There are lots of factors to do in Tromso, irrespective of while you go to this metropolis in northern Norway. Although Tromso is excellent referred to as one of the world’s pinnacle Northern Lights destinations, this metropolis is properly really well worth traveling year-round.
The port of Tromso, the largest city in northern Norway, is situated 349 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle on a small island halfway between Narvik and Hammerfest. Tromso, which was founded in the 13th century, is still a significant fishing port and a well-liked spot to observe and study Norway’s famous aurora borealis, or northern lights.
The Northern Lights Festival (Nordlysfestivalen), a musical spectacle that draws musicians and symphonic orchestras from all across Scandinavia, is held in Tromso every year in late January or early February. The midnight sun is one of the most well-liked tourist attractions and is visible here from mid-May until mid-July.
The city of Tromso continues to be significant as a base for Arctic expeditions and for the many Norwegian fishing vessels headquartered here because to its northern location and natural harbor. Additionally, it serves as a popular starting point for ferries and cruise ships traveling to and from important ports like Bergen as well as, during the summer, for coastal cruises to places like Spitsbergen.
Our selection of the top tourist sites and things to do in Tromso will help you plan your sightseeing excursions throughout the area.
1.See the Northern Lights
One of the seven natural wonders of the world is the aurora borealis. The ideal time to see them is between late September and early March for visitors to Tromso. The Small-Group Aurora Hunt Northern Lights Tour eliminates the element of chance in selecting the best location.
2.Explore the Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden
The Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden (Arktisk alpin Botanisk hage) in Tromso is thought to be the farthest-northern botanical garden in the world. The enormous Tibetan blue poppy and a broad array of cold-tolerant rhododendrons are two of its most appreciated species.
Address: Universitet i Tromso Post Box 6050 Langnes, 903, Tromso
3.Cruise the Fjords
One of the top locations in the world to take a boat tour of Norway’s fjords is Tromso. Northern lights hunters frequently travel to Lyngenfjord, an 82-kilometer route by the Lyngen Alps. You may see and learn about the local Arctic animals while on a wildlife sightseeing trip on the historic wooden Fjord Queen.
The Inuit in present-day Canada were the first to introduce dogsledding to Norway. Additionally, local Sami herders run reindeer farms that are accessible to tourists. Tourists can drive a team of huskies through Tromso: Husky Sledding Self-Drive Adventure.
5.Learn about the Arctic Environment at Polaria
The Polaria museum in Tromso is devoted to all things Arctic. The structure is intended to resemble Arctic ice floes that have been pushed onto the ground. The Polstjerna, a vintage Norwegian seal-hunting boat, is also housed in the museum.
Address: Hjalmar Johansensgate 12, 9296 Tromso
6.Take a Snowmobile Safari
Exploring Norway on a snowmobile is a great way to access areas that a car or truck couldn’t travel. There are many locations where seasoned snowmobilers may rent equipment with or without guidance, and there are also many outfitters who offer tuition for newcomers.
Fans of winter sports will be excited to depart from Tromso on the Lapland Lyngen Alps Snowmobile Safari. Tourists are given all the necessary equipment and a two-person snowmobile after taking a ferry and receiving a brief safety orientation. The tour includes plenty of photo stops along with exploration of trails through valleys and along mountain sides. It concludes with a hearty supper before returning to Tromso.
7.The Polar Museum (Polarmuseet)
The perfect base for arctic explorations is Tomso, which is located more than 321 kilometers within the Arctic Circle. The “Gateway to the Arctic” moniker was given to it in the late 19th century as a result.
The Polar Museum (Polarmuseet) is among the greatest locations to go to learn about the region’s lengthy history, from its discovery and early settlements to its part in the region’s once-profitable whaling industry and its final metamorphosis into a key Arctic research site.
Along with historical information about early voyages and explorers like Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen, exhibits also present the results of ongoing, in-depth study.
The newest display at the museum, titled Polar Night, explores the fascinating world of Arctic wildlife throughout the interminable winter evenings.
Address: Sondre Tollbodgate 11, 9008, Tromso
8.Arctic Cathedral (Ishavskatedralen)
Tromsdalen Church is located on the mainland just before the Tromso Bridge. Jan Inge Hovig created this outstanding example of the strong modern architecture that is now typical throughout Norway in 1965. It is better known as the Arctic Cathedral (Ishavskatedralen).
Hovig’s design echoes the shape of ships’ sails and the stark white of the ice, fusing elements of deity worship with the Nordic settings. This beautiful building, a well-known landmark and popular tourist destination, may be seen from arriving planes and from Tromso Sound. The 1,500-square-foot glass mosaic within the cathedral, which was created by artist Victor Sparre, is its most recognizable feature.
Try to schedule your visit with one of the excellent “Midnight Sun Concerts” that the cathedral hosts in July and August for a particular treat (check their website below for details).
Address: Hans Nilsens vei 41, 9020 Tromsdalen
The Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum, a top-notch art museum adjacent to the waterfront and the city’s main tourist information office, is one of the best things to do in Tromso for no cost. The permanent collections, which were established in 1985, contain more than 2000 pieces in a range of media that date from the 1800s to the present. Featured artists include Edvard Munch, Harriet Backer, and Anna-Eva Bergman.
The first level of the museum is devoted to revolving art exhibits, all of which have a theme specifically connected to living in the far north. The implications of climate change are discussed, as well as the difficulties that come with living in a place where there are long stretches of darkness and cold each year.
Address: Sjogata 1, 9008 Tromso
10.Look at Things Differently at the Perspective Museum
The one-of-a-kind Perspective Museum (Perspektivet Museum) houses a massive photography collection with more than 500,000 photos that examine Tromso’s past and present. The images, which are presented in a documentary-style presentation, not only show daily life in Tromso but also delve into a number of interesting cultural and socioeconomic issues that spark conversation and enduring fascination.
Its usefulness as a center for cultural inquiry is enhanced by the collections, which feature the work of both local and foreign photographers as well as various objects and archives from the Tromso Folk Museum and the Tromso Town Museum.
Address: Storgata 95, 9008 Tromso
11.The Arctic University Museum of Norway
The Northern Lights section of Norway’s Arctic University Museum (Norges arktiske universitetsmuseum) is the most visited. This exceptional exhibit lets visitors interact “hands-on” with the science underlying the phenomenon and serves as both an educational facility and a popular tourist attraction.
Related exhibits cover the development of aurora borealis study, a full explanation of how these lights appear, and even a place where you can use the plasma chamber to put on your own show. A complementary book on the subject is included with admission, in addition to a movie and free guided tours.
A sizable natural history department is also housed at the museum. You can learn about Arctic wildlife, such as migrating birds and marine life, as well as the area’s human history, here. Exhibits highlight the short- and long-term impacts that humans have on the natural environment.
Additionally, the museum has two religious halls that showcase Lutheran-era Norwegian art as well as works of art from German cathedrals from the middle ages.
Address: Lars Thorings veg 10, Tromso
Tromso Cathedral (Tromso domkirke), built in 1861, is situated in the heart of the city, southwest of the major quay. The only cathedral in Norway made completely of wood, this Gothic Revival structure is the northernmost Protestant cathedral in the entire globe.
A magnificent replica of Adolph Tidemand’s Resurrection may be found on the cathedral’s altarpiece. Large stained-glass windows in the front of the church that were added in 1960 and were created by renowned artist Gustav Vigeland are among its other noteworthy features.
The Elverhoy Church is located to the west of the town center of Tromso (or kirke). Originally constructed in 1803 at the site of the city’s cathedral, this lovely red wooden building was transferred in 1861, then again 100 years later to its current location overlooking Tromso. An elaborately carved altar and pulpit, an organ loft, and a medieval Madonna carved from wood are among the interior’s notable features. It is a part of the Church of Norway, which has a vibrant congregation.
Address: Storgata, 9008 Tromso
13.Science Center of Northern Norway
Visitors to the Science Center of Northern Norway, which houses Norway’s largest planetarium, may get an exhilarating up-close view of Troms’ stunning northern lights on its enormous digital screen. The center also provides visitors with the opportunity to investigate local phenomena and universal issues through more than 80 interactive installations that address arctic-related topics like energy, climate, and weather, as well as resources and the environment.
One of the museum’s biggest displays explores the peculiar characteristics of life in the Arctic Circle and how these impact every facet of existence, from the economics to daily life.
Address: Hansine Hansensveg 17, 9019 Tromso
14.Take a Trip to Hella, Kvaloy
The village of Hella is located on the east side of the island of Kvaloy, about 32 kilometers south of Tromso. A number of fascinating sights may be found here, including an outdoor museum with a collection of antique Tromso houses.
Kvinnafossen Falls are another attraction worth seeing. They are situated between Leikanger and Hella, and are especially beautiful in the spring, when people park on the road to feel the waterfall’s spray. Prehistoric rock carvings from as far back as 7000 BC may be found at Tennes at the edge of Balsfjord, and there are other prehistoric carvings in Hella, one of which is accessible to the public for viewing.
15.Visit the Historic Skansen House
The oldest residence in Tromso is Skansen, which was once a customs post in 1789. Its foundations, which are the ruins of 13th-century defences, are older than this picturesque mansion and the numerous smaller structures that surround it.
The structure is now home to a modest cafe that serves homey fare and is open in the summer. The grounds are also a nice place for picnics.
Address: Sondre Tollbugate 8, 9008 Tromso
Where to Stay in Tromso for Sightseeing
We suggest staying at one of the following hotels in Tromso that are conveniently close to popular sights like Polaria and the Arctic Cathedral:
- Clarion Hotel The Edge-This stylish 4-star hotel offers a great complementary breakfast as well as views of the city and the lake.
- Scandic Ishavshotel-This hotel is a fantastic choice for people looking for mid-range prices because it offers lovely harbor views, stylish decor, floor to ceiling windows, and a free breakfast buffet.
- Clarion Collection Hotel With-Here, reasonable rates are the standard in addition to water views, contemporary furnishings, and a sauna and steam room.
- Comfort Hotel Xpress Tromso-This low-cost hotel has modern furnishings, a bilingual staff, and heated flooring in the bathrooms.
Tips and Tours: How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Tromso
- Tromso by Foot: By participating in the 2.5-hour Historical City Walk tour, visitors may make the most of their brief stay in Tromso. This scenic walking trip, led by a local guide, examines the city’s medieval settlement, the marketplace, and some of its most important structures, including Olhallen, which was formerly the social center for Tromso’s fisherman. A guided tour of the Polar Museum is also included in the tour price.