Is 34 degrees too cold for sandles…? (Must haves to bring to Bergen during Fall semester)

It snowed yesterday!!! Temperatures dropped and in the midst of an evening out, it started snowing. For someone from California who spent her last vacation in a tropic place, a few snowflakes suddenly made me feel like I was in a winter wonderland. I stood outside surrounded by Australians and Columbians catching snowflakes on our tongues. It looked like a scene from a movie, especially with the unfazed people standing under cover watching our eyes light up with the unexpected flurry of flakes. By morning, the seven mountains surrounding Bergen were covered in snow.

As the days get somewhat colder, I consider which items I’ve needed for the fluctuating weather of Bergen. I didn’t take seriously the necessary preparation for living in a country with such a different climate from California. While I am comfortable now, there are some items that I would have preferred to bring from home.

The items I suggest to you are merely suggestions, but the list should get you seriously thinking about what your time in Bergen will look like in terms of which activities you will participate in and how cozy you want to be.

The weather in Bergen is generalized as being very rainy. Last year, it rained about 274 days out of 365 days. That’s about 75% of the time. I expected that, but the weather this fall was incredible. There were many sunny and even more days that it didn’t rain at all, well … hard. Since weather is unreliable, it’s best to heed Norwegians’ common phrase ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing,’ and be prepared for anything.

A good coat

  • You NEED a rain jacket. You need something that is going to be water resistant. That can be something that ends at your waist or something like mine that reaches halfway down my thigh. When it rains here, it rains from every side so it’s nice to have a bit more protection on my legs.
  • It also gets very cold so it’s nice to have something with more bulk, like a wool pea coat or a thick waterproof jacket. I prefer the latter. If you shop around, you can find a two layered jacket that has a rain jacket and winter jacket that you can wear together or separate.

Rain pants

  • Some people even go as far as getting rain pants, which are worn over their outfit for the day. You’ll see dozens of Norwegians wearing these. I don’t have them and have survived

Wool Socks

Long Underwear made of wool

  • I didn’t think I needed these, but they have saved me on those 30 degree days. They are even thin enough to wear under your tightest skinny jeans

Hiking boots/ Rain Boots/ Running shoes with traction (Nike Freeruns aren’t going to cut it)

  • If you’re smart about how you shop, you can find waterproof hiking boots that could be comfortable enough for daily rain and weekend hikes


  • Bring a wool or fleece sweater that you can wear daily and on hikes.

Scarf/ Beanie

  • I like knit scarves, but those tend to be bulky and get in the way for daily use. I found a cozy one here on sale for $12. Some people wear beanies here, but I have lots of curly hair to keep me plenty warm


  • Mittens or gloves made of leather, wool, or something cozy. It’s nice when they have cozy material inside

Waterproof backpack cover

  • This isn’t clothing, but just as important as a good jacket

Bring that one clothing item you take for granted

  • I love my pullover Cal hoodie. I didn’t think I would need it, but I realize this is one of those things that actually makes me very comfortable

Layering is your friend. Learn how to do it properly to be as comfortable as possible when the temperatures drop in Bergen.


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