How to Use Public Transport in Tromsø

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You can arrive in Tromsø by road, air, or sea, and get around the city thanks to the public bus service. Here's what you need to know about public transport in Tromsø.

Tromsø may be relatively remote, but it's still home to more than 70,000 people, and has a university and a growing tourism industry. As such, people need to get around just as they do in much bigger cities.

Tromsø harbour. Photo: David Nikel.
Tromsø harbour. Photo: David Nikel.

Tromsø is the biggest city in Northern Norway. While car ownership in and around Tromsø is reasonably high, many people rely on the public bus service to get around the city.

Although it's of course possible to rent a car in Tromsø, high gasoline prices and parking challenges mean it's not recommended unless you're planning a longer road trip.

The city's public transport system is open to tourists, and many of the big attractions including the cable car are accessible by bus. With a bit of planning, it's possible to enjoy the best of Tromsø using the bus.

Getting to Tromsø

Unless you plan a long journey on the Norwegian coastal route from Bergen or Trondheim, or you've arriving on a cruise ship, flying is your most likely route to Tromsø.

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As the hub for Widerøe's northern Norway network, Tromsø Airport makes a great place to start your exploration of the Norwegian Arctic.

Tromsø has become a more popular destination for direct flights in recent years, but the majority of people will still need to fly to Oslo. From here, you can pick up a connecting flight to Tromsø with SAS or Norwegian.

An airport shuttle runs from the airport to the city centre in around 15 minutes. It costs NOK 125 for a single or NOK 200 for a return. However, if you don't have much luggage, it's relatively easy to take the local bus instead, and much cheaper.

Public bus in Tromsø. Photo: David Nikel.
Public bus in Tromsø. Photo: David Nikel.

A few minutes walk from the terminal, through the car park, you'll find the bus stop. From here, bus routes 40 and 42 travel to the city centre. Just bear in mind these are local buses with no space for large luggage.

Buy a single ticket from the kiosk inside the airport or by downloading the app for just NOK 44. Otherwise, buying a ticket on board the bus is more expensive. I'll talk a lot more about this below.

Getting around Tromsø

Tromsø city centre is compact and it's easy to get around on foot. However, you may not always want to!

It’s not always nice to walk about the city in the winter when ice covers the pavements, or if you want to visit attractions outside the city centre, such as the Arctic Cathedral or the university museum.

Buses run from early morning to late night all through the week, with a less frequent service at weekends. Check timetables and fares here.

There is also a night bus service on Friday and Saturday nights from the city centre to selected parts of Tromsø, although this is most useful for residents of the suburbs.

Travel to Tromsø Cable Car by Bus

Visiting Tromsø cable car is a popular thing to do in Tromsø, and with good reason. The views from the top are terrific! However, it's located away from the main central part of the city.

Walking there is possible as there is a pedestrian walkway on the main bridge that crosses the water. However, it will take you 35-45 minutes.

The spectacular view from the top of Tromsø Cable Car. Photo: David Nikel.
The spectacular view from the top of Tromsø Cable Car. Photo: David Nikel.

While the walk in the summer is pleasant, I don't advise the walk in the winter. If there's a group of you, consider taking a taxi. Otherwise, the public bus is a good option.

The bottom station of the cable car is just a few minutes walk from the Solliveien bus stop. Bus 26 from central Tromsø serves the cable car. When the bus reaches Pyramiden, stay on the bus and it will continue up to Solliveien.

How to Buy Bus Tickets in Tromsø

Bus tickets may be purchased on board in cash. However, this is rarely done by locals and you may frustrate the driver (and the locals onboard!) if you hold the bus by not having the correct change.

So, I highly recommend buying your ticket in advance. By far the easiest way to do this is by downloading the smartphone app Troms Billett in advance. Yes, it works in English!

This app lets you check the bus times and buy tickets, all in one app. You can buy single tickets, day tickets, or longer period tickets.

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Simply buy the ticket on the app before you board and walk on. If you're travelling within Tromsø city, you don't need to show the driver your ticket. Just walk on board.

If you don't want to download the app, you can buy tickets from kiosks and convenience stores (MIX, Narvesen, etc) in Tromsø. This is a good solution if you want to use a credit card but don't want to or can't download the app.

Cost of Bus Travel in Tromsø

A single ticket bought in advance using the app costs NOK 44. The ticket is valid for 90 minutes, and you can transfer buses during this time if required. It is more expensive to buy the ticket in cash on the bus.

If you are travelling off-peak in Tromsø, you will be eligible to purchase a single adult ticket for just NOK 22. Off-peak times are on weekdays between 9am and 2pm and after 5pm. The app will notify you if you are within the time period where this applies.

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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3 thoughts on “How to Use Public Transport in Tromsø”

  1. Please advise me what is the best mode of transport from the airport to Smarthotel Tromso, Vestregata 6, 9008 Tromso, where i have made my reservation. What is the bus route and its cost, and also the would be charge if i am taking a taxi.
    Thank you in advance.

  2. When I arrive by Cunard cruise, is there a bus service that will take me to the cable car please? If so, can you supply me with further details and any other useful information please?

    Thank you


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