Christmas traditions in Norway

Christmas in Roros by Thomas Rasmus Juell Skaug, Visit Norway

Christmas celebration in Norway

The main Christmas celebration is on Christmas Eve; the evening of December 24. On Christmas day, December 25, a late buffet breakfast or buffet brunch is quite common, with bread and “pålegg”, the typical Norwegian (Scandinavian) open sandwiches. Read more about the Norwegian Christmas celebration:

Christmas in Bergen by Christer Ronnestad, Visit Norway

Christmas in Bergen

Christmas traditions in Norway

People in Norway normally celebrate Christmas Eve with their close family and relatives, gathering for the Christmas dinner. Walking around the Christmas tree after dinner is an old tradition in Norway, still alive, particularly among families with children.

Christmas presents from close family members and close friends are common among the Norwegians; the presents will normally be stored under the Christmas tree and then after dinner and the walk around the Christmas tree, they will be opened.
A visit from Santa Claus (normally father, family member, close friend or neighbour) on Christmas Eve is also quite common among families with children.

Childen celebrating Christmas in Norway by CH, Visit Norway

Children celebrating Christmas in Oslo

Christmas meals in Norway

The Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve is the main Christmas meal, usually served between 5 and 8 pm. The meal traditions vary according to the geography of Norway, although the traditions are spreading throughout the country. In the eastern parts of Norway and mid-Norway, they normally eat crisp ribs of pork (called ribbe in Norwegian) as the main course, while the western parts of Norway prefer dried ribs of mutton (called pinnekjott), with potatoes and mashed kohlrabi (German turnip). In the northern parts of Norway they eat pinnekjott as well, while some stick to the old tradition with Arctic cod.

Christmas holidays in Norway:
December 25 & 26 are public holidays. The shops are closed, but some restaurants stay open.

Roros by Thomas Rasmus Skaug , Dagbladet

Snowing at Roros

Suggested Christmas tour in Norway

Christmas at UNESCO Roros– 6 nights
Experience an unforgettable stay at the magic town of Roros– a UNESCO world heritage site. The tour starts with a night in Oslo. After your arrival to Roros, you will experience local Christmas traditions, a traditional Norwegian Christmas Eve meal, Dog sledge in the wilderness & a ride through winterly Roros in an open Horse carriage. After 3 nights at Roros you continue to the historic town of Trondheim for an overnight stay. The next morning you will be picked up for a private, guided tour of this authentic town before you head back to Oslo on the scenic Dovre line.


Christmas Cruise in Norway by Andrew Garlick, Hurtigruten

Christmas cruise in Norway

Horse sleigh in Roros by Thomas Rasmus Jull Skaug, Visit Norway

Christmas at Roros

Experience Christmas in Norway

We offer a selection of amazing Christmas tours  as well as Christmas cruises to Arctic Norway – ideally located in the middle of the Northern Lights zone, with dog sledding, Northern Lights adventure trips & overnight stays in an amazing ice hotel. Experience a traditional Norwegian Christmas on one of Havila Voyages cruise ships, offering the most sustainable coastal voyage on the Norwegian Coast.

More Christmas tours in Norway:
Christmas Holiday in Norway, 6 nights
Norwegian Christmas & Northern Lights Cruise, 8 nights
Christmas Cruise package, 8 nights
Northern Lights Christmas Cruise, 9 nights

Bryggen Summer Sunset FjordTravelNorway 500

Sunset on Bryggen in Bergen

Who are we?

Fjord Travel Norway is a Norwegian company based in Bergen. We have been in business for more than 20 years.
Based on our local know-how we focus on authentic travel experiences in Norway, always trying to provide the very best, hassle-free and seamless itineraries, activities & accommodations.
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Contact Fjord Travel Norway:
Use our contact form, send e-mail to [email protected], or
call us on +47 (55) 131-310 (Mon-Fri 09:00 to 15:30 local time)

What our customers say:

  • Thank you for assisting us with our trip to Norway. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Kirkenes and the Snow Hotel. The arrangements you made for us were perfect. The lodging was comfortable and the excursions were fun. Tom and I rarely use the services of a travel company when we travel; you enriched our trip and made the planning easy.

    Alison, United States

  • We just recently completed the Tromso, Northern Lights & Arctic Coast tour. I am writing to say what an amazing tour we had. Everything ran smoothly without an issue, the accommodation was fantastic and the tours were brilliant. We cannot fault the package at all. I would also like to thank Franziska and Lene, they both were fantastic in answering all my questions promptly, whilst booking the tour. Thank you for a wonderful and memorable holiday!

    Robert, Australia

  • I wanted to thank everybody. We had a wonderful trip. Everything went well and fortunately we had the chance to see the lights while on the cruise. All my friends in Turkey would like to go on a similar trip. So I will be in touch with you. Thanks again and best wishes to all of you.

    Candan, Turkey