When you first start researching the Scandinavian countries in hope of becoming an expat, you might see the word winter mentioned a few times. The cold season when we never see the sun, when the sea freezes over and the snow lays deep in the streets. This is typically how people picture a Scandinavian winter, but it is not necessarily a correct picture.
Huge Distances in Scandinavia
Scandinavia is big. Therefore, it is also diverse. The winters will not be the same in Haparanda (northern Sweden) as they are in Denmark. In fact, Denmark barely gets any snow at all during the winters. The same goes for big parts of Sweden if we take the winter 2019/2020 as an example. Many people call this the year without winter because it never came. Instead, we got an exceptionally long autumn with the occasional snowfall.
What if you Want the Cold Weather?
Does this mean you can not experience a “real” winter in Scandinavia? Far from it. If you travel up north in Sweden, Norway or Finland, you will find the winter you have ever dreamed of.
The sun never rises, the lakes freezes (and parts of the ocean) and snow lays deep in the streets. We do get real winters, just not everywhere. Though, fair warning, it does get dark pretty much everywhere which can be a problem for many people. The summers, however, more than make up for it.
Cold Winters or not – Enjoy Them!
The easiest way to survive our winters is to enjoy them! Many Scandinavians look forward to the first snowfall of the year. Perhaps you could try skiing? That is a great way to enjoy the snow.
Otherwise, if you live in Iceland, you could enjoy some hot springs. Swimming in a warm, outdoor spring, when snow is falling is something you must experience for yourself. There is simply no way to describe it.
Even if you think you hate winters right now, a few years over here might change that. Travel far up north where you find the real winters.
Many companies up here specialized in making sure you have a wonderful time out in the cold. This is without a doubt the best way to enjoy a true Scandinavian winter. Just hop on the sleeper train at Stockholm central and you will be far up north the next morning.
You can Escape to Warmer Countries in a Heartbeat
Here is one of the main advantages about being an expat in Scandinavia. Everything is close! Europe is just a short flight away. If you really want to move to Scandinavia but are hesitating because of winter, you can escape! Just hop on a short flight to Spain and the winter is no more.
A lot of swedes enjoy traveling to Thailand during this season or to other sunny places. You can to. Even if you can only afford to travel for 1-2 weeks, that is often enough to charge up your batteries and get you through the rest of our winters.
Then, when spring finally starts arriving, you will experience one of the best feeling in the world. The sight of the sun finally returning. There is no greater feeling than that and the only way to experience it is through a Scandinavian winter.
Read from 6 expat blogs and get more familiar with the lifestyle!
It is Getting Warmer and Warmer
This is sad but at the same time it is true. Every year out earth gets a bit warmer because of global warming. The winters in Scandinavia has steadily been getting warmer during the last few years. Soon, the winters might entirely disappear. I would not consider this a good thing, but it might be if you really dislike a colder climate.