Tromso, right in the heart of the Arctic Circle, is full of splendid activities and scenic beauties all year round. The chilly winter tempts visitors with epic views of the northern lights that decorate the long night of the season, while summer captivates them with two months of midnight sun giving them an opportunity to explore the town inside out.
Though the place is filled with the splendid natural beauty surrounded by ringed mountain peaks, there is a lot more to that. The town’s bustling nightlife, authentic cuisines, friendly locals and happening bars around every corner is what gives you an experience of a lifetime.
If it’s your first time visiting Tromso, here a list of the things to absolutely cannot miss!
It wouldn’t be justified to start your trip without the signature of the Arctic Circle: the Northern Lights. The best time to witness this enchanting natural phenomenon is during the Polar Night; the time period that extends from November to January.
However, if you can’t plan the visit in these months, you can still enjoy the awe-inspiring phenomenon around September to April. The experts say that the ideal location to watch the aurora is somewhere in the mountains away from city lights, so you can combine the ordeal with other outdoor activities like dog sledding, snowshoeing, and boating.
Though Norway is well known for its breathtaking fjords, and the ones set around Tromso do live up to the hype. There are four of them close to the center: Kaldfjorden, Balsfjorden, Ullsfjorden and Malangen and all of them are equally blessed with striking scenic beauty.
A fjord cruise is the best way to see them all in one go. When you set off to the five-hour cruise journey, you’ll also get to see sparkling snowy peaks and wild waterfalls along the way. If you are lucky, you may even get the sight of whales, seals or snow eagles.
Don’t forget to pack in layers to stay warm, especially if you’re visiting in winter!
Read next: My packing list for Norway in winter.
The Arctic Cathedral is Tromso’s main attraction and the most emblematic landmark in the city, so you can’t miss it! This modern masterpiece was built in 1965 based on the design crafted by famous architect Jan Inge Hovig.
The iceberg shaped cathedral has eleven rectangular aluminum frames fronted by spectacular glass that sparkles with rainbows during midnight sun season. It also hosts numerous concerts during the summer, so make sure to check out the schedule!
Fjellheisen cable car
Fancy a birds-eye view of Tromso and its surrounding scenery? Hope on Fjellheisen cable car, which will take you to the top of Storsteinen Mountain in just a few minutes! It’s also considered one of the best spots in the city to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, so plan an evening here for sure! If you’re hungry, there’s a restaurant at the top of the mountains where you can grab a bite with the best views the Arctic Circle has to offer.
Ever wondered what it’s like to live in an igloo? Tromso boasts an array of ice dome hotels, which are basically modern versions of igloos, and yes, you can book yourself a night or two here to get an experience of a lifetime right in the heart of the arctic wilderness.
Tromso is home to an array of museums that tell the story of the town as well as that of the Arctic Circle. Among which the most popular ones are the Polar Museum, Tromso Museum and Art Museum of North Norway. The Polar Museum exhibits the interesting history of polar Pioneers from animal hunters to trappers, while the Tromso Museum showcases the town life and its story.
Have you ever visited Tromso? What are some other amazing things to do?