Tromso Travel Guide
Sitting at 69 degrees north latitude, it boggles the mind that Tromso is as big as it is. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, winters are surprisingly mild. Still, it is a place that is perpetually dark for 45 days per year. Even then, people still visit, to experience the Northern Lights, and the warmth of those that live here. Come check out our Tromso travel guide as we cover the best things to do in Tromso, Norway.
After adjusting to the Midnight Sun/Polar Night, learn more about the area at The Polar Museum. Thanks to the fishing industry/warm ocean currents, Tromso developed into a civilized city at nearly 70 degrees North Latitude. As such, it became a convenient launching point for expeditions into the Arctic.
This institution chronicles this city’s history with the Arctic. From annual seal hunts to daring expeditions to the North Pole, you’ll read all about it here. Read about Henry Rudi, who killed over 713 polar bears in his life. Or, learn about Roald Amundsen’s life, who used his North Pole experience to get to the South Pole first. Can’t go to Svalbard? Check out the exhibit here, which will detail life on this extreme island.
Admission to this museum is quite reasonable, despite high prices that are common in Tromso. However, don’t forget to take the English guide at reception. Some displays lack English captions, making it tough to this attraction to its fullest.
As we’ve already made clear, Tromso is a unique city, both in Norway and the world. Get more in-depth information on this place by visiting the Tromso University Museum. Start by reading up on the Sami, the indigenous people who lived here millennia before the Vikings. Then, learn about the days of the Vikings through to modern times.
On the natural side of things, you’ll get to see what makes the Northern Lights work. Also, a collection of stuffed animals will bring the fauna of this region to life. On your way out, stop by the gift shop. Inside, you’ll find books in English that describe the area’s history. They also have souvenirs better priced than those found in the High Street shops.
Tromso has everything locals need to live a full life, north of the Arctic Circle. This includes the visual arts, as you’ll see inside the Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum. You’ll find it downtown in an attractive sunny building initially used as a telegraph office and police station.
Inside, you’ll find an art collection dedicated mostly to Norwegian artists. In all, there are more than 2,300 pieces in this institution. However, they don’t hog these pictures all to themselves. A portion of this museum’s pieces goes on tour to other places in Northern Norway. These destinations include none other than Svalbard – talk about a commitment to the arts!
The best part for the budget traveller? Admission to this attraction is FREE. Museum administration even gives visitors lockers to store your personal belongings. This way, you can enjoy the art inside without your backpack being a bother!
Step inside what is likely one of the world’s most northern Protestant cathedrals by visiting the Tromso Cathedral. This holy place is notable, but not because of its location – it’s also the only wooden Norwegian cathedral.
The current church – built in the mid-19th century – is the fourth version of a Christian place of worship. Locals erected the first in the 13th century when they started to pursue serious settlement of the area.
Inside, you’ll find spectacular stained-glass windows, and a painting titled *i*Resurrection*i* by Adolph Tidemand. You can visit this attraction in 15 minutes, which makes it easy to fit into a tight schedule.
Lovers of scenery will not want to leave town without going on a cruise of the Tromso Fjords. This far north, a springtime visit will reveal mountains cloaked in snow. As such, we recommend going at this time.
However, you can go in the winter as well. Weather permitting, the glow of the Northern Lights will enhance your experience. Their ethereal green glow, combined with the surrounding landscape, will make for an experience you are unlikely to forget.
Learn about the marine animals that call the waters near Tromso home at Polaria. This attraction, which is easily the world’s most northerly aquarium, is home to everything from seals to crabs. When you’re done with the displays, check out an informative movie on the Aurora Borealis.
Are you visiting during summer? If so, don’t miss your opportunity to check out the Tromso Botaniske Hage. This botanical garden, which focuses on subarctic/alpine plants, is the world’s most northerly of its kind.
During your visit, you’ll marvel at the toughness of these plants. They endure cold temperatures and months of darkness, only to thrive for a few short months. Don’t forget your camera – the views of the mountains here are particularly stunning.
Get sweeping views over the city by riding the Fjellheisen Tromso. A tramway that runs up a peak near the town, it grants excellent photo opportunities at any time of year.