Tromsø Travel Guide

  • Sunset over Hillesøy
    Sunset over Hillesøy
    by Saagar
  • Excellent hotel location on the harbour front
    Excellent hotel location on the harbour...
    by henry14
  • Things to Do
    by hydronetta

Tromsø Highlights

  • Pro
    Saagar profile photo

    Saagar says…

     Beautiful landscape, casual and open people 

  • Con
    Saagar profile photo

    Saagar says…

     Far away 

  • In a nutshell
    toonsarah profile photo

    toonsarah says…

     One of the best places from which to see the Aurora 

Tromsø Things to Do

  • Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum

    This is one of two major art galleries in Tromsø (the other is the Tromsø Gallery of Contemporary Art or Tromsø Kunstforening, which we didn’t get round to visiting). As the name suggests, it focuses on art about and from Northern Norway, covering the period from the early 19th century to the present day. It also has temporary exhibitions – when we...

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  • Northern Lights tour with Creative...

    We had pre-booked a Northern Lights tour for our first evening in Tromsø, and on the recommendation of Simply Sweden chose one where photography instruction is included. There are many operators running very similar tours, which consist of an evening spent driving around looking for Aurora sightings in the vicinity of Tromsø (or sometimes further...

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  • Arctic Cathedral

    Although popularly known as the “Arctic Cathedral” this is not in fact a cathedral at all, but is the parish church of the Tromsøysund part of Tromsø. It was built in 1965, mainly of concrete, and is designed to look like slabs of ice, although it has also been likened to the Sydney Opera House – perhaps because of its eye-catching location right...

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Tromsø Hotels

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Tromsø Restaurants

  • Good location on the harbour

    As soon as we had settled into our room at the Clarion Hotel Bryggen we headed outside again, in search of a late light lunch. The first place we found was the Kaia Bar on the water-front, which was advertising lunch specials. Unfortunately when we got inside we discovered that we were just too late for these, but as it was cosy and had nice views...

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  • Homely

    When we had finished looking round the Polar Museum we were ready for a light lunch, but there is no café there so we went in search of one. As we walked up to the main road I spotted a sign for Tante Ingers Tehus so we went to investigate. This quirky little café is in an old house, typical of those in Tromsø, and is full of character. As the name...

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  • Casual atmosphere

    Although we didn’t realise it when we decided to come here, this is one of a medium sized Norwegian chain of restaurants. The cuisine is the same in all of them – American influenced casual food such as burgers, blackened fish and chicken, deep-pan pizzas, ribs etc. You find a table in one of the cosy corners, note the number and place your order...

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Tromsø Nightlife

  • A cosy spot

    This cosy pub (the name means “Cabin” I believe) is located in an old warehouse, dating from 1830, which today makes a characterful spot for drinking and eating. We came here a couple of times – the first to eat and drink, the second just for a drink.The menu is limited to pizzas, but they have a very good and eclectic selection of these, some with...

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  • Kaos

    Busy nightclub with live concerts. Sometimes a place to gather and watch a football game. The concerts and club/dj nights start late so people tend to hover around,coming in and out of the city centre pubs. Kaos is very popular with younger people, especially hip hop fans. Casual

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  • Fairly crude and basic, but aye, aye how...

    Tromsø doesn't have a railway, but it does have a railway station! Some weirdo has taken a train car interior and put up as a pub in Tromsø city center and named it Jernbanestasjonen. It's is a highly successful stop on the pub hopping round late night in Tromsø. They serve the local brew and some other stuff, but it is not the range of drinks and...

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Tromsø Transportation

  • Flying to Tromsø

    We flew to Tromsø with Scandinavian Airlines from London Heathrow, via Oslo. It was quite an early flight, although delayed a little by snow at Heathrow. As it wasn’t a budget airline we had expected to be served at least a light breakfast but once on board we discovered that only tea and coffee were complimentary and as we were hungry we had to...

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  • Flybussen

    By far the easiest way to reach the centre of Tromsø using public transport is on the Flybussen. These efficient buses go directly to town and then stop at a few useful points. The fare (January 2013) is 70 KR each way, the buses run every 20 minutes during the day and are very punctual (from our experience). The journey takes about 15 minutes to...

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  • Buses in Tromsø

    Most sights in Tromsø are within an easy walk of the centre, but there are a few which are better reached by bus, such as the Arctic Cathedral (walkable, but you may prefer like us to avoid the icy winds on the bridge if visiting in winter) and the Tromsø University Museum which is in a suburb to the south of town. Our hotel gave us a free map of...

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Tromsø Shopping

  • Buying lunch

    Central supermarket in town. If you are looking for lunch then visit the serve yourself salad bar in the Co-op. Not only do you get the usual salad fare, but you can pile on peeled shrimps and scampi into your salad bowl! I suppose up in Tromso they are cheaper than tomatoes and cucumbers. One of the highlights of my trip!

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  • Seal fur

    Rieber is a company based in Tromsø and Bergen. The company deals in many things, and marine mammals is one of them, traditionally whaling and sealing. They still purchase meat and hides from sealers and whalers, and their operations appear clean and legal.They do seal skin products extremely well and some of their range of products is available on...

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  • Shops

    Storgata, Tromsø’s main pedestrian street, is a treasure trove of different shops selling local and international products. Many visitors to the city leave with a painting or print from one of the city’s many galleries, something nice from our glass blowing or candle making studios, a handmade clothing garment, a pendant that just happens to take...

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Tromsø Local Customs

  • Old houses

    The city centre of Tromsø contains the highest number of old wooden houses in Northern Norway, with the oldest (known as Skansen) dating from 1789. In 1904 wooden houses were banned from the city centre, as they were in much of Norway, because of the fire risk that they posed. Fortunately though, a large number have been preserved here and a walk...

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  • Mack beer

    The Mack Brewery in Tromsø claims to be the northernmost brewery in the world, although in practice it s trumped by another in the same country, a microbrewery in Honningsvåg. Incidentally, Honningsvåg seems to make a habit of trumping other Norwegian towns, as when were there we were told by a local that it has the true claim to the “most...

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  • Jogging

    For the locals, walking up to the top of the mountain is just a matter of every day life, it is a simple jogging day, oh, you can just imagine what strong legs they got ;-)

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Tromsø Warnings and Dangers

  • Icy pavements and streets

    I had been warned by a friend that the pavements in Tromsø could be slippery – and she was right! Although the town is inside the Arctic Circle, the Gulf Stream ensures that it is not as cold here in the winter as you might expect, with average day-time temperatures in January just a few degrees below freezing. When we arrived it was actually just...

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  • Rape in bar restroom-bathroom signs not...

    Beware of bathroom signs - Not written in English nor have symbols or picturesWe were visiting Tromsø between August 10-14 coming from Nunavut Canada (Canadian Arctic) This was my second trip to Tromsø.On August 13, 2008My sister was dragged into a men's bathroom stall and raped by two men at a local bar in Tromsø. After being confused about the...

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  • Nothing really

    Nothing really that I can warn you here, at list not during the summer, everything look peaceful and relax in this city so there is no danger beside, you know ;-)

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Tromsø Tourist Traps

  • The Church

    Sorry, yes, I know it is nice church but who ever make a trip above the arctic circle, I think it is wasted spending your time inside churches. It was enough seeing it from the outside.

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  • Northern Lights Planetary

    In some old guide books and leaflets this old "must see activity" still exists. Sadly it was closed in autumn 2001 due to financial reasons.I heard once it was still open it was really worth visiting, but Tromsø City didn't have enough money to keep it alive or with other words the short "tourist season" up in the North wasn't long enough to create...

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  • The North Cape is a real...

    The North Cape is a real tourist trap. There they have builded a huge subterranean tourist centre where you can buy expensive drinks and watch the midnight sun. The point is that the whole northcape area is very touristic and it costs a lot of money to enter. They say it's the most northernly point of Europes mainland but that isn't true either....

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Tromsø What to Pack

  • Foul weather gear for Tromsø

    A day (back-)pack for town walking and short day excursions around the city. The winter season is loooong in Tromsø, and summers might be fairly wet and cold. Do bring sturdy walking shoes for town use and boots for off-road hikes. Do not forget sunscreen (you can also buy there) if boating or skiing. Mosquito repellent is highly advisable for...

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  • Climate in Tromsø

    There is no special rainy season.Avg. Temp. in Spring: max.: 0 – 7°C ( 32 - 45°F); min: -4 - 2°C ( 25 – 36°F )Avg. Temp. in Summer: max.: 9 – 15°C ( 49 - 59°F ); min: 6 - 9°C ( 43 - 49°F )Avg. Temp. in Autumn: max.: 2 – 9°C ( 36 - 49°F); min: -2 - 4°C ( 28 – 39°F )Avg. Temp. in Winter: max.: -1 – 9°C ( 30 - 32°F); min: -5 - -4°C ( 23 - 25°F )

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  • Packing List

    Remember that it can be pretty cold here also in summer. From September to May bring warm clothes. From May to August bring both warm clothes and some summer clothes for 'hot' days.But you do not need to bring your warmest winter clothes in summer.... Hm.... you can buy it all!!!! :) In Norway you get whatever you need of the equipment, but it...

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Tromsø Off The Beaten Path

  • Aurora Borealis

    Tromsø is in the middle of the Aurora Borealis (northern lights) zone, and is in fact one of the best places in the world to observe this phenomenon. Because of the planet's rotation, Tromsø moves into the aurora zone around 6 pm, and moves out again around midnight. Due to the light, no aurora is visible between late April and mid August.

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  • Walking up the mountain

    The walk itself is not that difficult, only on few places you might need to use your hands for help, most is just straight forward up the hill.As you get higher above certain heights suddenly the forest is gone, I guess it is too cold and too strong winds that keeps it clear as you can see on the 3 photo here.

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  • Path up the mountain.

    To walk up the mountain, go to the cable car direction and then chose this Sollivegen street till you find the path where you go up. use your instinct (as I did) and you will find your way up ;-)

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Tromsø Sports & Outdoors

  • Rental outdoors equipment - save on...

    Bringing all your camping and sports gear with you uis a plain nuisance if you are backpacking or flying here. The good news is that you can rent a whole lot of different outdoor equipment at a small company called Tromsø Natur & Fritid. Their rental stuff include lavvo tent, tunnel style lightweight tents, skis, snowshoes, bikes, cooking...

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  • Tromsø IL - TIL

    Tromsø hosts the worlds nothernmost top flight football team: Tromsø IL (TIL)They are quite special and the team quickly caught my interest. The highlight of the teams history came in december 1997 when they beat Chelsea during a blizzard like weather in European Cup match.Nowadays Tromsø IL is a bit up and coming. 2002 one season in 2nd division,...

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  • Tromsø Hotels

    17 Hotels in Tromsø

    357 Reviews and Opinions

Tromsø Favorites

  • Around the harbour

    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...

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  • The Polar night

    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...

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  • Useful phone numbers

    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,...

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