8 reasons to visit Tromsø
Otherwise known as the “Gateway to the Arctic”, Tromsø has a surprising amount to offer and can give you some unique and almost magical experiences. If you are interested in finding out more about the Arctic and northern Norway’s nature and culture, Tromsø is the perfect place. Here are our top eight reasons to visit.
The Northern Lights
Tromsø’s northern location makes it perfect for seeing the Northern Lights, and it is actually one of the places with the highest probability of experiencing them. We have many tours that offer excellent chances of seeing this incredible phenomenon. View our tours and find one that suits you.
The Perfect Arctic Experience
Tromsø is located by the coast, which means that it has a surprisingly mild climate. That is not to say that it does not get cold; the temperature can range from -25°C (-13°F) up to 5°C (41°F) in winter. The average winter temperature is around -4°C (24°F), which is actually not too bad considering its location. You can expect that kind of winter temperature in Oslo as well, so why not go above the Arctic Circle?Tromsø at night
The Perfect Mix of Traditional and Modern Norway
Tromsø has close links to both modern and traditional Norway. It has everything from the northernmost gay pride parade in the world to close links with the local Sami reindeer herders, the original, nomadic peoples of Norway, Sweden, and Finland. It still thrives off traditional fishing but also has a huge military base. These odd mixes make Tromsø a very interesting place from which to explore Norwegian culture.
You Can Tick Off “the World’s Northernmost…”
…city under 50,000 people; university (University of Tromsø); planetarium (Northern Light Planetarium); astronomical observatory (Skibotn Observatory); bronze age archaeological site (Sandvika); tango club (Tango Polar); lindy hop dance group (Tromsø Lindy Hop); symphony orchestra (Tromsø Symphony Orchestra); outdoor swimming pool; squash center; CrossFit center; cricket club; ski resort; 18-hole golf course (Tromsø Golfpark); football arena (Alfheim Stadium); Cathedral; Mosque (Alnor Senter); animal park (Polar Park) and botanical garden (Tromsø Botaniske Hage) – to name just a few!
Get in Touch With Arctic Wildlife
The Sami village in Tromsø allows visitors to get up close and personal with reindeer, a quintessential part of the Arctic landscape. Tromsø also has numerous whale safaris, as whales, and in particular sperm whales, visit the Norwegian coast every year. The Polar Park leaves a safe distance between you and some of the more dangerous animals of the Arctic including wolves, bears, muskoxen, and lynx.
Pretend to Be an Arctic Explorer For the Day
There are many opportunities to channel your inner Roald Amundsen when in Tromsø. A fun place to start is with a dog sleigh trip across the peaceful snowy landscape. A boat or kayak trip into one of the fantastic fjords should also be high on the to-do list. There is nothing quite like the immense and raw fjords in the north.
Join in on One of the Many Festivals
Tromsø plays host to many festivals each year. The Northern Lights music festival has brought together many renowned classical artists for the past 25 years, whilst the SMAK Food Festival is the place to go to try local delicacies and high-quality Norwegian produce. The Bukta-Tromsø Open Air Festival celebrates the best of rock whilst Tromsø Jazz Festival is the perfect place for jazz lovers. The Tromsø International Film Festival attracts visitors from all over the world. Reindeer racing is a well-loved feature during Sami week and is something that is hard to track down anywhere else.
Experience the Midnight Sun
From May 20 to July 20, the midnight sun hits Tromsø, which means that night is no longer really a thing. Locals do various activities around the clock and as a visitor, you are encouraged to join in. These activities include, but are not limited to, concerts, marathons, kayaking, sailing, and hiking. Experiencing the disorientating but beautiful midnight sun should be on everyone’s bucket list, and although it can take some time to fall asleep (bring a sleeping mask), it is something well worth visiting Tromsø for.