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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 above, with sleet falling and the pavements and roads very slushy. But of course at night the slush froze, and it stayed that way for most of the time we were there, with the milder temperatures and sleet returning on the day we left. That morning a waitress at our hotel said at breakfast time how much the locals disliked this “neither winter nor summer” weather – they much prefer proper snow, or the crisp bright days we had experienced earlier in the week. And I can’t blame them!
But all of this variation in temperature, and consequent slight thawing and refreezing, makes for a lot of ice. A few pavements, for instance on parts of the main street Storgata, are swept clear, but for the most part they and the roads are deep snow and/or ice from November through to as late as the end of April. Most locals I saw had no problem walking on this, being used to it I guess (though one woman did slip and warn us to be careful on the hill near Tante Ingers Tehus. But if you’re not accustomed to walking on ice you need to be careful. There were two people on our Hurtigruten boat with strapped-up arms, injured (maybe even broken) by falls. So make sure you have footwear with very good treads or consider taking some “Yaktrax” or other make of grippers. I got some for this trip (only £7.99 in Maplin, for UK shoppers) and found them incredibly useful. Normally very nervous and slow on ice, I found myself able to walk normally, even on slopes and on the especially icy stretches near the harbour. Such a useful purchase!
Next tip: continuing our sightseeing at the cathedral
Written Feb 17, 2013
Beware of bathroom signs - Not written in English nor have symbols or pictures
We were visiting Tromsø between August 10-14 coming from Nunavut Canada (Canadian Arctic) This was my second trip to Tromsø.
On August 13, 2008
My 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 signs for the bathroom. She was trying to figure out which one was the ladies bathroom when the two guys took her into the stall and raped her without any protection. This happened in about the three minutes after she was out of my sight heading to the bathroom down the stairs. And now, she may have been exposed to diseases.
Please be very careful when you go out to the bars and please advise people you know that are in Tromsø or who are planning to go to Tromsø. I hope this doesn't happen to anyone else. It is a very hurtful thing to happen to someone.
Written Aug 28, 2008
If driving in Tromsø, beware of narrow, steep roads and lots of snow in the late winter. Do not overestimate your skills in winter driving and your vehicle's capacity to handle Tromsø conditions.
As a pedestrian, enusre that you are careful when crossing a steep road, because cars might be unable to stop and come sliding very fast in your direction. Thus stopping rules for pedestrians are naturally modified during winter conditions.
Written Mar 8, 2007
Exploring other commercial centres than those at home - always a temptation, at least it's fun to walk about for a while and find a few other chain stores than the familiar ones. Steen&Strøm
Written Aug 25, 2002
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 ;-)
Written Jul 30, 2007
This bridge is prone to closures during high winds. Do not attempt to cross if there is a warning out, by car or foot.
Written Mar 9, 2007
The roads on the islands and the mainland valleys approaching Tromsø might be avalanche prone during heavy snowfall. Listen to local advice before setting out.
Updated Mar 9, 2007
2 Reviews and 291 Opinions I wasn't sure what to expect at this hotel - and had a very pleasant surprise, it was really good. ...