traveling in a place that is probably better seen with a car sounds intimidating to me, I'm tempted to take advantage of some cheap flights to warmer climates... but if somebody can help me figure out if maybe it'd be worth sticking around Norway or Scandinavia as a solo traveler in late October early November, that'd be great, too!

I like history, art, music, and hiking/nature, wandering around cities, and also sticking to a budget (which I know can be challenging in Scandinavia...). Not too big on food or drink. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
posted by gemutlichkeit to Travel & Transportation around Norway (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
If I had that much extra time in Norway I would sign up for a group hiking trek. Norway has some of the most spectacular hiking in the world and October is widely considered one of the best times to trek. If you join a hiking group, you take away your need to drive.
posted by frumiousb at 5:34 PM on September 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

A brief Google search tells me that you could expect highs in the 50s and lows in the 40s. Sunrise is about 8am and sunset is about 5:30pm. Now, granted, I’m from Minnesota, but that sounds like great hiking weather, and you would have plenty of daylight for day trips and sightseeing. If you had a weatherproof light jacket, you’d be snug as a bug.
posted by Autumnheart at 6:42 PM on September 24, 2018 [6 favorites]

I definitely vote warm climate. It’s stupid expensive, and when I went in winter it was challenging to be upbeat by the end of the week.

Hiking is challenging because the best hikes are around the fjords, at high elevation, and they’re a lot colder than in the city.

Take the days during the conference to visit the museums right before, during or after -

And then head off to Greece, or Portugal!
posted by treetop89 at 6:44 PM on September 24, 2018

I'd go elsewhere or stick to the city because if it gets dark at 5:30 that's a LOT of evening to spend alone. Even if you hike with a group are you likely to hang out all evening? And Oslo is unbelievably expensive. You could fly to another city that is much cheaper and do tourist city evening things like eat out or go to events or plays or drink in a bar for 1/4 of the cost.

If you had someone to pal around with I'd stay stay in Norway but being alone in a rainy, dark Scandinavian country where you don't speak the language for a week won't be as much fun as you can have elsewhere. If it was dead of winter I'd say stay and go somewhere north and rural and snowy and watch for northern lights but not in October.
posted by fshgrl at 9:39 PM on September 24, 2018

Oslo's a brilliant city. I went there on my own for a weekend in march and was cold, but I had warm clothes and kept moving and was fine. Its a really clean, safe city - I was ok walking by myself at night and only speaking English. It's quite small - I stayed centrally but one day easily hiked into the countryside through forests and up quite high where skiing happens. Nice food and beers in the evening and just felt a really progressive society - I think because they have a high minimum wage, there didn't feel like any underclass.

The 2011 attacks museum is well worth a visit - I liked how it focused on the victims and the future rather than the perpetrator, no risk of glorifying as often seems to happen elsewhere.
posted by JonB at 2:41 AM on September 25, 2018

I travel to Norway a lot for work - it can be tricky to organise trips into the wild without a car or friends. You could move between cities - (Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim?) all of which are safe and walkable - trains are nice but quite expensive. Oslo has great art museums and are all very easy - everyone speaks English. If you really want musuems, then Amsterdam is great and from there you could also explore Utrecht and bits of Belgium - weather is changeable - was in Amsterdam in October last year and it was 23C. Was there the year before and it was almost snowing.

You could also fly from oslo to copenhagen then go to malmo as well and get the train back if you like trains and Scandinavia?

But.. as someone from Scotland and knowing Norwegian weather I would also be tempted to suggest you take a cheap flight somewhere south where it should be warmer! Croatia? Greece? Spain? Italy? I can highly recommend Bergamo as slight off the beaten track place to visit in Italy. Cheap and amazing food and hiking. No need for a car at all.
posted by sedimentary_deer at 4:17 AM on September 25, 2018

Marmot PreCip line of tops and bottoms. Weather problem solved. Full length zips on the pants, black in color; Eurofashion problem solved. Total packed size compares to a couple of softballs.
posted by Afghan Stan at 8:19 AM on September 25, 2018

I was in Oslo last year in late October. It was a fantastic city with a lot to explore. Both the Viking Ship museum and the Cultural History museum are worth spending time exploring. Going out to enjoy the nature after a few days in Oslo would be perfect. You are not too far from stunning nature and you arrive at a great time of year.
posted by kariebookish at 9:50 AM on September 25, 2018

Response by poster: I ended up visiting Oslo and Stockholm. I did get a little lucky with the weather and was even able to spend a few days mostly outdoors, but regardless of the weather I had a great time and found that there was plenty to do in the cities. Hopefully I'll be back in the summer months. Thanks for your recommendations!
posted by gemutlichkeit at 10:26 AM on December 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

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