A lively, beautiful city with arctic history, culture and cuisine, surrounded by mountains, fjords and an island realm below the Midnight Sun or the Northern Lights, depending on the season.

Lively and colourful city centre

Tromsø city centre comprises the largest collection of historical wooden houses in Northern Norway, and is full of interesting shops, jam-packed cafés, restaurants with arctic menus, museums, churches and galleries, as well as Tromsø’s highly audible and welcoming night-life.

Arctic islands

Hundreds of islands, some having mountains a thousand metres high, others more low-lying and windblown, all serve to protect Tromsø against the sea. In between the mountains are fishing villages and settlements, some of which are sleepy and abandoned while others are full of hectic activity.

Alps and fjords

The 1,800-metre-high Lyngsalpene mountains rise to the east from the Arctic Ocean with their sharp peaks, glaciers and cascading rivers. To the south, the Balsfjord cuts through the mountains and conceals green grazing meadows and rich farming land below steep mountains. The people here are of Norwegian, Sami and Finnish origins.

Five popular Tromsø attractions

  • Polaria: Arctic experience centre with seals and fish from the local area 
  • The Arctic Cathedral: A bold, modern structure with powerful glass mosaics 
  • The Mountain Lift (aerial tramway) : Fantastic view of the city, mountains, ocean and Midnight Sun 
  • Tromsø Museum: Northern Norwegian culture and nature along with the world’s northernmost botanical garden 
  • The Polar Museum: The perilous Arctic Hunt and the courageous Arctic explorers in a wharf dating from 1830

Three popular summer activities

Three popular winter activities

Five Tromsø surprises

  • The island community of Karlsøy, with old wooden houses, an old church and an alternative culture 
  • Goat’s meat from Balsfjord is enjoying a renaissance 
  • Northern Europe’s oldest cinema – still in use since the days of silent movies – is located on Storgata in Tromsø 
  • The white sandy beaches on Sommarøy could be somewhere in Polynesia, and the water is refreshing as well 
  • The “Aursfjordsaga” saw mill, dating from 1791, is the oldest saw mill in operation in the north

Read more