Around the harbour
Favorite thing: I have always loved towns and cities that sit on the waterside, whether sea or lake, and Tromsø, with its picturesque setting on an island, fits the bill nicely. Its harbour stays ice free even in the depths of winter, and the surrounding mountains, snow-covered when we visited, form a lovely backdrop to both harbour and town. We were staying in an almost-harbourside hotel and were consequently here at all times of day and night and in all weathers, and it always had something to catch my eye. At night (and indeed much of the day, as there are only a few hours of daylight here in January) the lights of the buildings and graceful bridge sparkled, reflected in the water. And when it was light there were reflections of a different kind, with mountains that glowed blue or pink depending on the time of day and whether the elusive sun was lurking just behind them. And always the striking modern Arctic Cathedral on the opposite shore provided a focal point for our photos.
So my next tip is about that Arctic Cathedral.
The Polar night
Favorite thing: Tromsø lies 350 kilometres above the Arctic Circle, and that Circle is defined as the line north of which there is at least one day when the sun remains above the horizon for 24 hours (Midnight Sun) and at least one on which it never rises (Polar Night). The further north you go, the greater the number of days on which this occurs. In Tromsø the Polar Night lasts for two months, from 21st November to 21st January – if the surrounding area were flat it would be shorter, from 26th November to 15th January, but the mountains all around ensure that the sun stays below the horizon on a few days either side.
But this doesn’t mean that you will be in total darkness, although the hours of darkness are indeed long. For a few hours in the middle of the day, especially if clear, there is a cool blue twilight with a beauty of its own. By the time the Polar Night is nearly at an end (and certainly when we were there in mid January) you will even experience sunrise and sunset, although only an hour or less apart from each other. And on our final day here the sun did rise, for the first time in months, and the mountains glowed.
Next tip: leaving Tromsø on a Hurtigruten ship
Useful phone numbers
Favorite thing: The most common European emergency number 112 (following Directive 2002/22/EC: Universal Service Directive) and also standard on GSM mobile phones. 112 is used in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom in addition to their other emergency numbers.
Here are some useful phone numbers that you might need while in Norway:
Police (non-urgent): 02800
Few words in Norvegian
Favorite thing: Below few words in Norvegian that you can use while visiting Norway.
Where is ...?: Hvor er ...?
How much is the fare?: Hvor mye koster billetten?
One ticket to ..., please.: En billett til ..., takk.
Subway, Underground: T-bane
Train station = Jernbanestasjon
Bus station: Busstasjon
Are there any vacancies for tonight?: Er det noe ledig for i natt?
No vacancies: Alt opptatt.
How much does this cost?: Hvor mye koster dette?
What is this?: Hva er dette?
I'll buy it.: Jeg kjøper det.
I would like to buy ...: Jeg vil gjerne ha ...
Do you have ...: Har du ...
Do you accept credit cards?: Tar dere kredittkort?
Tourist Information: Turistinformasjon
Police station: Politistasjon
Store, Shop: Butikk
Today: I dag
Yesterday: I går
Tomorrow: I morgen
Again about houses, grass and the flowers...
Favorite thing: I hope that somebody will tell me why I love them so much. Let's see some photos and enjoy the shapes and the colours... just three months ago the snow was more than half meter thick.
Fondest memory: The colour of the grass is an unbelievable green... I have never thought that the grass can be so green.
City web site
Favorite thing: Want to have general information about the city, events, shops, restaurants etc...
I suggest to go and check out the official Tromso city web site, you can also download brochures, maps, etc...
Fondest memory: We were sitting dockside, enjoying a cola (typical Americans, right?), when a certain member of the local population took a keen interest in us. Sara took out the camera and snapped a few photos. Apparently, this local isn't camera shy.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Budget Travel
Favorite thing: From the end of may to the end of july the sun never sets in Tromsø. It's daylight all day long. The months before and after also have long days, but in winter they have two months where they don't see the sun at all.
AURORA BOREALIS - the northern light
Favorite thing: Aurora (light) borealis (northern) is a fantastic phenomenon. It can be seen in many parts of Norway, but the more north the more frequent and magnificent.
This beautiful dancing light occurs when solar wind hits the magnetic fields of the earth. When the particles collide with the gases in the ionosphere they start to glow, and this beautiful, mystical light appears.
Favorite thing: Samis (or Lapps) are the indigenous people of Norway. Their native territority stretches in a circle through the north of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.
The history of the samis tells about a people that through many centuries have been driven further and further north by other people.
They have been oppressed by other cultures and countrys for a long time, but the last decades they have slowly started to gain more rights, have their own laws and even their own council.
Most samis live off reindeer-herding, and many still live in a very traditional way. Their culture and Finno–Urgic language is unique, and so are their traditional costume and footwear. Design for life in a harsh environment, nomadic lifestyle, and spiritual and aesthetic preferences.
Tromsdalen - my valley :)
Favorite thing: I guess most wouldn't agree, but somehow Tromsdalen is one of my favourite parts of Tromsø. It's located on the mainland (the butchers for seals and whales work on this side) and linked to the island by a bridge since the 1960's. Theres a cartunnel some km's linking Kroken and the University Area in the North as well.
Tromsdalen is special to me because of Tromsdalen Church (Arctic Cathedral), the "strange" football team Tromsdalen UIL (You lose but you rule bonan!) and some nice memories in the pizzeria up the valled. And of course also because of hiking: Unforgettable the Yulia Bakshanova Tromsdalstind hike, my hike on my second Tromsø day and the trip in midwinter with Sofia, Daniel and Schlampino (?) ...
Tromsdalen didn't have very close links to Tromsø until mid 20th century. Tromsdalen was the place of farmers, fishermen and the Sami popular. You an see this pretty well on old postcards.
Today Tromsdalen is one of the nicest (IMHO) residental areas of Tromsø. There are also some minor shopping centres when coming from the South. If you come by car to Tromsø from the mainland you will always pass through Tromsdalen ... I passed it also when I left Tromsø by bus to Finland in July 2001.
life up north
Favorite thing: Tromso calls itself the “Paris of the North” and the “Gateway to the Arctic”. The essence of this town is well described by these 2 names. It’s a spirited lively town which boasts plenty of street music, cultural happenings and more pubs per capita than any other town in Norway.
Fondest memory: I liked the museums a lot. Museum-wise there’s a wide choice of exhibits about arctic life and exploration in the city, while the triangular iceberg-shaped Arctic Cathedral, adds the finishing touch.
take the funicular to the view...
Favorite thing: take the funicular to the view point and enjoy the city's beautiful location.
Fondest memory: This quite town has a special way of living, due to its high latitude. This is one of these places where you feel you are at the top of the world.
Do some cross country skiing,...
Favorite thing: Do some cross country skiing, for example on a sunny day in the early spring. It's amazing how close to the town centre pre-set tracks in beautiful nature have been made.
Fondest memory: What I gonna miss the most when I will leave is the bright midnight-sun nights, when you can sit all night long in the sun drinking and talking.
Have a look at the northern...
Favorite thing: Have a look at the northern lights.
This shot is from the center of Tromso.
You should also try the nightlife if you can afford it. Except on sundays, most bars are crowded in the academic year. In summer weekdays can be sleepy.
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