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First Timer's Guide To Tromso, Norway

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Noelle Ong

Klook Travel Curator

If you’re looking for a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, the Northernmost city of Norway, Tromso, is the place to be!

The city’s location so high up North makes it one of the best places for viewing the Northern lights. Surrounded by the arctic wilderness, every corner of the city is picture postcard worthy. If it’s your first time in the city, read on to find out some of the experiences you must have in Tromso.

Klook activities to check out


1. Husky Sledding

If you love dogs, you’ll definitely love this Husky sledding experience! These beautiful creatures are known to be the heart and soul of Tromso and we are almost sure they will steal your heart. Experience what it’s like to drive a sled led by these furry friends and meet up to 300 of these cuties up close.

Klook your husky sledding experience and enjoy a 2-way transfer and lunch! All you’ll need to do is get ready to sled around the alps and take in the vast mountain views. Meet up with your tour guide at the Radisson Blu Hotel at your selected tour slot and get ready to get cuddly with the huskies, snow suit and shoes provided!

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2. Northern lights tour

Of course you can’t miss hunting for the elusive Aurora Borealis, more commonly known as the Northern Lights! There are many different spots to hunt for the lights in Tromso and for those who have never attempted an Aurora hunt, be sure to check the aurora forecast for the night so you don’t end up waiting in the cold for nothing!

We suggest getting an Aurora tour and having a guide bring you to the best viewing spots. Apart from that, they will also tell you the best camera settings to use for you to capture the majestic lights! Do note that the best months to catch the Aurora are late September to early April.

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3. Snowshoeing

Instead of your usual hike, why not try snowshoeing! Since the snow can be quite thick in the winter, it’s possible that your boots just might not be good enough for a normal hike. Gear up in a pair of snowshoes and hike up Norway’s 4th largest island - Kvaloya!

Keep your eyes peeled for arctic wildlife like moose and deers and take in the breathtaking views of the mountains as you follow your guide deeper into the mountains.

Klook your snowshoe tours and let your expert local guide take you on a trip into the wild! Afterall, you wouldn’t want to be lost in the wilderness all alone on a cold winter night. With 2 way city transfer, shoes and clothing provided, you won’t have to prepare anything yourself! Meet your guide at Radisson Blu Hotel and he will take care of it all.

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4. Sami Experience

Indigenous to Tromso are the Sami people and of course the reindeers! To truly understand Tromso, you’ll definitely need to experience the Sami culture and lifestyle. The feeling of stepping into a warm lavvu (sami tent) and singing along to traditional joik (sami songs) will make you feel right at home in the cold winter.

Ride into the arctic on a reindeer sled and even learn the art of lasso throwing from the Sami people before sitting down around a campfire and enjoying a warm meal of Bidos (reindeer stew).

Klook your Sami experience and it includes 2 way transfer so all you’ll need to do is meet your guide at Radisson Blu and you’re all set for a good time!

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Other things to do in Tromso


5. Snowmobile experience

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, riding a snowmobile around the arctic mountains is just the experience for you! Feel the wind in your face as you speed through the mountains, taking in the great views. No experience or driver's licenses are required since there will usually be safety demonstrations and a guide taking you through the route at all times.

Book a snowmobile safari tour that includes a two way transfer for a hassle free experience! You might even squeeze in a short ice fishing session if time permits.

6. Arctic Cathedral

One of the more prominent architectural landmarks in Tromso is the Arctic Cathedral. Visible from the Tromso Sound, the Tromso Bridge and even when you’re landing in the Tromso airport by plane, this beautiful cathedral will definitely catch your eye no matter where you are.

The cathedral’s unique shape results from the 11 aluminium coated panels on each side of the roof. Apart from the exterior, also worth a visit inside is the large glass mosaic! Entrance will set you back 50 NOK.

To get here, you will need to cross the bridge from Tromso city center to Tromsdalen. Bus services 20/24/26/28 will take you across the bridge and the cathedral will be a short walk away.

Opening hours : Jan 2 – March 31: 1pm - 6pm | June 1 – Aug 15: 9am - 7pm | August 16 – Dec 31: 2pm - 6pm

Address: Hans Nilsens vei 41, 9020 Tromsdalen, Norway

Photo credit : https://www.visitnorway.com/listings/the-arctic-cathedral/127032/

7. Polaria

You might be thinking, are you sure this is a building i can enter? It looks collapsed! Well, the answer is absolutely yes!

The unique building houses Polaria - an arctic aquarium! The star of the aquarium is definitely the playful bearded seals. There are also many interesting exhibits of the different species of fish found in the Barents Sea. You’ll also get to learn the effect of the melting ice in the Arctic on these animals.

Opening hours: 18th of May - 31st of Aug.: 10.00 - 19.00 | 1st of Sept. - 17th of May: 10.00 - 18.00

Address: Hjalmar Johansensgate 12 Post: Boks 6606 Langnes 9296 Tromsø

Prices: Adults: NOK 130 | Children: NOK 65 | Senior: NOK 90 | Student: NOK 70 | Family: NOK 280

Photo credit : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polaria

8. Whale watching

If you are lucky enough to be in Tromso during whale watching season ( Nov - Feb), this is definitely a sight you would regret missing out on. Tromso’s location makes it ideal for whale watching because it’s located beside a sea filled with Humpback whales and Killer whales. Catch these majestic creatures up close on a whale watching cruise!

Photo credit : https://www.visittromso.no/en/guidelines-whalewatching

9. Storsteinen

Experience the best views in Tromso up at Storsteinen! From 421 metres above sea level, the viewing platform provides spectacular panoramic views of Tromso and the surrounding islands and fjords!

The best way to get up there is by the Fjellheisen cable car! Bringing you up to the viewing platforms in just 4 minutes, you’ll definitely won’t want to miss the views. Take bus 26 from the city center to arrive at the Solliveien station in Tromsdalen to board the cable car up.

10. Polar Park

The Polar Park is the world’s most northernmost animal park and is home to Norway’s largest predators! More than just a traditional zoo, this park has huge natural habitats that the animals live in.

Our favorite animals have got to the the fluffy Brown Bears, two of which are even real TV stars! Some of the more uncommon predators you might also catch a glimpse of are the Lynx, the Muskox and the Arctic Fox! Apart from all the animals you’ll get to see, we also recommend doing the Wolf Visit, where you’ll get to get up close with the wolves!

Be sure to check their opening hours and buy your tickets before heading down! Those who plan to head there from Tromso, there is even a bus from Tromso to take you there so be sure to book the package that includes the bus transfers.

Photo credit : http://polarpark.no/

Tromso Must Eats


Fika

While not exactly a Swedish fika break, the Norwegians take their sweets very seriously too! When the cold gets too much, you might want to seek shelter indoors at a cafe with a good ol’ cinnamon bun and a cup of warm of coffee.

The local’s favorite cafe is Riso! Many swear they can find the best coffee in town here plus it helps that the latte art is extremely cute. Located at Strandgata 32, it is a short walk away from the shopping mall Nerstranda.

Opening hours: Weekdays from 7.30 am to 5 pm and Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm. Closed on Sundays.

Address: Strandgata 32, 9008 Tromsø, Norway

Photo credit : https://www.instagram.com/risomatogkaffebar/

Reindeer hotdog

Raketten (The Rocket) might look like nothing much but it’s actually home to the best reindeer hot dogs in Tromso! Your best bet will be the reindeer sausage with fried onions on top. Did we also mention that these sausages are handmade by a local butcher daily? For the price you’re paying, these hot dogs are definitely a bang for your buck!

Address: Erling Bangsunds plass 1, 9008 Tromsø

Fiskesuppe

A traditional scandinavian dish - Fiskesuppe (fish soup) is one of the best things to have in Tromso, especially on a cold winter day. This creamy and buttery fish soup is usually enjoyed as an appetiser with a slice of buttered bread!

A Norwegian alternative to your normal steak is the reindeer steak! If you’re the type that watches their diet, you’ll be happy to know that reindeer meat is a healthier choice due to their low fat high protein content.

You can find both the fiskesuppe and reindeer steak at Fiskekompaniet in Tromso! Located in the central harbor of Tromso, not only will you have the freshest seafood, the stunning maritime views make this restaurant a great dining place. Just a 10 minute drive from the Tromso airport, this will be a great first meal to have upon touching down.

Address: Killengreens gate, 9008 Tromsø, Norway

Opening hours: 4pm- 10pm