Tromsø – gateway to the Arctic
Set in a majestic landscape and packed with culture and history, the splendour and vitality of Tromsø surprises many visitors.
Tromsø’s numerous attractions include wildlife and impressive vistas, as well as history, culture and daring architecture. Often described as the Paris of the north, Tromsø offers a lively nightlife, friendly locals and a range of restaurants specializing in the fresh produce of the region. The city centre offers great shopping - from locally made specialties to Nordic and international brands.
When it comes to attractions and activities, Tromsø is something out of the ordinary. The city’s most recognisable landmark is the Arctic Cathedral. It was built in 1965, featuring a huge original stained glass mosaic. Take the Fjellheisen Cable Car to the top of the Fløyfjellet Mountain (420 m) and enjoy breathtaking views of the city, mountains and fjords. The experience centre Polaria lies five minutes from the city centre. Here you’ll find an Arctic aquarium, interesting knowledge-based exhibits, a panoramic cinema and a gift and souvenir shop. If you like plants and flowers you should visit the world’s northernmost Botanical Garden, run by the University of Tromsø, where you also find the University museum of Tromsø. It shows the depth of North Norwegian nature and culture, focusing on the indigenous Sami culture, as well as archaeology, religious arts, geology and the northern lights, all in a family-friendly manner.
Tromsø was the starting point for several Arctic expeditions back in the day, when sealers and hunters roamed the streets. In a traditional wharf house from the 1830s, you’ll find the Polar Museum where you can learn more about Tromsø’s polar history. You can also visit the world’s northernmost brewery, Mack, and have a taste of the products they make at Ølhallen.
Tromsø is situated almost 400km north of the Arctic Circle, but its climate is pleasantly moderated by the Gulf Stream. The long winter darkness, with loads of snow and skies lit up by the northern lights, is perfect for winter activities like dogsledding and skiing. While the midnight sun and endless summer nights are excellent for hiking or kayaking.
If you are planning to stay a while in Tromsø, we recommend our pre and post programme to Sommarøy Island for a nature experience out of the ordinary. Or if you want some more action, how about an overnight stay in a Sami Lavvo with reindeer sledding.