Best Things to do in Tromso

11 min read

With bucket list activities like Northern Lights, dog sledding and snowmobile tours, this is a popular winter destination and the perfect place for your Arctic winter holiday? The following are popular winter activities.

Dog Sledding Tours

The eager sled dogs are at their happiest when they get to do what they were born to do – run. Want to join them on an adventure? Try your luck as the musher for a day on a self-drive tour. Take your place behind the sled, step off the break and feel the Arctic wind blow on your face as you let the huskies lead the way through the Arctic landscape. The only sound you'll hear is the dogs breathing and the sled sliding through the snow. Go on a day tour and enjoy the beautiful scenery or take an evening tour and see if Lady Aurora shows up. Book a dog sledding tour in Tromso.

The Northern Lights

As one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights, this city gives you a great opportunity to experience the Green Lady dance above you. Watch the dark sky break into an explosion of shimmering lights and wonderful colours – a guaranteed heart stopping moment. Just remember to bring enough clothes, because when Aurora makes an appearance, you are not going to want to leave any time soon.

You can also chase the Northern Lights with a local guide in the outskirts of the city. With the wilderness just outside the city, you will easily be able to escape the light pollution and find Lady Aurora’s favourite dancing spots. Want to catch the Northern Lights at sea? Join a thrilling yet relaxing cruise! The guides will help you set up your camera and offer to take the photos for you once the Aurora lights up the sky. Book you Book your Northern Lights Photo Cruise – this cruise fills up quickly!

Snowmobile Tours

Ready for some action? The snowmobile tours is an activity for the adventurous kind. Take your place in the driver seat or kick back and relax in the passenger seat. Slide through the snow in Camp Tamok or Lyngsalpene and switch places along the way. Go on an evening tour in the wilderness where the only light you'll see is the snowmobile in front of you. If you are lucky, the Northern Lights will dance above you all night. Book your tickets for the snowmobiling evening tour here.

Whale Watching Safaris

Every year, during winter, giant humpback whales travel thousands of kilometres from the warm Caribbean coast to the cold Norwegian waters. The whales go where the fish go, and the North Norwegian coast is a superb feeding ground for these majestic creatures. During the peak season (approximately from November to January) there are daily whale safari departures from giving you the chance to spot killer whales (orca), harbour porpoises and fin whales as well as the humpback whales. On a whale safari you’ll also get an incredible sightseeing tour of the beautiful fjords and the rough mountains brutally rising from the sea. Book your adventurous whale watching safari now – we offer a free ticket on our next available whale safari if you don't see whales. The Norwegian Travel tours are designed to respect marine life, and we adhere to the AECO guidelines for whale watching.

Tromsø Ice Domes – The Magical Ice Hotel

Each year, as the polar night approaches, Tromsø Ice Domes are built in the gorgeous Tamok Valley, situated a 75 minute drive from the city centre. Every year new ice sculptures, carvings and themes are created, so each year will be a brand new experience. The art work represents the local history, culture and wildlife. There are plenty of day trips allowing you to explore the art and if you want an extended experience you can book a package including an overnight stay at the domes. Book a magical adventure at Tromso ice hotel.

The Fjellheisen Cable Car

Step into the Fjellheisen cable car and let the gondola transport you to Mount Storsteinen 420 metres above sea level while you enjoy spectacular views of the city. Thanks to the gondola you can go from the busy city to a calming mountain viewing platform in just under four minutes. Dine above the clouds with spectacular views. Up for a hiking adventure? Make your way to the top using your own two feet. Follow the sherpa stone staircase consisting of 1200 steps and enjoy a well deserved break at the top as you take in the city views. Fjellheisen is the perfect place for a variety of activities. At the top of Storsteinen, you can explore snowshoeing and adventurous Northern Lights tours. Join a guided 1-hour snowshoe tour on the snow-covered trails around Fjellheisen. Early booking is recommended as the spots fills up quickly.

Reindeer sledding

Reindeer sledding is one of the oldest forms of transport in the region and offers visitors an authentic way of experiencing the scenery. Day tours gives you a greater chance of taking in and experience the scenery you are passing through, while the evening tours offers the chanced to spot the Northern Lights. Northern Norway is also a great place to learn more about the Sami culture and experience ancient traditions like reindeer sledding and joik – a traditional form of Sami song, usually dedicated to a person, an animal or a place, that has strong roots in the Sami culture. Book a Reindeer Feeding and Sami Culture adventure now.

Popular Summer Activities

The Arctic Capital is known as hotspot for winter activities, but there's a lot to do and see during the summer months too. When the midnight sun makes its appearance the days are extended into the later hours with loads of activities allowing you to enjoy the magical bright nights the best way possible. Join a kayaking adventure or listen to a midnight sun concert at the Arctic Cathedral. Go on a shopping spree in the city's many busy shopping street. Explore museums and culture activities. Enjoy the mountains and the sea. Explore the nightlife or join a festival. Check out the "What's on list" for more things to do in Tromso during summer.

Marvel at the Midnight Sun

Above the Arctic Circle the sun never sets during summer months – approximately from May to July. This means that the Arctic Capital gives you the perfect excuse to stay out all night and soak in everything this vibrant city has to offer. Join a cruise or a midnight kayaking adventure and experience the midnight sun from the sea. Or take the Fjellheisen cable car and enjoy the views in the orange glowing light.

Fjord Cruises

Cruise past majestic mountains under the midnight sun. Relax in the comfortable lounges and enjoy the spectacular Arctic landscape when the weather is not on your side. There are daily fjord cruises and sightseeing cruises during summer allowing you to experience the wonderful scenery.

Husky Summer Adventures

Dog sledding is mainly a winter activity in this region but there are some summer alternatives for the dog lovers out there too. Visit an Alaskan puppy farm and help train the dogs. Go on a husky mountain hike and soak in the beautiful surroundings accompanied by a furry four legged friend. Or go for a husky wagon tour and travel by wheels.

All Year Activities

Below we'll give you a few tips on activities you can do all year round. Whether you are visiting during summer or winter, you can combine the typical bucket list activities with cultural activities and museum visits.

The Polar Museum

Pay a visit to the Polar Museum, preserving and conveying stories related to the local history and the Arctic regions. In the late 19th century, this area ended up being a base for many polar expeditions and this museum gives you great insights into this narrative.

Polaria – The Arctic Experience Centre

Visit the seals in Polaria – an Arctic Experience Centre perfect for the whole family. This is one of two places in Europe you get to see bearded seals up close. After you have gotten acquainted with the seals and learned all their names, you can visit the aquariums and explore different fish, shellfish and plants from the Arctic oceans. At the panoramic cinema you can take part in an epic ocean journey through films from Northern Norway and Svalbard and immerse yourself in the local landscapes.

Things to do in The City

Dubbed the “The Paris of the North'', the streets in are filled with shops, cafés and restaurants. The dynamic nightlife unfolds in the evenings allowing you to dance the night away at the many pubs and clubs.

This is also the perfect place for cultural experiences. Visitors can appreciate a range of concerts, art exhibitions and festivals happening throughout the year. Step into the Arctic Cathedral – a modern architectural masterpiece – and sit back and enjoy a magical musical evening lit up by candles.

The film enthusiasts might want to check out TIFF (Tromso International Film Festival) every year. Taking place in January TIFF has 5 movie venues, including an outdoor snow cinema. This is a popular cultural event among the audience as well as an important meeting point for anyone working in the film industry.

With its many restaurants the Arctic Capital is a great spot to check out the local treats. Sink your teeth into delicacies like stockfish, reindeer steak, whale, pork ribs and more. Bardus Bistro, Smak and Full Steam are all good choices for an Arctic menu. If you are looking for something more familiar, Pastafabrikken has a wide variety of pasta and pizza dishes and Skarven is a popular steakhouse.

Free Things to do

Go hiking. This area is an eldorado for any mountain lover – whether you are seeking peace and quiet or looking to spruce up your Instagram feed. Must see mountains in the area include Tromsdalstinden (1238 metres above sea level), Bønntuva (776 metres above sea level), Fløya (671 metres above sea level) and Storsteinen (421 metres above sea level).

The Botanical Gardens – check out different plants from all continents of the world! This is the world's northernmost botanic garden. Free entry and open 24/7 this could be a good place to kill a few hours.

Telegrafbukta Beach – Conveniently located at the southern tip of the islands this area lets you explore vast grass areas, forest, beach and boulders.

Grotfjord Beach – located in the bottom of a little fjord, this idyllic beach offers mountains sceneries and views of the open sea.

Tromsø Cathedral – This yellow cathedral dates back to 1861 and is the only cathedral in Norway made of wood.

Why travel with Norwegian Travel?

Norwegian Travel is a premium brand aiming to offer high-quality experience-based tourism in selected unique destinations in Norway. From the fjords to the mountains. From the sandy beaches to the rough cliffs. From urban buzz to the massive stillness of the old mountains. We wish to inspire people to explore the treasures to be found in Norway. At our destinations you can explore amazing nature, good food and exciting activities all year round.

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