Tromsø Things to Do

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    The Polar Museum in Tromsø

    by Saagar Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Polarmuseet i Tromsø - The Tromsø polar museum - is a little gem of a museum, and contains a lot of interesting and unique historical materials. This is the place to go to track the explorations of the Arctic (and to a lesser extent the Antarctica). The museum is housed in a longish old harbour warehouse, and outside is the little park-like fortress ruin Skansen, some lined up whale guns. You can spend a lot of time in this little museum, well worth it.
    There is a small gift shop with some souvenir stuff and pedagogical materials as well as clothing items for sale.

    As you approach the Polar Museum Entrance side Entrance, opening hours
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    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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    Northern Lights - Aurora Borealis

    by Saagar Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Tromsø is in a perfect location to view the Northern Lights. You can come here and expect with a degree of uncertainty to experience this incredible phenomenon. Try to get away from the city lights, either by your own or join some kind or tour arrangement into the wilderness. I was in Tromsø now in early march and the lights were splendid.

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  • Northern Lights Activities

    by ArcticNetski Written Sep 15, 2010

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    The best way to see the northern lights is simply to make sure you stay as much as possible outside at night (all wrapped up of course).
    Dog sledding is really good fun, and gives you the chance to get away from most of the light pollution in town.
    Hiring some cross country skis and venturing out into the free lit slopes on the island is another cheap and fun activity.
    If you are really set on the northern lights, and don't have much time, a guided northern lights hunt with someone like Guide Gunnar is a good option. They will take you out of town, and even go as far as the Finnish border with you to find the lights.

    Otherwise - the best thing is to allow for more than one or two days- a week or longer obviously increases your chances.

    Another good idea is to go on one of the many northern lights cruises. Onboard, the captain will let you know over the loudspeaker if there is northern lights activity - which means you don't have to stay outside in the cold all evening :)
    Here's a good overview of what northern lights packages are available: http://iglobetrotter.com/norway/northern-lights/northern-lights-holidays

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    • Cruise
    • Skiing and Boarding
    • Adventure Travel

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    Nordic Lights in Tromsoe

    by globetrott Updated May 13, 2010

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    Nordic Lights / Aurora Borrealis
    that is a natural phenomenon that you can watch mainly in wintertime and you need to have a perfect combination of various situations:
    1) the sky has to be without clouds
    2) the sky needs to be dark, so you are able to see the reflections
    3) you need certain activities of the sun, that are sometimes stronger and sometimes weaker
    The way that I understood this is that these activities of the sun will happen all year long, but in summertime you cannot see them because of the bright sky.
    The best time for the Northern Lights are :
    October + February & March
    the best frequency is between 6 pm and 1 am.
    avoid the times of the Fullmoon, it will not be dark enough then !

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    Storegatan : Tromsoe's shoppingstreet

    by globetrott Updated May 13, 2010

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    Storegatan means "big street" and thats what it is with a lot of great shopping opportunities, cafes, restaurants and a lot of lovely old houses. You will still see a lot of wooden houses there and even an art-nouveau cinema, read more about it in my tips "off the beaten path"

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    • Family Travel
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    Tollbod Brygga

    by globetrott Updated May 13, 2010

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    These buildings used to be the customs-building between 1833 and 1970 and now they are a part of the Polar-museum of Tromsoe and while you have to stick to the opening-hours when you would like to see the interior and the exhibitions there, you can go and see this part of the museum, any time, day and night and will see some lovely old, wooden houses and various harpunes that were used for whale-hunting.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

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    Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum

    by globetrott Updated May 13, 2010

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    Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum
    is an interesting museum including some great paintings as a permanent exhibition, plus exhibitions that vary from time to time, showing photography, videos and works of contemporary artists and what is best about it: all exhibitions are free of charge
    Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum is open for visitors:
    Tueday till Friday: 10.00am-05.00pm
    Saturday & Sunday: 12.00-05.00pm
    closed every Monday !

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    Bryggen: the wooden houses in the port

    by globetrott Updated May 13, 2010

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    The Bryggen of Tromsoe
    is the old part of port that reminded me a lot of the Hanse-quaters in Bergen with a lot of lovely wooden warehouses and just like in Bergen most of these buildings are used nowadays as modern hotels or restaurants and boutiques, while they still look the old, traditional way from outside.

    Bryggen of Tromsoe Bryggen of Tromsoe Bryggen of Tromsoe Bryggen of Tromsoe Bryggen of Tromsoe
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    • Historical Travel
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    Midnight-sun in Tromsoe: May 20th till July 22nd

    by globetrott Updated May 13, 2010

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    In the Arctic summertime the sun is shining almost all day long and for about 2 months you will even see the sunlight to never totally disappear and that is the time of the Midnight-Sun. The time of the Midnightsun varies of course and the further north you get the more days that time will last. Get on a large hill and watch the sun going down between 11.00pm and midnight and you will see that before touching the ocean the sun will start raising again.
    In Tromsoe Midnightsun is
    from May 20th till July 22nd

    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Seniors

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    Ishavskatedralen: The Artic Cathedral

    by globetrott Updated May 12, 2010

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    Tromsdalen Kirke / Ishavskatedralen
    Artic Cathedral / Eismeer-Kathedrale
    There are different names for one of the most spektacular churches in Norway ! Some people think it is a tourist-trap but I think it is worth seeing from outside and that it is also worth to take a look inside. From outside it looks a bit like an iceberg or maybe like a whale and it is interesting how the windows were made between the rips of that whale.
    You can walk easily and within about 25 minutes one way from your cruiseship over the bridge to the cathedral, or you can take bus #28.

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    Get inside the Arctic Cathedral

    by globetrott Updated May 12, 2010

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    Tromsdalen Kirke / Ishavskatedralen
    Artic Cathedral / Eismeer-Kathedrale
    Ishavskatedralen was built in 1965 by the norwegian architect Jan Inge Hovig .Get inside and have a look,the church is mostly open for a few hours daily, whenever the Hurtigruten-ships are in Tromsoe ! The interior is simple but also interesting and the large window facing the port has the largest glass-mosaique in Europe. There is a small entrance-fee to be payed there and they have a souvenirshop there as well.
    The Arctic cathedral is open for visitors:
    from Aug 16th till Sept 15th : daily 03.00-06.00pm
    from Sept 16th till May 31st: daily 04.00-06.00pm
    from June 1st till Aug 15th:daily 09.00am-07.00pm
    sundays only from 01.00-07.00pm
    churchservice : every sunday at 11.00am

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    Tromsoebrua : the giant bridge of Tromsoe

    by globetrott Updated May 12, 2010

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    Tromsoebrua
    that is the local name for the giant bridge of Tromsoe, connecting the mainland (that is the part where the Arctic Cathedral was built) and the islands, where the port and the old part of the city is situated. Tromsoebrua was built in 1960 with a total length of 1014 meters and it is held by 84 collumns. There is one track for the cars in each direction and at both sides there is a seperate path for pedeastrians as well.

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    Visit the Artic Cathedral

    by vichatherly Updated Apr 15, 2009

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    You can see the striking architecture of the Artic Cathedral from across the river

    We strolled across the bridge from the town centre, braving the icy roads and wind. We were lucky enough to catch some of the choral rehearsal for the festival of lights

    Tromso Artic Cathedral Tromso Artic Cathedral Tromso Artic Cathedral
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    Watch the Sunrise and Sunset

    by vichatherly Updated Apr 13, 2009

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    If you're lucky enough to be in Tromso during January, as we were, you get the chance to see the sunrise and sunset within a few hours. Great for taking photos, as the light changes every few minutes.

    Here's a few shots taken from around the town centre.

    Tromso Sunrise Tromso Sunset Tromso Sunrise
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    Polaria Museum

    by vichatherly Written Apr 13, 2009

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    This is great museum to visit. To start with the building itself is interesting as it looks as though it is falling down, although it's supposed represent ice floes that have been pressed up on land by the rough seas of the Arctic.

    Inside there is a cinema which shows you a great view of the landscape of the Tundra. Also there is a tundra walkthrough

    There are also four seals, which are kept here for scientific research reason, although this sounds worse than it is. The seals put on a show with thier handlers.

    Give yourself a few hours in here

    Polaria Museum Seals in the Polaria Museum
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Museum Visits

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