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DISCOVER NORWAY: Nine unmissable events in May 2023

Frazer Norwell
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DISCOVER NORWAY: Nine unmissable events in May 2023
Here's the rundown on the best events in Norway in May 2023. Pictured is a Jazz band. Photo by Jens Thekkeveettil on Unsplash

Jazz festivals, public holidays, an opportunity to get medieval, and a day to hike the Seven Mountains in Bergen are among the best events in Norway in May.


May 17th 

Constitution Day is a day of national celebration in Norway and is marked by a public holiday, parades and locals wearing their national costumes. 

The day marked when the Constitution of Norway was signed on May 17th, 1814. The constitution declared Norway an independent kingdom. 

Every major town and city will have their own celebrations and events planned. 

READ ALSO: A Guide to How Norway celebrates its national day

Other public holidays 

May 17th isn't the only day off you can expect from work. Ascension Day falls on May 18th, meaning that if you book for Friday the 19th, you can enjoy five days off work for the price of one. 

The beginning of the month also marks May 1st, which is International Workers Day. The day celebrates the working classes and the organised labour movement. 

 In Oslo, there are typically events based around Youngstorget. 


May 26th and June 3rd mark the longest jazz festival in northern Europe. Artists already announced for 2023 include Susanne Sundfør, Louis Cole, Treverket, Nelly Moar, Amalie Holt Kleiv, and Tribino.

The festival takes place in Bergen and covers everything from traditional jazz to rock, ethnic and electronic jazz. 

You can find information on tickets here. Also, you can find the program here


Bergen International Festival 

Bergen International Festival runs for two weeks between May 24th and early June. The festival brings the Nordic art community to Norway's second city. 

More than 150 different events are planned for the event with performances from all art forms such as music, theatre, dance, opera and visual art. 

The website for the event has more ticketing information. This is in addition to the full event program.  

Oslo Medieval Festival 

At Akershus Fortress in the capital between May 26th and May 28th is the Oslo Medieval Festival. Each day promises fun events for the whole family, with the fortress, which dates back to the 1200s, providing plenty of authentic medieval atmosphere. 

Wandering jugglers, jesters, musicians and beggars, historical plays, longbow shooting, and concerts with medieval songs and instruments are all on the itinerary. All this is in addition to the market selling goods from Norway and abroad. 

More information on the event can be found on the website for the festival


Seven Mountains hike 

What better way to mark the beginning of the peak hiking season in Norway than by hiking the seven mountains surrounding Bergen? 

A planned 35km hike is scheduled for May 28th. The course includes a total ascent of 2,500 metres. 

If the challenge sounds intense, you can walk the last 3 or 4 mountains for a shorter total journey. Detailed information on the various routes can be found here

You will be required to register in advance. 

Grünerløkka neighbourhood days

Mid-May will see a day aimed at celebrating Oslo's trendiest district, Grünerløkka. The neighbourhood festival between May 13th and May 14th will see several events across the district. 

A flea market will be found on Olaf Ryes plass featuring second-hand goods as well as crafts and arts designed by Oslo-based artists. 

Other events include free samba dancing classes, history tours and a windmill workshop

Trondheim Jazzfest 

This year will see the 35th edition of Jazzfest in Trondheim. The festival will take place between May 10th and May 14th. At its core, the festival aims to put a spotlight on Norwegian, Nordic and European jazz.

A full program and information on tickets can be found online.

Fjord cruise? 

The country's famous for its fjords and waterfalls, which are a sight to behold at all times of the year. Spring is the best time of year to see the country's fjords and waterfalls.

May is the best time to see Norway's waterfalls as the snow melts away and cascades down mountains. The month of May is also the best time to plan a trip to see Norway's fjords.

This is because, in southwest Norway, thousands of fruit trees will bloom along the fjords, giving the surroundings a fresh spring look.


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