Hunt for the northern lights, experience a husky sled ride or simply enjoy the museums in the cultural heart of Arctic Norway.
The regional capital of northern Norway, Tromsø is the biggest city for hundreds of miles around. As such, it punches way above its weight when it comes to cultural events and attractions considering its small population of just 72,000.
The city also has a deserved reputation as being a great base for northern lights hunting. The city’s island setting makes for some awesome photo opportunities in both the summer and the winter.
Although the city is the perfect spot to base yourself during an Arctic adventure or for northern lights hunting, there’s so much to do within the city itself. From the iconic Arctic Cathedral to some interesting museums and galleries.
What to do in Tromsø
The city may be small, but there’s no shortage of things to do whatever the weather. Don’t miss a trip up to the top of Mount Fløya on the cable car. From here you can start one of many popular hikes, or simply gaze in wonder at the island city and its mountainous backdrop.
While you’re over that way, it’s worthwhile calling into the Arctic Cathedral to admire the architecture. If you visit during the summer, you’ll have an opportunity to catch one of the unique midnight sun concerts. If you don’t mind staying up late, of course!
The city is also blessed with a surprising number of great museums, many of which are suitable for all the family. The Northern Norway Art Museum is a must-see, while the Tromsø Museum at the south of Tromsøya island reveals the science behind the aurora borealis.
Where to stay
Budget hotels are few and far between in most Norwegian cities, but Tromsø seems to have more than its fair share. There is also a good selection of luxury hotels if you fancy treating yourself after a long night of aurora chasing. If there’s a group of you, or you just like the idea of self-catering, you could try the great-value and super modern Viking Apartments. Whatever your requirements, search accommodation in Tromsø here.
Getting here and getting around
Given the big distances involved, most travellers will fly to Tromsø from another Norwegian airport (most likely Oslo), or visit the city on the Hurtigruten or another cruise ship. Driving is of course possible but only recommended if you have plenty of time to spare.
Once you’re in the city you’ll find it easily walkable, however it can be useful to get to know the bus system if you want to cross Tromsø bridge to the Arctic Cathedral or the cable car, or if you’re visiting in the winter. Here’s our guide to transport in Tromsø, which covers getting here, and how to move around the city once you’re here.
Before you visit Tromsø, here’s a quick checklist of important things to consider:
- Guidebook: The Moon Norway guidebook is the most up-to-date on the market
- Accommodation: Book your hotel in advance and save money
- Car Rental: Secure the best rates by reserving your choice of car in advance
- Insurance: Don’t run the risk of travelling to Norway without adequate cover
- VPN: Secure your smartphone’s internet connection while you travel
- Tours & activities: Save money by pre-booking tours & activities
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