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What To Do In Tromso | Norway

Are you traveling to Tromso in Northern Norway? Here we give you the ultimate travel guide to Tromso with everything you need to know – what to do in summer and winter, the best sights and attractions, where to eat, and where to stay. 

Tromso, the city in my heart where I was born and have spent most of my life, is located at 69°North in the Arctic part of Norway. Although Tromso is relatively small with its 73 000 inhabitants it has much to offer visitors, with plenty of things to do all year round.

In the winter, people come to Tromso to witness the amazing northern lights that ripple across the sky during dark winter nights. Surrounded by unspoiled wilderness of fjords and mountains on every side Tromso is a fantastic place to experience some of nature’s wonders such as the magnificent Northern Lights!

The summer is all about the midnight sun and the long bright nights, hiking, fishing, and basically just enjoying the beautiful nature that Tromso has to offer.

Tromso has a lot of accommodation options to choose from, for all budgets. If you haven’t yet decided on where to stay in Tromso, then check out the guide to our favorite Tromso areas and hotels.

Knowing what to bring for a trip to Tromso can be challenging due to the cold and shifting weather, but don`t worry. Here you get a complete packing list of what to pack for a trip to Tromso summer and winter.

Tromso is also, surprisingly for such a small city, famous for its party life and pubs. The city has more pubs per inhabitants than any other city in Norway and the main street Storgata is packed with happy partying people on Friday and Saturday nights. Maybe the University of Tromso’s 16 000 students has something to do with it.

Tromso has been rated as the 3rd “Best Destinations in the World for Experiences” by TripAdvisor! I couldn´t agree more! Tromso has a lot to offer for everyone all year round. The best Tromso experiences highlighted by the readers of TripAdvisor are:

  1. Norwegian Fjords Tour
  2. Reindeer Sledding & Feeding Tour: Evening Tour With Northern Lights | Day-time Reindeer Tour
  3. Northern Lights Tour

Here we give you the ultimate travel guide to Tromso with a complete list of the best things to do in Tromso all year round, winter, and summer! This list is written by a local (me! 🙂 ) who was born, raised, and has lived in Tromso for over 40 years!

The Best Things To Do In Tromso All Year Round

1. Tromso Cable Car To The Mountain Fløya

Tromso Cable Car, called “Fjellheisen” in Norwegian, is a true icon in Tromso! Dating back to 1961, and is loved by both the locals and tourists. In my opinion, it is the number one must-do-thing when visiting Tromso.

The cable car takes up you to the mountain ledge Storsteinen which means “Big Rock” in English (420 m above sea level). From the top, you get an amazing view of Tromso city and its beautiful surroundings of mountains and fjords. In the background, you can see Kvaloya, one of Norway’s largest islands, where I grew up. ♥

The actual Floya mountain (671 m above sea level) is a bit further up from the top station of the cable car. You can easily walk up to Fløya mountain from the cable car.

Floya Tromso
You can enjoy an amazing view of mountains and fjords surrounding Tromso from the Floya Mountain/ Cable Car

It is magical watching the northern lights dancing above the city in the winter, or see the midnight sun sparkling in the sea surrounding Tromso in the summer. So going on a trip with the cable car is a great thing to do all year-round. Be sure to bring warm windproof clothes as it gets chilly at the top even in the summer months.

There is a nice cafe/ restaurant at the top, Fjellstua Cafe, where you can buy cold beer, hot drinks like tea, coffee, and hot chocolate, cakes, Norwegian waffles (they are the best!), ice cream as well as a light meal.

You can either go on a cable car trip on your own. Or you can book a tour where you will have an enthusiastic local guide telling you all about Tromso and its history. The guide will point out all the iconic mountains and sights that you see from Fjellheisen. And you will learn why Tromso is called “Paris of the North” and “The Gateway to the Arctic“. Check out these two great cable car tours in Tromso:

Day-time Arctic Cable Car Excursion

Take the Fjellheisen Cable Car up to the mountain Floya together with a knowledgeable local guide and learn all about Tromso. You will enjoy some delicious Norwegian waffles and tea or coffee at the cafe at the top. The whole tour takes about 3 hours. Transportation from Tromso city center to the cable car, as well as the cable car ticket and waffles, are all included in the tour.
Click here for more information on the Arctic Cable Car Excursion Tour

Northern Lights Cable Car Excursion

♦ Season: September, October, November, December, January, February & March

Fjellheisen Cable Car is the perfect spot to watch the Northern Lights. On this tour, you take the cable car together with a local guide who will be on the lookout for Northern Lights and help you take incredible Northern lights photos. The tour takes about 3 hours. Included in the tour is a delicious evening meal in the restaurant at the top, as well as transportation from Tromso city center to the cable car station, and the cable car ticket.
Click here for more information on the Northern Lights Cable Car Excursion

Floya Tromso
The view from the top of the Cable Car Fjellheisen is spectacular!

Hike To Fløya Mountain

If you are the sporty type and want a little workout, you can walk up to Floya Mountain instead of taking the cable car. The hike is great and takes about 1 hour one way (3 km). I really love this hike! It is one of the best hikes in Tromso with a fantastic view over Tromso city.

There are two pathways up to Floya Mountain. You can either take the path to the right of the cable car station (walk towards the south), which is longer but not so steep. Or you can opt for the new Sherpa build stair steps to the left of the cable car station (follow the road Gusdalsvegen at the beginning of this hike). Both trails are well-marked and easy to find and walk.

To save your knees and shorten the walking time, you can take the cable car down and save half the ticket price.

  • Opening hours summer (1st of June – 31st of July): 10:00 (10 am) – 00:00 every day (Fjellstua cafe: 10:00 – 22:30)
  • Opening hours winter (1st of August – 31st of May): 10:00 – 23:00 every day (Fjellstua cafe: 10:00 – 22:30)
  • The cable car departs every half hour, the trip takes 4 min each way
  • Ticket price: 150 kr one-way adult/ 90 kr one-way for a child (3-15 years old)/ 390 kr one-way for a family (2 adults + 2 children).  230 kr return ticket adult/ 120 kr return ticket child/ 520 kr return ticket family.
  • How to get there: You can drive a car over to the cable car in Tromsdalen (5 min). There is a big parking place at the bottom of the cable car. You can also walk over the bridge to Tromsdalen (30 min, 2,5 km), which is a beautiful easy walk where you pass the famous Arctic Cathedral. Just follow the signs. Another alternative is the bus, take bus no. 26, which departs near the main square (Stortorget).
  • Nearby sights: You will pass the Arctic Cathedral on your way to the Cable Car. There is only a 15-minute walk from the Cathedral to the Cable Car.
  • Fjellheisen webpage

2. Fjord Cruise & Fishing

Fjord Cruise

Taking a boat trip is an excellent way to experience the scenic fjords, the arctic wilderness, and its animals up close. There are several tour operators in Tromso offering boat trips around Tromso Island and the surrounding fjords.

A popular trip is the 5-hours fjord cruise onboard the classic wooden boat “Fjord Queen“. On this trip, you get a local guide showing you the stunning fjords and wildlife, lunch, beverages and snacks, insulated bodysuits, and you get to borrow fishing equipment if you want to fish from the boat. The boat leaves from the harbor right outside the Scandic Ishavshotel in the middle of downtown Tromso so it´s very convenient.
Click here for information and the latest prices on a Fjord Cruise

Fishing Trip

Fishing has been big a part of the culture of Norway and particularly Northern Norway for decades and still is one of the country`s main sources of income. You can fish from the shore anywhere in Tromso, but it`s extra fun to head out to the sea in a boat and go fishing.

The chances are pretty good that you will catch some fish, both cod and coalfish are common but you can get lucky and catch more exotic fish like halibut and wolffish.

On some boat trips, they even cook your self-caught fish onboard and you can have it for lunch. Super fresh and yummy!

Luxury Catamaran Fishing Trip
A 3-hour fishing trip through the fjords around Tromso onboard a luxury catamaran sailing boat. I know the captain Kurt Arild, and he will prepare a lovely meal for you of your self-caught fish. He is an excellent chef, captain, and guide!

Arctic Sailing & Fishing Safari
A 5-hour sailing trip around Tromso where you can do some fishing. The captain will make a delicious and warm fish soup of your self-caught fish.

Everything you need is included in both these tours, like fishing gear and insulated bodysuits.

3. The Arctic Cathedral

The Arctic Cathedral, or Ishavkatedralen in Norwegian, is a real landmark in Tromso. It is on every postcard and is THE image of Tromso.

The Arctic Cathedral is a landmark in Tromso, Norway
The beautiful Arctic Cathedral is a landmark in Tromso

It was built in 1965 and designed by a famous Norwegian architect called Jan Inge Hovig. Fun fact: He was married to the famous Norwegian TV-chef Ingrid Espelid Hovig, who revolutionized the Norwegian kitchen and cooking skills in all Norwegian homes.

The Cathedral has the shape of an iceberg, and in front, there is a stunning glass mosaic that sparkles with incredible colors when the sun shines through it. Some say that the shape of the Cathedral is inspired by the small island Håja on the outside of Tromso (you will see it if you drive out to Sommaroy island).

You can easily spot the Arctic Cathedral from the city harbor of Tromso Center, but if you want to see the stunning mosaic you have to head over the Tromso Bridge and step into the church. It’s an easy walk (30 min) with a beautiful view of the harbor and the city.

Midnight Sun & Northern Lights Concerts

During summer (1st of June – 15th of August), there are organ concerts in the church every day at 14:00, and Midnight Sun Concerts at 23:00. In winter (beginning of February – mid-March) there are similar concerts called Northern Lights Concerts in the church.

Both the Midnight Sun Concerts and the Northern Lights Concerts are at 23:00 (11 pm) every week from Thursday to Sunday. The doors open at 22:30, the best seats get taken first.

The Midnight Sun Concerts and Northern Lights Concerts are a great and wonderful way to see the church.

A visit to the Arctic Cathedral is perfect to combine with a cable car trip (above). You can, for instance, do the cable car first, and head down to catch the Midnight Sun/ Northern Lights Concert after.

  • Opening hours summer (1st of June – 15th of August): 09:00 – 19:00 (Sundays 13 – 19)
  • Opening hours winter (16th of August – 31st of May): 14:00 – 18:00
  • Ticket price entrance: 50 kr
  • Ticket price Organ concert (during summer): 90 kr
  • Ticket price Midnight Sun concert/ Northern Lights concert: 200 kr for adult, 50 kr for a child (you can buy tickets at the church entrance, cash or credit card).
  • How to get there: You can drive a car over to the cable car in Tromsdalen (5 min). There is parking just next to the church. You can also walk over the bridge to Tromsdalen (30 min, 2,5 km), which is a beautiful easy walk. Another alternative is the bus, take bus no. 20, 24, 26 or 28. They all leave close to the main square.
  • Nearby sights: The Cable Car (no. 1 in this guide)
  • The Arctic Cathedral Webpage

4. Polaria Arctic Experience Center And Aquarium

Polaria is kind of a museum but also so much more. It is a combination of an experience center and an aquarium where you will learn all about Arctic nature and animals.

Polaria is a great museum in Tromso
Polaria is a fun aquarium to visit, with lots of fish and seals

You can watch two great films at Polaria about the Arctic – “Northern Lights in Arctic Norway” and “Svalbard – Arctic Wilderness”. And you get to meet real live arctic fish of all kinds like seals, king crabs, cod, and wolffish.

Polaria is located inside a cool and artsy building that looks like huge icebergs tipped over. Just next to Polaria is the old seal-hunting ship M/S Polarstjerna, covered by a glass shelter. Here you can walk around on the ship and get a feel for how it must have been to live the life of a seal hunter.

Seal Feeding & Training

The highlight at the Polaria is, in my opinion, when they feed the seals and the seals do tricks. Great fun for both adults and the kids!

There are two seal feeding and training sessions per day:

– Summer: 12:30 (12:30 am) and 15:00 (3 pm)

– Winter: 12:30 (12:30 am) and 15:30 (3:30 pm)

So make sure to be at Polaria at one of these times! It is great fun!

On your way out of Polaria, you walk through a really nice gift shop where they sell local handmade products made of sealskin, reindeer bones, wood, and so on. They also have a nice cafeteria open every day.

  • Opening hours winter/ spring (1st of January – 16th of May): 10:00 – 18:00
  • Norwegian Independence Day (17th of May): 10:00 – 17:00
  • Opening hours summer (18th of May – 31st of August): 10:00 – 19:00
  • Opening hours autumn (1st of September – 23rd of December): 10:00 – 18:00
  • Christmas Eve (24th of December): 10:00 – 16:00
  • Christmas (25th – 31st of December): 10:00 – 18:00
  • Ticket price: 175 kr adult, 80 kr child (3-16 years old)
  • How to get there: A short walk from Tromso Center (5 min)
  • Polaria’s Wepage

5. Polar Museum & Skansen

If you are to visit only one museum in Tromso, then this is it. It shows the unique position Tromso had as the capital of sealing and as the “Gateway to the Arctic“.

The exhibitions give an insight into the hard life the trappers had on Svalbard through the winter. The lives of famous trappers like Henry Rudi and Wanny Wolstad, as well as the amazing polar exploration expeditions of Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen, are just some of what you will learn about at this museum.

At this museum, you will see our old family dog, Sajak, that I grew up with! He is a Siberian Husky, standing outside of the little trapper´s hut. Obviously, Sajak is not alive anymore, but his fur is still looking pretty good if you ask me. He was such a sweet and kind dog. ♥ Make sure to give him a cuddle.

Guided Tour Of Polar Museum & Walking Tour Of Tromso

I recommend this guided Essential Tromso historical City Walk Tour (every Wednesday and Saturday) where an enthusiastic local guide will walk with you around the city and tell you all about its history and buildings. The guide will also guide you inside the Polar Museum and tell you the fascinating history of Tromso as the gateway to the Arctic.

This tour is a great deal as a guided tour and entrance tickets to the Polar Museum is also included in the price.

Just next to the Polar Museum is Skansen, the oldest house in Tromso. It was built as a customs station back in 1789. It is surrounded by other small old houses and a beautiful garden. There is a cafe here in the summer.

This is a nice area to walk around in as this is the “old part” of Tromso. These are the only remaining houses after the big city fire in 1969 where the entire Tromso city went up in flames.

Skansen Tromso
Skansen – The oldest house in Tromso
  • Opening hours Polar Museum summer (15th of June – 5th of August): 09:00 – 18:00
  • Opening hours winter (1st of January – 14th of June & 16th of August – 31st of December): 11:00 – 17:00
  • Closed: 1st of May and 17th of May
  • Ticket price: 70 kr adult/ 35 kr child (7-18 years old), children under 7 years old is free
  • How to get there: The Polar Museum is located in downtown Tromso
  • Nearby sights: Skansen, the old part of Tromso, which consists of the oldest buildings of Tromso
  • The Polar Museum´s webpage

6. Extreme Auroras – Northern Lights Movie at The Science Centre

The spectacular Northern Lights movie “Extreme Auroras” is made by the well-known and talented Northern Lights photographer and filmmaker Ole Salomonsen. We saw the movie at the premiere with Ole himself in the audience where he also told us all about the challenges of making this movie.

For 26 minutes you will witness amazing Northern Lights photos and videos in the 360-degree planetarium and it feels so real, almost like witnessing the real thing or maybe even better!

The Planetarium in Tromso is the largest in Norway and is a part of the Science Center of Northern Norway located on the campus of the Arctic University of Norway. Before or after the movie, make sure to visit the Science Center and have some fun doing some science experiments. If you are traveling to Tromso with kids, a visit to the Science Centre is a must!

The Northern Lights film Extreme Auroras is shown daily at 14:00 (2 pm) in English and 14:45 (2:45 pm) in German. During the weekends and holidays, it is also shown as 12:00 (12 am) in English.

  • Opening hours Tromso Science Center: 11:00 (11 am) – 16:00 (4 pm) every day
  • Ticket price entrance Science Center including the film Extreme Auroras: 120 kr adult/ 60 kr child (3 years and older)
  • How to get there: The Science Center and Planetarium is a part of the Arctic University of Norway. From Troms Center, you can walk (45 min), drive (10 min) or take bus no. 20.
  • The Science Center of Northern Norway`s webpage

7. Tromso Cathedral

When walking through the main/ walking street of Tromso, Storgata, you can`t miss this old and beautiful wooden church called Domkirka (Tromso Cathedral). Dating back to 1861, this is the Northernmost Protestant cathedral and the only one in Norway that is made of wood. There are often concerts in the church, especially during summer.

We join the church service at this Cathedral every Christmas Eve on the 24th of December, it`s an old family tradition.

If you want to learn more about the city of Tromso, you should take this guided city walking tour. This tour is a great deal as a guided tour at the Polar Museum is included.

A great way of seeing and experience Tromso Cathedral is by attending the daily concert “Sounds Of The North” by Arctic Vibe. Here you will get to experience a wide range of Norwegian music, like folk tunes, hymns, traditional music, and indigenous Sami music. The concert is held Monday – Saturday at 15:30 (3:30 pm) at Tromso Cathedral. The concert lasts for 30 min and you can buy tickets (185 Nkr) at the entrance.

8. Go For A Stroll In Storgata And Do Some Shopping

The main pedestrian street in Tromso is called Storgata, and here there are plenty of nice shops, cafes, and restaurants. Storgata is most lively on Saturdays and is well worth a stroll.

Storgata Tromso
Storgata
Tromso Harbour
Tromso Harbour

Tromso is famous for its vibrant nightlife. So if you fancy heading for the clubs and pubs to do some partying, Tromso is the place! Most of the clubs and pubs are located in Storgata, so you don`t have to go far to get to the next place to have a beer or a drink or a glass of wine.

Where To Go Shopping In Tromso

In addition to all the regular mainstream souvenir shops which we have a ton of (too many if you ask me…..), there are several unique quality shops in Tromso that sell local handicrafts and Norwegian design clothing and souvenirs. My favorites are:

  • Husfliden – Sell Norwegian handcraft like clothes, knitted stuff, wood art, bunad (traditional national dress), and accessories. Address: Sjøgata 4
  • Blåst – The only blown glass factory and shop in Tromso.
  • Krane Art Gallery – Sell art from artists from all over Northern Norway
  • Galleri Nord – Art gallery selling paintings and arts by Norwegian painters
Glasshytta Blast is a fantastic place to shop for souvenirs in Tromso
Blåst is a fantastic place to shop for souvenirs and gifts to bring back home

As for other kinds of shopping, like shoes and clothes, these are my favorites located in downtown Tromso:

  • MAS – My favorite place to go shopping for clothes and shoes! They have the most popular and fashionable Scandinavian, European, and American brands. Excellent service as well! Address: Strandtorget 3 (next to Nerstranda shopping mall)
  • White – Also a great place to go shopping for clothes and shoes. Here you can find great brands like Maud, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, InWear, Riccovero, and Busnel. Address: Sjøgata 2
  • City To Summit –  Sporting goods store selling outdoor clothes, shoes, and equipment (skis, snowshoes, hiking boots ++). They also have rental of skis, snowshoes, camping equipment and so on. Address: Kirkegata 6
  • Norrøna – Norwegian brand. High-quality and super cool outdoor sporting clothes. Address: Inside Havneterminalen
  • Andresen Vaapenforretning – Sporting goods store, clothes, and fishing equipment. It has been in Tromso for ages, since 1870! Address: Storgata 53
  • Gullsmed Kristiansen –  Jewelry, also some locally designed jewelry. Address: Kirkegata 14
  • Wintervold – Scandinavian jewelry design. Address: Storgata 58 (opposite Tromso Cathedral)
  • Britts – Clothes and kitchen stuff. Address: Storgata 89
  • Sweet Heart – The best selection of candy and chocolate in Tromso with chocolate made in Norway as well. Address: Storgata 71

Approximately every second month there is a Farmers Market in Storgata, which I love and visit wherever I am home. Here you can buy local homemade organic products like honey, knitted clothes, vegetables and fruits, cheese, berries, pastries, candy, jam, and other delicatessens. Make sure to try svele (Norwegian style pancake served with jam)! Mmmmmm, sooooo yummy! ♥

Shopping Malls In Tromso

Due to lots of bad and cold weather, especially during winter, we local Tromso people love shopping malls where we can walk inside warm and dry!

There are in total of four shopping malls in Tromso. Three of these shopping malls (Jekta, Nerstranda, and Pyramiden) are the only places where you can buy alcohol like wine and liquor in Tromso, at the Vinmonopolet. This is probably a big reason why shopping malls are so popular among us locals. 🙂 You can, however, buy beer at all grocery stores in Tromso, but not wine and liquor.

There are four shopping malls in Tromso:

  1. Jekta 
    Jekta shopping mall is the biggest and most popular shopping mall in Tromso (probably the biggest in the whole of Northern Norway). It has a wide selection of shops, like shoes and clothes stores, book stores, pharmacies, toy stores, and beauty and cosmetics shops. It has the wine and liquor store Vinmonopolet.
    Jekta shopping mall is located next to Tromso Airport, about a 10-minute drive from the Center of Tromso (bus no. 34, 40, or 42).
  2. K1
    Just next to Jekta you find the K1 shopping mall. Jekta and K1 are conveniently connected by a glass walking corridor. K1 is a small shopping mall. It has a big grocery store on the ground floor (Rema), Tromsos biggest electronic store Elkjop, and Tromso’s biggest sporting and camping goods store XXL.
  3. Nerstranda
    There is a shopping mall in downtown Tromso called Nerstranda shopping mall. Here you can find cosmetic shops, clothes and shoe shops, a book store, a pharmacy, a flower shop, and the wine and liquor store Vinmonopolet.
  4. Pyramiden
    On the mainland of Tromso (Tromsdalen), you will find the Pyramiden Shopping Mall. A visit to Pyramiden is convenient to combine with a visit to the cable car Fjellheisen and the Arctic Cathedral.
    Pyramiden has a great sporting goods store called Pyramiden Sport, my favorite, a fantastic range of good quality brands, clothes, shoes, and sports equipment. They also have a great selection of traveling and camping gear. Here you can also buy skis and snowshoes. It has the wine and liquor store Vinmonopolet.

You get free parking at both Jekta, K1, and Pyramiden, but you have to pay to park in the underground parking lot in the basement of Nerstranda.

See the three shopping malls marked in Google Maps here.

  • Opening Hours Jekta: 10:00 – 21:00 (Monday – Friday), 10:00 – 18:00 (Saturday), closed Sundays
  • Opening Hours K1: 10:00 – 20:00 (Monday – Friday), 10:00 – 18:00 (Saturday), closed Sundays
  • Opening Hours Nerstranda: 09:00 – 20:00 (Monday – Friday), 10:00 – 18:00 (Saturday), closed Sundays
  • Opening Hours Pyramiden: 10:00 – 20:00 (Monday – Friday), 10:00 – 18:00 (Saturday), closed Sundays

9. Visit Tromso’s Oldest Pub Ølhallen

When it comes to beer, Mack Brewery is Tromso’s pride and joy. Mack was established in Tromso in 1877 although it moved out of town in 2012. It used to be the Northernmost brewery in the world until Svalbard brewery opened in 2015.

Mack`s famous pub Ølhallen is Tromso’s oldest pub established on the 29th of February 1928. A visit here is mandatory if you ask any diehard Tromso fan.

Ølhallen Pub has Europe`s longest tap beer tower with 72 different beers on tap. Mack also has a Micro Brewery with over 100 different beers on its production list.

I have a tradition with some friends of mine to head to Ølhallen pub every December when Mack releases their famous Christmas Beer. When you enter Ølhallen, you have to take notice of the big stuffed polar bear, it is huge!

Tromso Beer Safari Tour

If you are a beer enthusiast, you should join the Tromso Beer Safari Tour! This 3-hour beer tour lets you taste your way through the best brews and pubs that Tromso has to offer.

While walking around the city with an enthusiastic and cheerful local beer guide, you will visit three pubs and bars in Tromso. Your guide will tell you everything about the brewing traditions in Norway. You will get to taste many different and distinct beer types, together with some popular local snacks like reindeer carpaccio and cold-smoked salmon. It is a great way to experience Tromso and its culture!

  • Ølhallen opening hours: 11:00 – 00:30 Monday – Thursday, 11:00 – 01:30 Fridays, 10:00 – 01:30 Saturdays, closed on Sundays
  • Address: Storgata 4 (in downtown Tromso)
  • Mack`s Webpage

10. Tromso Waterpark – Tromsøbadet (Indoor & Outdoor)

The brand new Tromso Waterpark – named Tromsøbadet in Norwegian, which opened in August 2019, is the new pride of Tromso. It cost approximately 1 milliard Krone to build, way over budget, but it turned out pretty well in the end.

At the Tromso Waterpark, you can soak down in the heated outdoor pool while enjoying the view of the mountains and forest surrounding the waterpark, relax in the massage and bubble bathes, before stepping into the wellness area and enjoy the hot sauna and steam bath, and a dip in the cold plunge pool.

Or you can have a real workout in the Olympic size swimming pool where you can dive up to 10 meters. There is also a wave pool, water slides, and a paddling pool for the babies.

The brand new Tromsøbadet is great fun for the whole family!

  • Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 06:15 – 21:00, Tuesday & Thursday: 06:15 – 08:15 & 12:00 – 21:00, Saturday, Sunday, and holidays: 10:00 – 18:00
  • How to get there: Tromsøbadet is located on top of Tromsoya. You can walk there from the downtown of Tromso (45 min), take a taxi (10 min), or take the bus no. 20.
  • Tromsøbadet’s Webpage

11. The Museums Of Tromso

Polar Museum

My favorite museum in Tromso where you can see and learn about the polar history of Tromso, why the city is called the “Gateway To The Arctic“. The Polar Museum is a must-visit when heading to Tromso. Read more about the Polar Museum further up in this Tromso guide under point 5.

You will also learn about the polar exploration expeditions of Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen. The Polar Museum has some great exhibitions, all explained in English and German.

The Polar Museum in Tromso, Norway
The Polar Museum is a must-visit
  • Opening hours Polar Museum summer (15th of June – 5th of August): 09:00 – 18:00
  • Opening hours winter (1st of January – 14th of June & 16th of August – 31st of December): 11:00 – 17:00
  • Closed: 1st of May and 17th of May
  • Ticket price: 70 kr adult/ 35 kr child (7-18 years old), children under 7 years old is free
  • How to get there: The Polar Museum is located in downtown Tromso
  • Nearby sights: Skansen, the old part of Tromso, which consists of the oldest buildings of Tromso
  • The Polar Museum´s webpage

Tromso Museum

If museums are your thing, the Tromso Museum has exhibitions of everything you want to know about the Arctic and Northern Norway. Here you can learn about the indigenous Sami people and their culture, the science and myth of the Northern Lights, the Viking era, and the nature and wildlife in Northern Norway in general.

Tromso Museum
The Tromso Museum

There is also a big screen at the museum showing different films about the Northern Lights, how the mountains and landscape of Tromso and Northern Norway were formed, and glaciers.  It is educational and a great place to visit for both grown-ups and kids.

You can even see a recreation of the famous Northern Lights Terella, originally built by the famous Norwegian scientist Birkeland. Birkeland was the first scientist to do research on the Northern Lights. He managed to find out what causes the Northern Lights and he recreated the Northern Lights in a glass Terella around the year 1900.

The Terella is a metal sphere with a magnetic field hung in a vacuum chamber. You can make Northern Lights yourself in this Terella, which is pretty cool and a great way to understand what makes the Northern Lights.

All exhibitions have posters and explanations in English. Tromso Museum also has a nice gift shop at the exit.

  • Opening hours summer (1st of June – 31st of August): 09:00 – 18:00
  • Opening hours winter (1st of September – 31st of May): 10:00 – 16:30 Mondays – Fridays, 12:00 – 15:00 Saturdays, 11:00 – 16:00 Sundays
  • Closed 1st of May, 17th of May, 24th, and 25th of December
  • Ticket price: 70 kr adult/ 35 kr child (7-18 years old), children under 7 years old goes for free
  • How to get there: You can walk from downtown Tromso (45 min), or you can take bus no. 37 towards “Rostbakken”
  • Tromso Museum`s Webpage

Northern Norway Art Museum

If you’re interested in art, you can also consider stopping by the Northern Norway Art Museum. The exhibitions on display vary. Check their web page to get an overview of what`s on display.

  • Opening hours: 10:00 – 16:00
  • Ticket price: 80 kr for adults, free for students and children below 18 years old
  • How to get there: You can easily walk, it is located in downtown Tromso, address: Sjøgata 1
  • Northern Norway Art Museum`s Webpage

Tromso Kunstforening (Contemporary Art Gallery)

Set in a stunning old bright yellow and white building (just opposite the road from Polaria), the Tromso Kunstforening has great exhibitions of newer and experimental contemporary art. They aim to create reflection and discussion about art. The beautiful building dating from 1924 is well worth a visit in itself.

  • Opening hours: Wednesday – Sunday: 12:00 – 17:00. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • Ticket price: Free
  • How to get there: Just walk, located close to Polaria, in the south end of downtown Tromso
  • Tromso Kunstforening´s Webpage

Perspektivet Photo Museum

Perspektivet is a fantastic photo museum with a photo archive containing over 500 000 photos! The Perspektivet Museum is a great place to get an impression of how Tromso city has changed over the years from 1900 and up till today, both when it comes to buildings, people, and fashion. Photos from some of Northern Norway’s most famous photographers are on display here.

  • Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 10:00 – 16:00, Saturday and Sunday 11:00 – 17:00
  • Ticket price: Free
  • How to get there: Just walk to Storgata 95 (downtown Tromso, next to the main square)
  • Perspektivet Museum`s Webpage

The Best Things To Do In Tromso In Winter

1. Northern Lights

♦ Season: September, October, November, December, January, February, March & April

Tromso is famous for being one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights is sometimes so strong that you can even see it in the downtown of Tromso or from your hotel window. But it will be more intense if you head out of town to areas where there are hardly any houses and no artificial lighting like street lights.

Witnessing the Northern Lights dancing across the sky is an incredible sight and something everyone should experience once in their lifetime. Since the sun never rises above the horizon in Tromso from the 21st of November until the 21st of January, these are the best months to see the Northern Lights.

Northern Lights
Northern Lights in Ersfjord in Tromso

There are many different ways to experience the Northern Lights, here are the best Northern Lights tours in Tromso (in my opinion):

Northern Lights Tour In Tromso

I recommend that you join a Northern Lights Tour. Then your chances of seeing the Northern Lights are the biggest as these tour operators and guides really chase the Aurora and drive you all around Northern Norway and sometimes across the border to Northern Finland or Sweden in order to find the Northern Lights. They are skilled and are highly experienced in reading the weather forecast and the Northern Lights forecast, and can predict where the best chance of seeing the dancing lights is.

This 7-hour small-group Northern Lights Tour is one of the best, and the one that I recommend. This tour includes a small meal, hot coffee/ tea, warm thermal clothes/ suits, warm winter boots, and pick-up and drop-off at Radisson Blu Hotel in the center of Tromso.

They take you to the mountains, fjords, and valleys outside of Tromso, and sometimes across the border to Finland or Sweden (so bring your passport). The actual route depends on weather conditions and where clear skies can be found. You also get to borrow tripods for your camera/ mobile phone for free as this will give you the best photos. The guide will also take photos during the trip that you will get after. And the best of it all, they make a cozy bonfire for you to sit around and warm yourself. Really great, as trust me, it gets incredibly cold standing out in the snow watching and waiting for the Northern Lights.
Click here for the latest prices on our recommended Northern Lights Tour 

Northern Lights Dog Sledding Tour

♦ Season: November, December, January, February, March & April

If you are like me and love dogs, then dog sledding is something you just H-A-V-E to do! It is amazing, and even better is combining it with the Northern Lights. To slide through the peaceful wilderness surrounded by mountains and fjords, only hearing the soft dog paws gently running on the snow while the colorful Northern Lights is dancing across the sky over your head is beyond this world experience.

This dog sledding and Northern Lights trip takes you through the beautiful mountain-covered landscape on Kvaloya (Whale Island). The trip includes transport to and from the husky camp (pick up at Radisson Blu Hotel in downtown Tromso) and a one-hour dog sledding ride.

After the dog sledding, you get to cuddle with the furry and friendly huskies (especially the husky pups are adorable! ♥) and sit inside the big lavvo (Sami-inspired tent) around the campfire. Here you will be served a delicious hot meal of Bacalao (stockfish in tomato sauce, vegetarian options as well). The total time of this tour is approximately four hours (including transport and eating). You get to borrow warm winter shoes and warm insulated thermal suits so you will not freeze.
Click here for information and the latest prices on the Dog Sledding Northern Lights Tour

Northern Lights Sailing Tour (4,5 hours)

♦ Season: September, October, November, December, January, February & March

The combination of a fjord cruise and watching the Northern Lights is unbeatable! Out on the sea, inside a warm comfortable boat, you get to see some exceptional surroundings of fjords, mountains, and Northern Lights as there is no artificial lighting in your surroundings. So the experience of the Northern Lights will be amazing and unique and something that you will remember for the rest of your life!

On this trip, you will glide through the beautiful fjords surrounding Tromso on a luxurious catamaran. The boat is anchored right by Scandic Ishavshotellet in downtown Tromso, and the trip takes about three to four hours. Inside the warm and cozy boat, you will get hot drinks and snacks, and get to talk to an experienced guide and skipper that will tell you all about the Northern Lights and the nature that you sail through. You get to wear warm and comfortable safety suits and can sit outside or inside and watch the Northern Lights. This fjord cruise is a totally peaceful experience as there is no engine noise, only sails.
Click here for information and the latest prices on the Northern Lights Sailing Tour

Northern Lights Snowmobile Tour

♦ Season: December, January, February & March

If you have a need for speed, then an evening snowmobile trip while the Northern Lights are dancing across the sky might be right up your alley.

Just outside of Tromso, in the valley Tamokdalen, is a snowmobile wilderness center called Camp Tamok (a 75-min drive from Tromso). Tamokdalen is inland and the chances of getting a clear sky to see the Northern Lights is much higher here than on the coast where Tromso city is located. Inland the weather is drier and more stable. Also, in this uninhabited area of Tamokdalen, no artificial lights will disturb your Northern Lights experience or your attempts to capture the lights with your camera.

This evening snowmobile tour includes transport from Tromso. They will pick you up at Scandic Ishavshotel at 16:45, and you will return here at 23:45. You don´t have to know anything about how to ride a snowmobile to join this tour, as your English speaking snowmobile guide will teach you everything. Included in this tour is also a hot meal, warmly insulated bodysuits, boots, gloves, headwear, and a headlamp.
Click here for information on the Northern Lights Snowmobile Tour (cross the Evening excursion at the bottom of the page)

Northern Lights Reindeer Tour

♦ Season: December, January, February & March

Who doesn´t want to meet Santa´s Rudolf the Reindeer live and in person?! To go reindeer sledding, feed the reindeer, and cuddle with these calm and friendly Arctic animals is an amazing and once-in-a-lifetime experience! And to combine it with watching the Northern Lights makes it is even more unique!

On this Reindeer Sledding Evening Trip, you also get to meet and learn about the Sami people, the indigenous people of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia, and their culture of herding reindeers. You will get a traditional Sami meal called Bidos (a reindeer soup), or you can choose a fish soup or vegetable soup, and a Joik performance (a very special traditional Sami folk song kind of….) in a Lavvo (Sami tent) with a bonfire. The transport from and to Tromso city is included, and they will pick you up at Scandic Ishavshotel at 18:45 and you are back at midnight.
Click here for information and the latest prices on the Northern Lights Reindeer Tour

Seeing The Northern Lights On Your Own – DIY Trips

If you don´t plan on renting a car, and you don´t want to join a Northern Lights Tour, there are some places close to the downtown of Tromso where you get a little bit away from the street lights so you can see the Northern Lights better. Some of the best places are (you can walk, take a bus or taxi there):

  • The Cable Car (see no. 1 on this list of The Best Things To Do All Year Round In Tromso)
  • Prestvannet just above the downtown of Tromso (a 20 min walk uphill)
  • Telegrafbukta Beach at Sydspissen, just south of downtown (a 40 min walk)
  • Kvaloya (Whale Island), take bus no. 42 to Storelv or Kaldfjord and walk around, or bus no. 425 to Ersfjord

There are several web pages and apps where you can check the probability of Northern Lights in different areas. We like this one: https://norway-lights.com/#tromso

2. Whale Watching Fjord Tour

Over the last five years or so, whales and dolphins like humpback whales, fin whales, and killer whales (orcas), have been entering the fjords around Tromso city in great numbers to feed on herring fish. A whole industry of Whale Watching safaris and boat trips have appeared and a whale-watching trip is one of the highlights during the autumn and winter months from November until February.

Check this amazing whale video by our friend Anders Schürmann:

If you are lucky you can see a lot of whales jumping, splashing, and hunting for fish, as well as other Arctic animals like seals and sea eagles. The whale watching season is usually between October until February.

Whale Watching Safari Cruise From Tromso (5-6 hours)

♦ Season: October, November, December & January

This 5-6-hour safari cruise takes you through the beautiful fjords surrounding Tromso. Here you will have a once-in-a-lifetime up-close experience with the arctic wildlife of Northern Norway, like different sorts of whales (hopefully) – humpback whale, orca, harbor porpoise, and fin whales, plus sea eagles, seals, and many different birds.

This tour starts at 09:00 (9 am) in the morning, so you will experience the special blue arctic light that is on during the dark period (no sun at all in December and January).
Click here for information on the Whale Watching Safari Cruise From Tromso 

3. Reindeer Feeding & Sledding

Tripadvisor and its readers have highlighted Reindeer Feeding as one of the absolute best experiences in Tromso!

I totally agree, who doesn´t want to feed and cuddle with Santa´s Rudolph the reindeer? 🙂 Reindeer are totally adorable and cute animals, and so peaceful and friendly. Their main hobby is simply to eat a plant called “Reinlav” in Norwegian (sorry, I don´t know the English word for it….you can see pictures of it here on Wikipedia).

Most reindeer in Norway are tame, and not wild, owned by Sami families (Norwegians are not allowed to own reindeer in Northern Norway). There are hardly any wild reindeer left in Norway, only in some mountain areas in the south part of Norway (like Hardangervidda). The Sami people have tamed the reindeer and now herd them as farmers do with sheep and cows. But the reindeer are a bit shy. So even though they are tame, they will most likely not approach you for a cuddle. But they will not run away either as wild ones do.

If you go to Kvaloya (Whale Island, take bus no. 42 or drive there), you will have a good chance of spotting reindeer. But to be guaranteed to see reindeer, and actually get to feed them and go reindeer sledding, you should join a tour:

Reindeer Feeding And Reindeer Sledding Day Tour

♦ Season: December, January, February, March & April

This Reindeer Sledding Day Trip takes you to a reindeer camp just outside of Tromso. Here you will get to see the reindeer up close, cuddle with them, and feed them their favorite food Reinlav. You will also be invited to sit in a traditional Sami tent called a Lavvo where you sit around a campfire, and you will have a warm meal of soup (you can choose between Bidos, the traditional Sami reindeer soup, fish soup, or vegetable soup). Here you will also get to enjoy a performance of Joik, a unique and traditional Sami song, as well as learn how to throw a Lasso, and hear about Sami culture and their way of life.

Transport is included and they will pick you up by bus at 09:15 a.m. at Scandic Ishavshotell in downtown Tromso. The drive out to the reindeer camp is beautiful in itself as you will get a guided sightseeing trip inland through some scenic mountain landscape with awesome fjord and mountain views. The whole trip takes six hours in total, including transport from and to Tromso. This reindeer tour is suitable for everyone, even children, and you don´t have to know anything about reindeer sledding to join the tour.
Click here for more information and the latest prices on the Reindeer Feeding and Sledding Day Tour

Northern Lights Reindeer Feeding and Reindeer Sledding Evening Tour

♦ Season: December, January, February & March

On this Reindeer Sledding Evening Trip, you will get to not only go reindeer sledding and cuddle and feed the reindeer but also watch the spectacular Northern Lights!  A killer combination if you ask me! 🙂

You will also get to meet and hear about the Sami people, the indigenous people of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia, and their unique culture. You will be served a traditional Sami meal of reindeer soup, or you can choose a fish soup or vegetable soup, and sit inside the Lavvo (a traditional Sami tent) around the warm and cozy bonfire. During the evening you will also get to enjoy a Joik performance (a special traditional Sami folk song). The transport from and back to Tromso city is included in the tour, and they will pick you up at Scandic Ishavshotel at 18:45 p.m. and you are back in Tromso around midnight. As you drive inland through the beautiful snow-covered mountain and fjord landscape, you will also get to see the Northern Lights from the bus (if the sky is clear….).
Click here for information and the latest prices on the Northern Lights Reindeer Tour

4. Dog Sledding

I simply love Husky dogs! I have had Siberian Huskies all my life, five altogether, so for me, nothing is more fun than dog sledding. I highly recommend it! And if you are lucky, you will see the northern lights while being pulled on a sled by 6-8 Huskies and the only thing you hear is the small dog paws running gently in the snow.

Dog sledding is an amazing way to experience Tromso’s wilderness and if you are lucky you can see the Northern Lights.

Dog Sledding in Tromso Nowary
Dog sledding on Kvaloya (Whale Island) in Tromso in January

There are several great dog sledding companies in and around Tromso, with Active Tromso and Tromso Wilderness Center as the ones closest to Tromso.

Here is a selection of our recommended dog sledding tours in Tromso, depending on how many hours you want to be on the sled, and if you want to stand on the sled yourself or you prefer to just sit in the sled while an experienced guide runs the dog sled.

Self-Drive Arctic Dog Sledding Excursion In Tromso
(4 hours in total, 1-hour dog sledding)

♦ Season: November, December, January, February, March & April

If you want to go dog sledding close to Tromso, with no long transport to get to the husky camp, then this is the perfect option. The bus drive is only 25 min each way from downtown Tromso. You can choose what time you want to start – 07:30, 08:30, 09:30, or 10:30.

This dog sledding tour is for those of you above 16 years old that have an ok fitness level. Here you will get the ultimate dog sledding experience as you will be driving the dogs yourself and learn how to dog sled for real. No previous dog sledding experience is required as the experienced guides will teach you everything you need to know and be with you on the whole trip with their own sled.

This tour starts at  Radisson Blu Hotel in downtown Tromso, where you will be picked up by bus. After a 25-min bus ride, you will get to the husky camp in Kvaloya where you get to meet your team of husky dogs and dressed up in a warm and comfortable dog musher outfit. You will be teamed up with another person (a friend or family member if you are two or more people), so you are two on each sled, being pulled by 5-7 husky dogs. You can then switch halfway or whenever you get tired and need a rest in the sled.

You will then hit the slope and go dog sledding for about 45-60 min (4 km) through a stunning arctic snow-covered landscape. Peacefully gliding through this winter wonderland is magical and such a fantastic experience!

After the dog sledding, you get to enjoy warm Bidos – a delicious local reindeer meat soup with vegetables (they can provide vegetarian meals as well if you let them know upfront) while relaxing inside the cozy lavvo sitting around the bonfire. The tour ends with the bus driving you back to Radisson Blu Hotel.
Click here for more information and the latest prices on the full day Dog Sledding Tour

Arctic Morning Dog Sledding Excursion In Tromso – Passenger In The Sled
(4 hours in total, 1-hour dog sledding)

♦ Season: November, December, January, February, March & April

This is similar to the dog sledding tour above, except that here you will not be standing on the sled yourself running the dogs. On this tour, you will be comfortable sitting in the sled as a passenger while the husky dogs pull you through the Arctic landscape. An experienced musher and guide will be standing on the sled and control the dogs.

This tour is most suited for guests who want a more relaxed dog sledding experience. It is perfect if you want to concentrate on taking pictures or filming, or if you have children below 16 years old, are elderly, or are out of shape.
Click here for more information and the latest prices on the full day Dog Sledding Tour

Full-Day Arctic Dog Sledding Day Or Evening Expedition
(7-8 hours in total, 2 hours dog sledding)

♦ Season: November, December, January, February & March

This full-day dog sledding tour takes you through the breathtaking nature of fjords and mountains in the valley Vassdal just outside of Tromso. If you are lucky, you will get to see some wildlife along the way, like moose, reindeer, fox, hare, and eagles.

The tour includes bus transport from downtown Tromso to Camp Tamok and back to Tromso city, a 1,5-hour drive one way. The guided bus trip to Camp Tamok is stunning in itself and takes you through the scenic fjord and mountain landscape that surrounds Tromso. The tour lasts for eight hours in total, including transport, dog sledding, and lunch/ dinner.

You have the option to choose either a day dog sledding tour or an evening dog sledding tour (with the chance of seeing the Northern Lights):

– Day Dog Sledding Tour – Pick up at Scandic Ishavshotel at 09:00 in the morning. You will be back at your hotel around 16:00 (4 pm).

– Evening Dog Sledding Tour- Pick up at Scandic Ishavshotel at 17:00 in the afternoon. You will be back at your hotel around midnight.

You don´t have to have any experience with dogs or dog sledding to join this trip. But you should be in a general ok physical shape as you will be handling the dog sled yourself. You will be teamed up with another person. So there are two people on each sled, one passenger that sits in the sled, and one driver/ musher. Then you will switch (if you want) along the way. There will be a professional English-speaking musher guide looking after you and help you along the way. You get to borrow warm and comfortable winter boots and insulated suits but wear wool or fleece underwear.

The trails you follow have a total distance of approximately 10-12 km, and you will be on the sled for about 1,5-2 hours.

After the thrilling dog sledding ride, you will return back to Camp Tamok and relax in a warm and cozy Lavvo (Sami tent) and sit around the bonfire. Here you will be served a hot meal with tea and coffee. You will also get to cuddle and say hi to the Huskies. The Huskies are extremely friendly and love a cuddle! Especially the Husky puppies are soooooo cute! 🙂
Click here for more information and the latest prices on the full day Dog Sledding Tour

Dog Sledding Day Excursion In Tromsø
(5,5 hours in total, 2 hours dog sledding)

♦ Season: November, December, January, February & March (when there is snow)

This dog sledding day excursion takes place at Breivikeidet, a 30 min drive from downtown Tromso. You get picked up at Scandic Ishavshotel at 09:15 in the morning and will return to Tromso city at 15:00 (3 pm) in the afternoon.

You will be dog sledding through a scenic landscape of fjords and mountains and drive your own team of Alaskan Huskies for about two hours. After the dog sledding, you will return back to camp where you will be served a delicious hot lunch including tea and coffee.
Click here for more information and the latest prices on the Dog Sledding Day Excursion Tour

Northern Lights Dog Sledding Evening Tour
(4 hours in total, 1-hour dog sledding)

♦ Season: November, December, January, February & March (when there is snow)

Picture yourself gliding through the snow-covered wilderness of mountains, valleys, and fjords, while the only sound you hear is the soft dog paws gently running on the snow. Above your head, the colorful Northern Lights is dancing across the sky. Sounds magical, right?! If you want to experience this, then this Arctic Evening Dogsledding Excursion is the one to join!

This evening dog sledding and Northern Lights tour takes you through the beautiful mountain-and-fjord-covered landscape on Kvaloya (Whale Island). The tour includes transport to and from the husky camp Tromso Wilderness Center, dinner, and a one-hour dog sledding ride (the track is 4 km long). You will be picked up at Radisson Blu Hotel in downtown Tromso at 18:15/ 6:15 pm, and return back to Tromso at 22:00/ 10 pm in the evening.

You don´t have to know anything about dogs or dog sledding to join this tour as the excellent English-speaking dog mushing guides will teach you everything you need to know! You will also get to borrow all the warm clothes and shoes that are necessary for you to have a fun and comfortable dog sledding ride.

You can also choose to just sit on board the sled and not mush the huskies yourself. This sit-in-the-sled option is suitable for small children (under 4 years of age goes for free), the elderly, and those unfit or with mobility problems.

After the dog sledding, you get to cuddle with the 300 (!) furry and friendly huskies (the husky puppies are adorable! ♥). When you return back to camp after the dog sledding, you will sit inside the warm and cozy Lavvo (Sami inspired tent) around the campfire and have a hot meal of Bacalao (stockfish in tomato sauce, vegetarian options as well). The total time of this tour is approximately four hours (including transport and eating). This is the ultimate combination of the best experiences that Tromso has to offer; Northern Lights and dog sledding!
Click here for information and the latest prices on the Dog Sledding Northern Lights Evening Tour

Me on a self-drive Dog Sledding Tour In Tromso
Me on a self-drive dog sledding tour in Tromso

Full-Day Dog Sledding Expedition In Tromsø
(Whole Day, 4-6 hours dog sledding)

♦ Season: March & April

To get the best dog sledding experience and a real hang of it, you should join this Full Day Arctic Dog Sledding Expedition where you will get to enjoy 4-6 hours on the dog sled through the stunning Arctic nature.

You will get to handle and mush your own team of Alaskan Huskies, supported by a professional and experienced dog musher guide that will help you and teach you how to go dog sledding. During this whole day out in the wilderness, you will truly experience the stunning arctic nature and wildlife on Kvaløya Island. You will be dog sledding through valleys surrounded by steep mountains and beautiful fjords.

Back in camp, you will be served a delicious traditional warm meal called Bidos (a stew made of reindeer meat and vegetables), tea and coffee, and chocolate cake for dessert. You will enjoy your meal in a warm and cozy Lavvu (Sami tent) in front of the bonfire.

No previous dog sledding experience is needed but the tour requires good physical shape.
Click here for more information and the latest prices on the Full-Day Dog Sledding Expedition In Tromso

Over-Night Dog Sledding Tours
(2-6 days)

♦ Season: March & April

If a dog sledding day trip is not enough, you can become a real pro-dog sledding musher and join a multi-day tour. On these tours, you will sleep in the wilderness in a tent or cabin. A real wilderness experience!

5. Snowmobile Tour

If you love speed and a bit of action, then you should sign up for a snowmobile trip! Snowmobile driving is not allowed everywhere in Norway (like it is in Sweden and Finland), so you can only drive a snowmobile on dedicated snowmobile tracks. Just outside of Tromso(a 75-min drive), in the valley Tamokdalen, is a wilderness center called Camp Tamok where they organize snowmobile tours among other activities.

Tamokdalen is a beautiful valley surrounded by steep mountains located inland. Here the climate is different from Tromso, and the chance of getting a clear sky to see the Northern Lights is better than on the coast where Tromso city is located. Inland the weather, in general, is much drier, more stable, and colder. Also, Tamokdalen is inhabited so no artificial lights will disturb your Northern Lights experience or your attempts to capture the lights with your camera.

At Camp Tamok you can choose between a snowmobile day trip or an evening trip:

Snowmobile Day Tour
(6 hours)

♦ Season: December, January, February & March

On this Snowmobile Excursion In Tromso Day Tour, you will get picked up at Scandic Ishavshotel in downtown Tromso at 08:45 in the morning, driven to Tamokdalen by a bus/ minibus, and be back in Tromso at around 15:45 in the afternoon. The drive inland to Tamokdalen (75 min) is stunning and a sightseeing trip in itself where you will see some of the best parts of Northern Norway! Along the way, you will have beautiful views of fjords, valleys, and snow-covered mountains.

When you arrive at the Camp Tamok Wilderness Center, you will get to borrow all the warm clothes and shoes that is necessary for you to have a comfortable snowmobile ride (including an insulated suit, warm shoes, headwear, helmet, gloves, and a headlamp). You don´t have to know anything about driving a snowmobile as they will go through all the safety instructions and practical demonstrations so that you are fit to drive.

Once you are all geared up and have learned how to drive a snowmobile, you will start driving, two people on each snowmobile (one driver and one passenger sitting behind the driver). You will then switch along the trip so that you both can drive a bit (if you want).

You will drive through the beautiful Finn Valley surrounded by tall mountains where you start at 250 m above sea level. You will drive 15 km through the valley up to 900 m to the ice-covered lake Finn. On the ice-covered lake, you can put on quite a speed on your snowmobile and you will really feel the adrenaline pumping! Great fun! 🙂 The snowmobile driving will last for 2-2,5 hours and you will cover 30 km in total. If you want, you can also go ice fishing on the lake.

The pros of joining the day tour instead of the evening tour are that due to the daylight you get to see the stunning mountain nature and surroundings that you drive through. On the evening tour, it is dark outside, so you will not see that much of the surrounding nature (although you have a headlamp and a light on the snowmobile of course). But then again, you get the opportunity to see the stunning Northern Lights on the evening trip!

After the snowmobile trip, when you are back in the camp, you will sit down inside the cozy and warm Lavvu (traditional Sami tent) around a bonfire. Here you will be served a hot meal and coffee.
Click here for information and the latest prices on the Snowmobile Day Tour (cross the Daytime excursion at the bottom of the page)

Snowmobile + Tromso Ice Domes Tour
(7 hours)

You can also combine this snowmobile day trip with a guided visit to the Tromso Ice Domes. The ice domes are also located in camp Tamok Wilderness Center where you will start and end your snowmobile trip. So it is very convenient to do both, and it will save you some money as well!

This combination tour will last for seven hours in total (you add one extra hour due to the guided Ice Domes visit).
Click here for information and the latest prices on the Snowmobile Day Tour and Tromso Ice Domes Visit

Northern Lights Snowmobile Evening Tour
(7 hours)

The other option is to join the evening snowmobile tour. Then they will pick you up at Scandic Ishavshotel at 16:45, and you will return here around midnight.

The tour in itself is the same as the day tour (see the description above). The only difference is that it will be dark outside and (hopefully) amazing Northern Lights dancing in the sky above your head.
Click here for information and the latest prices on the Northern Lights Snowmobile Tour (cross the Evening excursion at the bottom of the page)

Snowmobile Day Tour Through Norway, Finland, and Sweden
(10 hours)

♦ Season: December, January, February, March & April

This Snowmobile Day Adventure Through Norway, Finland, and Sweden is the ultimate snowmobile trip of your life! Here you get to see the breathtaking wildness of the three Nordic countries, through snow-covered valleys, forests, lakes, and mountains. You will never forget this trip!

You get picked up early in the morning at 07:00 a.m. in downtown Tromso and go on a scenic drive (2,5 hours) by bus through fjords and valleys to the small village Kilpisjärvi in Finland. Here you will get all the clothes (insulated suits, warm shoes, helmet, face mask) you need to feel warm and comfortable on this snowmobile trip. Then it is on to thorough safety instruction and demonstration of how to drive a snowmobile. They will teach you everything you need to know, so you don´t have to know anything about snowmobiles to join this trip. You will either drive a snowmobile on your own or be paired up with another person (a driver and a passenger) where you can switch along the way on the driving.

When you are back in camp in Kilpisjärvi, you will have a warm tasty lunch around a cozy bonfire, before the bus drives you back to Tromso. This is a fun and unique opportunity to see a bit of the beautiful nature of all the three Nordic countries; Norway, Finland, and Sweden.
Click here for information and the latest prices on the Snowmobile Day Tour Through Norway, Finland, and Sweden

Obs! No driver’s license is required to drive a snowmobile, but the driver of the snowmobile must be at least 18 years old (the passengers can be younger, however).

6. Snowshoeing Hike

Snowshoeing has become more and more popular in Tromso. Several mountains in Tromso are perfect for snowshoeing hikes, offering some spectacular views of the fjords and mountains surrounding Tromso city.

You can go on snowshoeing hikes on your own, and rent equipment at Tromsø Outdoor. 

Especially if you are renting a car, you can easily get out of town to go hiking. If you don´t plan on renting a car, then basically your only options are the mountains: Rødtind (bus no. 42), Fløya (bus no. 26 or walk over the bridge), and the mountains close to Ersfjord (bus no. 425).

Kvaloya
Me enjoying the view at a snowshoeing trip on Kvaloya

The best option in my opinion, however, is to join a snowshoeing tour where you get to borrow snowshoes and poles, and a guide will drive you to a great place for snowshoeing hikes and guide you all the way. Here are the snowshoeing tours that we recommend:

Snowshoeing Day Tour
(4 hours)

♦ Season: December, January, February, March & April

One great snowshoeing tour is this 4-hour Arctic Snowshoeing Excursion in Tromsø where you will hike through some stunning areas on Kvaloya (Whale Island) surrounded by mountains and fjord views. If you are lucky, you will also see some Arctic wildlife like eagles, moose, and reindeer on your hike. This snowshoeing hike is suitable for everyone, even children, also if it is your first time snowshoeing.

You get to borrow all the equipment necessary for the hike, like snowshoes, poles, and insulated suits. Included in this trip is also a hot meal, hot and cold drinks, as well as transport (they will pick you up at 11:00 a.m. at Radisson Blu Hotel in downtown Tromso).
Click here for information and the latest prices on the Snowshoeing Hiking Tour
(You can choose between a day trip or an evening trip)

Northern Lights Snowshoeing Evening Tour
(5 hours)

If you want to combine snowshoeing with watching the Northern Lights, this five hours Evening Northern Lights Experience with Snowshoeing near Tromsø is awesome! You will also have a traditional Norwegian dinner during the snowshoeing hike.

You are provided with everything you need on this trip; snowshoes, poles, and a headlamp, as well as transport, dinner, and a friendly guide.
Click here for information and the latest prices on the Northern Lights Snowshoeing Tour

7. Tromso Ice Domes

♦ Season: December, January, February & March

Located in Tamokdalen, a 75-min drive inland from Tromso, the unique and beautiful Tromso Ice Domes is well worth a visit! And yes, the domes are entirely built of ice and snow, even the bar, restaurant, and hotel! Super cool (and a bit cold, hehe)! 🙂

Overnight Stay At Tromso Ice Domes Hotel

If you want to stay at a unique and memorable Arctic accommodation, you can even spend the night in the Ice Domes! A night at the Tromso Ice Domes Hotel will for sure be a once-in-a-lifetime winter adventure that you will never forget!

Included in this overnight stay is transport from and back to Tromso (a 75 min drive each way), stay in a double room, a guide for your entire stay, guided snowshoeing and Northern Lights trip, dinner cooked over an open fire, a non-alcoholic drink at the ice bar, breakfast the next morning, and warm clothes and equipment needed. You can book extras like helicopter transfer, dog sledding trip, reindeer feeding, and reindeer sledding trip, and snowmobile safari.

You get picked up at Clarion Hotel The Edge in downtown Tromso at 17:00 in the afternoon and will arrive at the Ice Domes at 18:30 where you will be greeted by your personal guide for your entire stay. You will be going on a guided snowshoeing trip in the evening, and hopefully see some spectacular Northern Lights, before having a delicious dinner cooked on an open fire. At night you will be warm and comfortable sleeping on a mattress covered in reindeer skin. The double bed in your room is surrounded by an ice frame, but the actual bed that you sleep on is, however, not made of ice (or it would melt and you would be really cold and wet… 🙂 ). So don´t worry, you will not freeze to death during the night! It is actually quite warm inside the ice rooms.

The next morning you will be served a delicious breakfast at 08:00, and you can go for a walk in the beautiful surroundings, or join a dog sledding, snowmobile, or reindeer sledding/ feeding tour. If you are satisfied, however, and don´t want to go on any trip, you can head back to Tromso with the bus at 09:00 a.m. This is a real and memorable winter wonderland adventure!
Click here for information and the latest prices on an overnight stay at Tromso Ice Domes Hotel

Tromso Ice Domes & Dog Sledding, Snowshoe Hiking, Reindeer Feeding, or Snowmobile

To get the ultimate arctic wildlife experience, you can combine a visit to the Tromso Ice Domes with the following activities:

All these activities are located in the same valley outside Tromso – Tamokdalen. If you only have a few days in Tromso and want to experience as much as possible, then a combination tour like the three above is excellent.

8. Frozen Fjord Tour

♦ Season: October, November, December, January, February & March

There are several fjords surrounding Tromso city, but only a few of them are covered by ice during winter. On this tour, you get to enjoy a warm and comfortable fjord sailing cruise to one of these frozen fjords, Balsfjord.

The arctic landscape is truly beautiful as the ice breaker sailboat glides through the ice of the fjord and you get a spectacular view of the mountains surrounding the fjord. You will also get to see arctic wildlife like sea eagles.

This is the only ice breaker boat in Tromso, so it is a unique and only chance of seeing a frozen fjord in Tromso. The captain of this boat is a former Coast Guard Sea Captain, so you are in good hands and are totally safe.

Along the trip, you will learn about landmarks, history, wildlife, and the local environment. You will be served some delicious traditional Norwegian and Sami cuisine made from scratch with local produce in the warm and cozy salon aboard the sailing boat. This frozen fjord cruise takes about five hours in total, and you get picked up and dropped off in downtown Tromso.
Click here for information and the latest prices on a Frozen Fjord Cruise

9. Skiing

Tromso is surrounded by some of the best mountains for skiing in Norway, and there are usually excellent conditions from November till May.

Skiing Tromso
Me skiing at the mountain Kjolen on Kvaloya (Whale Island)

Kvaloya Island (a 10-minute drive from downtown Tromso) has the best mountains for skiing close to Tromso. If you want an easy mountain skiing trip, that is easily accessible by bus, then I also recommend that you head to Rødtind (bus no. 42).

Kattfjordeidet is also a very popular skiing area, nicknamed “Little Chamonix” by us locals, with several great mountains for skiing.

The Lyngen Alps is another great area just outside of Tromso (1,5 hours by car including a ferry). The mountains here are spectacular, steep, tall, and go straight down into the fjords.

Do, however, be aware of the danger of avalanches as sadly almost every year people get killed by avalanches in the mountains on Kvaloya or the Lyngen Alps. You should also have the clothes, skiing equipment, and excellent skiing skills if you plan to head up into some of these mountains. I have skied the highest mountain in the Lyngen Alps, Jiehkkevarri, and it was pretty challenging even for me who have been skiing my whole life. So I would say that Lyngen is for more advanced skiers.

Cross-country Skiing Tour/ Course

♦ Season: December, January, February, March & April

If you have never been skiing before, or want to work on your skiing skills, you should join this excellent and fun cross-country skiing tour. This awesome cross-country skiing tour is for all levels, and you don´t have to know anything about skiing to join! The experienced and helpful guide will teach you everything you need to know to become an excellent skier.

Along the way, you will enjoy the beautiful nature Tromso has to offer and enjoy it in a fun way and at the same time get some great exercise. The perfect combination! This skiing trip takes 5 to 6 hours (including transport), and is great fun! The tour includes skiing gear, transport from and to Tromso city (they will pick you up at Scandic Ishavshotell in downtown Tromso at 09:15), as well as food and drinks.
Click here for information and the latest prices on Cross-country Skiing Tour

Cross-country skiing in Lysloypa
Me and my dog Varga cross-country skiing in Lysloypa on Kvaloya (Whale Island)

If you know how to ski and want to go skiing on your own, there are some great cross-country skiing opportunities and conditions in Tromso. On top of Tromsoya is the “Lysløypa”, which is a trail with perfect cross-country skiing tracks that are lit by street lights. There are also great cross-country skiing trails on Kvaloya (take bus no. 42 to Storelva) and Tromsdalen. Here is a map of the cross-country skiing tracks in Tromso. You can rent skis and other ski-equipment at Tromso Outdoor.

Ski & Sail Tour

♦ Season: March & April

Ski & Sail tours to Lyngen, Senja, and Lofoten have become really popular lately. This is where you stay and live onboard a sailboat while you do hikes to different mountains along the fjords and coast each day.

This 3-day Ski & Sail Tour gives you the option to either go northbound (from Svolvær to Tromsø) or southbound (from Tromsø to Svolvær). You will ski on the mountains along the way and see the amazing Arctic nature and wildlife that Northern Norway has to offer. If you are lucky you will get to ski under the Northern Lights, which is an amazing experience! All meals and sleeping on the boat are included. You can also rent skis and gear.
Click here for information and the latest prices on Ski & Sail Tours


The Best Things To Do In Tromso In Summer

1. Midnight Sun

♦ Midnight Sun Season in Tromso: 20th of May – 22nd of July

The long summer nights where the sun never sets are the most unique and best things of the summertime in Northern Norway in my opinion.

Midnight Sun
Midnight Sun in Grotfjord

It is kind of magical when the sky is on fire of a mix of yellow, orange, pink, and red it never gets dark. You just want to stay up all night, have a bonfire on the beach or go hiking in the mountains. I`m pretty sure that people living in Northern Norway sleep half as much in summer as they do in winter.

There are several great ways to enjoy the Midnight Sun:

Midnight Sun Fjord Sailing (3 hours)

♦ Season: May, June, July & August

One of the best ways to enjoy the midnight sun is to be out on the sea and go sailing through the fjords that surround Tromso. On this three hours Midnight Sun Fjord Sailing Tour you will peacefully sail through the fjords of Tromso on a luxurious catamaran while enjoying the golden soaked landscape of mountains, islands, and fjords. If you are lucky, you can even see seals, eagles, and other Arctic birds.

You will be provided with all the equipment you need and an experienced and professional skipper and guide, so you don´t have to know anything about sailing. The catamaran is anchored up by the Scandic Ishavshotel right in downtown Tromso, and you will leave at 22:00 in the evening.
Click here for information and the latest prices on the Midnight Sun Fjord Sailing Tour

Midnightsun
Midnight sun at Sommaroy island

If you don´t want to join a tour and go out by yourself, the best place to see the midnight sun is on the mountain Floya on the mainland (take the cable car or walk up), and the outside of the island Kvaloya like Sommaroy or Grotfjord.

2. Sailing Trip Around Tromso

♦ Season: June, July, August & September

Tromso is called the arctic gateway and is located on an island. The best way to explore the nature and surroundings of Tromso is by boat.

On this tour, you get to sail onboard a fully-manned two-mast monohull boat and explore the hidden beaches and tidal inlets of Tromso. This is a 4-hour evening sailing trip, where you leave from downtown Tromso by boat at 17:00/ 5 pm. You will be back in Tromso at around 21:00/ 9 pm.

Due to the Midnight Sun, it sun never sets so the evenings and nights are like bright daylight. You get to fully enjoy the beauty of the arctic landscape, the atmosphere, and the wildlife as the sailboat silently glides through the fjords. You will be served warm tea and local delicacies, and get to learn about wildlife, arctic nature, and sightseeing spots along the way.
Click here for information and the latest prices on Sailing Trip Around Tromso

3. Hiking In The Mountains

Tromso has some of the best hiking options in the whole of Norway. The city is surrounded by lots of mountains, and you can start hiking just a 10-minute drive from the downtown of Tromso. To have the wilderness so close to the city is pretty unique and awesome if you ask me! That`s the main reason why I ♥ Tromso so much.

I have listed all my favorite hikes with amazing views (that everyone is able to do) in this article.

Ornfloya Tromso
Me and our dog Frost hiking Ornfloya. Great view over Sommaroy Island

4. Husky Cafe

♦ Season: June, July & August

Visit the wonderful Husky Cafe at Tromso Wilderness Center on Kvaloya and cuddle with a bunch of supercute Alaskan Huskies!

Inside their cozy Lavvu (traditional Sami tent) you get to enjoy some delicious cakes (made by their excellent French confectioner Cyril), Norwegian waffles, ice cream, tea, and coffee. Make sure to try Cyril’s fantastic cheesecake with cloudberries, sooooo delicious. And if it’s cold outside, you can curl up in front of the fireplace in the middle of the huge Lavvu tent. A great and cozy experience!

The Wilderness Center is located in a beautiful area with great fjord and mountain views. You will remember this special cafe visit for the rest of your life as it is great fun for both grown-ups and kids. Puppies and cakes -it can’t get any better than that!

  • Where: Tromsø Villmarkssenter, Håkøybotn, Kvaloya
  • Opening Hours Husky Cafe: Every day 10:00 am -17:00/ 5 pm from 19th of June until 15th of August.
  • Ticket price: Free entrance, you must pay for your food and drinks.
  • The Husky Cafe’s Official Webpage

5. Tromso Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden

Tromso Botanical GardenTromso has the northernmost botanical garden in the world and it is open from May until October.

The garden is incredibly green, lush, and colorful with beautiful flowers from early spring till late autumn, consisting of plants from all over the northern hemisphere of the world.

There is a cozy cafe in the garden, in an old white wooden house called Hansine Hansen, where you can buy delicious waffles, ice cream, and a selection of cakes. You can sit inside or outside in the garden.

The cafe is open during the summer (1st of June until 1st of September) from 11:30 till 15:30 every day.

Tromso Botanical Garden
The cozy cafe in the Tromso Botanical Garden
  • Opening hours: Open day and night from May until October. You can even walk around the garden at night and enjoy the midnight sun
  • Ticket prices: Free
  • Where is it: The garden is located to the southeast of the University of Tromsø Campus, in Breivika.
  • How to get there: You can walk from downtown Tromso (takes about an hour) or you can take bus no. 20, 33, or 42, or take a taxi.
  • Tromso Botanical Garden’s Webpage

6. Hella

Every summer we head out to a place called Hella on Kvaloya (a 45 min drive from downtown Tromso). Hella is a beautiful and popular fishing spot where a big and very strong current makes it excellent for catching cod, coalfish, and even wolffish.

Hella is the best place to go fishing in Tromso. It is also a great place to go camping. There are toilets at Hella, but you have to bring your own tent and camping gear if you want to spend the night. You can camp at Hella for free.

The views from Hella are spectacular! You see the fjord Ryastraumen, and several mountains like the Bentsjordtinden (1200 m tall).

Hellastua Cafe
Me enjoying a cup of tea, waffles, and cakes at Hellastua Cafe

Hella has many old houses that originally were located in Tromso City and moved here in the 1960s. Walking around through the “Tromsø Street” at Hella is like an outdoor museum and feels like walking through Tromso city in 1960. You can even book a night in one of the old houses.

Just a short walk from Hella, at a place called Skavberget, you can see some old stone carvings and paintings dating back to the 7000 before Christ (the stone age).


Hellastua Cafe

In summer, there is a cozy cafe at Hella where you can enjoy tea and coffee, cakes, pastries, and lunch dishes.

Hellastua Cafe is open every Saturday and Sunday (in June, July, and August) from 12:00 until 18:00.


7. Sailing

Sailing TromsoTromso is actually perfect for sailing all year round since the sea never freezes. There are plenty of great sailing areas around Tromso, like on the outside of Kvaloya where there are lots of small islands, Senja island, Lyngen Alps, or the Lofoten Islands.

Arctic Fjord Sailing (3 hours)

♦ Season: June, July, August & September

To sail among the islands of Tromso is an excellent way to experience the beautiful Arctic nature and wildlife. It is peaceful and thrilling at the same time.

On this guided three hours Arctic Fjord Sailing Tour you will sail around Tromso city in a luxurious and comfortable catamaran where you can sit inside the warm and cozy cabin or be out on deck to fully experience nature. You get a warm safety suit, fishing gear, food, and non-alcoholic beverage, as well as a professional English-speaking guide and captain.

If you are lucky, you can catch your own lunch (fish or crab) that will be prepared on board! A great experience! The sailing boat is anchored up by Scandic Ishavshotel in downtown Tromso, so it´s very convenient.
Click here for information and the latest prices on Arctic Fjord Sailing

Hike & Sail Tour On The Arctic Haute Route (3 days)

♦ Season: July & August

This Hike & Sail Tour is the ultimate sailing trip and expedition, where you get to see and experience all the highlights that Northern Norway has to offer when it comes to beautiful fjords, mountains, islands, wildlife, and spectacular Arctic nature!

This sailing tour lasts for three days and is packed with thrilling once-in-a-lifetime experiences. You will be sailing and sleeping onboard this cozy ship and stop at many small and lively harbors like Tromsø, Lofoten, Andørja, Senja, and Kvaløya.

You can choose between 2 options:

Northbound Sailing
From Svolvær to Tromsø via Stamsund in Lofoten, Vesterålen, Senja, Sommarøy, and Tromsø

Southbound Sailing
From Tromsø to Svolvær, via Senja, Vesterålen, and Lofoten

Transport, sleeping onboard, captain and guide, and all meals are included.
Click here for information and the latest prices on Hike & Sail Tour  

8. Sea Fjord Kayaking

Experiencing the fjords and coast around Tromso is probably the best and the closest you get to the Arctic nature and wildlife.

Kayaking is very popular in Tromso and there is a big kayaking community. There are lots of places to go kayaking around Tromso, both for beginners and more advanced paddlers, and lots of beautiful islands where you can go ashore.

Kayak Tromso
Kayaking in the dark winter season. Foto by Anders Schürmann

Overnight Summer Kayaking (2-3 days)

♦ Season: April, May, June, July, August & September

If you want the ultimate kayaking trip where you get to truly experience the Arctic nature and wildlife, you should join this overnight kayaking trip where you can choose 2 or 3 days.

You will be kayaking to several stunning islands outside of Tromso, like Rebbenesøya. You will stay in a camp of two yurts (big circular tents) with no electricity and will be experiencing nature to the fullest. This is the ultimate Arctic nature experience!
Click here for information and latest prices on the Overnight Sea Kayaking Tour

This kayaking trip can also be done during winter (September – April) where you get to experience the spectacular Northern Lights.

9. Bicycling

Foto by Anders Schürmann

There are some great bicycling options in and around Tromso, both for mountain bikes and on the road.

The bicycling sport has become extremely popular among Norwegians over the past years. Its popularity might have something to do with the Norwegians doing well in the professional tours, like Tour de France.

We also have a cycle race up in the Arctic – The Arctic Race of Norway. The Arctic Race of Norway is happening at the beginning of August every year. The route changes every year, but fairly often, Tromso is on the route.

 


Bike & Sail Tour on the Arctic Haute Route (3 days)

♦ Season: June & August

This is the ultimate bike tour of the Arctic part of Norway! Here you will be experiencing and go biking in some of the most stunning areas of Northern Norway – Tromso, Senja, Vesterålen, and Lofoten.

It is the perfect combination of a guided cruise and biking trip where you will see everything that the Arctic part of Norway has to offer – fjords, mountains, islands, midnight sun, wildlife, and maybe even the Northern Lights. You can choose between Northbound Sailing or Southbound Sailing.
Click here for more information and the latest prices on the Bike & Cruise Tour

10. Bukta Beach

Whenever the sun is shining and the temperature is above 15 degrees, the locals head to the Tromso city beach “Bukta”, or “Telegrafbukta” which is its full name.

A stroll on Bukta Beach is nice both during summer and winter. Here you will get a spectacular view of the sea and the surrounding islands and mountains.

The city beach of Tromso - Bukta Beach/ Telegrafbukta
The popular city beach of Tromso – “Bukta” among us locals, full name is Telegrafbukta

In the summertime, the sun is shining in Bukta the whole day and night making this the perfect spot to have a barbecue and watch the Midnight Sun. Here you will find picnic tables, benches, grills, beach volleyball nets, and toilets. You have to bring your own food and drinks, however, as there are no cafes or kiosks at Bukta.

If you are a real Viking, you can even have a swim in the ocean as the sand is white and soft, but the water is freezing cold the whole year-round!

It is darker here than in the downtown of Tromso, so Bukta is a great place to see the Northern Lights in winter. Bring warm clothes and something hot to drink on a thermos and some snacks, lit a bonfire, and have a cozy winter picnic on the beach while enjoying the Northern Lights.

  • How to get to Bukta Beach: You can walk from downtown (about 30 min), or you can drive (there is a big parking lot at Bukta) or take the bus (bus no. 34, departs every 15 min during the day and every 30 min during the evening until midnight). Get off at the bus stop “Bukta”.
  • Best of all, it`s free to visit Bukta Beach, and you can even bring your dog!

11. Folkeparken – Tromso Open Air Museum

Tromso Open Air Museum, called Folkeparken, is located just above Bukta Beach making these two perfect to combine.

The Tromso Open Air Museum Folkeparken consists of 13 old wooden houses that originated from Tromso city and the surrounding area. It is actually Norway’s oldest open-air museum, established in 1952.

The Folkeparken Tromso Open-Air Museum is beautiful
Tromso Open-Air Museum in Folkeparken is a cozy area to go for a walk. Here you see the farmhouse Mortensgård.

The Open-Air Museum is divided into two parts, above the main road (in the forest) and below the main road (next to the sea). You can easily walk between these two parts, just cross the main road called Kvaløyveien.

If you start at the Folkeparken museum park next to the sea, you will see the big and beautiful white building Kvinesgården together with a huge boathouse called Stornaustet.

The big Kvitnesgården dates back to 1826 and is the old trading post house on the island Vannøya just north of Tromso. You can go inside the house and have a look at the exhibition in the summer. There is also a nice living room furnished just like it was at the end of the 19th century.

In the big boathouse Stornaustet, you will get to see two typical boats for Northern Norway called “fembøringer”. These boats were used in cod fishing in Lofoten. Stornaustet houses a nice exhibition of cod fishing and international trade with clip-fish and stockfish.

Just next to the sea, you will also get to step inside the boathouse Engenesnaustet with old wooden boats and different boat tools from the 19th century.

After you have wandered along with the houses on the seaside of the museum, cross the main road and step into the forest side of the Open-Air Museum. Here you will see the big and fantastic farmhouse Mortengården surrounded by a cluster of six log houses.

Mortensgård originates from Straumshamna on the island Kvaloya, and the last person living here was Morten Andreassen, born in 1876.

  • How to get to Tromso Open-Air Museum: You can walk from downtown (about 30 min), or you can drive (there is a big parking lot at Bukta) or take the bus (bus no. 34, departs every 15 min during the day and every 30 min during the evening until midnight). Get off at the bus stop “Bukta”.
  • It is free to visit Tromso Open-Air Museum, and you can even bring your dog!
  • Folkeparken Tromso Open Air Museum’s Webpage (scroll down on the webpage)

Where To Stay In Tromso

Norway, in general, is quite expensive when it comes to accommodation and dining, and Tromso is no exception. Tromso is a small city with a compact downtown, so everything is within a short walking distance. Here are our favorite hotels in Tromsø, at different price ranges.

Also, click here to read our complete guide to our favorite Tromso areas and hotels.

Mid-Range

Clarion Collection Hotel With

Clarion Hotel With TromsoHotel With, as it is known locally, has the perfect location right by Tromso Harbour with a beautiful view over the sea and over to the Arctic Cathedral, the Tromso Bridge, Tromsdalstinden mountain and Fjellheisen. You are right in the middle of everything if you choose to stay at this hotel, very close to all the city’s restaurants and shops.

An extra plus with this hotel is that you get free coffee/tea and Norwegian waffles with sour cream, jam and brown cheese (Espen`s favorite!) in the afternoon (from 15 to 18 o`clock) and a free meal in the evening (from 18 to 21 o`clock). This makes this hotel a good value for your money as eating out is expensive. A friend of mine from my class at the University used to work here during the weekends, and the staff here is well trained and provides good service and help to the guests.
Click here for the latest prices

Clarion Collection Hotel Aurora

Clarion Hotel Aurora TromsoNext door to Hotel With is its sister hotel Clarion Collection Hotel Aurora. This hotel also has free waffles in the afternoon and an evening meal included in the price. The extra plus of this hotel is the rooftop jacuzzi and sauna! Here you can relax in the evenings and watch the northern lights from the hot tub. Sounds pretty sweet if you ask me!
click here for the latest prices


The Edge Hotel

The Edge Hotel TromsoThe new “star” when it comes to hotels in Tromso is, however, The Edge. It is brand new and has an excellent bar and restaurant which is also very popular among the locals in Tromso. You really should try the hamburger, it is great! The breakfast at The Edge is maybe the best in town with everything you can imagine. Located by the harbor, but further south than the hotels above, and close to the Tourist Information office.
Click here for the latest prices

City Living Hotel & Apartments
This apartment hotel has a central location on the street just above Tromso’s main street Storgata. The apartments have a small kitchen, which is handy for making breakfast, lunch or even dinner inside. That way you can save some money by shopping at one of the close-by supermarkets and cook your own food.

The hotel also has a laundry room that the guests can use for free. Very handy as dry cleaning is expensive and there are no other options in town if you want to get your clothes washed. There is, however, no daily cleaning service, but you can help yourself to coffee and clean sheets and towels whenever you want from the second floor. You can easily get here by the Airport Bus (Flybuss) from the airport.
Click here for the latest prices

Budget

Amalie Hotel
This is a small budget hotel and a less expensive option than the hotels above. It has an excellent location just next to the big and more expensive Radisson Blu Hotel. An extra bonus is unlimited free coffee and tea the whole day and complimentary waffles in the afternoon. The rooms are a bit small but well equipped with kettle, tea/coffee, mini-fridge, iron, and hairdryer. You get a lot for your money. Great breakfast included in the price.
Click here for the latest prices

Comfort Hotel Xpress Tromso
This is a budget hotel with a perfect location in Grønnegata, the street adjacent to the city’s main street Storgata. The hotel rooms are clean, new and fresh, but a bit small. If you are out all day on tours and sightseeing, then the small rooms will not be a problem. There is no daily housekeeping service. There is no restaurant in the hotel, but it is very close to all the restaurants and cafes that Tromso has to offer. You can get a breakfast discount of 50 % (150 KR) at their sister hotel Clarion Hotel, which is well worth the money as you can eat all you want at their excellent breakfast buffet.
Click here for the latest prices

Smarthotel Tromso
Another budget option with small rooms but well equipped, fresh and modern. The hotel has an excellent location right in the middle of downtown Tromso. You get breakfast included in the price, which is fairly good. You get free coffee and tea the whole day. Great value for your money!
Click here for the latest prices

The Best Places To Eat In Tromso

Although there is plenty of international food to find in Tromso, like Asian, American, and South American food, as a visitor you would like to try some local food, right? Here are my favorite restaurants in Tromso that serve local Norwegian food:

Arctandria Restaurant

This place serves local traditional North Norwegian food like different sorts of fish, whales, reindeer, seals, and all sorts of shellfish. I love their specialty grilled stockfish, not to mention reindeer and whale that are my favorite meats.

  • Opening hours: Monday – Saturday from 16:00. Closed on Sundays.
  • Address: Strandtorget 1
  • Webpage

Biffhuset

Located in the same building as Arctandria Restaurant, Biffhuset is one of my favorite restaurants in Tromsoe due to their juicy and tender steak.

Biffhuset and Skarven Pub
Biffhuset and Skarven Pub

They also have ribs, king crabs, goat, chicken, pork, and Norwegian dessert specialties like kjelost and cloudberries (my favorite dessert in the whole world…..). A few fish dishes are also on the menu, like grilled stockfish.

  • Opening hours: every day 15:30 – 22:30 (22:00 on Sundays)
  • Address: Strandtorget 1
  • Webpage

Emmas

Emmas is centrally located just next to the Tromso Cathedral and consists of two restaurants – Emma` Drommekjokken (“Emmas Dream Kitchen”) and Emmas Under (located downstairs). The Emmas Under is cheaper and has several small dishes perfect for lunch or an early afternoon dinner. Try their signature dish, a Fish soup which is delicious. The upstairs Emma` Dromsmekjokken is quite expensive but serves excellent Norwegian food of the best quality. Great for a special night out. We celebrated my dad`s 70th birthday here.

  • Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 11:00 – 22:00. Closed Sundays.
  • Address: Kirkegata 8
  • Webpage

Smak Restaurant

This new restaurant is THE thing in Tromso at the moment, as it has been listed in several top-notch international food guides. They serve upper-class food that is made of local ingredients and change the menu every week. You can choose 3, 4, 5, 6, or even 7 courses including specially selected wines that go well with every course.

  • Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 17:00 – Midnight. Closed Sundays and Mondays.
  • Address: Skippergata 16B
  • Webpage

Hildr Gastro Bar

Located in an old white wooden house, Hildr is one of my favorite restaurants not only because of their delicious food but because the atmosphere here is so cozy. They change their menu according to what kind of fresh fish they have been able to find, although their tapas are regularly on the menu. They also have a 3 or 5-course set menu with or without wine. Across the street is their “brother restaurant” Burgr serving Tromso`s best burger in my opinion! Well worth a try, and a cheaper option than Hildr.

  • Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 11:00 – around midnight. Closed on Sundays.
  • Address: Skippergata 11
  • Webpage

Mathallen

Their interior decor might seem a bit “cold” and basic, but their open kitchen is super cool and their food excellent. They have different sorts of fish, soups and whale dishes on their menu. You can also choose a 3 or 4-course set menu with ingredients from local food producers. Definitely worth a try for lunch or dinner, or both. They also have a shop next door selling local food from Northern Norway.

  • Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 11:00 – 23:00. Sundays closed.
  • Address: Grønnegata 60
  • Webpage

Fiskekompaniet

This fish restaurant probably has Tromso’s best location view-wise right by the harbor. Here you can sit and enjoy some delicious seafood and look at the sea and the boats. You might even see Hurtigruta pass by. If you like oysters, then you should try this as a starter. They mainly have fish on the menu, but also serve whale.

  • Opening hours: Every day (also Sundays) 16:00 – 22:00
  • Address: Killengrensgate
  • Webpage

Bardus Bistro

Bardus is located in a cozy old wooden house right by the library. Their menu is not the biggest, but the dishes they have are delicious. They have fish of the day, goat, hamburger (lunch menu), and some other stuff. If you’re feeling adventurous and you’ve never tried the Northern Norway specialty cod tongue, then you should definitely head here and check it out yourself (I hate it by the way, hehe). Their neighboring bar is also great, and they make Tromso´s best drinks in my opinion!

  • Opening hours: Every day 11:00 (12:00 at weekends) – 22:00 (18:00 on Sundays and 17:00 on Mondays).
  • Address: Cora Sandelsgate 4
  • Webpage

Skirri at Kystens Mathus

Located at the new Kystens Mathus right at the harbor of Tromso, this restaurant has an amazing view over the sea and across to the Tromso Bridge, the Arctic Cathedral, and the Cable Car.

Skirri cafe and restaurant tromso
Skirri cafe and restaurant

Here you can eat everything from fresh shrimps, salmon, chicken, a hamburger made of wolffish or moose, lamb, reindeer, grilled clip fish, king crab, and whale carpaccio.

  • Opening hours: every day 12:00 – 18:00
  • Address: Stortorget 1
  • Webpage

The Best Festivals In Tromso

Every year Tromso plays host to some excellent festivals that often draw top international artists from all around the world.

Bukta Festival
Bukta Open Air Rock Music Festival

Bukta Open Air Rock Music Festival

A rock music festival held in a scenic place – Bukta Beach, with an awesome view over the sea and the midnight sun.

  • When: Middle of July every year
  • Webpage

Tromso International Film Festival – TIFF

The biggest film festival in Norway with incredible 60619 people attending in 2016. Do not expect to see any blockbuster Hollywood movies here, they mainly screen more challenging films from all over the world.

  • When: Middle of January every year
  • Webpage

Nordlysfestivalen

A music festival, “Music in the Arctic”, that has classical music concerts from all over the world.

  • When: End of January/ beginning of February
  • Webpage

Rakettnatt

A pop/rock music festival in the middle of downtown Tromso, with Norwegian and international superstars.

  • When: Last weekend of August
  • Webpage
Rakettnatt
Rakettnatt Festival

Midnight Sun Marathon

The biggest marathon competition in Norway, where you can run the full marathon, half-marathon, or 10 km. If there are no clouds, then you can even enjoy the Midnight Sun while you run.

Tromso Jazzfestival

A jazzy weekend where you can enjoy concerts by some of the best jazz musicians, both Norwegian and international artists.

  • When: Beginning of August
  • Webpage

Smak – Tromso Food Festival

A food festival where you can walk around eating your way through Storgata and pop into the restaurants in Tromso getting a special dish at a reduced price. A great way to try out some North Norwegian specialties.

Insomnia

A techno/ electronic/ dance festival hosting some of the biggest techno artists in the world.

The Best Day Trips From Tromso

Sommarøy (Summer Island)

The small island Sommarøy, located on the outside of Kvaloya, is a beautiful and charming little fishing village, surrounded by white sandy beaches, and the azure blue ocean.

Sommaroy Island
Sommaroy Island

There is also a hotel on the island, Sommarøy Arctic Hotel, where you can choose between sleeping in hotel rooms or cabins by the sea (traditional Norwegian Rorbu). The hotel also has a lovely restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The hotel can arrange fishing trips by boat, sailing, and kayak trips.
Click here for the latest prices

There are some great hiking options in the area around Sommarøy, like Ørnfløya and Hillesøytoppen.

  • How to get to Sommarøy: It is easiest to get to Sommarøy by car (1 hour). From Tromsø, drive to Kvaløya and follow the signs to Sommarøy. You can also take bus no. 420 from downtown Tromsø to Sommarøy. The bus leaves from the downtown of Tromsø (bus stop Prostneset next to the tourist information center Visit Tromsø). The bus ticket cost 100 Nkr with the free app “Troms Mobillett”.

Ersfjord

Ersfjord is a beautiful fjord located on Kvaloya, a half an hour drive from downtown Tromso. The fjord is surrounded by jagged mountains that run straight down into the sea.

Ersfjord
Ersfjord
Ersfjord
Ersfjord

In Ersfjord is Tromso`s coziest cafe – Bryggejentene which serves delicious cakes, biscuits, coffee, tea, soda, ice-cream, and everything a cafe should serve. The cafe is right on the pier with an amazing view over Ersfjord and it’s surrounding mountains.

Ersfjord is a great place to take Northern Lights photos, or just go for a walk along the shore.

Ersfjord
Ersfjord
  • Opening hours Bryggejentene cafe/ shop: Monday – Friday 11 – 16, Saturday 11 – 17, Sundays closed
  • How to get to Ersfjord: It is easiest to get to Ersfjord by car (30 min). Drive to Kvaløya, take right when you get to Eidkjosen and follow the signs to Ersfjord. You can also take bus no. 425 from the downtown Tromsø (bus stop Prostneset next to the tourist information center Visit Tromsø) to Ersfjordbotn. The bus ticket costs 42 Nkr with the free app “Troms Mobillett”.

Senja Island

Senja, being the second largest island in Norway, has a great contrast of mountains, sea, beautiful sandy beaches, and fishing villages. It is a very nice day trip from Tromso, both winter and summer, or you can stay a night or two at some of the guesthouses and private cabins or bring your own tent.

Senja Island
Me and our dog Frost looking over to Senja Island from Brensholmen (where the ferry to Senja leaves from)
  • How to get to Senja: You can either drive to Senja with a rental car (3 hours one way) or take the Express boat (no. 4) from downtown Tromso to Lysnes on Senja. The round-trip from downtown of Tromso (the brand new harbor building at Prostneset) to Lysnes and back to Tromso takes about 2 hours and runs on Monday and Wednesday (Tromsø – Lysnes – Tromsø 07:10 – 09:05 and 16:20 – 18:15), Friday (Tromsø – Lysnes – Tromsø 07:10 – 09:05 and 16:00 – 17:55), and Sunday (Tromsø – Lysnes – Tromsø 20:20 – 22:20). The fare is NOK 260.
    If you choose to drive to Senja, you can take the route through Brensholmen (close to Sommarøy) and take the ferry across the fjord to Botnhamn on Senja. It is a beautiful ferry trip! The car ride takes about 1 hour from downtown Tromso to Brensholmen. And the ferry trip takes 35 min (ferry no. 181: Sommerferge Botnhamn-Brensholmen). The ferry from Brensholmen to Senja operates from April to August, although it will become a year-round ferry from autumn 2021.

Lyngen

Lyngen with its peaky mountains that go straight down into the sea is an awesome area north of Tromso, about an hour and a half by car and ferry.

First, you must drive from Tromso to Breivikeidet (1-hour car ride). The ferry trip from Breivikeidet to Svendsby in Lyngen takes 20 min and is well worth the trip in itself as it is a beautiful ferry trip across the fjord with an amazing view of the Lyngen Alps. From Svendsby you can drive through Lyngen and take another ferry from Lyngseidet to Olderdalen. From Olderdalen you can drive back to Tromso, the drive takes 2,5 hours (without taking any ferries).

Lyngen
View from the ferry over to Lyngen

Some great places to stay in Lyngen are:

If you want a guided tour, AscentDescent offers trips both winter and summer. Lyngen is great for mountain hiking, ice climbing, glacier trekking, skiing, kayaking, fishing, and biking.

Skjærvøy Island

North of Tromso lays the beautiful island Skjærvøy. You can do a round-trip from Tromso to Skjærvøy by express boat and/or Hurtigruten through the stunning Lyngen Fjord that runs through the Lyngen Alps.

The express boat (no. 3) does round-trips to from downtown Tromsø to Skjervøy on Tuesdays (Tromsø – Skjervøy – Tromsø 16:00 – 20:05), Thursdays (Tromsø – Skjervøy – Tromsø 16:00 – 20:15), Fridays (Tromsø – Skjervøy – Tromsø 18:10 – 23:20), and Sundays (Tromsø – Skjervøy -Tromsø 14:30 – 19:50). The round-trip fare is NOK 560.

Another option is to take the express boat that departs from Tromso Tuesdays at 16:00 or Thursdays at 16:00 or Sunday at 14:30, and then the southbound Hurtigruten back from Skjervøy to Tromso. The Hurtigruten departs from Skjervøy at 19:45 (18:30 in April and May), and arrives in Tromso at 23:45.

Ferry round-trip to islands outside of Tromso

If you want to see some of the many beautiful small islands outside of Tromso and Kvaloya, you can take a ferry round-trip from Belvik in Skulsfjord on Kvaloya. The ferry goes to the islands Vengsøy, Musvær, and Risøy before returning back to Belvik and it is a beautiful trip. The round-trip takes about 2-3 hours and has several departures every day.

How To Get Around Tromso

Walking

Tromso is located on a small island called Tromsoya which is only 23 km². The island is 10 km long from the northernmost tip to the southernmost tip, and there is a very popular walking path from one end to the other called Lysloypa. Lysloypa is great for walking, running, cycling, and skiing.

Tromso city center is very compact, and most of the things in this guide are within walking distance.

Taking The Bus In Tromso

There are no trains or subways in Tromso, but there are many city buses, covering all areas of Tromso both Tromsoya, Kvaloya, and the mainland (Tromsdalen). The city buses run every day from early morning around 6 o`clock until around midnight. There are also some after midnight buses running on Fridays and Saturdays. Most bus routes operate on two departures per hour schedule but during the rush hours in the morning and afternoon, there are often as many as four.

You can buy tickets on the bus but you can only pay in cash and a single ticket cost NOK 50 (adult). You can save money by buying the bus ticket upfront at a kiosk or at the Tourist Information at Prostneset. Then the ticket costs NOK 30 (adult).

If you plan to take the bus a lot one day, you can buy a day ticket (valid for 24 hours).  It costs NOK 110 (adult) if you buy it onboard the bus. A day ticket for children cost NOK 55.

There is also a great free mobile app called “Troms Mobillett” (just search for it in App Store or Google Play) where you can buy tickets for all buses in the whole area of Troms, as well as all ferries and speedboats (Hurtigbaat). A bus ticket for the city buses in Tromso only costs NOK 31 (adult) with this app, while a child is NOK 19. Buying tickets onboard the bus actually costs almost 50% more!

You should also download the free app called “Troms Reise” where you can easily find routes, bus stops and when the bus departs (also in real-time, if the bus is delayed it will show up in the app).

Useful links:

There are some district buses running to Kvaloya, but there are very few departures. So if you want to head out of Tromso city to see the Northern Lights or do some hiking in the mountains on Kvaloya, I recommend that you rent a car.

Renting A Car In Tromso

If you want to explore the areas outside the city center, then a rental car is a great option in Tromso. It's easiest to book the car online before you travel and then pick it up your car at the airport when you arrive. Tromso Airport has cars from several international car rental agencies such as Avis, Hertz, Sixt, Europcar, and Budget.

Click here for the latest prices and to see the available cars to rent in Tromso


Phew, there you go, our ultimate guide to my hometown Tromso!

To sum up, the cable car is a real must when visiting Tromso, along with the Polaria and the Polar Museum. Then it depends on whether you visit in the winter or summer. In winter the highlights are Northern Lights, skiing, dog sledding, fjord boat trip/whale watching. In summer the highlights are hiking in the midnight sun, boat trip, and fishing.

Have you been to Tromso? Is there something I have missed? And if you have not been to Tromso, would you like to go? Please leave a comment below, and if you find this useful please share on social media. Thanks a million! 🙂

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Written by Maria Wulff Hauglann

Maria is a Norwegian travel nerd who has explored more than thirty countries on four continents. She holds a master's degree in Computer Science, as well as an MBA. In 2014 while on a year-long trip across South East- Asia, Maria co-founded the travel blog Nerd Nomads to help others get out and explore the world. In 2018 she left her day job permanently for a life of full-time travel. See our about page for more about Maria.

145 Comments

    • Thank you! Yes, Tromsø is great, especially when the weather is nice! 🙂 Norway is expensive, but it is possible to do it cheaply too.

      Happy travels!

      -Maria-

      Reply
        • Hi,

          Thank you so much! Yeah, Norway is, unfortunately, an expensive country to visit, so sorry for that.

          If you want to save some money, you can bring a tent, sleeping bag, and camping equipment. In Norway, you can safely camp wherever you want for free (it is totally legal), but not on private property/ people`s garden. You can for instance camp for free in Telegrafbukta (at the south end of Tromso island). You will find toilets there and barbeques where you can make food. But if you want some facilities like a shower and a warm place to go inside and cook food and eat, you can put up your tent at Tromso Camping.

          Eating out in restaurants in Norway is expensive, except for Burger King. So my best tip when it comes to food is to buy food ingredients in supermarkets and make your own breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You will save a lot of money this way.

          You should also do sightseeing by walking as much as possible, like walk up to Floya Mountain for free instead of paying for tickets on the Cable Car. You will have the exact same nice view and some great exercise as a bonus. Tromso is a small city (at least Tromso Island) so you can easily walk to all places, you can even walk from the airport into town (takes about one hour). To get out of the city, you should take the local bus which is much cheaper than a taxi. Instead of booking a tour, you can do sightseeing by local bus to the areas around Tromso, like Kvaloya and Sommaroy.

          Look out for promotions at the air companies Norwegian and SAS. They once in a while lower the prices on plane tickets and you can get cheaper plane tickets to Tromso.

          Tromso and Norway can definitely be done cheaply.

          -Maria-

          Reply
  1. What a comprehensive guide – much better than the crappy listicles that are ubiquitous these days. Want to travel to Norway someday and this has inspired me … thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Kyle!!

      Wow, thank you soooo much!!! Really appreciate it! Your comment made my day! 🙂

      You should definitely come to Norway someday, plenty to see and do here.

      Happy travels!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  2. What a great and informative articule Maria, thank you so much! I will be going ti Tromso at the end of October and thanks to your article I now already have soooooo much more ideas, guidelines and Infos, fabulous!!! ?? Claudia

    Reply
    • Hi Claudia,

      Thank you sooooo much!!! You are the best! Wow, so cool that you are visiting Tromso in October! Hope you get nice weather! Tromso and its surroundings will be covered by autumn colours by then which is quite beautiful, plus the northern lights is usually great in October. A nice month to visit Tromso! So happy to hear that our article could be of help to you when planning your Tromso trip.

      Have a great time in Tromso!! Thanks for commenting! 🙂

      -Maria-

      Reply
  3. What a great post! Beautiful pictures, Tromso seems so beautiful. Thanks for the great tips and suggestions. I hope I can visit sometime. Continue being an unstoppable traveler.
    Cheers,
    Rhonda

    Reply
    • Hi Rhonda,

      Thanks a million! Tromso has so much to offer both summer and winter, from northern lights, whales, and the midnight sun.

      I see that you are living in Bali. Cool! Ah, love Bali! We have been staying in Sanur several times over the years, the first time was back in 2005. Keep coming back to Bali over and over again.

      Happy travels!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  4. Great stuff informational resource. The pictures are amazing. Tromso seems so beautiful. I hope I will enjoy this trip soon. Thanks for the great tips.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much, kanchan!

      Tromso is my home town, where I was born and have spent most my life, so it`s very special to me. 🙂 It is a beautiful place, and every season has its highlights.

      Happy travels!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  5. What an amazing post! Definitely the most in-depth guide I have come across. The next time you are back home in Tromsø, feel free to contact me and i’d love to invite you out on a sailing trip with the company I work for in town.

    Reply
    • Hi Perri,

      Thank you so much! Yeah, it took some time to write this guide so really happy to hear that you like it! 🙂

      It was nice meeting you in the darkness at Ersfjord photographing the Northern Lights. You guys have some really cool tours! Best of luck with the northern lights season!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  6. Great post! Thanks for all the info. Looks like a wonderful place to visit to see the Northern Lights.
    Cheers,
    Rhonda

    Reply
  7. Such a gorgeous place! My dorm roommate’s from Tromso and she’s been inviting me forever. I think I’ll accompany her on her next trip home. Always wanted to watch the Northern Lights. So, exciting!

    Reply
    • Hi Isabella,

      Wow, so cool that you have a roommate from Tromsø! 😀 The northern lights are amazing, and Tromsø is the best place to watch it, so you should definitely accept your roommates invitation!

      Have a great time time in Tromsø, crossing my fingers that you will see the Aurora Borealis!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  8. Excellent article, with so much great information. My wife and I will be traveling to Tromso to “chase the Northern Lights” and celebrate our 10 year anniversary in November. Looking forward to it even more after reading your article.

    Reply
    • Hi PK,

      Wow, great to hear that you are coming here to Tromsø next month to celebrate your anniversary! Happy 10 year anniversary! Crossing my fingers that you will get to see the northern lights. Last evening and night was awesome with crazy northern lights dancing across the sky for hours and hours. Hope you get to experience it too.

      Have a great celebration and enjoy the northern lights in Tromsø!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  9. I am bringing my Husband for his 50th Birthday in the beginning of March it looks Beautiful and i can’t wait to surprise him hopefully with a Northern lights display

    Reply
    • Hi Anna,

      WOW, that is such a cool gift for your husband’s 50th Birthday!!!! I really hope you get to see the northern lights, crossing all my fingers! Have an amazing trip up here to Tromso and the Arctic! March is a great month to visit Tromso, the sun has returned and there are plenty of snow.

      -Maria-

      Reply
  10. Very good page! One question though, is it easy to get out of town for forest walk around Tromso without a car? Are there actual forests within a short distance? Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Renaud,

      Thank you so much! Tromsø city is located on a small island Tromsoya where there are several areas of forests, like in the walking path Lysloypa. Lysloypa is a very popular walking and skiing path going all across the island from the south to the north end. Now in wintertime (November till May) there is skiing track in Lysloypa but you can walk too.

      You can also walk or take the bus to the main land (Tromsdalen, only a 15 min walk from down town of Tromsø) or to the big island Kvaloya (a 15 min bus ride from down town) and you have plenty of forests and mountains perfect for hiking. I live on Kvaloya and walk or ski in the forest a lot.

      Have a great trip to Tromsø and enjoy your walk in the forest!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  11. I Love your post.
    Thanks a lot Maria♥ it’s really helpful and many info to know before the visit.

    My visit with my sister will be on February, so excited to see the northern lights 😉

    C.U soon TROMSØ ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

    Reply
    • Hi Miad,

      Thanks a million! You are awesome and your comment made my day!! 🙂 Crossing my fingers and toes that you will get to see the northern lights here in Tromsø in February! Enjoy your time in Tromsø!!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  12. Great article!! 🙂 I am going to Tromso in the beginning of April and now I really want to go up with Fjellheisen – thanks for inspirations what to do in my short 2 days stay there. 🙂 I also want to take guided Fjord tour since I don’t drive – hope it will be worth it. 🙂 It’s a bit pity that most probably I wont see Northern Lights and there is no Midnight Sun yet 🙁 But it seems like a such a beautiful city anyway 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Arta,

      Thank you so much!!! Fjellheisen is a real must when visiting Tromso!

      Yes, you will still be able to see the northern lights in Tromsø in the beginning of April. Unless the sky is cloudy of course. In order to see the northern lights the sky has to be dark, and in early April the sun rises at around 05:30 in the morning and sets around 20 in the evening. So late in the evening and during the night the sky will be dark and you will be able to see the northern lights.

      From the middle/end of April, however, the sky gets pretty light in the night so then the northern lights have to be incredibly strong in order to see it.

      Have a fantastic trip to Tromsø in April! Crossing my fingers that the sky will be clear and that you will see the northern lights!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  13. Hi Maria,

    I stumbled on your article while searching for things to do in Tromsø (I’m flying there next Sunday!!!) and it was such a delightful read! I’m a solo female travelers/ entrepreneur (I’m launching a home sharing services “La Voyageuse”:)) and I’m taking a week in Tromsø between my busy schedule to take some breaks and recharge myself.

    The detailed information you provided was surely helpful! I’ve done some further researches about activities to do, especially the organised tours as I don’t drive), I do have a question: If I want to experience the authentic fjord landscapes in the best way, would you recommend that I take excursion by bus or by cruises? (Although I’d like to try both, I do have very tight budget).

    Or, besides organised tours, are there any alternatives with public transports, like buses and speed boats? (I checked the link of the speed boats and it doesn’t seem to work), and I read that some buses don’t return on the same day in winter.

    Also, if you’d like to meet up for a coffee, I’d LOVE to get to know Tromsø in a profound way with a passionate local like you!

    Looking forward to hearing back from you,
    Christina

    Reply
  14. Great webpage on things to do in Tromso! My partner and I have been there several times and loved the city. I’m going back the first part of April and plan to take the Fjellheisen this time. I hope that we’ll be able to see the northern lights again, too. Can’t wait.

    The last time we were in Tromso was for New Year’s Eve in 2016 – and what a fireworks show there was! I’ve got some great time-lapse photos of fireworks with the Arctic Cathedral in the background.

    I also encourage visitors to attend the midnight concerts in the Arctic cathedral. Both times I have attended the musicians have been superb (from the university, I believe), and the programming has both times included pieces by Norwegian composers or pieces based on Sami joiks (is that spelled correctly?) – music I’ve not heard before.

    Reply
    • Hi Douglas,

      Thank you so much! Awesome that you are coming back to Tromsø! You should definitely take the Fjellheisen, it is one my favourite things to do in Tromsø. There has been lots of northern lights so far this winter, crossing my fingers that you will have clear sky so that you will see it too in April.

      I agree, the midnight concerts in the Arctic cathedral are the best! The musicians are professional and some of the best in Norway, you can find an introduction of them here. One of the singers, Harald Bakkeby Moe, is the brother of a friend of mine and he has an amazing opera voice! I can’t get enough of these concerts and try to attend one each summer.

      Have a great time in Tromsø in April!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  15. Hi Christina,

    Wow, so cool that you are coming to Tromsø! Love your webpage and concept of helping women travel solo, although I must admit that I have never traveled solo myself yet.

    Thank you so much for noticing that the links to the express boat schedules were not working, I have fixed them now.

    Both bus and boat are nice and they give you a different view of the fjord landscape. You could for instance do both; take the express boat from downtown Tromso to either Lysnes on Senja Island (express boat no. 4) or Skjervøy (express boat no. 3) and one of the public district buses out to Kvaloya. The express boat and public buses are the cheapest option.

    Express boat no. 4: Tromsø – Lysnes – Tromsø
    The round-trip from downtown of Tromso to Lysnes and back to Tromso takes about 2 hours and runs on Monday and Wednesday (Tromsø – Lysnes – Tromsø 07:10 – 09:05 and 16:20 – 18:15), Friday (Tromsø – Lysnes – Tromsø 07:10 – 09:05 and 16:00 – 17:55), and Sunday (Tromsø – Lysnes – Tromsø 20:20 – 22:20). The fare is NOK 260.

    Express boat no. 3: Tromsø – Skjervøy – Tromsø
    The express boat from downtown Tromsø to Skjervøy takes 4 hours and runs on Tuesdays (Tromsø – Skjervøy – Tromsø 16:00 – 20:05), Thursdays (Tromsø – Skjervøy – Tromsø 16:00 – 20:15), Fridays (Tromsø – Skjervøy – Tromsø 18:10 – 23:20), and Sundays (Tromsø – Skjervøy -Tromsø 14:30 – 19:50). The round-trip fare is NOK 560.

    A good reason for going to Skjervøy is that this year the whales did not come to Tromsø and the fjords surrounding Tromsø, unfortunately, but they have come to Skjervøy and the areas further north of Tromsø. So if you take the express boat up to Skjervøy you might get a chance to see some whales. 🙂

    If you want to do a nice scenic bus ride along the fjords surrounding Tromsø, you should take one of the buses to Kvaloya (which means Whale Island) where we live. You can take bus no. 420 out to Summer Island (Sommarøy) which passes through Kvaloya and takes about 2 hours both ways. Or take the bus no. 425 to Ersfjord (1 hour back and forth) and visit the beautiful cafe Bryggejentene. Both buses leave from down town of Tromsø (the big bus stop Prostneset next to the tourist information). The bus 425 to Ersfjord has a lot of departures and you will be able to get back to Tromsø. Also if you take one of the morning buses of no. 420 to Summer Island, you will be able to get back to Tromsø in the afternoon.

    You can search for buses and express boats/ferries and when they leave HERE. There is also a free travel planner app called “Troms Reise” where you can search for travels from one place to another, get an updated travel schedule with walking distances/ maps, and bus and express boat departures and arrivals. This app is a must if you want to take public transportation in and around Tromsø.

    The bus ticket is 42 Nkr to Ersfjord and 100 Nkr to Sommarøy each way, so pretty cheap compared to the guided bus trips. You should download an free app called “Troms Mobillett” where you can buy tickets for both buses and express boats. Buying tickets through this app is cheapest as it is more expensive buying tickets onboard (it actually costs 50% more buying tickets onboard the bus!). Bus tickets within the city cost 29 Nkr through this app.

    It would be great to meet up in Tromsø! I will send you an email. 🙂

    Have a great trip to Tromsø!!!! Hope you have an amazing time and that you will see the northern lights!

    -Maria-

    Reply
    • Hi Maria, your blog has proved to be a blessing for my upcoming tromso trip. Will reach on 7th November.have a few questions and doubts….

      I was going throug the website of bus schedules but I couldn’t find the express boat schedules on that website.

      Also would like to know if it’s possible to do a return trip from tromso to skjervoy in a single day?

      For a trip to Sommaroy from Tromso by bus no. 420, is it not possible to come back to tromso on the same day?

      There are multiple stops for Ersfjord. Which one should I choose for going to Bryggejentene cafe?

      I would love to do same day return trips from Tromso by bus or ferry. Please give more details for the same.

      Much Thanks in advance

      Meenal

      Reply
      • Hi Meenal,

        Thank you so much!

        Express Boat Schedule
        You can find the Express Boat schedules HERE (press the “Load more” button at the buttom of the page to get all the express boats).

        Skjervøy (Express Boat no. 3)
        Yes, it is possible to do a round-trip from Tromso to Skjervoy in one day with Express Boat no. 3 on these days:
        – Tuesdays – The Express Boat no. 3 leaves from Tromso at 16:00, arrives at Skjervoy 18:15, leaves from Skjervoy 18:20, and arrives back in Tromso 20:05. However, you can not leave the boat at Skjervoy Island and look around or you will miss the boat back to Tromso and be stuck out there. 🙂
        – Thursdays – Same Express Boat schedule as on Tuesdays
        – Fridays – The Express Boat no. 3 leaves from Tromso at 18:25, arrives at Skjervoy 21:15, leaves from Skjervoy 21:25, and arrives back in Tromso 23:35.
        – Sundays – The Express Boat no. 3 leaves from Tromso at 14:30, arrives at Skjervoy 16:40, leaves from Skjervoy 17:00, and arrives back in Tromso 19:50.

        But there will not be much sunlight in Tromso in November. The last day of sun in Tromso is on the 26th of November (when the sun goes under the horizon until the 21st of January). So you will not see that much of nature outside on your boat trip as it will be pretty dark outside by 16:00. On 7th of November, the sunset is at 14:14. I recommend that you do the Skjervoy day-trip on a Sunday when the Express Boat leaves at 14:30, then you might get some daylight at least on your way to Skjervoy.

        Sommaroy (Bus no. 420)
        Take bus no. 420 from the Bus Station, also called “Prostneset”, in the downtown of Tromso (right outside the Tourist Information).

        You can find the bus schedule for bus no. 420 HERE (press the “Load more” button at the bottom of the page).

        Or you can find the bus schedule in the Travel Planner (or mobile app “Troms Reise”), type in: “From: Prostneset” and choose the first option “Prostneset (Tromsø)”, “To: Sommaroy” and choose the first option “Sommarøy (Tromsø)”, enter a date and approximate time you want to go, and press Search.

        The bus trip from downtown Tromso (the Bus Station Prostneset) to Sommaroy takes about 1,5 – 2 hours one way. So the bus round-trip to Sommaroy takes about 3-4 hours.

        Hmmm….but to me, it looks like there is no possible way to do a round-trip by bus from Tromso to Sommaroy in one day, I`m afraid. Cause the first bus no. 420 departs from Tromso at 12:30 (Mon-Tue & Thur-Fri) and arrives at Sommaroy at 14:20. And the last bus from Sommaroy departs at 13:52.

        It might be possible on Wednesdays, however. Then it looks like the bus no. 420 leaves from Tromso (Prostneset) at 12:30 and arrives at Sommaroy 14:00. Then it leaves from Sommaroy at 14:02 and arrives back in Tromso at 15:39. In my opinion, the whole bus schedule is very confusing. But to me, it seems like you have a chance on doing a day-trip to Sommaroy by bus on Wednesdays. But sadly you will not be able to leave the bus and look around on Sommaroy. You should probably drop by the Tourist Information when you get to Tromso and ask about this bus to Sommaroy if it is possible to do as a day-trip. The Tourist Information is located right beside the Prostneset bus stop where bus no. 420 to Sommaroy departs.

        If you want to stay the night on Sommaroy, which I recommend, there is an excellent hotel on Sommaroy – The Sommaroy Arctic Hotel. We have stayed there several times and it has always been wonderful. They serve delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Check the latest prices and book it HERE

        Ersfjord and Bryggejentene Cafe
        Get off the bus no. 425 at the bus stop “Ersfjordbotn Skole” (meaning the Ersfjordbotn school). It is very close to Bryggejentene cafe, there is only a 5-minute walk to get there.

        You find the bus schedule for bus no. 425 to Ersfjord HERE (press the “Load more” button at the bottom of the page), or in the Travel Planner (search From: Tromsø Prostneset (Tromsø), To: Ersfjordbotn Skole (Tromsø)).

        Have a great trip to Tromso in November! Crossing my fingers that you will get to see plenty of Northern Lights! 🙂

        -Maria-

        Reply
  16. Great post! Thanks for all the information.I loved your tips. Looks like a wonderful place to visit to see the Northern Lights.My visit with my husband will be on march, so excited to see the northern lights .

    Reply
    • Hi!

      Thank you so much! Crossing my fingers that you will get clear sky so that you can see the Northern Lights! Have a great time in Tromso in March!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  17. Hi Maria,

    thank you for your detailed information! I will definitely going to try the express boat!

    I’m happy to learn that you like the concept of my startup 🙂 To me, traveling solo is a totally different experience compared to traveling with others. Maybe you’ll try it out someday when you travel solo!

    That’s wonderful that you’d like to meet for a coffee! I will let you choose the Café of course! Just tell me where and when via e-mail. It will be a pleasure for me to meet you and learn about Tromsø from a local’s perspectives.

    Looking forward to hearing back from you,
    Christina

    Reply
  18. Hello Maria!
    Thank you so much for the blog post! We are in Tromsø right now and already visited Senja (which we loved!!) and hiked one of your suggested hikes near Summarøy and and ate at Hildr. This is so much better than any tourist guide about Tromsø!
    Thank you!! ♥️

    Reply
    • Hi Fenja,

      Wooooow, that is soooo cool!!!! You really made my day with your comment!! Thanks a million! You are awesome! 🙂

      Hope you got to see the amazing Northern Lights yesterday evening/night. We were just watching it from our living room window, and it was incredibly strong and dancing like crazy in the sky. Hope you enjoy the rest of your time in Tromsø!

      Lots of hugs,
      Maria

      Reply
  19. Oh my God, so much useful I
    information! I’m visiting next week and now I already have plenty on my to do list. I’m afraid I might not be able to fit everything I want to see into 5 days but I’m definitely going to try. Do you have any tips for a female solo traveller maybe? I’m not shy of doing things by myself but eating in restaurants example can often get awkward. Any recommendations for where the best places to eat are where I’ll fit in as a single eater?
    Tusen takk!!!

    Reply
    • Hi Alex,

      Thank you so much! So glad to hear that you find my Tromso guide useful when planning your trip to Tromso! 🙂

      Since you only have five days in Tromso, here are the must-see things in winter in my options:
      – Take the cable car up to Floya Mountain (or walk up and take the cable car down)
      – Northern Lights concert in the Arctic Cathedral (from February 8 to March 11, 2018). Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 23:00-23:30. The doors open at 22:30 and you buy tickets at the entrance (180 Nkr).
      – The Polar Museum
      – Polaria (see the seal feeding and training at 12:30 or 15:30)
      – Go out and see the Northen Lights (join a tour or walk up to the lake Prestvannet where it`s darker than in the city center)
      – If the weather is bad and the sky is not clear so you won`t be able to see the Northern Lights, you should see the spectacular movie Extreme Auroras at the Science Center at the University of Tromso
      – Take the bus no. 425 to the beautiful Ersfjord on Kvaloya (Whale Island) and visit the lovely cafe Bryggejentene
      – Go dog sledding with Active Tromso

      You should not worry about eating alone in restaurants in Tromso, lots of people do that here. But maybe you will feel more comfortable eating alone at one of the not-too-fancy restaurants like Hildr (nice old house), Burgr (Tromso’s best burger), Kala (Japanese), Skirri (down by the harbor with a lovely view), Mathallen (serves Norweigan food), Lotus (also by the harbour with a great view, serves Asian food), Casa Inferno (best pizza in Tromso).

      Have a great trip to Tromso!!! Crossing my fingers that you will see the Northern Lights. The weather is pretty bad right now with lots of rain.

      -Maria-

      Reply
  20. Hi Maria
    stumbled on your blog and thanks for all the detail information on Tromso. We are doing a cruise in March on P & O and we are overnight in Tromso. Could you please suggest what we could do on our own and what local tour company we could use to book excursions for dog sledge ride. Could we do the cable car ourselves and the recital at the Cathedral. We are in Tromso on the 26th and 27th March. Would we see the Northern lights. We live in Australia and have a couple of warm jackets, but no warm clothes for the snow. If we do the dog sledge ride do they have snow suits and shoes we could hire? Also what sort of footwear do we need? Thanks ever so much and looking forward to your reply

    Reply
    • Hi Brenda,

      Yes, you can definitely do the cable car and the Northern Light concert in the Arctic Cathedral on your own! They don`t require a guide.

      We went dog sledding a couple of weeks ago with Active Tromso and loved it! You can read about it here. Or you can go on a dog sledding trip with Tromso Wilderness Centre.

      You get warm comfortable clothes at the dog sledding camp, as well as shoes and mittens. It is included in the price. You should wear warm wool underwear and long johns, as well as a warm hat.

      Yes, you can still see the Northern Lights in March, if the sky is clear of course.

      Have a great cruise in March and enjoy your two days in Tromso!! Crossing my fingers that you will see the Northern Lights!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  21. Hi Maria,

    We are just about to leave Tromso and I wanted to say a huge thank you for all the great tips you give in this article – we followed most of them in the 5 days we had in Tromso! We also did 4 of the 7 easy hikes recommended in another of your post. I wish we stayed longer to be able to do them all. We had a truly wonderful time in Tromso and hope to come back again.

    Good luck with your next adventure!

    Pauline

    Reply
    • Hi Pauline,

      Wooooow, thank you soooo much!!! It means a lot getting these kinds of feedback from our readers! You really made my day! I can`t believe that you did 4 of our recommended 7 hikes! You must be in good shape! 🙂

      Thanks again for your nice comment! You`re the best!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  22. G’day Maria,
    My wife and I are coming up there on Jan 2nd from Perth Australia for a few days to check the place out and hopefully catch some of the northern lights so thanks for all the tips and suggestions on your page. We too love travelling and try to do a big trip at least once every year or two. This trip we’re also travelling to the UK, Turkey and Japan. Congrats on the page lots of good info on here.
    Cheers 🙂

    Reply
    • G´day mate! 🙂

      Thank you so much! Wow, so cool that you are heading up here to the Arctic all the way from Australia! We actually studied in Brisbane and had the chance to see some of Australia. Love your country and really hope to be back soon! Will hopefully visit Perth some day.

      The beginning of January is the perfect time to see the Northern Lights as the sun is below the horizon so it is dark day and night. Crossing my fingers that you will get clear sky so that you will be able to see this spectacular natural phenomenon.

      Sounds like will have a killer trip to Norway, UK, Turkey, and Japan, almost an around-the-world-trip! WOW, lucky you! We have some guides on Japan too on our blog, please check them out if you want some tips on what to do and see in Japan.

      Have an amazing trip!

      Cheers,
      Maria 🙂

      Reply
  23. hello,
    a nice informative article, willing to visit in July this year but i hope the cost would not be very high for a 3 days stay.
    Your informtions are much appreciated.

    kind regards.
    Jalal

    Reply
    • Hi Jalal,

      Thank you so much! Norway is a pretty expensive country. Accommodation and food, especially eating out, will probably be your highest expenses. There are, however, plenty of stuff you can do for free in Tromso, like hiking. You can for instance book an apartment and make some food on your own and save some money.

      Have a great trip to Tromso in July, and enojoy the Midnight Sun!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  24. Hello Maria,

    I am going to visit my friend in Sweden from Japan and we are planing to visit Tromsø together to experience the natural phenomenon, midnight sun. I searched midnight hiking tours but they are too expensive. We are going to visit other places in Norway so I don’t want to spend much on one activity and want to do it on our own.

    This site of yours is great! Thank you for the detailed info! It is so helpful ?

    Reply
    • Hi Satomi,

      Thank you so much! Great to hear that you are coming to Tromso this summer! There are plenty of hikes around Tromso that you can easily do on your own, you don`t have to join an organized hiking tour with a guide.

      Here are my favorite easy hikes in Tromso that you can do on your own: https://nerdnomads.com/hikes-in-tromso

      Have an awesome trip to Norway with your friend, and enjoy hiking in the midnight sun in Tromso! 🙂

      -Maria-

      Reply
  25. G’day Maria,
    Thanks for the reply we’re really hoping to see the northern lights to but alsoto do the dogsledding also. I read your article on that too, sounds like fun. I had a quick look at the Japan stuff too but will have another read when we come to booking that part of our trip. Anyway hope you get to Perth one day, if you do be sure to check out the south west of WA around Margaret River/Yallingup region, awesome area but WA has lot of nice places. Travel safe. 🙂
    Cheers,
    SCOTT.

    Reply
  26. Hello Maria,

    “Since the sun never rises above the horizon in Tromso from the 21st of November until the 21st of January, these are the best months to see the Northern Lights.”

    -I was wondering if early March is still a good time for an Aurora trip? Would you say that November-January is better because there’s a higher chance of spotting Northern Lights/ be able to see Northern Lights all day?

    Thanks,
    CJ

    Reply
    • Hi CJ,

      Yes, March is still a very good time to see the Northern Lights in Tromso. March is a more pleasant time to visit Tromso than January, in my opinion, as the sun is shining during the day so it is warmer and nicer to do outdoor things during the day.

      Have a great trip to Tromso!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  27. Thank you for this fantastic information – it was exactly what I needed for planning my visit to Tromso. It’s just a shame I have to wait until January 2019.

    Reply
    • Hi Emma,

      Thank you so much!! January is a great month to visit Tromso, and you will have a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights. It might be cold in January, though, this January was very cold with temperatures around -15 degrees Celsius.

      The popular Tromso International Filmfestival will be held 14. – 20. January 2019, with lots of people and things happening in Tromso.

      Have a great trip to Tromso next year! It will be a great way to kick off the new year! 🙂

      -Maria-

      Reply
  28. Hello Maria ,
    Thanks a lot for your extensive Tromso guide and amazingly beautiful panaromic photos.
    I will be visiting Norway (and Tromso) for the first time in mid July this year.
    So i look forward to visiting your beautiful country 🙂

    To be honest, it was a difficult decision for me to pick Tromso over Bergen 😀
    But your hometown is beautiful and i am excited to explore it in my 2 days/3 nights there.

    Marcus
    PS : Since you like Bali, i hope you will visit Malaysia one day too (My country of birth)

    Reply
    • Hi Marcus,

      Thank you so much! Great to hear that you are going to Tromso in July! It is the perfect time to see the Midnight Sun, hope you get some good weather. I am soooo glad that you picked Tromso over Bergen, hehe. Bergen is fine too but has a lot of rain, and Tromso is more unique and has a more spectacular nature and climate being in the Arctic. And Bergen doesn`t have the Midnight Sun so it gets dark in the night there.

      We have actually just been to Malaysia. Spent three weeks in Kuala Lumpur, and are now in Singapore. Love KL and Penang, and Malaysian food! Have unfortunately not been to the Perhentian Islands yet, would love to go there someday. Have also been to Cherating, although it was, unfortunately, raining all the time while we were there. Malaysia is such a beautiful country, one of my favorite in Asia.

      Have an awesome trip to Tromso in July! We are heading back home at the end of July.

      All the best,
      Maria

      Reply
  29. Hi Maria
    Thank you so much for your beautiful description of Tromsø which I intend to travel in mid September hoping to catch the northrpern lights.
    I like to do a trip to Senja Island with rental car; however the website to the ferry lines seem to be not available. Is there another link .

    Reply
    • Hi Sharon,

      Thank you so much! Great to hear that you plan on visiting Tromsø in September!

      So sorry about the links. Thanks for letting me know about the broken links! Really appreciate it! I have fixed them now.

      If you are thinking about doing the drive out to Brensholmen (close to Sommarøy) and take the ferry across the fjord to Senja, the last day it operates is 2nd of September. So there will not be any ferries going from Brensholmen to Senja in mid-September when you are visiting I`m afraid.

      So in mid-September, you will have to drive from Tromsø to Senja, with no ferries involved (there is a bridge over to Senja Island). The drive takes about three hours one way, and is beautiful with great fjord views.

      Have a great trip to Tromsø and enjoy your drive to Senja! Crossing my fingers that you will get to see the northern lights!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  30. Dear Maria,

    Thank you so much for one of the most informative webpages about Tromso! I will be in your city for five days this July (16-21) and plan to do some at least moderate level of day hikes around Tromso. I am a little worried about hiking solo in the wilderness– for the risks of getting lost and/or injuried on the trail. Do you know if there is any local community (like meetups in the U.S.) where people gather for such hiking activities as a group?

    Thank you very much!
    Joy

    Reply
    • Hi Joy,

      Thank you so much! Great to hear that you are visiting Tromso in the middle of July! It is the perfect time to go hiking in Tromso!

      Yes, there is an organization for people who like hiking, The Norwegian Trekking Association, that organize tours: https://troms.dnt.no. But unfortunately, they don´t seem to have planned any tours for the five days you will be in Tromso. You can send them an email and ask: troms@dnt.no

      A good friend of mine, Tore at Active Tromso, is doing great guided hiking trips in Tromso.

      In my hiking in Tromso post, I list some easy hikes that you will have no problem hiking solo. These hiking trips are very popular so you will not be alone and you will meet people along the path that you can ask for direction or help if you need. The trails of the hikes that I list in this post are easy to find and follow, so you will not get lost.

      Have an awesome time in Tromso, and enjoy your hiking!!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  31. Hi Maria,

    Your blog is amazing. It made me change my itinerary. I initially thought of staying in Tromso for just a night and staying the rest of the trip in Lofoten but reading your post and realizing there’s so much to do and see in Tromso, I will now be staying there for 3 nights (i know it’s still not enough) but traveling on a tight sched and tight budget. Hopefully i’d be able to meet the “queen” during my stay (end of september 2018).

    Anyway, I am mentally doing a surgery turning all my fingers into thumb just so i could give you a ten thumbs up for writing this very informative blog. 🙂

    thank you so much and cheers from philippines.

    Reply
    • Hi Juvy!

      Awwww, thank you soooo much for your great comment, you are awesome! You made my day with your nice words! 🙂

      Wow, so happy to hear that I convinced you to stay longer in Tromso. Lofoten is great, but Tromso is amazing too! 🙂 You will love it!

      So cool that you are from the Philippines, and travel all the way up to the North of Norway! I love the Philippines, although we have only been to Manilla, Boracay, and Puerto Galera. Your country is soooo beautiful and I can´t wait to see more of it!

      Crossing my fingers that you will get nice weather Tromso and Lofoten in September, autumn usually has much nicer weather than the summer (June and July). Have an amazing trip to Tromso and Lofoten!!

      All the best,
      Maria

      Reply
  32. I am planning to travel to Tromso between 16-20Aug2018 with my family (wife and 9year old). Have to pretty much resort to public transport or bicycles, as I dont have a EU driving license to rent cars. Hoping I can get enough information to make the trip really worthwhile travelling across Tromso and not restricted to the city alone.

    Reply
    • Hi Vijay,

      Great to hear that you are going to Tromso in August with your family!

      You should download the free app called “Troms Reise” where you can easily find routes, bus stops and when the bus departs. You should also download the free mobile app called “Troms Mobillett” to buy tickets for both buses and ferries/ express boats.

      Tromso city is located on a small island (only 10 km long), so getting around the city and its surrounding areas by bus, bicycle, or walking is no problem at all. There are plenty of buses.

      You can also easily get to Kvaloya and the mainland Tromsdalen by bus, bicycle, or walking, as these are connected to Tromso city by bridges.

      If you want to get further out of the city and see some of the islands, a good option is to do a day-trip and take one of the many ferries/ express boats that leave from downtown of Tromso (the brand new harbour terminal where also the tourist information is located). A nice ferry trip is the one to Senja (express boat no. 4 to Lysnes) or to Skjervoy (express boat no.3) which you can easily do as a day-trip without a car. You will find the timetable for these boats in the app “Troms Reise”.

      Have a great trip to Tromso in August!! Crossing my fingers that you will get nice weather! I hear from my friends and family back home that the summer so far has been extremely cold (around 7 degrees Celsius) and it has even been snowing in June! So bring warm, wind- and waterproof clothes.

      -Maria-

      Reply
  33. Hi Maria

    Glad to come across your bog..we(me, my wife and 2 teenage daughters) will be visiting Tromsø 8-11th aug…planning to see tromso for 1.5 days…one day to drive to Senja..that leaves one more day to figure …pls suggest some thing , either a hike or a drive

    Rajkumar

    We are based in hk

    Reply
    • Hi Rajkumar,

      Thank you so much!

      If the weather is OK, I really recommend doing one of these hikes.

      Most of these hikes are on the island Kvaloya where I`m from. A nice trip for you would be to drive over the bridge to Kvaloya and drive south to the island Sommaroy. It is a beautiful drive through several fjords and mountain areas. Two of these seven hikes are really close to Sommaroy (Ørnfløya and Hillesøytoppen). The drive to Sommaroy takes about 1 hour from downtown Tromso (one way). You can also do the hike to Nattmålstinden if you want as it is on your way to Sommaroy.

      On your way out to Sommaroy, you should make a stop at Ersfjord and visit the cozy cafe Bryggejentene for some coffee, ice cream, and some delicious Norwegian cakes. The cafe is, however, closed on Sundays.

      There is a great hotel at Sommaroy, Sommaroy Arctic Hotel if you want to spend the night there.

      From Sommaroy there is a ferry over to Senja Island (you can drive onboard the ferry with your rental car). The ferry trip takes 35 min and has stunning views, I really recommend it! The ferry pier at Sommaroy is called Brensholmen and the pier at Senja Island is called Botnhamn. You can find the ferry schedule HERE.

      I think a drive to Sommaroy with a stop at Ersfjord and a hike along the way (either Nattmålstinden, Ørnfløya or Hillesøytoppen) would be a great day-trip for you! You can end your day-trip to Sommaroy by taking the ferry over to Senja (the last ferry leaves at 20:45 on Monday – Thursday, 22:15 on Fridays, 19:00 on Saturdays, and 22:15 on Sundays), or spend the night at Sommaroy and take the ferry over to Senja the next morning.

      Have a great trip to Tromso in August with your family! I`m sure you will have an amazing time! Love HK by the way! 🙂

      -Maria-

      Reply
  34. Wonderful page on Tromsø and by far the best I’ve seen so far on the web. I’m visiting in Feb 2019 for 5 days and very excited. Your information has really helped me. Thank you very much for taking your time to list this information:)

    Reply
    • Hi Damon,

      Thanks a million! Really appreciate it! Wow, awesome that you will visit Tromsø in February! It is the perfect time to see the northern lights, and also the sun is back so you will have a bit of daylight during the day which is nice.

      Crossing my fingers that you will see a lot of stunning northern lights dancing in the sky! Have a wonderful time in Tromsø in February! Thank you so much for commenting, you made my day! 🙂

      -Maria-

      Reply
  35. Dear Maria,
    first of all thank you a thousand times for this wonderful and outstanding article about Tromsø. Honestly by far the best I have read so far.

    I will be there from the 12th to the 20th of October. Seeing the northern lights is on the very top of my bucket list. So I hope you cross your fingers for me that I will see them 🙂
    I bought a new camera and I am looking forward to shoot some amazing pictures.

    Besides chasing the northern lights I will plan my whole itinary according to your article and your tips 🙂 So hopefully I will be Dog Sledding, visit one or two of the museums, visit the Fjords and the beatiful islands nearby. I guess I will be pretty busy 🙂

    I am really already so excited and can’t wait to experience the beautiful city of Tromsø.

    So thank you again for this great article that makes my excitement even bigger

    Cheers
    Serkan

    Reply
    • Hi Serkan,

      Thank you soooo much for your nice words!! Really appreciate it! You totally made my day! 🙂

      So happy to hear that my article about Tromsø could be of inspiration and help to you when planning your Tromsø-trip in October! I am crossing all my fingers and toes that you will see plenty of green and pink Northern Lights dancing in the sky.

      I hope there will be snow in the middle of October so that you get the chance to go dog sledding. Normally we only get a little bit of snow in September/ October, but it usually disappears and then we don´t get snow again until November/December.

      But you will have plenty of things to do even if there is no snow. Fishing is great here in Tromso in October. The fish is of good quality as the temperatures in the sea is lower than during the summer months. Also, you should drive out to Ersfjord (have a coffee and cake at Bryggejentene Cafe) and Sommaroy where the Northern Lights is even more spectacular as it is darker and not that many artificial lights like in the city of Tromso.

      I`m sure you will love Tromso! Have a great trip!

      All the best,
      Maria

      Reply
  36. Thank you so much for all this info. I am visiting Tromso at the end of October and have arranged a three night Northern Lights tour and a day-time cruise. With your guide, I have made notes as to what I should see on land and suggestions for cafes and restaurants. Most useful ! Looking forward to the visit.

    Reply
    • Hi AnnieBee,

      Thank you so much! Wow, so cool that you are visiting Tromso in October! Happy to hear that our Tromso guide could be of help to you when planning your trip! With the three-night Northern Lights tour and a day-time cruise, you have covered two of the best highlights of Tromso.

      Crossing my fingers that you will have nice weather, a clear sky, no rain, and see plenty of Northern Lights! We are in Tromso right now, visiting my parents, and the Northern Lights have been fantastic so far in September.

      Have an awesome trip to Tromso at the end of October!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  37. Hi! I am thinking of visiting Tromso in January – it’s my birthday and I’d like to experience the Northen lights as a present to myself 🙂
    Do you think it is a good time to go? I imagine it will be super cold, but with the right clothes, will I still be able to wander around?

    Thank you!

    Giulia

    Reply
    • Hi Giulia,

      Wow, what a great birthday present to give to yourself! My birthday is in January too 🙂

      Yes, January is a perfect month to see the Northern Lights in Tromso. The sun is coming back on the 21st of January, which we celebrate all over town, but the sun is only above the horizon for a few minutes each day so it is mostly dark outside. The sun is a couple of minutes longer above the horizon for every day until it is up all day and night (the midnight sun) from mid-May until mid-July. That it is so dark in January makes it easy to see the Northern Lights if the sky is clear. You can even see it from the downtown of the city surrounded by street lights and houses.

      This year January was extremely cold in Tromso, with temperatures around -10 to -18 degrees Celsius every day. But the average temperatures in January is normally around -4 C, so not that cold. It is usually plenty of snow in Tromso in January. With warm, wind- and waterproof clothes and shoes you will be fine and will be able to wander around.

      Have a fantastic trip to Tromso in January! Crossing all my fingers that you will see lots of Northern Lights on your birthday!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  38. I have read your post without breathing.
    Thanks a lot Maria ♥, you are a handsome and wonderful person, because you are sharing and you are thinking on other people. For sure we should follow your example in terms of travel tricks.
    All this valuable information are really helpful and there are many info to know before our visit.
    We are also coming late October and I’m hopping to see the Northern Lights and maybe also to see the whales on 28oct.
    Regards from Romania!

    Reply
    • Hi Madalina,

      Thank you sooooo much for your nice words, Madalina!!! ♥ Really appreciate it, your comment made my day! 🙂

      Lucky you who are heading to Tromso in October! Late October is perfect for seeing the Northern Lights! It is dark in the evenings and the average temperature is around +3 so it is not that cold yet. We don´t usually have snow yet, and the red, orange and yellow autumn colors on the trees are stunning! So October is a great month to visit Tromso. It has been plenty of Northern Lights here the last couple of weeks, so it looks promising for October as well.

      Crossing my fingers that you will have a clear sky and get to see plenty of Northern Lights and whales! I have unfortunately not been to Romania yet, but it looks like a beautiful country with awesome medieval towns with beautiful churches and castles. Really hope to see the beautiful Bran Castle one day, where Dracula apparently lived! 🙂

      Have an amazing trip to Tromso in late October!

      All the best,
      Maria

      Reply
  39. Hi Maria…

    Thanks a billion for this great blog on Tromso. My husband and two sons have been to Oslo, Bergen and Alesund in September 2015 with another family of friends and all of us just loved Norway. We could only see a very faint Northern Light while we were in Alesund and from that time on, I really wish to see a real strong one. Although we have been to Lapland Finland and Iceland, we unfortunately could not still fullfill our wish. 🙂 Either the timing was wrong or we did not get clear skies.

    I don’t know what time will bring, but if everything goes as planned, we are planning to visit Tromso sometime in 2019, probably and hopefully in February. I have started forming a Tromso documentation mostly based on your remarks and notes. No one knows a city better than a local, right? Plus, I have a feeling that this time, if we can make it to Tromso, we will see a strong Aurora Borealis. 🙂

    If we can make this dream a reality, I will contact you again with specific questions…

    Seeing and reading all the comments and your answers to all of them, I am sure that you will be giving me the most detailed and the most valuable information. I must say that I really appreciate your enthusiasm in what you do.

    Take care and once again thank you for taking time to do what you do in the best way you can.

    Reply
    • Hi Asude,

      Thank you so much for your nice comment and words about our blog! It means a lot and really motivates me to keep on writing and helping people to travel!

      Oh no, so sad to hear that you did not see the Northern Lights during your trip to Finland and Iceland, but third time’s the charm right? 😉 February is a great month for seeing the Northern Lights in Tromso. The sun has just returned so you will get some sun and light during the day while it is completely dark in the evenings and nights and the perfect conditions for Northern Lights watching.

      You should book a Northern Lights tour by boat, car, or bus, as they will drive you around to the places where it is most likely that you will see it. They will drive you all night if that’s what it takes, sometimes all the way inland towards the border of Sweden and Finland. Viator has, for instance, some great Northern Lights Tour in Tromso, check them out here.

      Crossing all my fingers and toes that you will see the Northern Lights this time! Don´t hesitate to send me an email or comment on the blog if you have any questions about Tromso and your trip.

      All the best,
      Maria

      Reply
  40. Hi Maria,

    Chance upon your article while researching for our trip to Tromso. It very informative. Thank you!

    We are planning to visit Tromso for 5days, arriving on 21st Nov. Beside joining the tour for aurora chase, we are interested in joining some snow activities such as snowshoeing, snow mobile or dog sledding. However, I have read somewhere saying that there may not have enough snow for such activities end Nov. Do you have any recommendations for places where we can participate in such activities near Tromso that is accessible via public transport?

    We are also looking at making 1 to 2 day trip to area near Tromso. Given that we don’t drive, do you have any recommendations for day trip for end Nov period?

    Thank you for your help!

    Cheers!

    Reply
    • Hi Claire,

      Great to hear that you are heading to Tromso at the end of November! It is sadly no snow in Tromso right now, it is just raining a lot. There might be some snow by the 21st of November, but I don´t think it will be enough for snowmobile or dog sledding.

      You can contact some of these dog sledding tour companies which are a part of Visit Lyngen (Lyngen is located further north of Tromso). They also have Snowmobile trips, but as you see they don´t start until the beginning of December (if there is any snow). They can probably pick you up in Tromso.

      A nice option (since there is no snow), is to go on a whale safari trip.

      As for day trips near Tromso without renting a car, I recommend:

      – Ersfjord, a beautiful fjord on Kvaloya with the coziest cafe called Bryggejentene. It is surrounded by mountains where you can go hiking, or you can just go for a walk along the shore and admire the sea and mountain views.
      Take the bus no. 425 from the bus stop Prostneset in downtown Tromso (next to the Tourist Information). Check the bus schedule here (in the Travel Planner, enter From: Tromsø Postneset, To: Ersfjordbotn Skole, and the date you want to go). I also recommend that you download the free app called “Troms Reise” where you can easily find routes, bus stops and when the bus departs. You should also download the free mobile app called “Troms Mobillett” to easily buy bus tickets.

      – Senja Island, a big island with beautiful nature, beaches, and fjords.
      Take the Express boat (no. 4) from downtown Tromso (it leaves from the brand new harbor building at Prostneset, where the Tourist Information is located) to Lysnes on Senja. The round-trip takes about 2 hours. The express boat no. 4 runs on Mondays and Wednesdays when it leaves from Tromsø at 07:10 and you are back in Tromsø at 09:05, and it leaves Tromsø again at 16:20 and is back in Tromsø at 18:15. On Fridays, it leaves from Tromsø 07:10 and you are back in Tromsø at 09:05 and 16:00 – 17:55. Sundays the boat leaves Tromsø at 20:20 and you are back at 22:20. I recommend that you take one of the morning boats as there is no sun in Tromso at the end of November (the sun is below the horizon until 21st of January). You will not see much if you go with the afternoon/ evening boats as it will be completely dark outside. The fare is NOK 260 and you can buy it onboard the boat or with the app “Troms Mobillett”.

      – Skjærvøy Island, an island north of Tromso where you will see the famous Lyngen Alps on the way. Skjervøy also has a lot of whales so if you are lucky you can see whales “for free” from the express boat.
      Take the express boat (no. 3) from downtown Tromsø it leaves from the brand new harbor building at Prostneset, where the Tourist Information is located) to Skjervøy. The boat runs on Tuesdays (Tromsø – Skjervøy – Tromsø 16:00 – 20:05), Thursdays (Tromsø – Skjervøy – Tromsø 16:00 – 20:15), Fridays (Tromsø – Skjervøy – Tromsø 18:10 – 23:20), and Sundays (Tromsø – Skjervøy -Tromsø 14:30 – 19:50). The round-trip fare is NOK 560 and you can buy tickets onboard or with the app “Troms Mobillett”.

      Another option is to take the express boat no.3 to Skjervøy that departs from Tromso Tuesdays at 16:00 or Thursdays at 16:00 or Sunday at 14:30, and then the southbound Hurtigruten back from Skjervøy to Tromso. The Hurtigruten departs from Skjervøy at 19:45, and arrives in Tromso at 23:45.

      Have a fantastic time in Tromso at the end of November! Crossing my fingers that you get clear sky and see tons of Northern Lights!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  41. Hello Maria

    Thanks for this wonderful article. This is exactly what I was looking for. There’s nothing better than a recommendation from someone local, so many things you won’t find in any guide book.
    My wife and myself will travel to Tromsø during the first week of December with two goals in mind, the Northern Lights and Orcas 🙂 The first should be almost a given and the second one we hope for (we’re big wildlife fans). Of course, one can never predict nature. Would you recommend booking a tour for either of the two already well in advance or should it be easy to get upon arrival in Tromsø? Any particular operator you can recommend?

    Many thanks beforehand
    Greetings from Switzerland

    Reply
    • Hi Marcel,

      Thank you so much! 🙂

      Great to hear that you are visiting Tromso at the beginning of December! It is the perfect time to see both the Northern Lights and Orcas.

      Whale Tours
      The last couple of years the whales have unfortunately not been coming into the fjords around Tromso. They have been hunting herring further north of Tromso, around Skjervoy Island and the Lyngen Alps. Whales were actually spotted around Skjervoy Island last week, so it should be possible to see some in December as well.

      Here are two great Orcas tours that take you to the Skjervoy/ Lyngen area north of Tromso (they pick you up in downtown Tromso):

      Whale watching trip from Tromso to Skjervoy with bus and Rib-boat
      Whale watching trip from Tromso to Skjervoy and Lyngen with bus and a research ship where you learn about Orcas

      Northern Light Tours
      December is high season in Tromso with lots of tourists so it might be a good idea to book tours in advance, particularly if you are short on time and have some specific dates in mind. I recommend that you join a small group tour, and they can be fully booked. This small-group Aurora Hunt Tour is very popular and has some great guides! This tour also includes a hot meal and they make a bonfire for you which is nice as you usually get really cold when standing outside waiting for the Northern Lights to appear. 🙂

      Have a fantastic trip to Tromso in December! Crossing all my fingers and toes that you will see both Northern Lights and Orcas. 🙂

      -Maria-

      Reply
  42. What a great detailed guidance !! Amazing really. Many thanks.

    I want to know that if we travel for 2 days in the 2nd week of November, What do you advice would be the best activities to do during the day & the night in 2-3 days… Thanks alot

    Reply
    • Hi Salman,

      Thank you so much!! Sorry for my late reply, you are probably arriving in Tromso in a few days.

      Since we have no snow in Tromso yet, the best activities to do in my opinion are:

      1. Join a Northern Lights Tour. I recommend that you join a small group tour. This small-group Aurora Hunt Tour is very popular and has some great guides! This tour also includes a hot meal and they make a bonfire for you which is nice as you usually get really cold when standing outside waiting for the Northern Lights to appear. ?

      If there is no clear sky and you are not able to see the Northern Lights, or want to learn more about it, visit the Science Center and see the fantastic movie Extreme Aurora. The movie is shown every day at 14:00 (English version).

      2. Take the cable car up to Floya Mountain (or walk up if you want some exercise and the weather is nice) and have a cup of coffee or tea and some food at the restaurant at the top.

      3. On your way to or from the cable car, visit the Arctic Cathedral (it is located close to the cable car). The opening hours of the cathedral is 14.00 – 18.00.

      4. Visit the Polar Museum to learn the history of Tromso or visit Polaria and see the seals and fish. The seal feeding times are 12.30 and 15.30 which is great fun.

      5. Have a beer at Olhallen, Tromso’s oldest brewery Mack.

      Have a wonderful time in Tromso next week! Hope you get nice weather and see plenty of Northern Lights!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  43. Hi Maria,

    Wonderful article!! Keep up the great job!

    We will be visiting Tromso this coming Nov for 5 days. Would you be able to recommend 1 to 2 day trip from Tromso (doable via public transport)?

    Thanks vm.

    Cheers

    Reply
    • Hi Jun,

      Thank you so much!!

      If you don´t plan on renting a car, I recommend these day trips from Tromso by public transport:

      – Ersfjord, a beautiful fjord on Kvaloya with the coziest cafe called Bryggejentene. It is surrounded by mountains where you can go hiking, or you can just go for a walk along the shore and admire the sea and mountain views.
      Take the bus no. 425 from the bus stop Prostneset in downtown Tromso (next to the Tourist Information). Check the bus schedule here (in the Travel Planner, enter From: Tromsø Postneset, To: Ersfjordbotn Skole, and the date you want to go). I also recommend that you download the free app called “Troms Reise” where you can easily find routes, bus stops and when the bus departs. You should also download the free mobile app called “Troms Mobillett” to easily buy bus tickets.

      – Senja Island, a big island with beautiful nature, beaches, and fjords.
      Take the Express boat (no. 4) from downtown Tromso (it leaves from the brand new harbor building at Prostneset, where the Tourist Information is located) to Lysnes on Senja. The round-trip takes about 2 hours. The express boat no. 4 runs on Mondays and Wednesdays when it leaves from Tromsø at 07:10 and you are back in Tromsø at 09:05, and it leaves Tromsø again at 16:20 and is back in Tromsø at 18:15. On Fridays, it leaves from Tromsø 07:10 and you are back in Tromsø at 09:05 and 16:00 – 17:55. Sundays the boat leaves Tromsø at 20:20 and you are back at 22:20. I recommend that you take one of the morning boats as there is no sun in Tromso at the end of November (the sun is below the horizon until 21st of January). You will not see much if you go with the afternoon/ evening boats as it will be completely dark outside. The fare is NOK 260 and you can buy it onboard the boat or with the app “Troms Mobillett”.

      – Skjervoy Island, an island north of Tromso where you will see the famous Lyngen Alps on the way. Skjervøy also has a lot of whales so if you are lucky you can see whales “for free” from the express boat.
      Take the express boat (no. 3) from downtown Tromsø it leaves from the brand new harbor building at Prostneset, where the Tourist Information is located) to Skjervøy. The boat runs on Tuesdays (Tromsø – Skjervøy – Tromsø 16:00 – 20:05), Thursdays (Tromsø – Skjervøy – Tromsø 16:00 – 20:15), Fridays (Tromsø – Skjervøy – Tromsø 18:10 – 23:20), and Sundays (Tromsø – Skjervøy -Tromsø 14:30 – 19:50). The round-trip fare is NOK 560 and you can buy tickets onboard or with the app “Troms Mobillett”.

      Another option is to take the express boat no.3 to Skjervøy that departs from Tromso Tuesdays at 16:00 or Thursdays at 16:00 or Sunday at 14:30, and then the southbound Hurtigruten back from Skjervøy to Tromso. The Hurtigruten departs from Skjervøy at 19:45, and arrives in Tromso at 23:45.

      Or you can join a Northern Lights Tour or a Whale Watching Tour to Skjervoy Island. Both these trips will take you out of the city.

      Have a great time in Tromso! Hope you get to see Northern Lights!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  44. I plan to go to Tromsø mid December before visiting my son in Germany during Christmas. Since it will be dark all day, how can I best experience the city besides the Northern Lihgts? Are the dog sled rides worth doing in the dark? Please let me know anything about visiting in mid December.

    Reply
    • Hi John,

      Great to hear that you are visiting Tromsø in mid-December! Even though the sun is below the horizon from mid-November until mid-January, it is not completely pitch dark outside. For a few hours during the middle of the day, from around 09 until around 13 o´clock, you will be able to see your surroundings.

      Yes, dog sledding is absolutely worth doing in December even if it is no sun! The light is pretty special in the Arctic during the dark period, it is kind of bluish. Sorry, it is difficult to describe, you will see it yourself once you get there. 🙂

      If you go dog sledding in the afternoon/evening and you are lucky and the sky is clear, you can even see spectacular Northern Lights dancing across the sky while you are standing on your dog sled, which is pretty magical. We did this dog sledding trip at the end of January when the sun had barely returned and it was only up a few minutes each day. So as you can see in the photos it is still pretty light outside even though there is no sun.

      Besides Northern Lights tour and dog sledding, you can do fun activities like these in December:

      – Cable Car to Floya Mountain
      – Reindeer sledding and feeding
      – Snowmobile trip
      – Whale watching trip
      – Cross-country skiing, off-piste skiing, or snowshoe walking in the mountains or in Lysloypa
      – Fjord cruise and a fishing trip
      – Ice climbing in the Lyngen Alps
      – Visit Tromso Ice Domes
      – Walk around the city and visit the Arctic Cathedral, Tromso Cathedral, Polar Museum, and Polaria (see the feeding of the seals)

      Have a fantastic trip to Tromso in December!! Hope you get to see the Northern Lights!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  45. Hi Maria,

    You’ve made a great and detailed article, easy to read with wonderful pictures of Tromso and the surrounding.
    We will be there, my daughter and I next week.

    Thanks,
    Phil

    Reply
    • Hi Philippe,

      Thank you so much! Awesome that you are coming to Tromso next week! We had some spectacular Northern Lights here in Tromso a couple of days ago, but it´s, unfortunately, cloudy and rainy today. Crossing my fingers that the sky will clear up until next week and that you will see plenty of Northern Lights!

      Have a fantastic trip to Tromso next week with your daughter!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  46. Hi Maria,

    Thank you for this amazing blog. I have a question about Northern Lights : is it worth it to pay for a tour or do we have a chance to see some Northern Lights by ourselves ? We have a car, so we can reach to the best spots easily, do you have in mind a great spot to watch them by the way ?

    Thank you in advance,

    Marie

    Reply
    • Hi Marie,

      Thank you so much! Since you have a car, you can easily drive out of the city yourself to see the Northern Lights better. It is best to get out of the downtown of Tromso and away from the city lights, as the Northern Lights is stronger in the dark.

      You can see our recommended places to see the Northern Lights by yourself HERE.

      If the weather is bad, with overcast weather, it is not that easy to find the best areas for Northern Lights by yourself. You should check the weather forecast for different areas of Tromso and its surroundings and go to the area that has fewer clouds. The best app for the weather forecast in Norway is the YR App (or webpage Yr.no). You can download the free Yr App here:
      – Android http://bit.ly/yr-weatherforecast
      – iPhone http://bit.ly/yr-weather

      Also, a good Northern Light forecast app is nice to have, like for instance this: Northern Lights forecast that you can download to your phone:
      – Android: http://bit.ly/northernlightsforecast
      – iPhone: http://bit.ly/aurora-forecast-no

      If the weather is bad with cloudy weather, it might be a good idea to join a tour. They are skilled in finding the area where it is most likely that the Northern Lights will appear. They really haunt the Northern Lights and will drive you all over Northern Norway and sometimes across the border to Northern Finland in order to find the Northern Lights. So it really depends on the weather.

      Have a fantastic trip to Tromso and hope you get to see the Northern Lights! 🙂

      -Maria-

      Reply
  47. Hello,

    Your blog is really interesting, thanks a lot for sharing.
    Can you help me ?
    I’ll be in Tromso this February, and I’m looking for whale-watching.
    Is there a company better than another ?
    I’m french, and on the Internet, a lot of bloggers recommand Green Gold of Norway, but you may have other recommendations ?
    Thank you so much

    Reply
    • Hi Emilie,

      Thank you so much!

      Unfortunately, the last couple of years the whales have not entered the fjords surrounding Tromso at all, they have been coming to the fjords further north of Tromso to feed on the fish herring. You can, of course, get really lucky and see a whale on a fjord cruise around Tromso, but it is very unlikely.

      Your best option to see whales is to join a tour that takes you further north of Tromso, to the island Skjervoy.

      I recommend this Whale Research Safari Tour to Skjervoy. It is an excellent full day tour where you will be transported to Skjervoy Island from Tromso City by a modern and comfortable bus (a 3,5-hour drive in total). The bus will pick you up at Scandic Ishavshotell in downtown Tromso in the morning. The drive north to Skjervoy is amazing in itself where you will get a guided sightseeing tour and see some stunning steep mountain and fjord views while you drive through the magnificent Lyngen Alps.

      When you arrive on Skjervoy Island, you will step onboard a comfortable research ship with heated cabins and restrooms. Onboard the ship, you can sit back and relax and watch the whales, or you can be more active and assist the research team collecting behavioral observations, photo-identification, underwater footage, and vocal recordings of the whales. Totally up to you. You get the chance to learn about whales, their behaviors and why they behave like they do, from the whale researchers.

      Food is also included in this tour. If the sky is clear, you can even see the Northern Lights dancing across the sky – a full jackpot of whales and Northern Lights! Can it get more perfect?! ?

      Click here for information and the latest prices on the Whale Fjord Tour to Skjervoy
      (pick option 2: Tour & Transport to Skjervøy unless you plan to rent a car and want to drive to Skjervøy on your own)

      Have a fantastic trip to Tromso in February! Crossing my fingers that you get to see plenty of whales and Northern Lights!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  48. Hi Maria,

    Your blog make an amazing read and i feel silly that i have only 30 hours in Tromso. What would be your top recommendation for me to do. I am travelling solo in February 2019. Do you have a tour operator you could recommend for going and seeing the northern lights with?

    Thank you for your guidance

    Reply
    • Hi Joya,

      Thank you so much! Awesome that you are visiting Tromso in February! 30 hours in Tromso is better than nothing though. 🙂

      Since you are short on time, you should book a Northern Lights tour which will increase your chances of seeing it since they will take you to places where the odds are the best for a clear sky.

      It depends on how you want to see the Northern Lights and what kind of activity you want to do while seeing it. Here are the ones I recommend and think are the best:

      1. Northern Lights Tour by mini bus (the most common one) – Take you to the mountains, fjords, and valleys outside of Tromso

      2. Northern Lights Photography Tour – If your aim is to take great shots of the Northern Lights

      3. Northern Lights Dog Sledding Tour – If you like dogs and want to try out dog sledding, it is great fun!

      4. Northern Lights Reindeer Feeding and Sledding Tour – Where you get to feed and go sledding with real reindeers

      5. Northern Lights Sailing Tour – Where you get to see the fjords around Tromso at the same time as watching the Northern Lights

      6. Northern Lights Snowshoeing Tour – Where you get to do some exercise and walk in the mountains that surrounds Tromso

      7. Northern Lights Snowmobile Tour – If you like some speed and action, this is the tour for you

      Have a great trip to Tromso in February! Crossing my fingers that you will get nice weather, a clear sky, and be able to see the Northern Lights!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  49. Hi Maria! I found this article really impressive ! Thank you for it. I am planning to stay in tromso 3 days at the end of january. I am traveling on a lo budget plan (backpacker budget) My first plan is sight seeing the northern lights, I will be staying in Langsundvegen. Could you help me with some recommendations about what to do in those days?

    Thank you so much and congratulations about it, do you have an Oslo travel guide?

    Reply
    • Hi Oscar,

      Thank you so much for your nice words about my guide to Tromso!

      If you don´t want to/ don´t have the budget to join a Northern Lights Tour (even though I really recommend it), do you plan on renting a car? If not, your best options to see the Northern Lights is to head out of downtown Tromso:

      1. Cable Car to Floya Mountain
      Take the cable car up to Floya Mountain in the evening, like around 19/20 o`clock in the evening. Seeing the Northern Lights dancing above Tromso City is amazing! You can also walk around at the top of the mountain.
      You can walk from Langsundvegen to the cable car, the walk takes about one hour.

      2. Prestvannet Lake on top of Tromso Island
      The closest area to Tromso City where you can get a bit away from the city lights is to walk, take a taxi or the bus to the top of Tromso Island. You can head to the lake Prestvannet on top of Tromso Island where there is a nice walking path where you can watch the Northern Lights. It takes about 45 min to walk to Prestvannet from Langsundvegen.

      3. The beautiful Ersfjord
      Just outside of Tromso, on the island Kvaloya (Whale Island), is the lovely fjord Ersfjord. This is a popular area to go to see the Northern Lights. Take bus no. 425 from Prostneset Bus Stop in downtown Tromso to Ersfjord. The bus ride takes about 30 min one way and cost 44 Nkr each way if you buy your bus ticket through the free app “Troms Mobillett”. You should also install the free app “Troms Reise” to get the bus schedules for Tromso and its surrounding areas.

      4. Bukta Beach
      On the south end of Tromso Island is the Bukta Beach. This is also a bit away from the city lights of Tromso and a nice place to see the Northern Lights.

      If you are in Tromso between 14th and 20th of January, you should check out the famous and popular Tromso International Film Festival which is taking place here in Tromso. It is really great!

      Have an awesome trip to Tromso at the end of January! Crossing my fingers that you will see plenty of Northern Lights!

      -Maria-

      Reply
    • Hi Sarah,

      Yes, that is true. The midnight sun (the sun never sets and is up day and night) is from 20. May until 22. July in Tromso.

      Have a great trip to Norway and enjoy beautiful Tromso!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  50. Hi Maria, how’s the weather in March in Tromsø. Want to borrow a car. I’m just afraid, what is the weather. The road that are in excellent condition. In March could be the problem? Thank you Alena

    Reply
    • Hi Alena,

      There is normally lots of snow in Tromsø in March, but the roads are perfectly fine to drive on. When it snows, they clear the snow away immediately so it is usually no problem to drive. Your rental car will also have winter tires with spikes so you will be fine driving in Tromso in March.

      We have lots and lots of snow right now here in Tromso, it is a lot more than usual for January, but there is still no problem driving. I drive every day. 🙂 It is very cold here right now, -18 C today, so that is a bigger problem as the cars freeze up and get covered in ice (the doors, windows, everything). But March is much better temperature-wise, it is warmer and the average low temperature in March is -5 C.

      So don´t worry, you will be fine driving in Tromso in March. Have a great trip to Tromso!

      -Maria-

      Reply
    • Hehe, I dislike the cold too. 🙂 It can get pretty cold in Tromso in January and February. But because of the Golf Stream that gives us heated water, it never gets below around -18 C. It gets even colder inland and further north in Finnmark county, down to -50 C!

      Summer is better temperature-wise, although it is usually only around 10-15 C in summer so not that warm. It is the Arctic so bring warm clothes even if you are visiting Tromso during summer.

      Happy travels! 🙂

      -Maria-

      Reply
  51. Hello Maria, thanks a lot for your work! Great website, lot of useful info about Tromso.
    We’re going to visit Tromso on July, with tent.
    We’ve been there 11 years ago, but only for a few ours (during Hurtigruten trip).
    And we’ve felt in love with Tromso 🙂
    Now we’re coming back! Hurrraa! 🙂

    Thank you, your website will be our guide.

    Reply
    • Hi Marzena,

      Thank you so much for your nice comment! So happy to hear that you like our website and find our info on Tromso useful! Wow, awesome that you will be back in Tromso after eleven years and that you will go camping here! Yay! 🙂 Crossing my fingers that you will have nice weather and no rain so that you can fully enjoy the midnight sun.

      Have a fantastic trip to Tromso in July! Don´t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

      All the best,
      Maria

      Reply
  52. Hi Maria! Boy am I impressed by your blog! We are on an Arctic Cruise in June – stopping in Tromoso on June 13th (a Thursday) from 9-6. Sased on your info it looks like we should Take the cable car up and walk down (You say to do the opposite. Is that because it’s cheaper to walk up and ride down than reverse?). Then to see the Arctic church at same time as 2pm concert. Grab a beer and local lunch. A short fjord ride could be interesting but we will see fjords in each port. Sound like a plan?

    Reply
    • Hi Steve,

      Thanks a million! So happy to hear that you find my Tromso posts useful! Wow, awesome that you are going on an Arctic Cruise in June and stop in Tromso!

      It is the same price for the cable car, no matter if you are going up or down. I personally like to walk up and take the cable car down because it is the best exercise (to walk up, harder) and I find it hard on my knees to walk down (I have a bit of a knee problem). But, of course, the other way around (taking the cable car up and walk down) is perfectly fine too. 🙂

      Your plan for your Tromso visit sounds great! Grab a Mack beer and some local lunch, sounds perfect. Mack beer has their own pub, the Ølhallen, Tromso´s oldest pub. I agree that you will see enough fjords and sea on your cruise.

      The Cable Car is perfect to combine with a visit to the Arctic Cathedral as you have to go by the cathedral to get to the cable car anyway. If you have the time, a great way to experience and see the cathedral is to enjoy one of their daily concerts. You will, unfortunately, miss their famous Midnight Sun Concert (since it is at 23:00/ 11 pm and you leave at 18:00/ 6 pm). But you can opt for the Organ Recital. The Organ Recital is every day at 14:00 (2 pm) during summer (1st of June until 31st of July).

      Have a fantastic Arctic Cruise trip in June and enjoy your day in Tromso!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  53. Hi Maria, thank you so much for sharing so much info about things to do in Tromso, we will be travelling to Tromso on early May this year, 4 adults and 2 kids (11 years old and 5 years old). We will be driving in Tromso. May i know what is the weather in Tromso during May? Between, do you know the kid car seat rules in Norway? Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Ivy,

      Great to hear that you will be driving around in the Tromso area in early May with your kids! You will love it!

      This year it is an unusual amount of snow in Tromso, so it will still be snow on the ground when you visit in early May. Although the roads will probably be free of snow. There will still be excellent skiing conditions if you want to try it out.

      The daily mean temperature in Tromso in May is around +5 C/ 41 F. But it can be minus degrees too, the record low in May is -6,6 C/ 20,1 F. The record high in May is +26,6 C/ 79,9 F. So in May you really get all kinds of temperatures and weather (snow, rain, and sun) in Tromso. 🙂

      You can find the kid car seat rules for Norway HERE. You can probably rent car seats for your children at the place where you rent the car. You should email them and ask.

      Have a great trip to Tromso in May!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  54. Hi Maria,
    Thanks a lot for this wonderful piece of travel guide.
    I will be coming to Tromso in the third week of September and I already have a huge list with me thanks to your guide..!!
    Looking forward…

    Reply
    • Hi Prachi,

      Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! Awesome that you are visiting Tromso in September. September is the start of the Northern Lights season in Tromso. It is my favorite month to watch the Northern Lights as the temperatures are still quite warm so you don´t have to freeze that much. 🙂 And the autumn foliage turns the nature into beautiful colors of red, yellow, orange, and brown. Crossing my fingers that you will see plenty of Northern Lights!

      Have a fantastic trip to Tromso in September!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  55. Hello! I just wanted to thank you for your very helpful and detailed post! I can’t wait to visit Tromso-maybe next winter?-and hopefully see the Aurora Borealis!

    Reply
    • Hi Monica,

      Thank you so much!! Crossing my fingers that you will visit Tromso next winter and see plenty of Aurora Borealis!

      All the best,
      Maria

      Reply
  56. Dear Maria,

    Your post on Tromso is a lifesaver for me as I plan my honeymoon (and Aurora chasing) trip!

    I have some questions I would like to seek your advice though: I am thinking of taking the bus from downtown Tromso Prostneset to Ersfjordbotn, but due to bus timing constraint, I am planning to take Bus 420 and transfer to Bus 425 (as I understand Bus 425 direct from Tromso Prostneset to Ersfjordbotn only runs at a few timings per day).

    So, my question is when I purchase the ticket(s) on Troms Mobillett, do I purchase two separate tickets (one for Bus 420 and one for Bus 425) or do I purchase one Single ticket (there is an option for 2 zones journey) for the 2 bus rides? If it is the latter, do I just show the bus driver the same ticket when boarding both buses?

    Your reply would be very much appreciated! Thank you in advance! 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Faye,

      Thank you so much! 🙂

      Yes, you can take Bus 420 or 42 to Eidkjosen (Bus 420 leaves from Prostneset bus stop while bus 42 leaves from Sjøgata S4 bus stop which is close to Prostneset), and change to Bus 425 to Ersfjordbotn there. Bus 42 runs even more often from the city center to Eidkjosen.

      You must buy a 2 zones ticket for this journey (it cost 48 Nkr with the Troms Mobillett App, and 60 Nkr if you buy it with cash onboard the bus). You show the same ticket (on your mobile in the Mobillett app) to the driver on both buses. The ticket is valid for an hour.

      If you plan on taking the bus in and around Tromsø a lot, then you can buy one of these bus tickets instead:
      – 24 hours ticket (100 Nkr for 1 zone, 130 Nkr for 2 zones)
      – 7 days ticket (240 Nkr for 1 zone, 325 Nkr for 2 zones)

      Have a fantastic honeymoon trip to Tromso! Crossing all my fingers and toes that you will get to see a spectacular Aurora show!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  57. Hi Maria.
    We are here for a month, mostly September, and your blog has been absolutely perfect for us. Super informative. My husband his here working, so I’m exploring around each day with my 3 year old. We’ve done a lot of the hikes you recommended, and most of the day trips. It’s been spectacular and just great. What a gorgeous place, I love the raw landscape and the energy of the place, it’s so refreshing. We’ve even seen the Northern lights from town a couple nights. Thanks again for sharing your local knowledge and love of this plac, it’s made our trip the best.
    Shanti

    Reply
    • Hi Shanti,

      Wow, what a fantastic comment! Thank you so much!!! Really appreciate it! You made my day! ❤️????

      So happy to hear that you found my posts about Tromso useful! Sounds like you are having a great and memorable time in Tromso with your 3-year-old, which I am so glad to hear!

      We are in Tromso right now too, and September has been wonderful so far with lots of Northern Lights. Saw some spectacular Northern Lights last weekend, even with the full moon the dancing aurora was really bright. And with the fresh white snow on the mountain tops that arrived a couple of days ago, I agree, Tromso really is a beautiful place with a raw and stunning landscape and surroundings.

      Enjoy the rest of our stay in Tromso and have a fantastic weekend!

      All the best,
      Maria

      Reply
    • Hi huiru,

      Thank you so much!

      There are two places in Tromso where you can buy fresh whole king crabs:
      Dragøy – Sells all kinds of fish, seafood, shrimps, and king crabs. They are located at Jekta Shopping Mall (1st floor, at the entrance to the shopping mall) next to the Tromso Airport. And they also have a shop in downtown of Tromso, at Kystens Mathus (1st floor, address: Stortorget 1).

      Eide Handel – A supermarket/ local grocery shop with an impressive fresh food department (all sorts of seafood and meat). Eide Handel is located on Kvaloya, a 20 min drive from downtown Tromso (you can also take bus no. 42 there if you don’t plan on renting a car).

      You can see their location on this map (Google Maps).

      The restaurant Fiskekompaniet in downtown Tromso has king crab on their menu, as well as Arctandria Restaurant.

      Hope you find fresh whole king crabs in Tromso!

      -Maria-

      Reply
      • Thanks so much for replying me, really appreciate the great information provided! It has been relatively difficult to find in depth information about Norway and this blog is really the BEST one available!

        Reply
  58. Hi Maria,

    We’re visiting Tromso over Christmas and I read that most shops/restaurants/bars are closed on Christmas Day. What do you recommend to do over on Christmas Day itself when in Tromso?

    We both love seafood, wondering if you have any recommendations on seafood restaurants/grocery stores while we are there without burning a hole in our pockets?

    Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Hi Chia,

      Awesome that you are visiting Tromso during Christmas! We are heading back home to Tromso during Christmas too, to visit our family.

      You are right, most shops are closed on 25. and 26. of December, and they close early on the 24th. But many restaurants are open, especially hotel restaurants. And most of the tour operators run tours on the 25. and 26., like Northern Lights, Reindeer Sledding, Dog Sledding and so on.

      On the 24th, you can go to the Christmas Ceremony at one of the churches, for instance, the Arctic Cathedral or Tromso Cathedral. On the 24. the Christmas Ceremony is at 12:00, 14:00, and 16:00. There is also a ceremony at the Arctic Cathedral at 11:00 on the 25th and a Christmas Concert on the 27th at 21:00. You can see the calendar for the Arctic Cathedral here.

      The best seafood restaurants in Tromso are Fiskekompaniet and Arctandria.

      If you want some cheaper options, you can head for their lunch menu. Also, Emmas and Mathallen serves some cheaper fish dishes on their lunch menu. Mathallen has one lunch dish for only 100 kroner = US$ 10. What kind of dish varies from week to week but it is very often seafood. The lunch menu is from 11:00 (11 am) until 16:30 (4:30 pm) Monday to Thursday, and until 16:00 (4 pm) on Fridays and Saturdays.

      Have a fantastic Christmas in Tromso!!

      -Maria-

      Reply
      • Hi Maria,

        Thank you so much for all the recommendations! They are really helpful!

        Hope you have a wonderful family time in Tromso this coming Christmas!

        Regards,
        Chia

        Reply
  59. Hi!
    Such a comprehemsive guide! Really good.
    We are planning to travel in mid april. Is it a good time to visit Tromso? What can be done apart from cable car and museums?

    Reply
    • Hi Avani,

      Thank you so much!

      April is a great time of the year to visit Tromso! Spring is on and the temperatures are getting milder, the snow is melting, and the sun is up until late in the evening. It will still be snow up in the mountains that surrounds Tromso city, but it is usually not that much snow left in the lowland/ streets.

      As the evenings and nights are sunny and bright in April/ May, I’m afraid that you will not be able to see the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights is not visible between mid-April and end-August.

      Mid-April is the perfect time to go on a fjord cruise or fishing trip as the birds and sea wildlife starts to come alive again after the long and cold winter. So being out at sea is a great experience during spring and my favorite time of the year to go on boat and fishing trips.

      April is also the best month to go skiing in Tromso. You can also go hiking on foot, at least in the mountains on the outside of Kvaloya close to the sea. If it is still lots of snow left in Tromso, you can rent snowshoes at Tromso Outdoor (located in downtown).

      Easter holiday is a big thing in Norway and most Norwegians head to their cabins up in the mountains during the Easter week. Next year, Easter is in April with holidays: 9, 10, 12 and 13 April. All shops will be closed on these days, and there will be few people in Tromso during this Easter week.

      Have a fantastic trip to Tromso in April!!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  60. Hello Maria!
    thank you for this detailed post. really very helpful 🙂 Im planning to visit Tromso end of Jan. I’ve still haven’t decided whether it’s better to rent a car to do all the winter activities u listed like Hiking, northern lights, sledding … or go with the scheduled tours.
    what do u recommend ?

    Reply
    • Hi Mostafa,

      Thank you so much!

      Well, it depends on what you want to do and if you are comfortable with doing hiking in the snow and dark on your own or not.

      As for dog sledding, reindeer sledding and whale safari, you have to book and go with a tour as you can not do this on your own (no one will just lend you their dogs or reindeer without a guide).

      As for northern lights and hiking, you can, of course, do it on your own by renting a car and just head out. But it is pretty dark in Tromso at the end of January. The sun returns on the 21st of January, but there are just a few minutes of sun each day. Also, we have a lot of snow here in Tromso right now, so you will probably have to rent snowshoes and poles anyway, which is included if you book and join a hiking tour.

      Also, if the weather is cloudy, joining a Northern Lights tour is your best option of seeing the northern lights. The guide will drive you to the areas in northern Norway/ Sweden/ Finland with the best chances of seeing the Northern Lights. The guide will keep on haunting the Northern Lights the whole night if that’s what it takes for you to see it. 🙂 It can be a bit difficult to find the Northern Lights on your own, as you will have to do a lot of research on the local weather and northern lights conditions.

      If the weather is good with a clear sky, however, it is easier for you to see the Northern Lights on your own with a rental car by just driving out of the city. Then it does not matter where you go, you will see the Northern Lights anywhere as long as it is dark enough.

      So if the weather is overcast with lots of clouds (and especially if it is raining or snowing), then I recommend that you join a Northern Lights tour as you are more likely to see the Northern Lights on a tour than on your own. You can check the weather forecast at Yr.no (or download the app Yr).

      Have a fantastic trip to Tromso at the end of January! Crossing my fingers that you will see plenty of Northern Lights!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  61. Hello Maria,

    Thank you for your super helpful blog!

    My husband and I will be making our dream trip to Tromso in early March to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We hope to see the Northern Lights and have booked a tour to do so. My question is with regard to something a little less common on your blog, but I am hopeful with your local connection to Tromso that you will be able to assist.

    We would like to do a vow renewal at either the Arctic Cathedral or the Tromso Cathedral. We are just looking for a very brief, informal vow renewal. We will be the only ones on our trip so we will not have any guests with us. We are hoping that an officiant will perform a vow renewal ceremony for us and hope that someone might take pictures and video for us with our cameras. Do you think this would be possible at either of these locations and can you provide contact information that I could reach out to in order to make arrangements? We would like to do this on March 10, 1990 during the day, if possible around noon.

    Thank you so much for your consideration,

    Robin Dick
    Tecumseh, Michigan

    Reply
    • Hi Robin,

      Thank you so much!

      Wow, what a great idea to do your vow renewal in Tromso! You picked the right place! 🙂

      I think that both the Arctic Cathedral and the Tromso Cathedral will be fantastic places to do a vow renewal. You should contact both churches and ask. Here is the contact information for both churches:

      Contact Information Arctic Cathedral
      – Tromso Cathedral: post@kirken.tromso.no, telephone: +47 77 60 50 90

      Good luck with organizing your vow renewal, and have a fantastic trip to Tromso in March!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  62. Thankyou for such a detailed blog. I will be coming to Norway on Thursday(14 Jan). Cant wait to explore Northern Norway. 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Ashwini,

      Thanks a million! Woooow, awesome that you are arriving here in Norway today! Looks like it will snow a lot tomorrow, so sadly it is unlike that you will see the Northern Lights tomorrow. But it looks better at the end of the week and at the weekend. You can check the weather forecast for Tromso here (Yr.no).

      Have great fun! Crossing my fingers that you will see plenty of colorful Northern Lights dancing across the sky!

      Cheers,
      Maria

      Reply
  63. Hi Maria,
    Thanks for such an amazing guide! It really helped me plan out a trip that we’re taking in June as my husband will be running the Tromos Marathon. We’re planning on renting a car from Tromos and driving to Senja and Sommoary and then back to Tromos. What is the most scenic route from Sommoary to Tromos? We are also both vegetarian, do you have any restaurant recommendations in Tromos, Senja or Sommoary specifically we should keep in mind?

    Reply
    • Hi Isabella,

      Thank you so much! Wow, awesome that your husband is running the Midnight Sun Marathon! I have run the 10 K several times.

      Driving Route: Tromso – Senja – Sommaroy – Tromso

      So you can drive from Tromso to Senja, it takes about 3 hours. You can see this drive here (Google Maps).

      From Senja, you can take the ferry from Botnhamn on Senja to Brensholmen on Sommaroy. This is a summer ferry running from the last week of April until the first week of September. The ferry trip is beautiful with a fantastic view of the sea and the mountains.

      You can check the ferry schedule here – Ferry 181 (it has not been published yet for 2020, but will hopefully soon).

      From Sommaroy to Tromso, there are two road options:

      – Inland across the big island Kvaloya

      This is the shortest one. This drive takes about 1 hour. You will see mountains, the fjord Kattfjord and Kaldfjord, and Kattfjordeidet which has several tall mountains and a lake. If you do this drive, you should make a stop at the famous and cozy cafe Bryggejentene in Ersfjord, have a cup of coffee/ tea and some delicious cakes, before heading into Tromso city.
      You can see this drive here (Google Maps).

      – On the outside of the big island Kvaloya

      This is a bit longer drive. This drive takes about 1,5 hours. Here you will see the sea all the way. I think this is the more scenic route. On the way, you can stop at Hella, which is like an open-air museum of old houses from Tromso, and the cave edgings close to Hella (on the other side of the road).
      You can see this drive here (Google Maps).

      Vegetarian Restaurants

      I am not a vegetarian myself, but I’ve heard good things about the vegetarian food at:
      Art Cafe
      Hildr
      Presis Tapas Restaurant

      There is only one restaurant in Sommaroy, at the Sommaroy Arctic Hotel. And one fast food cafe (don’t think they have much vegetarian food, however) – Havfrua Kro.

      Have a fantastic trip to Tromso in June! And good luck running the Marathon (to your husband)!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  64. Hi Maria

    Thank you for such a detailed breakdown. My fianće and I have just landed in Tromso and your website has made our trip even better with loads to do and see now. We look forward to exploring all the wonders Tromso has!

    Reply
  65. Hi Maria,

    Just wanted to say I’ve really enjoyed reading your guide to Tromso – I’ve been fascinated by Norway for years and I now really want to visit Tromso! I feel like I’ve been on a little arctic adventure just sitting here at my desk at work (in upstate New York State). 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Katy,

      Thank you so much! It means a lot! Hope to see you here in Tromso when the Norwegian border reopens and this pandemic is finally over. Can’t wait to visit New York again, and the rest of the world. 🙂

      Take care and stay safe! Thanks for commenting!

      All the best,
      Maria

      Reply
  66. I was planning to visit Tromso for the past 2 years.
    If we get rid of the COVID restrictions I hope to visit it for four or five nights next November.
    I have saved about 1200 for this trip, air tickets excluded, so I hope I’ll have a sufficient budget to enjoy some of your suggestions… I also have a good facebook friend there who promised to show me his secret “Northern-Lights-Spots”
    Anyway, I’ve spent hours studying you guides and just want to say a big “THANK YOU”

    Reply
    • Hi Dimitris,

      Thank you so much! Awesome that you plan on visiting Tromso in November! I hope that the Norwegian borders will open by then and that the pandemic is over. Crossing my fingers that you will see some excellent Northern Lights.

      Thank you for commenting!

      Take care and stay safe,
      Maria

      Reply

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