What to do Tromso Norway Lyngen Alps

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There are plenty of adjectives for Tromso. The highest city in the world, the arctic capital, the Paris of the north, the capital of the northern lights. Okay, that’s all kind of true. It is the northernmost city, it is indeed the capital of the auroras (we will inevitably talk about it in this article) and, surprisingly, it is well nicknamed the Paris of the North (Norden Paris, we see it almost everywhere), but this is not at all for architecture which has nothing to do with Paris. While the rest of the country was not necessarily very into clothes, the inhabitants of Tromsø were always on top of fashion and elegance.

I love Tromso for a lot of reasons. First, the city is nice and pleasant. No big building, lots of recent condos or wooden houses, a very cute city center. In addition, the surroundings are exceptional in terms of landscapes, from fjords to mountains. You can do an incredible amount of activities, walks, you really won’t get bored. It is the outdoor city par excellence.
Finally, it is the capital of the northern lights. And it’s not a legend. It’s true. The city is ideally located and almost everything revolves around the auroras, whether in a tour or by yourself. We will find a lot of great places to observe them away from light pollution.

So obviously, we will see more precisely, the cost of living is high, but Tromso and its region deserve to stay there for a few days minimum, especially if it is your first stay in the far north to observe the northern lights, because everything is easy there.

I gathered here my knowledge of many years of travel to Tromso hoping that you will find all the information to prepare your trip serenely. You will find the articles and then a whole series of questions/answers.

Travel discover Tromso landscapes

5 reasons to go to Tromso

  • Incredible landscapes, fjords and mountains !
  • The northern lights of course !
  • Everything is easy. Easy to discover, to book, to come, to enjoy. Ideal for a first trip in the North
  • Seriously, there are a lot of great places to see and many activities !
  • Last but not least, the city is beautiful


If you don’t want to waste time reading the article, here’s all the essential information and links for your stay in Tromso:

    • Telegrafbukta Beach, south of Tromso
    • Fjellheisen cable car
    • Kvaloya island, especially the road to Sommaroy, and the road to Tromvik via Ersfjord and Grotfjord
    • The emblematic Signaldalen mountain
    • The Lyngen Alps
    • Brosmetinden for a beautiful view over Kvaloya and Senja
    • Ornfloya for a superb view of the Sommaroy archipelago
    • Floya, overlooking Tromso
    • Nattmålsfjellet and its magnificent view over Ersfjord

The best places to see in Tromso and its area

In Tromso and its region, there are really a lot of things to see, and even not to mention the activities. These are places that can be reached relatively quickly by car.

Visit the beautiful city of Tromso

It seems obvious, I know, but do not hesitate to take some time to visit Tromso, especially the city center, its old wooden houses, its harbour, but also the center of the island and its lake. In height, we have a beautiful view of the two banks of the city.
Also drop by Telegrafbukta, it’s a nice beach and if you don’t have a car it’s a good place to see the Northern Lights. Cross the bridge on foot, see the cathedral and the view from the other side.
Two museums can be done there : the Polar Museum and Polaria.

Northern lights Tromso City Norway
City Tromso Norway by night Harbour

Kvaloya island and its fjords !

Kvaloya is really an essential. A big island with 3 main roads which are all superb. The one that goes to Tromvik (then Rekvik if conditions permit) and passes through two superb fjords, offers a rather magical view, especially on the Grotfjord side. Then that of Sommaroy, a funny little Nordic paradise for which the road is fantastic. You will have to go through Ersfjord in particular.
You will also probably be able to see reindeers here and there, especially on the pretty road that goes to Skulsfjord. During autumn, there are many possibilities to see reindeers in Kvaloysletta and also around Brensholmen.

In short, we can spend days discovering Kvaloya 🙂

Discover Kvaloya in this article !

Ersfjord in Kvaloya island Tromso sunset
Northern Lights Grotfjord Kvaloya Tromso Norway
Sandneshamn kvaloya Sommaroy Tromso
Sunset sommaroy tromso kvaloya

The Lyngen Alps

Watch out, little gem. Well ok it’s not juuust next door, but the Lyngen Alps compete with the Lofoten islands for the title of the most beautiful landscapes in Norway. Stunning mountains rising steeply from the sea, an ever-snow-capped peak, and crazy views from the shores. The Lyngens are therefore appreciated from other sides, from Breivikeidet or Skibotn (but we will talk about it later) to admire them from afar but especially on the spot with the magnificent fjord which almost cuts the island in two, or in the lost village of Koppangen. On the other hand, the distances are very long and you will take many photo breaks, plan a long day trip or more ! In the follow article I tell you everything about the ferry between Tromso and the Lyngen Alps

Road to Lyngen Alps Tromso fall Norway
Fjord Lyngen Alps Tromso Norway Fall

The Signaldalen mountain

On the road that leads to the Lyngen Alps, to the south we will fork to the right to sink into a valley and face one of Norway’s most emblematic mountains, Otertind. Ultra photogenic in a pretty valley where there are not many people, we will have many viewpoints, take advantage of the river to take great photos.

Mountain Otertind signaldalen Tromso Norway
Northern Lights Otertind signaldalen Tromso Norway

Fjellheisen viewpoint

I’d simply say this is the best view in Tromso. From the nearby mountain, the cable car offers a fantastic view of the city (which is on an island), the mountains of Kvaloya behind. And in addition there is the possibility to go far enough and to walk around. It’s a fantastic place for the sunset and also for the Northern Lights! On the other hand, it’s windy, a lot of wind.

Fjellheisen sunset view Tromso Kvaloya
Northern lights above Fjellheisen Tromso Norway

Breivikeidet Valley

Half an hour away from Tromso, we will find a great valley, a great place for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, but not only. The mountains are superb, there is not much traffic and we will find quite a few places to observe the northern lights. On the other hand, be careful, here it is really colder than elsewhere! During other seasons, there are many hiking departures and when you reach the end you have a superb view of the Lyngen Alps.

By pushing a little, we will take the road that leads to Sjursnes and it is really worth it. We arrive in another valley and there will be absolutely no one, as well as no network! Which is rare in Norway. We will follow a beautiful river that promises beautiful photos, and we will arrive at a magnificent calm lake, Nakkevatnet, ideal for reflection and the sunset. Finally, arriving at Sjursnes, we will still have a beautiful view of the Lyngen, majestic mountains!

Valley breivikeidet Tromso winter
lake Nakkevatnet tromso

Lakselvbukt surroundings

Here it is a very nice little area where there are hardly any tourists. On the road that goes south from Tromso, take the one that goes left to Laksvatn. You will see lakes and then a magnificent fjord. Little advice, do not go down there by car, but by foot.

Continuing is even better. Do you see the cover photo of the article? It’s taken a little further, when you have a great view of the Lyngen (them again!), before arriving at Lakselvbukt, a pretty peaceful place between magnificent mountains. And there you have a choice. Either go up along the Lyngen, west side, a superb road but which ends in a dead end at Jovik, or go back down into the valley, a very pretty road with lots of vantage points for the aurora.

lakselvbukt Alps Lyngen tromso Norway
Road Tromso Laksvatn Norway

The northern lights road to Skibotn

A route that I discovered lately and which is really worth it. It’s far, okay. But it’s nice! All you have to do is go around the Lyngen Alps and cross to the other side via the south, in particular by the Signaldalen road. First the portion between Nordkjosbotn and Oteren is very nice. Then it becomes the Northern Light Road, the road to the aurora borealis. Well, it’s very marketing but in fact we’re going to have a lot of nice places to land, in front of the Lyngens, superb unobstructed views, especially when approaching Skibotn.

Road Valley Tromso Norway
Road Tromso Mountain Fall

What are the best activities to do in Tromso

We will really have a lot of activities to do. Between the landscapes to visit, the northern lights to admire, the huskies to pamper, the reindeers to feed and many others, it is impossible to get bored in Tromso. Below, I have listed many activities to do, free and paid, hikes or sea trips. There are quite a few that are suitable for children.
if you want something more complete you can check this article with all the best activities during winter !

What is certain is that it is impossible to get bored in Tromso, so here are some examples:

  • Whale watching and orcas: possible from the beginning of November to the end of January in general, it is a really nice activity. Obviously you need a bit of luck because nothing is guaranteed. But if it’s the right season, I think it’s something to try because it’s an experience that can be fantastic. In addition, the setting is still cool, it will be in the Norwegian seas and fjords, that’s fine! And we can do it with a new electric boat that is more cetacean-friendly
whale watching orcas tromso Skjervoy Tromso best tour
Dog Sledding Lofoten Islands Tromso Norway
  • See the northern lights : an essential, of course. I talk about it in many articles in order to help you to know everything, find the right places. You can obviously see them for yourself rather easily (depending on the weather) but also the possibility of going through an agency. In this article I give you all the advice to choose your tour.

In Tromso, I mostly recommend the following tours. They have very good guides, will try to find the best places under a clear sky to see the lights, and most of them have very good photographers.

If the previous ones are full (it can be full very very fast! really! so better to book it in advance), I also strongly recommend these ones:

For smaller budget, there are some northern lights tours by bus:

northern lights tromso
  • Go see the reindeers at a Sami camp: reindeers are emblematic of the region. You can see them on the side of the road, see herds here and there with a little luck (on Kvaloya island, south of Sommaroy for example). But going to see them in the Sami camps is a funny experience. We can feed them, be very close to them, and also take a sled ride. A great experience for adults but especially for children!
see reinders Tromso arctic Norway
  • A thrill activity is also possible. Go snowmobiling! You will need a driver’s license, it will take you a full day, but you will be in fantastic landscapes riding your mechanical steed.
    It’s not a cheap activity, there are not a lot of options around Tromso as you need flat surroundings, which is not that easy in this area! This is why some are in Lyngen Alps and some in South of Tromso between mountains.
    Here are the main options to drive a snowmobile in Tromso :

snowmobile arctic Finland Lapland
  • Obviously visit the fantastic landscapes: I told you about it at the very beginning, there is a lot of places to visit in the surroundings of Tromso. With Kvaloya, the Lyngen Alps, or even each road, you are likely to be amazed. The best is to take the car, drive at your own pace, take regular photo breaks. But if you don’t drive, then you have the opportunity to experience that with a tour. I did this a few years ago, it was great. Well now I prefer to do it myself, I must admit. But don’t miss Kvaloya and Tromso’s surroundings !
see Northern lights tromso Grotfjord Norway Kvaloya winter
boat discover tromso day cruise
landscapes tromso day cruise boat
  • Picking the many small berries that swarm in autumn: if you go to Tromso between mid-September and mid-October, you will see that all the locals are stuffed outside with baskets and park everywhere along the road. The cause ? they are going to do some picking, that is to say stock up on arctic berries. And I confirm that there are really a bunch of them, almost everywhere, so it’s worth a try for those with a sweet tooth 🙂

5 great hikes around Tromso

This area is great for hiking. There is something for every taste. Easy ones, long ones with big elevation changes, walks… all in superb landscapes. I will offer you some below, but on the other hand I do not recommend in winter because of the snow and the ice, but some must be able to be done 🙂

  • Brosmetinden: a very nice hike, quite short of 4km, which offers a superb view of the mountains around Tromvik and then on the ocean with the island of Senja in the background. Truly magnificent.
  • Floya: this is the walk that starts from the Tromso cable car. Well I advise you to start from above because the slope to go up there is steep. But once up there you have a huge space with great views of Tromso and the surrounding mountains. Watch out, a lot of wind!
  • Nattmålsfjellet: a nice walk that takes you to a crazy view of Ersfjord. Ersfjord is the most famous fjord of Kvaloya, and there you can see it from above and it’s superb! It climbs a little but frankly it’s ok.
  • Ornfloya: you know Sommaroy? Would you like to see the archipelago from above? Then this walk is made for you! You have a full view of the islands and Senja. Very easy, 40min walk. Honestly, very nice.
  • Sorbotn: so it’s a very nice walk that has no name. It starts from the villa of Sorbotn, you have to pass under a bridge and follow the river to get to the mountains. 1 hour of walking in nature later, we find ourselves surrounded by mountains and above all with a superb little river, small lakes, an idyllic and very calm place because there is absolutely no one there.
Hike Ersfjord Nattmålsfjellet Tromso Kvaloya
Hike Brosmetinden Tromso Senja Kvaloya

What to do in Tromso by night

When it gets dark, you’d think it was all about hunting for the Northern Lights. But no!

It can get dark very early, so you might wonder what you can do then. You should know that Norwegians eat VERY early. They start at 4pm. And that’s not even cocktail hour. What’s the hell! So you can have dinner and then go hunting the lights at dawn.

Another tip, when it gets dark very early, would be to take a little nap to leave full of energy.

You can go for a coffee+kannelbole in one of the city’s cosy bars (I’ll talk a bit about that below).

But above all, there are plenty of outdoor activities to do at night!

What animals to see in Tromso

Nature is everywhere around Tromso and so is wildlife! It requires a bit of luck, but you can see many animals relatively easily. The great classic remains the reindeers, but this winter I saw moose for the first time. There is no breeding as for the reindeer so it is rarer. I saw a lot of them between Skibotn and Nordkjosbotn, south of Tromso. There are some in the Signaldalen valley in particular.

On the marine fauna side, we will have whales, killer whales and dolphins, but it depends a lot on the season. Now the vast majority leaves at the end of January, but after that it is still possible to see some with luck. In March I was able to see dolphins near Alta for example. Also many otters, sea lions.

puppies dog sledding tromso Norway
whale watching orcas tromso Skjervoy Tromso best tour

Northern lights in Tromso

Tromso is, for me, the best place to see the Northern Lights. Why ? because the extreme north of Norway is located under the “aurora oval”, i.e. the latitude where the northern lights pass by default.

In northern Norway, they can be seen from late August to early April. Outside of this period, there is no more night, so you can no longer see them. But they are still there 🙂

If you want to go through a tour to see the Northern Lights, do not hesitate to read this article which helps you identify the right one.

I have listed in this article some of the best places to enjoy the northern lights around Tromso :

If you have a vehicle and you like to wander, then you can go see the northern lights by yourself. It’s quite simple, there are just a few things to do beforehand like checking the weather, finding the corners without light, well oriented (I have listed several of them in the links above).

Don’t forget a few essential items such as heavy clothing because waiting in the cold and snow is not pleasant for everyone. But also things like a thermos of tea, something to snack on while waiting, a headlamp.

Check the weather, see where the cloud cover is, move around, be patient. And there you will have a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

If you prefer to go through a tour, then I recommend these 4 ones, very reliable, friendly, small groups and not too expensive:

You can also check these good ones :

northern lights kvaloya tromso grotfjord
Northern lights Tromso Sommaroy

How to go to Tromso

By plane

Quite frankly, this is the easiest and fastest way. From France, to go to Tromso you have to make a stopover in Oslo/Copenhagen/Stockholm/Helsinki. We will have a total of about 4 hours of flight, plus the wait at the transition airport.
If you come from North America, you usually have to make a stopover in London or Germany.

The internal flight network is excellent with Norwegian and Wideroe, a company which serves small local airports in omnibus mode. It’s super convenient. Do not hesitate, in addition to flight comparators, to look at these companies for yourself.
To make Paris-Tromso, a super practical flight is the one that departs from 2 p.m. from Paris CDG with Scandinavian Airlines to arrive at 7 p.m. on site. Well, there’s a very quick stopover in Oslo which makes you run a bit if the plane is a little late, but since it’s a connection with a lot of people, they wait, it’s practical.

I’m starting to have my little habits, I very often take the same flights between the following companies: Scandinavian Airlines, Norwegian, Finnair (a new Helsinki-Tromso connection). However, my last time was with Air France via Bergen and it was not more expensive.

To go to Tromso it is quite easy to have flights for less than 300€ roundtrip from Paris. My last one, in the middle of winter, was 160€ roundtrip, without luggage (with SAS). Well, on the other hand, in general, they are very happy with the luggage, which can increase the bill by a nice 100€.

My advice: be flexible on your dates. The price varies greatly from day to day. I was thus able to go from €400 to €160 by postponing my flight by 2 days.

In any case, you must compare the prices before. The dates, the companies. I use at least two comparators (given the price of a trip to Norway, if I can save a few tens of euros here and there, I don’t deprive myself!). So I mainly use Kayak and Momondo. Also go directly to the companies to take a look.

By car or campervan

I am often asked if we can go to Tromso, by car or campervan. It depends on two things. Dirst,  the season. In winter (ie from October to May), I strongly advise against doing it because of the climate. The locals have snow tires which are ultra efficient and for good reason. When it snows, it’s no joke. Example this winter, in the middle of a storm, I did 60km in 2h30. But ultimately, the snow is not the most important. The snow settles on the road by force, forming a kind of layer of ice of several cm (it easily exceeds ten cm), like a permafrost, which takes a long time to melt. Especially far from the sea where it is very cold. That is to say that we drive on ice, all the time.

Otherwise, if it’s during summer, given the price of van rental in Norway (ie very very expensive), I think it’s a good idea. But the road is long (3 days drive I would say to go to Tromso from Paris), so it’s worth it if you have 3 weeks I would say.

The easiest way is to take the ferry in the north of Denmark (Hirtshals) which takes you to Kristiansand in the south of Norway, and then go up either by the coast (Stavanger, Bergen, the fjords, Alesund, Trondheim, Bodo…) or via the central route, the E6.

Car rental in Norway is not expensive. If we do it a little in advance, we will pay between 30 and 40€ per day. Very far from the prices of Iceland for example.
Gasoline depends on the day. It varies enormously. You can take 1.5 NOK all at once (imagine petrol taking 15 cents overnight). So it can be at the price as in France, or much more expensive. When you see it at 16NOK or less, go for it, because the next day it can be 18 😀

Currently (2022), the price is more from 20 to 26 NOK per liter.

By train

For fans of 100% train, beware of headaches. It is more complicated, and especially longer. To reach Norway by train, you must first go through Copenhagen, then cross to Gothenburg and then Oslo.

The Oslo-Bergen route is considered one of the most beautiful lines in the world.
But to go all the way to the north, there it becomes funnier. From Oslo you can go to Bodo, then you have to take either the boat or the bus to reach Tromso. Or from Stockholm one can go to Narvik. Narvik is in Norway, further north than Bodo, but strangely not accessible from Norwegian lines. Weird weird. So to go to Tromso only by train is impossible.

Hurtigruten boat

The Hurtigruten, the Coastal Express, is a boat, a real institution, which connects all the towns on the coast with each other. Thus, you can easily reach Tromso from Bergen, Bodo, Andenes… you can choose to make only a short trip or the “big one“, which goes from Bergen to Kirkenes, at the border with Russia.

tromso ferry hurtigruten | travel blog norway

When to go to Tromso

It all depends on what you want to find. If you want the northern lights, although they are visible from late August to early April, I recommend two periods:

  • autumn: september until mid october. Finally, until the first snowfall. Because you can hike, you have the aurora, you have the colors of autumn and a still decent climate, and always enough light.
  • winter: from the end of January to mid-March, to have correct weather and above all brightness. The month of January is correct and much better than December which generally combines rotten weather and lack of brightness. November is half and half, not that bad.

To take advantage of the midnight sun, I would probably advise against April as there is still quite a bit of snow that is melting and not all the roads in the center are open. But from May to August, it “should” no longer snow, the weather should be good, and you can hike without worry.

Afterwards, the weather, especially in Norway, is far from being an exact science and it can change almost all the time, from one hour to another, from one fjord to another.

But I would mostly say : Tromso is ALWAYS a good destination, whenever you go there

In the following article, I give you lots of advices to chose when is the best time to go to Tromso !

When to go to Tromso activities

Tromso during autumn

Before, I went to Tromso only in winter, but that was before. In 2020 I discovered Tromso during autumn and it is truly magnificent. It’s a different vibe, you won’t get the snow and all its activities, but there are so many things to do and perks.

I will give you a more specific article, but in autumn, that is to say from mid-September to roughly mid-October, you will have the superb autumn colors, the orange and flourishing nature. Yeah, that’s wonderful. Then at this time you have the northern lights. And since there is no snow, you have all the accessible hikes, all the elevated viewpoints, a lot of physical activities. Is it better than winter? Frankly it’s another atmosphere, something totally different, but still with the northern lights.

Road Tromso Mountain Fall

Weather and temperatures in Tromso

During winter, it’s freezing! But it’s dry. That is to say that unlike a good big wet cold that takes to the bones, here the cold is dry and bears much better.

There are two different climates I think. On the coast, it will never be really very cold. In general etween -5 and -10, rarely less. But possibly with a lot of wind, a very icy wind.
On the other hand, as soon as we move away from the sea, there we will enter temperatures like in Lapland. Very quickly we will lose a good ten degrees and even more. In Senja for example last year, I had -5/10 in the fjords but -35 at the entrance to Anderdalen park. A real big cold.
In Tromso it’s a bit the same. In town or on Kvaloya, it will never be very very cold, but if you go to the Breivikeidet valley or to Signaldalen, there you can gently lose about twenty degrees.

Spring and autumn, it is rather to expect 0-10° and summer varies enormously between 5 and 30 (but more reasonably 10 and 20). It is therefore totally unpredictable, it is one of the surprises of the country!!

Two good apps and websites for weather in Norway : Yr.no (gives a good overview) and Ventusky to have something very precise

Winter Tromso norway

Midnight sun and polar night

This is the particularity of the countries in the far north (and also in the far south), we have two periods that I find very nice. The midnight sun is the sun that never sets. It’s not just having light at night, it’s really sunny at 2-3am. And it’s funny because it gives you a lot of energy! You can have an aperitif until midnight, wake up in the sun at 4 a.m. and your body will say to itself “wouhou! it’s late!”. It’s a funny feeling. You can wear a mask for your eyes, it can be useful.

The polar night is… well the opposite. The sun no longer rises, no longer exceeds the horizon. we have a little light for a few hours. December 21, the longest night, it’s really dark all the time. It may sound depressing, but it’s fun to see too. Conversely, the body is all flattened. As soon as it’s really dark, hop, you want to sleep, it’s crazy how the body depends on the light. We get used to it over time. But the advantage is that we can have an aperitif at 2 p.m.! The downside is that you can’t enjoy the scenery too much.

We can think that the midnight sun is preferable to the polar night. And yet, when I ask the locals what they prefer, they can’t choose. This is also why they stay put, especially in the far north.

gryllefjord norway senja village winter
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What to do in Tromso in case of bad weather, rain or snow

Well, we mainly go to Tromso for the outdoor activities, the landscapes, the hikes, the snow activities such as dog sledding and so on, to see the northern lights.

But sometimes (sometimes!) the weather can be ugly. It’s the weather I’m currently having that’s made me decide to write this paragraph 😀

And when the weather’s rotten, like heavy snowfall, rain due to a big thaw, clouds so low you can’t see anything, then we’ll still have a few options:

  • the Polarmuseet museum on polar expeditions in the days of seal and whale hunting
  • Polaria, a museum/research center on the Arctic
  • visit the Ice Domes at Camp Tamok, an ice hotel visible in winter (logical)
  • have a drink at the Magic Ice Bar, an ice bar in the center of town
  • enjoy a coffee at the cosy Smørtorget café (their canapés are addictive) with a kannelbole!
  • or one of the city’s best pastries at Selfie Konditori
  • the new Troll Museum, but I hear it’s expensive for what it is
  • go cross-country skiing in winter around Prestvannet
  • enjoy the Pust floating sauna in Tromso harbor!
  • or the Tromsobadet swimming pool with sauna, hammam and super comfort

How to get around in Tromso area

There is a good bus network to connect all the cities together (Tromso, Andenes, Finsness, Alta…) all year round, but for shorter distances (Tromso-Sommaroy for example) it is more complicated . Especially in winter. Look carefully at the timetables on this site.

There are two websites to plan your bus trips:

  • entur.no, the best route planner in Norway
  • fylkestrafikk for the local trips. You can also buy your tickets via the app

The easiest is by car. And driving here, even in winter, remains simple because the cars are very well equipped for it. It will just be necessary to avoid sudden gestures and keep the safety distances.

Car rental in Tromso

Renting a car in Tromso is the best option to enjoy nature. By doing it early enough, it will cost 30$ a day, and we will have something very good. It is not necessary to take a big car because first the speed is limited between 60 and 90km, then the small cars are very well equipped, finally the roads are in very good condition. So a Volkswagen Polo or equivalent is more than enough, even in winter, except if you have a lot of luggages !

I would still advise to have: automatic gear box, unlimited kilometers (you can do a lot of driving while wandering in these landscapes), watch out for the size of the trunk if you have a lot of equipment, air conditioning. A gadget that makes winter more enjoyable are the heated seats.

It is more practical and generally cheaper to take the car from the airport (Tromso Langnes). But make simulations, it is better to do it in advance, and above all compare. To compare I mainly use a site: Kayak.

Driving norway Tromso Winter

Driving on the snow

Even if you’ve never driven on snow or ice, that shouldn’t stop you from renting a car up there if you wish. Quite honestly car rentals are great. You will have competition winter tires, sometimes with spikes, which hold the road extremely well. I did tests to take steep paths, it is done well. I previously had a lot of apprehension (hey, , don’t laugh, I drove a Twingo for more than 20 years) and it always goes well.
For driving, the basic rules are to put even greater safety distances because the braking distances are greater. Do not make any sudden gesture, no sudden movement, no sudden braking or accelerating, otherwise it will skid.

But the roads are plowed regularly. As soon as it falls, they bring out the heavy artillery and they are very effective. As soon as a road becomes too snowy or dangerous, they close it. As simple as that.

So no, have confidence, if you know how to drive, you will know how to drive here, with caution and common sense, it’s worry-free 🙂

Tromso car parks

Well, if you have a car, another cost to keep in mind is car park. Because the whole center is paying and is far from cheap! But the big advantage is that there is a huge parking lot under the hill. Because, clever, they have optimized the space of the island by digging under the hill and putting several roads and a large parking lot there. On the other hand, it is expensive, €3 per full hour and €1 per off-peak hour (6 p.m. to 7 a.m. + Sunday). The advantage of this car park is that you can pay by card. Because there are other small outdoor car parks, as well as in certain streets, you pay via an app (Easypark), and you have to clear snow. So for the same price, I prefer the underground parking!

There are many possibilities in the street but you need the app Easypark. You’ll be allowed to select the place you want to park and to pay, to extend or reduce the time you stay. Very efficient.

Find an accomodation in Tromso

Find a good hotel in Tromso city center

Well, sorry for the suspense, but accommodations inTromso are expensive. First of all because this is the case in all Norway, but also because the hotel offer in Tromso is limited. It is a small island which is already totally full and therefore, especially in very touristic times when the offer is much lower than the demand. We will therefore have two types of accommodation: hotels and Airbnb. There is camping, but I strongly advise against it in winter.

In that article about hotels in Tromso, I give details about prices according to low/high season.

We will find very few hotels for less than 100€ per room. Even the single room. Out of tourist season, it is more easily doable. The disadvantage of hotels in the center is that there is no private parking. I tested at least these hotels:

  • Enter Viking Hotel: not bad, not that expensive
  • Enter Amalie : great location, expensive, always some rooms available. Good breakfast
  • Radisson : really good service, perfect location, great breakfast
  • Thon Hotel Tromso : I love Thon hotels in Norway. Great beds, incredible breakfast. Correct location in Tromso
  • Scandic Ishavshotel : maybe the best hotel in town (except the Clarion The Edge but more expensive), with great beds, a great breatkfast

The best hotels outside Tromso

If you don’t to stay in Tromso city center, there are a few options outside the city, and the good news is that these hotels are really good.

So why not staying in the city center ? There are a few good reasons. But first, you need a car. And to park a car in Tromso can be expensive. Also, an hotel outside Trosmo is generally better to see the northern lights as you’re outside the light pollution.

But you’re far from all the activities, closer to the nature. Anyway, here are these options!

  • Malangen Resort, 1h drive from Tromso in the beautiful Malangen Peninsula
  • Sommaroy Arctic Hotel, in the wonderful (and windy!) Sommaroy archipelago
  • Melishome, in the heart of Kvaloya, a perfect place and really not expensive place to enjoy the nature and northern lights
  • Yggdrasil farmhotel, a really cozy farm retreat south of Kvaloya

Find a flat in Tromso

If you need more space and want to stay in the citycenter, you can find some nice flats. Still expensive but for 4/6 persons that could be a great option !

First this little nice flat around 100$, this modern one barely more expensive, this 45m² one has a crazy view and a transparent roof, for only 110$ ! For something more spacious, you have this beautiful house at 150$. Last but not least, even more spacious and modern, this superb 110m², or for big families or groups, this huuuge flat of 150m² for 15 persons !

Map of Tromso

To gather all these information, i’ve created the most complete map of Tromso, including :

  • most beautiful places
  • the main accommodations
  • places to see the northern lights
  • tours and activities
  • hikes…

⭐️ Click here to access the map! ⭐️

Map Tromso best places hikes northern lights tours

Useful information

Cost of living in Tromso

It is very expensive. In the supermarket, it’s more expensive than in France, as if we were always shopping at the mini-market at 3am, so a nice 20% more. But quite honestly, it’s fine if we don’t splurge. And tip, at Extra, they sell prepared meals every night. It’s greasy, it’s Norwegian, but it’s hot and not that bad. Like the taco-baguette, truthful.
Drinks are much more expensive, whether in supermarkets or restaurants.
The restaurants were originally very expensive, but with the immigration (Italians, Asians…) which opens new restaurants of rather good quality, the prices are lower than before. Before, in Tromso, it was difficult to find a dish for less than 25/30€. So with drink and dessert it was 50€ per person for something normal. Now it is possible to find dishes at 15€. But the very good restaurants remain very expensive, at more than 50€ per head, some of which at 80€. The typical ones too.

The main activities, for example here in Tromso, are not given and cost more than 100€. On the other hand, nature is free. And it’s the best activity 🙂

Afterwards, for those who know, the good surprise is that it’s cheaper than in Iceland for example.

City of Tromso house wood center Norway

How to go from Tromso Airport to city center

It’s pretty easy, especially as the airport is really only a few minutes from the center. You have 3 options that aren’t too expensive:

  • cabs cost between €20 and €25
  • the local bus (lines 40 and 42), which takes 25 minutes, and can be purchased from the ticket booth at the bus stop or on the Troms Mobillett app
  • the Flybussen rapid bus, more expensive but faster, ticket purchased at the terminal in the airport. Timetables and fares here.
City of Tromso house wood center Norway

How long should you stay in Tromso

Well… I advice one week. Because in one week you can :

  • do many activities
  • see the northern lights
  • discover the city
  • discover the surroundings which are incredible
  • delay things if the weather is not good

I give you here an example of what to do during one week in Tromso.

4 days would be a minimum because the weather can be bad for several days in a row. If you want to see the northern lights, that may not be enough.

But if you want to see more in the area, here is a 2 weeks itinerary around Tromso, Senja and Lofoten Islands!

Security in Tromso

You will feel really good there. As in all Nordic countries and other parts of Norway, there is no criminality, no robbery. Tromso is a very safe city. Well, it must be said that in winter there is no one hanging around outside, that helps. But you can leave your car open with stuff in it, that’s okay. You can leave your phone on the table at the restaurant when you go to the bathroom, no problem.

Luggage storage

So it seems that there is a locker at Tromso airport. However I’ve never seen it 😀 But it would be 60 NOK per day, that’s fine.

Otherwise in the city center, if you cannot leave your luggage in the accommodation (if you are not in a hotel for example), you have 3 possibilities:

  • in Jekta shopping center
  • on the 3rd floor of the Nestranda shopping center in the city center
  • on the 1st floor of the ferry terminal

Internet and Wifi

Norway is included in the European plans, both in data and in voice. The 4g coverage is great in the whole Tromso region (well ok, in all of Norway) and better than in my Parisian apartment. We will also find wifi available everywhere just in case.

Means of payment

In Tromso you can pay absolutely everything by card, it’s the default payment method and  paying by cash will be annoying. Tips can also be given by card.

Taxis and mobility

In Tromso, we only have taxis, no other services like Uber. And taxis are quite expensive !

All the articles about Tromso

Find below all the articles about Tromso and its region, activities, places to see, the best spots for the Northern Lights. All the information is in these articles or below!

Articles about Tromso in English

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