1. Try some retail therapy
Take this opportunity to go shopping. You will find a good selection of department stores and shopping centres in cities like Oslo and Bergen, as well as more quirky fashion and home furnishing shops in local neighbourhoods like Grünerløkka in Oslo. Or browse for local arts and crafts in rural areas. Look for bargains in the sales if you are visiting in January or June. And remember souvenirs to bring back home.
2. Treat yourself to lunch
A rainy day is a great excuse to indulge in a long leisurely lunch (or dinner
for that matter). There is no shortage of good restaurants in Norway, offering anything from traditional local fare to top international cuisine. Find more information on eating out in Norway.
3. Catch a movie
Cinema tickets are relatively cheap in Norway, so this is a good option if you are travelling on a budget. All films (with the exception of children's movies) are shown in their original version, so as long as you stick to a British or American production, language won't be a problem. Popcorn anyone?
4. Book a show
Want something a little bit more special? Splash out on a show, like a performance in Oslo's stunning opera house for example (unsold tickets are available from the box office on the day) or at one of many other venues throughout Norway. See what's on, and book online at Billet service.
5. Do something arty
A trip to the local art gallery is an obvious choice on a rainy day, and there are plenty of venues to choose from up and down the country. Alternatively you could see where some of Norway's most famous artists grew up and lived. Check out Edvard Munch's house in Åsgårdstrand, or Nikolai Astrup's childhood home in Jølster. Or if music is more your scene, and you happen to be in the Bergen area, make sure you visit Troldhaugen and beautiful Lysøen, where Edvard Grieg and Ole Bull spent many years of their lives.
6. Head for the museum
There are museums to cater for every taste in Norway. Small and quirky ones like the Lutefisk Museum in Drøbak, where you will learn all about this quintessential Norwegian delicacy, or the Leprosy Museum in Bergen, which once had the largest concentration of patients in Europe. Or museums housing unique collections, like the Ringve Museum outside Trondheim, famous for its musical instruments, or the Ski Museum in Oslo. And anything in between.
7. Learn something
Try something new! You could enroll for a cooking class at a local restaurant, go indoor climbing for the day, or even give pole dancing a try. Well why not? These are only a few of the options. Ask at your local tourist office for information on what's on offer in your area.
8. Pamper yourself
Dull and grey outside? You needn't let it get you down. Pamper yourself instead. Many hotel spas, such as the new Artesia Spa in the Grand Hotel in Oslo, allow non-guests in for a fee. Or make a proper outing of it and spend the day in one of Norway's top spas - Farris Bad in Larvik is one of Scandinavia's largest. Solstrand near Bergen and Dr Holms in Geilo are other good options. More on spas in Norway.
9. Keep fit
It might be raining but this doesn't mean you have to be a couch potato either. A jog in the rain might not be a very tempting option, but you could go for a swim at the local pool, or find somewhere for a good work out. Most Norwegian gyms offer day membership for visitors for a small fee. Elixia, Spenst and SATS are popular chains, with outlets in most big towns.
Elixia: phone +47 23 27 70 10, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SATS: phone +47 23 30 70 00, email email@example.com.
Spenst: phone +47 23 30 70 00, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
10. Meet the locals
Norwegians are a friendly, open bunch, and most of them speak very good
English, so don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with a local, whether
it's in a café, a shop, or at the train station. Alternatively you could practise your Norwegian. Here are a few useful phrases.This is a great way to find out a bit more about Norway and its people. The weather might not always be that hospitable, but chances are you will find the people are.
Read more about what to do with children on a rainy day in Norway.