Tromso Do’s

  • If you’re visiting Tromso, or Norway for that matter, do be prepared to pay premium prices. Norway is an expensive destination at the best of times, but life in the Arctic seems to come with extra costs attached.
  • Do plan your trip with at least two nights dedicated to chasing the northern lights.
  • Do visit the Arctic Cathedral (Ishavskatedralen), the landmark that can be seen from almost anywhere in Tromso. You can walk across Tromso Bridge or take buses 20, 24, 26 or 28 from the town centre.
  • Visit the Tromso University Museum to see the excellent exhibitions on Sami culture, the northern lights and the history of life in the Norwegian Arctic Circle. Bus 37 goes to Tromso Museum from the town centre.
  •  If you plan to use local buses when visiting Tromso then purchase cheaper pre-paid tickets instead of buying them on board (a single journey is 36 NOK pre-purchased compared with 50 NOK on board).
  • Do take a fjord and whale watching cruise.
  • Make sure you visit the excellent Polar Museum (Polarmuseet) with its fascinating exhibitions on Arctic exploration.
  •  Do read up on polar exploration and the history of the Arctic. Norwegians have played a huge part in polar explorations and were pioneers of many modern exploration techniques.
  • Take a walk along Tromso’s waterfront just before sunset. Somewhat reminiscent of Bergen’s Hanseatic Wharf, the view is dotted with colourful buildings and reflections of the surrounding mountains in the calm fjord waters.
  • Do take an aurora husky hike. If you’re lucky, the northern lights will make an appearance and you can kill two birds with one stone and save some money!
  • Finally, make sure you give yourself enough time to fit everything in.

Tromso Don’ts

  • Don’t be tempted by a DIY chase. Finding the lights is an art and a science, and requires a network of local connections who can share information with you about the behaviour of the lights.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask tour operators for a discounted price for the second night. As mentioned, there are a lot of operators in Tromso and they would rather a half-price client on their tour bus than none at all.
  • Don’t do as some of the hardened locals do. Always wear numerous layers, gloves, a hat and good winter boots.
  • Don’t skip breakfast at your hotel. Norway is an expensive destination so fill up in the morning and save yourself a few kroner on lunch! Additionally, many evening tours and activities include a meal or at the very least a warm drink and snack.
  • Don’t miss feeding Arctic reindeer and learning about Sami culture with the charismatic reindeer herder, Johan-Issak.