Tromsø, often referred to as the gateway to the Arctic, offers a blend of cultural and natural attractions. The Arctic Cathedral stands out with its architecture of an iceberg, offering concerts and services. The Fjellheisen Cable Car presents breathtaking panoramic views of Tromsø and is a popular spot for hiking and Northern Lights viewing. For those interested in marine life and Arctic exploration, Polaria is a must-visit with its interactive exhibits and aquarium. History enthusiasts can explore the Polar Museum, indulge into Arctic hunting and exploration. Tromsø has good museums and cultural venues. Polaria Museum combines an aquarium with Arctic wildlife exhibits and exploration. Perspektivet Museum displays contemporary society and the city's history. The Tromsø University Museum is known for its natural and cultural artifacts, while the Polar Museum focuses on Tromsø's Arctic hunting history.
Tromsø, located above the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway, has a rich history as a trading post and base for Arctic exploration. Norwegian is the primary language, but English is widely spoken. Operating on Central European Time (CET), the city has a population of 70,000 and is known for Northern Lights viewing, Arctic research and cultural festivals. Tromsø's cuisine includes unique local foods like reindeer, bacalao, cloudberry desserts, brunost and Arctic char. Notable dining venues include Mathallen Tromsø, Full Steam Tromsø, Emmas Drømmekjøkken, Graffi Grill Tromsø and Cous Restaurant AS.
Tromsø offers a range of options such as Enter St. Elisabeth Suites, Skaret by Vander, Robukta Lodge, Ersfjordbotn Brygge and Sommarøy Arctic Hotel Tromsø AS. The Flybussen Airport Express shuttle, local buses and taxis are convenient options for traveling to and from Tromsø Airport. For those traveling to Gothenburg, Sweden, direct flights offer the quickest route. Notable shopping centers in Tromsø include Nerstranda Shopping Centre, Perspektivet Museum Shop and Farmers Market at Torget, each offering a unique shopping experience. Tromsø hosts several festivals and events, such as the Tromsø International Film Festival, Northern Lights Festival, Riddu Riđđu Festival, Bukta Festival and SMAK Food Festival.
Listed below are the best things to do in Tromsø.
- Arctic Cathedral. Arctic Cathedral is a landmark modern church in Tromsø, Norway designed by Jan Inge Hovig. Nicknamed “The Opera House of Norway”, its triangular concrete shell structure evokes an iceberg. The interior features colorful stained glass and a 2900-pipe organ. Visitors can attend concerts, services in English or take in panoramic city views. The iconic building can be reached via local buses from the city center. Best of all, entrance to the Arctic Cathedral is free.
- Fjellheisen Cable Car. Fjellheisen Cable Car is located in Tromsdalen, just outside Tromsø and travels up the 421 meter (1381 feet) high mountain Storsteinen. The cable car opened in 1961 and offers spectacular panoramic views over Tromsø, the surrounding islands and fjords. Many visitors go hiking from the top station, with trails leading up to the 1,238 meter (4061 feet) Tromsdalstinden peak. Fjellheisen is popular for Northern Lights viewing in winter, away from city lights.
- Polaria. Polaria is an arctic-themed aquarium located in central Tromsø. It is designed to resemble massive ice floes, the distinctive architecture opened in 1998. Additional exhibits cover polar exploration, climate change and ecosystems. In Polaria, the panorama cinema shows Arctic films, kids can explore hands-on activities like a simulated permafrost cave.
- Polar Museum. Polaria Museum is an arctic-themed aquarium located in central Tromsø, designed to resemble tilted ice floes. Key highlights include observing playful bearded seals in the outdoor basin, one of only two such venues in Europe, as well as the aquarium displaying local marine life. Additional exhibits cover topics like polar expeditions, climate change, ecosystems and far North life.
- Tromsø Museum. Tromsø Museum, established in 1872, is the oldest and main museum in Northern Norway. The main building houses interactive exhibitions on topics like the Northern Lights, geology, botany, zoology and the indigenous Sami people. It is known for its displays and preserved artifacts, the museum provides insight into the Arctic through exhibits and specimens that bring history to life for over 80,000 annual visitors.
- Perspektivet Museum. Perspektivet Museum is an arts and culture museum located in downtown Tromsø, housed in a 19th-century wooden building that was the city's first “People's House”. Perspektivet provides a unique perspective into Norwegian culture, history and people through interactive exhibits, artifacts, literature and artistic expressions. It has over 500,000 images in its archives, the museum offers an engaging look into the region's heritage right in the heart of Tromsø.
- Mack Brewery. Mack Brewery is Tromsø's historic brewery founded in 1877, making it one of Norway's oldest operating breweries. The brewery operates a pub called Ølhallen serving Mack beers and traditional Norwegian fare. In addition to tours, visitors can freely explore the grounds and architecture of this iconic brewery. Mack Brewery continues a 140+ year legacy of brewing beer in the Arctic city of Tromsø.
- Tromsø War Museum. The Tromsø War Museum, founded in 1993, documents the military history of Tromsø from 1250 to the present across three main exhibits. Visitors can explore a restored WWII German naval battery complete with cannons, a searchlight and mine thrower used to defend against potential Allied invasion. The museum covers the retreat of 120,000 German soldiers from the Leningrad front through Finland to Tromsø between 1944-1945.
- Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden. The Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden is the world's northernmost botanic garden, located in Tromsø and run by the Tromsø University Museum. Despite Tromsø's far north location, the Gulf Stream provides relatively mild winters and cool summers. Collections include Arctic flora, large Himalayan and South American sections, systematic collections focused on plant families like saxifrages and heritage Norwegian garden plants.
- Tromsø Cathedral. Tromsø Cathedral is located in downtown Tromsø and serves as the main church for the Tromsø Domkirkens parish. Stained glass windows and medieval ecclesiastical art adorn the space. Visitors can quietly admire the architecture, attend a service, light candles or join a summer guided tour. Concerts are also frequently hosted. The cathedral sits on a site where churches existed since the 1200s.
1. Arctic Cathedral
Arctic Cathedral, known as Tromsdalen Church, is a notable modern church located at Hans Nilsens vei 41, 9006 Tromsø, Norway. It is designed by architect Jan Inge Hovig and completed in 1965, the church is often called “The Opera House of Norway” due to its distinctive triangular concrete shell structure. The main church room seats 600 people with an open, soaring interior bathed in natural light from the large west-facing stained glass window. The organ, built by Jürgen Ahrend, has over 2,900 pipes. Arctic Cathedral's unique architecture and hilltop setting make it a landmark of Tromsø.
Visitors to Arctic Cathedral can attend services, explore the architecture, admire the stained glass and mosaic artwork, listen to organ concerts and take in panoramic views of Tromsø. Attending a service provides insight into the church's role as an active Lutheran parish. English language services are also offered. Touring the church when no services are taking place allows visitors to fully experience the open, interior and triangular design. The west-facing stained glass window and massive east-facing glass mosaic are highlights, bathing the space in colorful light.
Arctic Cathedral is located on a hill above downtown Tromsø, making it visible from many parts of the city. The church is about 2 km (1.25 miles) from Tromsø city center. Visitors can take local bus routes #26, #27 and #28 from downtown Tromsø directly to the Arctic Cathedral stop right by the church. The city's main bus terminal is around 2.5 kilometers away. Visitors arriving by car can find parking lots near the church. Tromsø Airport is only 4 km (2.5 miles) from Arctic Cathedral, so a taxi or shuttle is a convenient option for getting to the church directly from the airport.
There is no admission fee to enter Arctic Cathedral. Visitors are welcome to explore the church interior and take in the architecture at no cost. Donations are appreciated to help with operating costs and upkeep, but are voluntary. Guided tours and concerts may have separate pricing. However, simply viewing the architecture and appreciating this Tromsø landmark from inside and outside can be experienced free of charge. As an active parish church, Arctic Cathedral's doors are open for both worship and sightseeing.
2. Fjellheisen Cable Car
Fjellheisen Cable Car is located in Tromsdalen, a suburb of Tromsø, Norway. The lower cable car station is situated at Solliveien 12, 9020 Tromsdalen, just a 10 minute drive or 30 minute walk from Tromsø city center. The cable car travels up the 421 meter (1381 feet) high mountain Storsteinen, offering spectacular panoramic views over Tromsø and the surrounding islands and fjords. The journey to the top takes just 4 minutes. Fjellheisen first opened in 1961 and remains one of Tromsø's most popular attractions. The cable car runs daily, with departures every 30 minutes.
Visitors can do a variety of activities at Fjellheisen Cable Car. The main highlight is taking the cable car ride up to the top of Storsteinen mountain. There is an outdoor viewing platform where visitors can take in the breathtaking 360 degree views over Tromsø, the surrounding mountains and fjords. There is Fjellstua, a cafe and restaurant at the top where visitors can enjoy a meal or drink with the views. Many visitors use Fjellheisen as a starting point for hiking, with a network of trails leading up into the mountains from the top cable car station.
There are several ways to get to Fjellheisen Cable Car. If coming from Tromsø city center, you can take bus #26 which departs from outside Peppes Pizza and drops off right at the lower cable car station. The bus ride takes around 15 minutes, the lower cable car station is located at Solliveien 12 in the suburb of Tromsdalen, about 4 km (2.5 miles) from Tromsø city center.
The admission cost to ride the Fjellheisen Cable Car is 260 NOK (€24, $26, £22) for a one-way ticket and 395 NOK (€35, $39, £32) for a roundtrip ticket. Tickets can be purchased at the lower cable car station on arrival. Children ages 3-15 receive discounted tickets, while children under 3 ride for free. Family tickets are also available which include 2 adults and 2 children for 805 NOK (€71, $78, £63) roundtrip.
Polaria is an arctic-themed aquarium and experience center located in Tromsø, Norway at Hjalmar Johansens gate 12, 9007 Tromsø. It is situated right in the city center, Polaria first opened in 1998 and is designed to resemble massive ice floes pressed up on land. The distinctive architecture looks like ice blocks pushed together at angles. Polaria focuses on educating visitors about the Arctic region through interactive exhibits, an aquarium and presentations. The main attractions are the playful bearded seals which can be viewed up close in the seal basin, one of only two places in Europe this is possible.
There are many things a visitor can do at Polaria in Tromsø. There are daily training and feeding sessions where you can learn about the seals while watching them up close through underwater viewing windows. The aquarium section contains tanks of local fish, shellfish and plant life from the Arctic seas. Visitors can discover species like catfish, tiny sharks, starfish and anemones. The panorama cinema shows films about the Arctic like virtual helicopter tours over Svalbard, the Northern Lights and polar bears. There are interactive exhibits on topics like famous polar expeditions, climate change, Arctic ecosystems and sustainable development. The Arctic Walkway has stuffed animals and exploration equipment. There are activities for kids like touching pools and the gift shop sells local handicrafts and souvenirs.
Polaria is located in downtown Tromsø at Hjalmar Johansens gate 12, just a 10-15 minute walk from the city center. If coming from Tromsø Airport, visitors can take the Flybussen airport shuttle which stops right at Polaria. From Tromsø city center, visitors can walk along Turistveien which takes around 15 minutes. Alternatively, visitors can take bus #26 from downtown which stops right at Polaria and only takes around 5 minutes. Many tour companies offer direct transfers to Polaria as part of guided tours.
The admission cost to visit Polaria is 220 NOK (€20, $22, £18) for adults, 110 NOK (€10, $11, £9) for children ages 3-15 and 475 NOK (€43, $47, £38) for a family ticket up to 2 adults and 3 children. The admission prices make Polaria a very affordable attraction in Tromsø for families and visitors of all ages. The unique architecture and exhibits provide an excellent value, giving the chance to learn about Norway's Arctic region and see cold water marine life up close in the aquarium and seal basin.
4. Tromsø Museum
Tromsø Museum, known as the Arctic University Museum of Norway, is located in the city center of Tromsø at Lars Thørings veg 10, 9006 Tromsø. Established in 1872, it is the oldest and main museum in Northern Norway. Tromsø Museum consists of several departments focused on natural history, culture and science across six buildings. The main building houses exhibitions on topics like the Northern Lights, geology, botany and zoology. Over 2 million objects are in the collections. Tromsø Museum has several other sites including the Polar Museum downtown, the MS Polstjerna sealing vessel and the Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden.
The main building houses interactive exhibitions like “Under the Lights” where visitors can indulge themselves in the Northern Lights through models and multimedia. There is an exhibition all about the Aurora Borealis including science, myths and experiences. The “UnNaturally” exhibit explores evolution and adaptations of Arctic birds and wildlife through specimens like a giant whale skeleton. Visitors can explore the natural history of Northern Norway through rocks, fossils and artifacts in the geology and archaeology collections. The museum brings history to life through preserved artifacts, multimedia displays and simulated environments like a Sami turf hut.
Tromsø Museum is located in the city center of Tromsø at Lars Thørings veg 10, just a 10-15 minute walk from downtown hotels, attractions and the harbor. The airport bus, Flybussen, stops right at the museum – the bus ride from the airport takes just 15 minutes. Many tour companies offer direct transfers to the museum as part of guided tours. If arriving by cruise ship, there is normally a shuttle bus between the port and the museum.
The admission cost to visit Tromsø Museum is 100 NOK (€9, $10, £8) for adults, with free entry for children under 18. There are discounted rates available for students 50 NOK (€5, $5, £4) and school groups are 30 NOK (€3, $3, £2) per child. Families can purchase a group ticket for 250 NOK (€23, $25, £20).
5. Perspektivet Museum
Perspektivet Museum is an arts and culture museum located at Storgata 95 in the heart of downtown Tromsø, Norway. It is housed in a beautiful 19th-century wooden building that was formerly the town's first “People's House” for almost a century. Exhibitions focus on contemporary society using photographs, artifacts, literature, comics and artistic expressions. Current displays cover the life of famous Norwegian author Cora Sandel, also known as Sara Fabricius, through her paintings, writing and personal possessions. There is also a photo collection with over 500,000 images chronicling Tromsø's history.
The main exhibition covers the author Cora Sandel, known as Sara Fabricius, through displays of her personal items, writing, paintings and archive materials. Visitors can listen to excerpts of her letters and view her photography collection. Other exhibits use photographs, artifacts, comics, literature and art to showcase topics like diversity, contemporary society and Tromsø’s cultural history. The museum has over 500,000 historical photos in its archives chronicling the city’s past. Perspektivet also manages two outdoor areas with traditional Norwegian buildings and hosts seasonal cultural programs there.
Perspektivet Museum is just a 10-15 minute walk from major hotels, attractions and the harbor. If arriving from Tromsø Airport, visitors can take the Flybussen airport shuttle which stops right at the museum – the bus ride takes around 15 minutes, from the city center, simply walk north along the main street Storgata, which takes around 15 minutes. Many tour companies offer direct transfers to the museum as well.
The admission cost to visit Perspektivet Museum is 50 NOK (€5, $5, £4) for adults, while children under 18 can enter for free. Tickets can be purchased on-site upon arrival, with payment by cash or credit card. Access to the museum's outdoor areas with traditional Norwegian buildings is free. The affordable pricing makes Perspektivet Museum a very budget-friendly attraction for getting insight into Norwegian culture.
6. Mack Brewery
Mack Brewery is a historic brewery located in Storgata 5, 9008 Tromsø, Norway. Mack Brewery was founded in 1877 by Ludwig Markus Mack and has been in continuous operation ever since, making it one of Norway's oldest breweries still in business. The red brick brewery building dates back to the late 19th-century and features historic brewing equipment and cellars. Mack Brewery produces a range of beers including pilsners, wheat beers, porters and special seasonal beers which are distributed across Norway. The brewery operates a pub and restaurant onsite.
Visitors to Mack Brewery in Tromsø can take a guided tour of the historic brewery to learn about the beer-making process and see the traditional equipment and cellars where beer is stored. Tours run daily and last around 45 minutes. The tour includes an opportunity to sample different Mack beers produced onsite. The brewery has a pub and restaurant called Ølhallen where guests can enjoy Mack beers on tap along with traditional Norwegian fare. The menu features dishes like fish soup, reindeer stew and Mack beer-battered cod. There is an onsite shop selling Mack beers and merchandise. Outside of scheduled tours, visitors can explore the grounds of the brewery and take photos of the distinct red brick architecture. The brewery sometimes hosts special events like concerts, food festivals and releases of seasonal beers which attract both locals and tourists.
Mack Brewery is located in the center of Tromsø on the island of Tromsøya, about 1.5 km (0.9 miles) from Tromsø Harbor. The easiest way to reach the brewery is by walking or taking a bus from the city center. Several local buses including routes 26, 28 and 100 stop right outside the brewery on Storgata street, with buses running frequently from the harbor and other central locations. The walk from the harbor to Mack Brewery takes around 15-20 minutes.
The admission cost to tour Mack Brewery is 150 NOK (€14, $15, £12)) per adult. Tickets can be purchased at the brewery on the day of the tour. The guided walking tour of the brewery lasts around 45 minutes and includes an opportunity to sample different Mack beers produced onsite. There are tours available in both English and Norwegian. In addition to the tour, visitors can freely explore the grounds of the brewery and take photos outside.
7. Tromsø War Museum
The Tromsø War Museum or Tromsø Forsvarsmuseum is located in Tromsø, Norway at Prestvannvegen, 9011. It was founded in 1993 to document and preserve Tromsø's military history from around 1250 to the present day. The museum consists of three main parts – a restored German WWII naval battery with two 10.5 cm cannons, a searchlight and a mine thrower; an exhibit on the German battleship Tirpitz which was sunk near Tromsø in 1944; and displays on the German retreat from the Leningrad front through Finland and into Tromsø from 1944-1945.
Visitors to the Tromsø War Museum can explore the restored German naval battery from WWII, which contains cannons, a searchlight, a mine thrower and underground tunnels and bunkers. The battery was one of five used to defend the Tromsø area from potential Allied invasion. Visitors can also view the museum's extensive “Tirpitz” exhibit, which showcases artifacts, photos and information about the famous German battleship Tirpitz. Visitors can learn about the retreat of 120,000 German soldiers from the Leningrad front through Finland and into Tromsø between 1944-1945.
The Tromsø War Museum can be reached by Bus #28 from Tromsø, which has a stop close to the museum entrance. The bus ride takes approximately 15 minutes. Visitors coming from outside Tromsø can take the E6 highway south, exiting onto Fv362 towards Tromsdalen and following signs for the museum. Visitors coming from even farther abroad would need to first fly or take ground transportation into Tromsø before transferring to the local Bus #28 or driving to the museum.
The cost of admission to the Tromsø War Museum is 100 NOK (€9, $10, £8) for adults, 50 NOK (€5, $5, £4) for seniors over 67, free for children under 16, students and military. Family tickets are also available. Tickets can be purchased at the entrance upon arrival. The museum is open daily from 11 AM to 6 PM between June 1st and August 20th each year and has more limited hours the rest of the year.
8. Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden
The Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden or Arktisk-Alpine Botanisk hage, located at Universitet i Tromsø, Postboks 6050 Langnes, 9037 Tromsø. It is the world's northernmost botanic garden displaying Arctic, Antarctic and alpine plants from all over the northern hemisphere. The garden contains 25 collections showcasing upwards of 1,200 species. Collections include an Arctic section, large Himalayan and South American sections, family collections focused on saxifrages, primulas and gentians and a North Norwegian collection with heritage garden plants.
Visitors to the Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden can explore the 25 plant collections containing over 1,200 cold-climate species from around the world. Featured collections include Arctic species, large groupings of Himalayan and South American flora, systematic collections organized by plant families like saxifrages and gentians, heritage Norwegian garden plants and delicate alpine flowers growing among rocky landscapes designed to mimic natural environments. The grounds contain scenic ponds, streams, forests and mountain views. Visitors can also enjoy the replica historic farmhouse café during summer months, have a picnic, wander the trails, take photographs or participate in a guided tour offered at 2 pm daily mid-June through mid-August.
The Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden is can reach by taking bus #42 from the Tromsø bus terminal directly to the university campus, which has a stop 150 meters from the garden entrance. The bus ride takes around 15 minutes. Taxis can drop off directly at the garden entrance. Private vehicles can park in the nearby university parking garage or surrounding streets.
Entry to the Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden is completely free with no admission cost. Visitors are welcome to explore the trails and collections at their leisure without tickets or fees. The historic farmhouse café on site is open during summer months and serves food and beverages for purchase, but entry to the garden itself is complimentary year-round.
9. Tromsø Cathedral
Tromsø Cathedral is located in downtown Tromsø at Sjøgata 2, 9008 Tromsø. It is the cathedral church for the Tromsø Domkirkens parish and headquarters of the Diocese of Nord-Hålogaland. It is built in 1861 and designed by architect Christian Heinrich Grosch and one of Norway's largest wooden cathedrals with seating for 618 people. The Gothic Revival structure was constructed using a cog joint timber method and sits on a site where churches have existed since the 13th-century.
Visitors to Tromsø Cathedral can admire the all-wooden interior and stained glass windows during opening hours. Noteworthy features include the open wooden beam ceilings, oak pews that seat 600+ people, the ornate pulpit and altar rail and a replica of Adolph Tidemand's altarpiece “Christ's Resurrection”. Many visitors simply sit quietly and take in the peaceful atmosphere and architectural details. Others may light a candle, pray, attend a service, explore the small side chapels or join a guided tour offered June through August. Visitors are requested to enjoy the space respectfully as an active Lutheran parish church.
Tromsø Cathedral is located right in downtown Tromsø, just 2 minutes walking from the main Storgata pedestrian street and tourist information office. Visitors can simply follow Storgata west to Sjøgata and turn right – the cathedral will be on left. The nearest bus stop is Rådstua, just 350 meters (1148 feet) away, served by buses #2 and #3. Taxis can drop off right at the cathedral entrance on Sjøgata. Drivers can park in the public parking garage beneath the main square, a 3 minute walk away.
Entry to Tromsø Cathedral is free with no admission costs. As an active Lutheran parish church, visitors are welcome to enter and view the sanctuary, artwork and architectural details at no charge during opening hours. Concerts and special events held in the cathedral may have ticket fees ranging from 50-250 NOK (€5-€23, $5-$25, £4-£20).
10. The Arctic University Museum of Norway
The Tromsø University Museum is located at Lars Thørings veg 10 in Tromsø, Norway. It was founded in 1872 and is the oldest scientific institution in Northern Norway. The museum is part of the Arctic University of Norway and contains extensive collections related to the natural environment, cultural history and ethnography of the region. It consists of two main departments – the Department of Natural Sciences and the Department of Cultural Sciences. The museum also operates the Polar Museum, MS Polstjerna and Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden around Tromsø.
Visitors can explore several permanent exhibitions showcasing the natural environment and human cultures of Northern Norway. In the Department of Natural Sciences, guests can view geology and paleontology displays including a ichthyosaur fossil, mineral specimens and information on the Northern Lights. The zoology exhibit features taxidermied arctic animals like polar bears, arctic foxes, reindeer and more. In the Department of Cultural Sciences, visitors can learn about archaeology, history and traditional Sami culture through artifacts, recreations of dwellings, clothing and multimedia displays.
The Tromsø University Museum visitors can take the #40 or #42 bus from downtown Tromsø directly to the university campus bus stop, which is right outside the museum entrance. The bus ride takes around 15 minutes. Visitors coming from outside Tromsø can take the E6 highway south, exiting onto Fv362 towards Tromsdalen, before following signs the last few kilometers to the museum. The museum is within walking distance of downtown Tromsø as well, accessible over the Tromsø Bridge.
Entry to the Tromsø University Museum is free with no admission cost. Visitors can explore the exhibitions, participate in activities like the Northern Lights show and view the grounds at no charge. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10AM to 4.30PM and Saturday/Sunday from 11AM to 4PM between September and May. From June to August, hours extend to 9AM to 5PM daily. Special events and temporary exhibitions may have additional fees.
Verdensteatret is a historic cinema located in the city center of Tromsø, Norway at Storgata 93b, 9008 Tromsø. It first opened in 1916 and is the oldest cinema still operating in Northern Europe. Verdensteatret shows a wide variety of independent, international and classic films and hosts the Tromsø International Film Festival annually. The building itself is an Art Nouveau structure designed by architect Peter Arnet Amundsen and has been protected as a listed building since 1999.
Visitors to Verdensteatret in Tromsø can experience a variety of films and cultural events at this historic cinema. The main draw is the opportunity to see both new independent/international films as well as classic and cult favorites on the big screen. Verdensteatret shows movies almost daily, usually with multiple screenings per day starting in the afternoon and evening. The program includes premieres, limited releases, documentaries, children's films and retrospectives of certain directors or genres. There are special film series and festivals throughout the year as well, like the Tromsø International Film Festival held annually in January.
Verdensteatret is situated on Storgata, one of the main streets in the city center. Several buses including the 26, 28, 20 and 24 routes stop within a short 7-10 minute walk of the cinema. Visitors can take the Airport Express bus from the Tromsø Airport, which is only 4 km (2.5 miles) away and get off at the Rådstua bus stop just 350 meters (0.2 miles) from Verdensteatret. There is street parking near the cinema and several public parking garages within a few blocks.
Attending a screening at Verdensteatret cinema in Tromsø costs around 80 NOK (€7, $8, £7) for a regular adult ticket. There are discounted rates available for students, seniors, children and members of the cinema. Students and seniors over 67 get reduced pricing of 60 NOK (€6, $6, £5), while children under 12 pay a child rate of 50 NOK (€5, $5, £4). Members of the Tromsø Film Society and other partner organizations can get special member pricing of 65 NOK (€6, $7, £6).
12. Tromsø Kunstforening
Tromsø Kunstforening is an art gallery and cultural institution located at Mellomvegen 82 in Tromsø, Norway. It is the oldest art gallery in Northern Norway and continues to be a vital exhibition space for contemporary art in the region. This historic gallery showcases experimental and cutting-edge contemporary art through its rotating exhibitions and related cultural events. The program includes both internationally established artists as well as those who are up-and-coming or have a particular connection to Northern Norway.
Visitors to the Tromsø Kunstforening art gallery can view a wide range of contemporary art exhibitions highlighting both international and regional artists. The exhibition program changes several times a year, so there is always something new to see. Typical displays include painting, sculpture, video installations, photography and experimental mixed media or performance art.
Tromsø Kunstforening can easily be reached on foot from most hotels or attractions in the compact city center. For those staying further outside central Tromsø, the local buses are a convenient transportation option. The 26, 28, 20 and 24 routes have stops within a short 7-10 minute walk of the gallery. Visitors can take the Airport Express route from the airport only 4 km (2.5 miles) out of town and disembark at the Rådstua bus stop just 350 meters (0.2 miles) away. Taxis are readily available from ranks around the city center as well, especially along Storgata.
Entry to the Tromsø Kunstforening gallery is free for visitors, making it an affordable attraction to enjoy contemporary art. The temporary exhibitions themselves have no admission cost. Guided tours of the exhibitions offered on Saturdays are also included for free. Most public lectures, concerts, debates or performances hosted at the gallery related to the exhibitions tend to be free as well.
13. Prestvannet Lake
Prestvannet Lake is a small freshwater lake located in the city center of Tromsø, Norway at Langnesvegen on the island of Tromsøya. In the Lake, sitting at 96 meters above sea level, it is the highest point in central Tromsø. Prestvannet was originally built up as a reservoir in 1867 to provide water to the city until 1921, when it was converted into a nature reserve and recreational area.
Visitors to Prestvannet Lake can enjoy a variety of outdoor recreational activities perfect for appreciating the Nordic wilderness. In winter when the lake is frozen over, it becomes an ideal spot to ice skate with views of the snow-capped mountains around Tromsø. Visitors can walk to designated lookout points or sit along the lakeshore with a thermos of hot chocolate to try catching the Aurora Borealis. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy at the tables dotted around the lake. Keep an eye out for the variety of bird species that nest in the area. Guided kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddleboarding tours are also available seasonally to explore the lake.
Prestvannet Lake can easily be reached on foot or bike from most hotels and attractions downtown thanks to its convenient location. Public buses are a great option, with several routes like the 26, 28, 20 and 24 having stops within a short 350 meter (0.2 mile) walk of the lake. Visitors can also take the Airport Express bus from Tromsø Airport only 4 km (2.5 miles) away and get off at the Rådstua bus stop just 350 meters from Prestvannet.
As a public park and nature area, there is no admission fee to visit Prestvannet Lake itself and enjoy walks along its trails or activities like ice skating on the frozen lake. Guided tours such as kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddleboarding during the summer season have costs ranging from 150 to 300 NOK (£13-26,$17-34) per person depending on the length of the tour. Northern lights walking tours in the area typically range from 400 to 600 NOK (£34-51,$45-68).
14. North Norwegian Science Center Tromsø
The North Norwegian Science Center Tromsø or Nordnorsk Vitensenter is an interactive science museum located at Hansine Hansens veg 17, 9019 Tromsø, Norway on the campus of the Arctic University of Norway. Established in 2002, it is focused on making science accessible and engaging for visitors of all ages through hands-on exhibits, workshops and cultural events. The science center contains over 100 interactive installations centered around themes like weather and climate, energy and environment, astronomy and Northern Lights, mathematics, physics and the human body.
Visitors can experiment with wind power, study snowflake formations, try to untangle human DNA, explore optical illusions and more. The center also houses an impressive planetarium, where visitors can enjoy full-dome shows about extreme Northern Lights, the Arctic sky and other astronomical phenomena. isitors can participate in special science workshops and activities like building robots or studying marine biology at one of the center's labs. Expert-guided exhibition tours are offered on Saturdays to provide more insight. Visitors can also attend science-themed concerts, debates or lectures hosted at the science center.
The North Norwegian Science Center is located on the campus of the Arctic University in Tromsø, just 4 km (2.5 miles) from Tromsø Airport and 1 km (0.6 miles) from the city center. Visitors can easily reach it using the local bus system, with routes 20, 21, 22, 27, 32, 34, 42 and 43 stopping within a short 350 meter (0.2 mile) walk of the science center. The Airport Express bus from the airport has a stop at Rådstua just 350 meters away as well.
General admission to the North Norwegian Science Center is 130 NOK (€12, $13, £11) for adults and 70 NOK (€6, $7, £6) for children. There are discounted student, senior and group rates available as well. A family ticket for 2 adults and 3 children is 70 NOK (€6, $7, £6), with additional children each. Access to the special Sunday workshops and science club activities may have extra fees depending on the program. Entrance to standard exhibitions, planetarium shows and most public events is included with general admission.
15. Krane Galleri & Rammeverksted AS
Krane Galleri & Rammeverksted AS is an art gallery and framing studio located at Ærfuglvegen 8 in Tromsø, Norway. It represents over 70 artists from Northern Norway and showcases a wide variety of contemporary art including painting, photography, ceramics, glass, textiles and more. The gallery's focus is on promoting local talent and making art accessible to the public. Exhibitions change every 1-2 months, highlighting both emerging and established artists connected to the region. Past shows have featured themes like the Arctic landscape, Sámi culture, folklore and abstract art.
Visitors to Krane Galleri & Rammeverksted AS in Tromsø can view a wide range of contemporary art by regional artists in the gallery space. Exhibitions change regularly and highlight painting, sculpture, textiles, photography and more in diverse styles. Occasional concerts, lectures or workshops related to the exhibitions are also open to the public. The friendly staff provides guidance on selecting high-quality materials and framing methods suited to preserving and displaying each item.
The gallery is situated on Ærfuglvegen, a short walk from the main street Storgata. Visitors staying centrally can easily walk there within 10-15 minutes. For those further out, buses 26, 28, 20 and 24 stop within 350 meters (0.2 miles) of the gallery. The Airport Express bus from Tromsø Airport just 4 km (2.5 miles) away also stops nearby at Rådstua. Taxis are readily available downtown and can drop visitors off right at the gallery entrance. Street parking is limited, but public garages on Storgata provide parking within a 5 minute walk.
Entry to view the art exhibitions at Krane Galleri & Rammeverksted AS is free with no admission cost for visitors. This allows the public to browse the changing displays of contemporary art at their leisure without any entrance fee.
16. Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum
The Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum or Northern Norwegian Museum of Art is an art museum located at Sjøgata 1 in the center of Tromsø, Norway. It has a focus on showcasing and collecting contemporary art from Northern Norway and Sámi artists. The museum presents rotating exhibitions highlighting different artists, themes or movements related to the region. Past shows have examined Arctic landscape painting, Sámi handicrafts and textiles, avant-garde sculpture and more. The Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum contains a museum shop, cafe and hosts public events like concerts, lectures and guided tours.
There are many ways visitors can engage with art and culture at the Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum in Tromsø. The main draw is exploring the museum's rotating exhibitions related to Northern Norwegian and Sámi contemporary art across mediums like painting, sculpture, textiles, photography and more. Visitors can join free guided tours on Saturdays to learn more details about current displays. There may be special programs like lectures, concerts or classes offered to complement exhibitions.
The Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum enjoys a very central location in downtown Tromsø at Sjøgata 1, just 350 meters (0.2 miles) from the main square. It sits right on the harbor front overlooking the water. Visitors can easily walk there from most hotels and attractions in the compact city center within 5-10 minutes. For those staying further out, buses 26, 28, 20 and 24 stop within a 7-10 minute walk of the museum.
General admission to the Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum is 80 NOK (€7, $8, £7) for adults and 50 NOK (€5, $5, £4) for seniors over 67 and students. Children and young people under age 18 can explore the museum at no cost. Guided tours offered on Saturdays are free with museum admission. Visitors can ask about annual membership rates to receive discounted entry and other benefits.
What are the best museums to visit in Tromsø?
Listed below are the best museums to visit in Tromsø.
- Polaria. Polaria is located at Hjalmar Johansens gate 12, 9007 Tromsø, Norway. This Arctic-themed attraction combines an aquarium, museum and IMAX theater to provide an interactive experience highlighting the North Pole environment and culture. The aquarium exhibits seals, fish and other cold water marine life from the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans. Multimedia displays cover topics like the aurora borealis, polar expeditions. The cinema screens IMAX films about the Arctic regions. Polaria offers encounters with seals, feeding shows and presentations from Arctic researchers.
- Perspektivet Museum. The Perspektivet Museum is located at Storgata 95, 9008 Tromsø, Norway in a historic 1838 building that once housed Tromsø's customs house and post office. It is dedicated to showcasing Norwegian art dating from 1800 onwards, the museum's permanent collection includes over 400 works focused on Northern Norwegian art. Highlights include paintings depicting the dramatic landscapes of the north through changing seasons and lighting conditions. Perspektivet Museum showcases contemporary Norwegian and Sami artists.
- Polarmuseet. The Polar Museum is located at Søndre Tollbodgate 11, 9008 Tromsø, Norway. Housed in an 18th-century customs house along the harbor, this museum illustrates Tromsø's history as a starting point for Arctic hunting and exploration expeditions. Permanent exhibitions feature historic artifacts like seal hunting equipment, ice-making tools, navigation instruments and items from early polar expeditions. The museum collection includes over 80,000 photographs documenting life and culture in the Arctic regions. Temporary displays cover natural history, Sami culture and contemporary Arctic research.
- Tromsø University Museum. The Tromsø University Museum is located on the University of Tromsø campus at Lars Thørings veg 10, 9006 Tromsø. The botany collection features an extensive Arctic-Alpine herbarium. Zoology exhibits showcase northern marine life, terrestrial mammals and birds. Cultural artifacts illustrate Sami culture, folk medicine, domestic tools and textile arts. The museum manages the 18th century farm estate Prestbakmo as an open-air exhibit exhibiting rural life in the north.
- Verdensteatret. Verdensteatret or “World's Theatre” is located at Strandgata 2, 9008 Tromsø, Norway. This unique cinema opened in 1916 and is the world's northernmost theater showing mainstream and independent films. The original exterior and Art Nouveau decor have been carefully preserved, allowing visitors to experience early 20th century moviegoing as they watch new releases. In addition to recent films, Verdensteatret screens classic movies and hosts film festivals, concerts and lectures in its main theater.
What are the best things to do in Tromsø With kids?
Listed below are the best things to do in Tromsø with Kids.
- Polaria. Polaria is located at Hjalmar Johansens gate 12, 9007 Tromsø, Norway. Polaria is an aquarium located on the Tromsø waterfront featuring exhibits about Arctic sea life. Kids can see seals, fish, seabirds and more up close in the aquarium tanks. Interactive displays let children learn about topics like sea ice through games and activities. The on-site cinema shows nature films about the Arctic and Norway.
- Arctic Cathedral. Arctic Cathedral is located at Hans Nilsens veg 41, 9007 Tromsø, Norway. The Arctic Cathedral on the mainland is Tromsø's most famous landmark. The modern church has huge stained glass windows that glow at night. Kids can walk around the unique triangular architecture and cross the pedestrian bridge to the main building. The cathedral hosts concerts and events and has an exhibit about the history and construction of the church.
- Tromsø Alpine Center. Tromsø Alpine Center, is located at Rennvegen 1, 9013 Tromsø, Norway. Tromsø Alpine Center is an indoor ski slope where kids can ski and snowboard year-round. The center has a beginner hill and lift, ski rental and lessons and a cafe. In Tromsø Alpine Center, children can learn to ski or practice their skills on the snow in a family-friendly environment.
- Tromsø Arctic Reindeer. Tromsø Arctic Reindeer, Ersfjordbotn, 9024 Tromsø, Norway. Children can feed and pet reindeer while learning about Sámi culture. The farm offers sled rides pulled by reindeer that kids enjoy. Visitors can also book traditional Sámi meals in a lávvu tent. Tromsø Arctic Reindeer provides an interactive Arctic experience for families.
- Fjellheisen Cable Car. Fjellheisen Cable Car is located at Solliveien 12, 9010 Tromsø, Norway. Ride the Fjellheisen cable car up Storsteinen Mountain for beautiful views over Tromsø. At the top, there is a restaurant and hiking trails that are family-friendly. Kids will love soaring above the city and fjord on the cable car.
What are the best activities for a business traveler in Tromsø?
Listed below are the best activities for a business traveler in Tromsø.
- Radisson Blu Hotel Tromsø. The Radisson Blu Hotel Tromsø is located at Sjøgata 7, 9008 Tromsø, Norway. Situated along the harbor in the city center, this full-service hotel offers 14 flexible meeting rooms accommodating up to 350 delegates. The rooms feature modern AV equipment, free WiFi and natural lighting. Catering and technical support are available. The on site Tromsø Fjord Brasserie provides group dining options. The hotel has 251 guest rooms and its downtown waterfront location, the Radisson Blu Tromsø is a convenient meeting venue choice.
- Clarion Hotel The Edge. The Clarion Hotel The Edge is located at Kaigata 6, 9008 Tromsø, Norway, adjacent to the Tromsø Convention Center. It offers 10 dedicated meeting rooms accommodating up to 150 delegates, with the latest A/V technology and skilled technicians. Catering services and group room rates are available. The Edge's central location, modern facilities and proximity to the Convention Center make it suitable for business events of all sizes. Onsite amenities like the fitness center and Bastard Bar & Kjøkken provide additional conveniences.
- Tromsø Convention Center. The Tromsø Convention Center (Tromsø Kongress & Kulturhus) is located at Strandtorget 1, 9007 Tromsø, Norway. This modern facility in Tromsø's city center contains 12 meeting and conference rooms accommodating up to 1,500 guests. The largest hall spans 1,732 sq meters. Experienced planners assist with customized events from conferences to concerts. Catering, A/V equipment and technical support are offered. Attached to the Clarion Hotel The Edge, the Convention Center provides a top-tier venue for major business events in Tromsø.
- Work-Work. Work-Work is located at Storgata 64, 9008 Tromsø, Norway. This coworking space in downtown Tromsø offers hot desks, dedicated desks, private offices, meeting rooms, phone booths, event space, kitchen and lounge areas. Business amenities include printers, mail service, high speed internet and cleaning. The modern space features an international community of remote workers, entrepreneurs and small business owners. Various membership plans provide flexibility. Centrally located in Tromsø, Work-Work aims to promote productivity, collaboration and convenience.
Where is Tromsø?
Tromsø is located in northern Norway at 69.6498° N, 18.9841° E, north of the Arctic Circle. As Norway's largest city north of the Arctic Circle, Tromsø is situated on the island of Tromsøya along the Arctic coastline. The city center itself sits at an elevation of 15 meters (49 feet) above sea level. In terms of distance from Norway's capital Oslo, Tromsø is located 904 km (562 miles) straight north of Oslo by air. By road, the driving distance is roughly 1,148 km (713 miles) between the two cities. The fastest and most direct public transportation option is to fly – direct flights from Oslo Airport to Tromsø Airport take around 1 hour and 45 minutes. Trains connecting Oslo and Tromsø take around 19 hours, with several transfers required.
What is the history of Tromso?
Tromsø was founded in the 13th-century and was an important trading post and harbor for northern Norway's fishing and hunting industries from early on. In 1789, Tromsø received its town charter from the Danish king and became an official town of the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway. Tromsø grew rapidly as the “Gateway to the Arctic” and a base for Arctic hunting, expeditions and research. Major events in Tromsø's development include the establishment of the Diocese of Hålogaland in 1804 with Tromsø as the seat, making it an ecclesiastical center. In 1877 the teacher's college, now the University of Tromsø, was founded. Tromsø experienced heavy bombing by the Nazis during World War II that destroyed parts of the town. But after rebuilding, the city continued to grow in the postwar era. The 1960s saw further expansion of education, culture and research institutions like the university, observatory and technical college. In the late 20th-century, Tromsø cemented its position as the administrative and economic hub of northern Norway. Tromsø is best known as a center for Arctic research and culture and a destination for viewing the Northern Lights. The city balances its historical identity as a gateway to the Arctic with modern cosmopolitan offerings, from its university to cultural festivals.
What language is spoken in Tromsø?
Norwegian is the language spoken in Tromsø, Norway. As in the rest of Norway, there are two official written forms – Bokmål and Nynorsk. Spoken Norwegian used in Tromsø belongs to the North Norwegian dialect region, with some distinctive local vocabulary and pronunciations compared to other areas. English has an important secondary role as the most widely spoken foreign language, especially in the tourism industry and for international communication. Increased immigration has added languages like Polish, Russian, Thai to the mix of what might be heard on Tromsø's streets.
What timezone is Tromsø on?
Tromsø is located in the Central European Time (CET) timezone. CET is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This means when it is 12 noon UTC, it is 1pm in Tromsø. Norway observes Daylight Saving Time along with the rest of Europe, so clocks move forward 1 hour to Central European Summer Time (CEST) on the last Sunday in March. Clocks move back 1 hour to CET on the last Sunday in October each year.
How many people live in Tromsø?
The total population of Tromsø as of 2023 is 70105 people. There are 35514 males and 34590 females living in the city. The median age of residents in Tromsø is 40 years old. There are 11,727 children under the age of 14 and 13,261 youths between the ages of 15-29. Tromsø has 14,213 adults between the ages of 30-59 and 13,763 elderly residents aged 60 and above. There are currently about 3923 babies in Tromsø, with 1902 of them being girls and 2020 being boys. There are 3841 young children between the ages of 5-9 living in the city. These are all based on the population breakdown.
What are the most interesting facts about Tromsø?
Listed below are the most interesting facts about Tromsø.
- Language. The main language spoken in Tromsø is Norwegian, specifically the North Norwegian dialect. This local dialect features a melodic accent and some unique vocabulary, like using “fesk” instead of “fisk” for fish. English has an important secondary role, especially in tourism and business.
- Currency. The Norwegian krone (NOK) is the official currency used in Tromsø and all of Norway. Banknotes come in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 kroner. Coins represent 1, 5, 10 and 20 kroner. The exchange rate is around 9 NOK to 1 US dollar and 11 NOK to 1 British pound.
- Timezone. Tromsø is on Central European Time (CET), which is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). It observes Daylight Saving Time from late March through late October, shifting clocks 1 hour forward to Central European Summer Time (CEST). In summer on CEST, Tromsø is 2 hours ahead of UTC and aligned with most of Western Europe.
- Power Plugs. Norway uses 230 volts at 50 Hz AC electricity. Norwegian plugs have two round pins that fit Type C and Type F plugs used across Europe. North American visitors will need an adapter and potentially a voltage converter for devices that don't handle 230 volt power. Dual voltage electronics like laptops just require a plug adapter.
How many days are needed to see Tromsø?
The days needed to see Tromsø are 2-3 days, providing enough time to see Tromsø's major attractions at a comfortable pace. Visitors can explore highlights like the Arctic Cathedral, Polaria museum, Perspektivet Museum and Fjellheisen cable car up Mt. Storsteinen. 2 days allows a more relaxed visit at an unhurried pace, with time for activities like whale watching, hiking on Tromsøya island or joining a Northern Lights tour at night. The extra day also enables getting better acquainted with Tromsø's harbor setting, local culture and university town atmosphere. 3 days provides enough time for day trips to places like the Sommarøy Arctic Circle landmarks or Lyngen Alps for scenic views and outdoor activities.
Is Tromsø worth visiting?
Yes, Tromsø is absolutely worth visiting, especially for those interested in exploring Norway's Arctic region. As the largest city in northern Norway, Tromsø serves as a gateway to the Arctic with its location north of the Arctic Circle. Key highlights include the Arctic Cathedral, Polaria museum and Fjellheisen cable car offering panoramic views over the city and surrounding islands. Tromsø is one of the world's best places for seeing the Northern Lights in season and offers a range of tours like dog sledding, reindeer encounters and whale watching.
Is Tromsø expensive to visit?
Yes, Tromsø is generally considered an expensive city for travelers to visit. As a popular gateway to Norway's Arctic region, the costs of accommodation, activities, transportation and dining in Tromsø tend to be higher compared to other European destinations. Visitors can explore more on free attractions like harborfront instead of luxury excursions helps. Self-catering in a rental apartment or hostel with a kitchen saves on dining costs. Booking tours and activities well in advance secures the best rates.
Is Tromsø safe to visit?
Yes, Tromsø is a very safe city to visit. As a popular tourist destination in Norway, Tromsø has low crime rates that make it quite secure. Violent crime is rare and petty offenses like pickpocketing or bag snatching can happen but remain uncommon. Standard safety precautions like being aware of your surroundings and not leaving valuables unattended apply, but overall risks are low. Following warning signs, checking local danger ratings and only joining guided tours helps mitigate these outdoor risks. Emergency responders may have to rescue underprepared hikers.
Is Tromsø easy to visit with kids?
Yes, Tromsø is easy to visit with kids. Many of the top attractions appeal especially to kids, like learning about the Arctic at the Polaria museum and aquarium or taking the cable car up Mt. Storsteinen for sweeping views and mountain play. The outdoor Norwegian culture at places like the Polar Museum and Arctic Cathedral engage young minds. Family-friendly restaurants with play areas can be found and hotels allow kids to stay free with parents and provide amenities like cribs. Safety is also less of a concern given Norway's low crime rates. Tromsø Pass helps families save on attractions, transportation and certain tours that appeal to kids like dog sledding.
What is Tromsø famous for?
Tromsø is famous for Northern Lights, Arctic Gateway and attractions. One of the biggest claims to fame for Tromsø is that it is one of the world's best places to see the Northern Lights. Located north of the Arctic Circle, Tromsø's high latitude location combined with its coastal position facing the Aurora Oval makes it an ideal viewing spot for the aurora borealis from September through April. Tromsø markets itself as the “Gateway to the Arctic” for Northern Lights tourism, with many tours offered out of the city to maximize chances of seeing the celestial light displays by getting away from light pollution. As the largest city in Northern Norway, Tromsø serves as a gateway to the Arctic region, providing access to Arctic nature, Sami culture and polar expeditions. Tromsø serves as a starting point for Arctic cruise expeditions like those to Svalbard. It is a center for Arctic research with institutions like the Polar Institute and Arctic University of Norway. Tromsø also celebrates its Arctic identity through attractions like the Polar Museum and Arctic Cathedral. The city balances its Arctic character with urban amenities like cafes, festivals and a university atmosphere. Surrounded by Arctic landscapes, Tromsø is defined by its natural beauty and easy access to nature. The Lyngen Alps offer glaciers, fjords and snow capped peaks just a short distance away. Tromsø itself is situated on the island of Tromsøya, providing stunning views of mountains, islands and the Arctic Ocean. Popular activities include whale watching, hiking and reindeer encounters in the wild Arctic terrain right near the city.
Who are the most important people born in Tromsø?
Listed below are the most important people born in Tromsø.
- Ewa Da Cruz. Ewa Da Cruz is a Norwegian-American actress born on June 9, 1977 in Tromsø, Norway. She began modeling in Norway as a child before moving to the United States to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. Da Cruz graduated in 2004 and went on to appear in various films and TV shows. She is best known for playing the role of Vienna Hyatt on the soap opera As the World Turns from 2006-2010.
- Espen Lind. Espen Lind is a Norwegian singer-songwriter born on May 13, 1971 in Tromsø, Norway. As a musician, he has released five solo albums and is known for hit songs like “When Susannah Cries” and “Scared of Heights”. Lind has also worked extensively as a songwriter and producer, often collaborating with Amund Bjørklund as the duo Espionage. They have written and produced hits for major artists including Beyoncé, Train, Jennifer Hudson and Taylor Swift.
- Anneli Drecker. Anneli Drecker is a Norwegian singer born on February 12, 1969 in Tromsø, Norway. She rose to fame as the lead vocalist of the dream pop band Bel Canto, which she co-founded as a teenager in 1985. Drecker has released four solo albums and has collaborated with artists like Röyksopp and a-ha. She continues to record and perform as the frontwoman of Bel Canto and is considered an influential figure in Norway's music scene.
- Ailo Gaup. Ailo Gaup is a Norwegian actor born in 1944 in Tromsø, Norway. He is of Sámi heritage and is known for portraying Sámi characters and culture in his acting roles. Gaup had his breakthrough playing the lead character in the 1987 film Pathfinder, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. He went on to appear in various Norwegian and international film and TV productions. Gaup has won acclaim for bringing greater visibility to Sámi identity and issues through his acting career.
- Lisa Stokke. Lisa Stokke is a Norwegian actress and singer born on June 30, 1975 in Tromsø, Norway. She studied musical theater in England and went on to perform in West End productions like Mamma Mia! and Les Miserables. Stokke has appeared in films such as Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and television shows like Home Fires. As a singer, she has released two albums and also performs in musical theater. Stokke has won praise for her vocal talents and abilities as a triple threat performer.
What to eat in Tromsø?
Listed below are what you can eat in Tromsø.
- Reindeer. Reindeer has been an important part of Sámi and Norwegian cuisine in northern Norway for centuries. In Tromsø, visitors can find reindeer prepared in various ways, from reindeer steak and burgers to smoked reindeer sausage. The meat has a rich, gamey flavor and is lean and tender when cooked properly.
- Bacalao. Bacalao or salt cod, is beloved in Tromsø and the recipe has been passed down for generations. This preserved fish is rehydrated and then simmered with potatoes, onions, olive oil and milk into a hearty, comforting stew. Bacalao offers a warming taste of the sea and local fishing culture. Restaurants like Vertshuset Skarven serve traditional, homemade bacalao that perfectly embodies the flavors of northern Norwegian cuisine.
- Cloudberry Desserts. The amber-colored cloudberry grows wild in the marshes and bogs surrounding Tromsø during late summer. Tart and sweet, cloudberries are perfect for desserts. Try the cloudberry cream cake at Emmas Drømmekjøkken or a cloudberry panna cotta at restaurants like Bardus Bistro to experience this beloved berry. The complex sweet-tart flavor is an iconic Norwegian taste.
- Brunost. Brunost or brown cheese, is a uniquely Norwegian specialty that originated in the valleys around Tromsø. Made from whey, this fudgy, caramelized cheese has a sweet, rich flavor that pairs perfectly with Norwegian flatbread or waffles. Pick up a few varieties of brunost at local markets and sample this Norwegian pantry staple.
- Arctic Char. This cold-water fish related to salmon is caught wild in the nearby Arctic waters. In Tromsø, Arctic char is served pan-fried, grilled, cured and smoked. The delicate pink flesh has a clean, mildly sweet flavor. Try it at restaurants like Mathallen, where the rotating menu highlights the best seasonal Arctic seafood like tender Arctic char filets.
What are the best places to eat in Tromsø?
Listed below are the best places to eat in Tromsø.
- Mathallen Tromsø. Mathallen Tromsø is located at Grønnegata 58/60, 9008 Tromsø, Norway. The kitchen is run by award-winning chef Gunnar Jensen, known for his innovative take on local flavors. The menu changes weekly based on available produce and inspiration. Signature dishes include Arctic char, reindeer, cloudberries and other ingredients sourced from the cold Norwegian waters and landscapes. The deli shop next door sells artisanal groceries like cheese, cured meats and seafood. The combination of high-quality local ingredients and creative preparation makes for a special culinary experience.
- Full Steam Tromsø AS. Full Steam Tromsø is located at AS, Søndre Tollbodgate 3, 9008 Tromsø, Norway. The building has been carefully restored and now houses both a restaurant focused on seafood and Arctic flavors, as well as a museum dedicated to the region's fishing history. Diners can book tables or guided museum tours for groups of up to 120 people. Full Steam celebrates local ingredients like fish, game and wild berries. Signature dishes include shrimp sandwiches, fish soup, cloudberry cheesecake and local beers. The atmosphere is cozy and lively, with friendly service.
- Emmas Drømmekjøkken. Emmas Drømmekjøkken is located at Kirkegata 8, 9008 Tromsø, Norway. The red building houses both a dining room on the second floor with views over the church park, as well as a lounge bar on the first floor focusing on Nordic-inspired cocktails and wines. Emmas celebrates the seasons with frequently changing menus focused on regional ingredients and flavors. Dishes like grilled cod, reindeer carpaccio and cloudberry crème brûlée are expertly prepared and artfully presented. The atmosphere balances cozy and formal, with attentive service.
- Graffi Grill Tromsø. Graffi Grill Tromsø is located at Samuel Arnesens gate 5, 9008 Tromsø, Norway. The casual eatery serves classics like burgers, ribs, steaks and Tex-Mex dishes. Diners can enjoy views of the harbor through large windows while tucking into hearty portions. Graffi Grill stands out for its focus on quality ingredients, with locally-sourced meat and fish options. The ribs are smoked in-house and the burgers are made from freshly-ground chuck. Beer, wine and cocktails like margaritas and Long Island iced teas complement the food.
- Cous Restaurant AS. Cous Restaurant AS is located at Storgata 76, 9008 Tromsø, Norway. Cous Restaurant celebrates the unique cuisine of Northern Norway with a frequently changing menu focused on seasonal Arctic ingredients. The six- or nine-course tasting menus allow guests to fully experience head chef Mikael Svensson's creative vision. Expert wine pairings selected by the in-house sommelier complement the food. Diners indulge in a true fine dining experience marked by innovation, precision and regional authenticity. The staff provides attentive yet relaxed service in the small dining room.
What are the best areas to stay in Tromsø?
Listed below are the best areas to stay in Tromsø.
- Tromsøya Island. Tromsøya Island is located on the island's southern shore, the city center features most major attractions like the Polaria museum, Perspektivet Museum and Tromsø Cathedral. The main street Storgata offers shopping, dining and nightlife. Tromsø's harborfront is ideal for strolling, with colorful historic warehouses converted into hip bars and restaurants. As the tourist hub, Tromsøya provides walkable proximity to key sights. Hotels range from international chains like Radisson to historic inns. Prices are higher than outer neighborhoods, staying central allows experiencing Tromsø's urban energy and avoids relying on public transit.
- Tromsdalen. Tromsdalen is located just east of Tromsøya Island across the Tromsdalen Bridge. This residential area provides a more local neighborhood feel while remaining a short bus or walk from downtown. Visitors can access outdoor recreation like cross-country ski trails in the winter. Tromsdalen offers lower cost apartment rentals and hotels compared to central Tromsøya. Budget travelers appreciate its proximity to the city center without high prices. Amenities like grocery stores serve residents rather than tourists. Tromsdalen suits those seeking a quieter home base with quick access to downtown via the bridge.
- Prestvannet. The Prestvannet area contains the small lake after which it is named. Adjacent to the Arctic Alpine Botanic Garden, the neighborhood has a more secluded, natural setting with wooded trails yet remains from the city center. Prestvannet offers direct access to outdoor activities like cross-country skiing and summer hiking on the island. Visitors can retreat to the area's peaceful lakeside cottages and B&Bs after exploring downtown Tromsø's energy.
- Tromvik. Tromvik provides a fjordside setting 25 minutes by car from the city center. This small village on the Arctic Circle provides better Northern Lights viewing opportunities away from Tromsø's light pollution. Visitors can also access activities like dog sledding, snowshoeing and reindeer encounters from Tromvik. Accommodation ranges from rental cabins to campgrounds.
- Sommarøy. The Sommarøy island community is located on the western edge of the Tromsø archipelago, 45 minutes from the city center by car and ferry. This quiet island with pastel cottages and dramatic mountains rising from the sea provides an idyllic retreat. Visitors come for incredible fjord views, whale watching, hiking and rustic lodges. Sommarøy offers a remote island experience while still providing access to Tromsø's amenities.
What are the best accommodations to stay in Tromsø?
Listed below are the best accommodations to stay in Tromsø.
- Enter St. Elisabeth Suites. Enter St. Elisabeth Suites is located at Mellomvegen 50, 9007 Tromsø, Norway. This family-friendly hotel features parquet flooring, a fully equipped kitchen with dishwasher, dining area, cable TV and a private bathroom with walk-in shower. Guests can enjoy the on-site fitness center, snack bar, lounge and outdoor play equipment. The aparthotel is from Tromsø Airport and walking distance to attractions like The Fram Centre, Tromsø City Hall and The Art Museum of Northern Norway.
- Skaret by Vander. Skaret by Vander is located at Storgata 25, 9008 Tromsø, Norway. It features eco-friendly rooms with free WiFi, kitchen, ocean views and private bathroom. Amenities include restaurant, elevator, security, parking and children's playground. The apartment is 4 km (2.5 miles) from Tromsø Airport and walking distance to The Fram Centre, The Art Museum of Northern Norway and Tromsø City Hall. The central location is popular with couples.
- Robukta Lodge. Robukta Lodge is located at Slåttnesvegen 9, 9006 Tromsø, Norway. Robukta Lodge is a luxury villa in Tromsø offering garden views, patio, ping pong, free parking and WiFi. The sustainable property has 8 bedrooms, outdoor fireplace, TV, fully equipped kitchen, 5 bathrooms with hot tub and bar. It is 5.95 km (3.7 miles) from Tromsø Airport and 2.25 km (1.4 miles) from The University Museum of Tromsø. The secluded location with recreational activities is ideal for families and groups.
- Ersfjordbotn Brygge. Ersfjordbotn Brygge is located at Ersfjordbotn, 9024 Tromsø, Norway. It offers fjord views, free WiFi, sauna, restaurant focusing on local ingredients and cozy rooms with shared or private bathroom facilities. The remote setting next to the fjord and surrounded by mountains is perfect for a relaxing getaway and Northern Lights viewing.
- Sommarøy Arctic Hotel Tromsø AS. Sommarøy Arctic Hotel Tromsø AS is located at Sommarøy, 9100 Tromsø, Norway. This sustainable waterfront hotel features free WiFi, sauna, restaurant and modern rooms with ocean or mountain views. Guests can enjoy activities like whale watching, fishing, kayaking and hiking in the scenic archipelago. The peaceful island location offers beautiful nature and Northern Lights viewing.
How to get to Tromsø Airport?
The fastest and most convenient way to get from Tromsø Airport to the city center is by taking the Flybussen Airport Express shuttle bus. This coach service departs frequently from right outside the airport terminal, takes only around 15 minutes to reach the city center and costs approximately 125 NOK (€12, $13, £10). Visitors can take the cheaper local buses #40 or #42 which also connects Tromsø Airport to the city center. These public buses take around 20 minutes and cost 35 NOK (€3, $4, £3) when paying cash on board. Taxis are readily available at a rank outside the airport and take only around 10 minutes to the city center. However, fares are expensive, costing around 200 NOK (€18, $20, £16).
How to get from Tromsø to Gothenburg, Sweden?
The fastest and most convenient way to get from Tromsø to Oslo is to fly. The flight distance between the two cities is 1,148 km (713 miles) and takes around 1 hour 50 minutes nonstop. There are regular daily flights on SAS and Norwegian between Tromsø Airport (TOS) and Oslo Airport (OSL) that take under 2 hours. Prices for a one-way ticket start from around 1,355 NOK (€124, $136, £111). You can also drive between Tromsø and Oslo, which is a distance of 1,742 km (1,082 miles) and takes over 15 hours. Other options include taking a bus or combining train and bus with changeovers, but flying is the quickest travel time at under 2 hours between the cities.
Where to go shopping in Tromsø?
There are 3 shopping centers in Tromso which are Nerstranda Shopping Centre, Perspektivet Museum Shop and Farmers Market at Torget. Firstly, Nerstranda shopping center is located right in the heart of downtown Tromsø, making it one of the most convenient and popular shopping destinations in the city. It has over 30 stores and restaurants spread across three floors, it offers a great mix of international chains, local boutiques, grocery stores and eateries. Major retailers found at Nerstranda include H&M, KappAhl, Gina Tricot and Boots Apotek. The shopping center also houses a Vinmonopolet liquor store, ICA Supermarked grocery store and Systembolaget Swedish liquor retailer. For meals or coffee breaks between shopping, stop by Peppes Pizza, Espresso House café or food court options like Burger King. Secondly, Perspektivet Museum Shop is also a top shopping spot in Tromsø is the museum shop at Perspektivet Museum. This museum dedicated to Norwegian eccentrics and outsider art has an equally distinctive gift shop filled with creative and clever products. Products are a mix of traditional and contemporary, showing off northern Norway's culture through modern designs. The gift shop is run by the museum, so all proceeds go towards supporting Perspektivet's exhibitions and programs. Lastly, Farmers Market at Torget is an outdoor market that takes place on Saturdays from late June through October and features vendors selling fresh produce, artisanal foods, baked goods and handcrafted items. Shop for ingredients like cloudberries, reindeer meat, smoked salmon, cheeses and preserves that offer a true taste of northern Norway.
What festivals or events are taking place in Tromsø?
Listed below are the festivals or events that are taking place in Tromsø.
- Tromsø International Film Festival. The Tromsø International Film Festival is held annually in January and is the largest film festival in Norway. Established in 1991, it screens films from around the world and is an important meeting place for the international film industry. Over 300 films are screened during the week-long festival, including documentaries, short films and feature films. Many screenings take place in large tents set up in the main square, giving it a lively and energetic atmosphere. Around 50,000 tickets are sold each year. The festival concludes with glamorous award ceremonies honoring the best films. Tromsø is regarded as a stepping stone for films aspiring to be selected for other prestigious festivals.
- Northern Lights Festival. The Northern Lights Festival takes place in Tromsø every January/February when the polar night is coming to an end. The festival celebrates the return of the sun with concerts, Sami culture and of course, the magical northern lights. The festival features performances by renowned orchestras, choirs, musicians and Sami artists. Concerts encompass classical music, jazz, rock, pop and traditional Sami yoik songs. Stages are set up throughout the city – in churches, concert halls, the university and even outside under the winter sky. A highlight is the Northern Lights Concert held in the Arctic Cathedral, featuring classical music and sometimes opera performances.
- Riddu Riđđu Festival. The Riddu Riđđu Festival is an annual indigenous music and culture festival held in July outside Tromsø on the Riddu Riđđu grounds. Established in 1991, it was one of the first festivals worldwide to spotlight indigenous cultures. Today it has grown into a major world music festival attracting over 5000 visitors. Over 100 indigenous artists perform each year representing cultures like Sami, Maori, Native American, Aboriginal Australian and more. The concerts encompass traditional music, folk, rock, hip-hop, throat singing, joik, dance and storytelling. The festival has hosted acclaimed acts like Buffy Sainte-Marie, Mari Boine and Pussy Riot. In addition to concerts, Riddu Riđđu hosts the International Indigenous Film Festival showing films and documentaries about indigenous peoples. Theater groups perform plays related to indigenous identity and human rights. The children's program includes crafts, storytelling, games and mini concerts.
- The Bukta Festival. The Bukta Festival is Tromsø's largest outdoor music festival, held annually in July. Established in 2004, Bukta is a rock/pop festival taking place right on the sandy beach of Telegrafbukta near the city center. Bukta showcases popular Norwegian artists but also international headliners. Past acts include major names like Iggy & The Stooges, Patti Smith, Pet Shop Boys, Kaiser Chiefs, James Blake and Zara Larsson. In addition to the main stage, Bukta has smaller “klubb” stages that go all night. The Bukta Kaffebrenneri stage has an intimate, cozy atmosphere for acoustic and folk gigs. There is also a family-friendly area with activities for kids. Bukta is acclaimed for its eco-friendly initiatives. It runs entirely on renewable energy, uses eco-labeled products and has a “green crew” for sustainability efforts like waste management. Free drinking water access aims to reduce plastic bottle waste.
- SMAK Food Festival. SMAK is Tromsø's annual food festival held each September, celebrating the best of Nordic cuisine. SMAK, meaning “taste” in Norwegian, attracts around 70,000 visitors over 4 days. The festival transforms Tromsø's harbor and main street into a lively culinary destination. Restaurants, breweries and producers set up street food stalls to showcase local ingredients like arctic char, reindeer, moose, cloudberries and cheeses. Cooking shows allow visitors to see professional chefs prepare traditional dishes and learn new techniques. Foodie tours visit local producers to see how regional specialties are made.
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