Tromsø, Norway, often referred to as the "Paris of the North", is a vibrant place that captivates with its fascinating mix of modern culture and breathtaking nature. Here you can immerse yourself in the rich cultural history, enjoy the vibrant city life and explore the untouched Arctic landscape at the same time. The city offers a unique opportunity to observe the magical Northern Lights, which promise an unforgettable experience, especially in the winter months. Whether you stroll through the charming streets or visit the local attractions such as the Polar Museum, Tromsø offers something for everyone. We'll help you plan the best things to do in Tromsø, Norway.

Tromsø offers numerous opportunities to discover the city on your own. Whether it's a walk along the harbor, a ride on the cable car for breathtaking views, or a visit to the famous Arctic Ocean Cathedral - the city is full of discoveries. Hire a bike or car to explore the surrounding natural beauty too. The friendly locals and well-signposted paths make exploring a safe and enjoyable experience.

Find out all the important information to plan your trip to Tromsø

The best travel time and climate in Tromsø for your vacation

The ideal time to visit Tromsø depends largely on your interests. Winter, from November to March, is perfect for watching the Northern Lights and taking part in winter activities such as dog sledding. In summer, especially in June and July, you can experience the midnight sun. Despite its northern location, Tromsø's climate is relatively mild thanks to the Gulf Stream, creating pleasant travel conditions all year round.

Tromsø summer

View over the city of Tromsø from the mountain in summer
In summer, Tromsø transforms into a breathtaking paradise of midnight sun, where the sun never sets and the days seem endless, making it ideal for exploring Norway's spectacular scenery around the clock. So you'll always feel like you can watch the sunrise and sunset in Tromsø. The mild climate and lush nature invite you to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking and birdwatching, making Tromsø a perfect destination for nature lovers. The unique opportunity to see the sun on the horizon in the middle of the night offers an unforgettable experience that attracts travelers from all over the world.

Tromsø winter

View over the city of Tromsø from the mountain in winter
In contrast, winter cloaks Tromsø in darkness and snow, making the city a magical winter wonderland, ideal for viewing the mesmerizing Northern Lights. Despite the low temperatures, the dry climate provides a comfortable environment for winter activities such as dog sledding, snowmobiling and ice fishing. The combination of spectacular auroras, cozy cafés and warm Norwegian hospitality makes Tromsø an irresistible destination for winter adventures.

Discover even more unique winter and summer destinations.

Tromsø sights

Tromsø enchants its visitors with a multitude of sights that reflect the rich culture and breathtaking nature of the far north. Here are the most important sights in the city.

The Tromsø Arctic Cathedral

Ice Sea Cathedral at night
The Ice Sea Cathedral (Tromsdalen Kirke) is an architectural masterpiece and a spiritual symbol of the city. With its unique design, reminiscent of ice floes, and impressive stained glass windows, it is a fascinating sight. The affordable entrance fee of NOK 80 (€6.98) allows you to explore the interior of the cathedral and perhaps even attend one of the many concerts that regularly take place here. This place is not only a house of worship, but also a center of cultural events. Many concerts are held here, especially during the annual Northern Lights Festival. The Nordlichtfestival 2024 took place from 26.01.-03.02.2024.

Tromsø Ice Domes

The Tromsø Ice Domes are an impressive example of ice art in the wilderness of Norway, built entirely from ice and snow and redesigned every year. Visitors can admire the intricately carved ice figures, the ice chapel and the ice cinema, all designed in an ever-changing theme highlighting Arctic nature and culture. This year they will be open from December 20, 2023 to April 7, 2024.

Tromsø's harbor

The port of Tromsø, one of Norway's busiest fishing ports, plays a central role in the life of the city and offers a picturesque view of the ships and the surrounding Arctic landscape. It is a popular starting point for various maritime activities, including fjord cruises and northern lights safaris, and serves as a lively center with restaurants and cafés along the waterfront.

Tromsø's museums

Tromsø has a number of interesting museums to offer. Here are our four favorites in more detail:

  • The Nordnorsk Art Museum: The museum houses an extensive collection of artworks inspired by the Norwegian landscape, culture and history, with a focus on Northern Norwegian art and temporary exhibitions by modern artists.
  • The Tromsø Museum - Universitetsmuseet: This museum offers fascinating exhibitions on Sami culture, archaeology, church art and the flora and fauna of the polar region, allowing visitors to discover the history and biodiversity of Northern Norway.
  • The Polar Museum Tromsø: Housed in a historic warehouse, this museum tells the brave stories of Norwegian polar explorers and offers insights into the harsh conditions in which they lived and worked, including hunting and fishing in the Arctic.
  • The Perspektivet Museum: Located in an old, carefully restored wooden house, the museum exhibits contemporary photography and historical collections that shed light on the social and cultural history of Tromsø and its inhabitants.

Tromsø's cable car

Cable car in Tromsø
Fjellheisen is a cable car in Tromsø and leads up the 421-metre-high Storsteinen mountain, from the top of which you have a spectacular view of the city and its surroundings.

The Mack Brewery

As the northernmost brewery in the world, Mack not only offers guided tours where visitors can learn more about the brewing process, but also tastings of their different types of beer, which can be enjoyed in the cozy brewery pub.

Tromsø's historic center

The heart of the city consists of picturesque streets lined with traditional Norwegian wooden houses, which create a charming atmosphere and invite you to stroll and explore, with numerous cafés and small stores.

The Arctic-Alpine Botanical Gardens

These gardens are known for their collection of Arctic and alpine plants from around the world and bloom spectacularly during the short Arctic summer, a colorful natural wonder in the midst of the harsh landscape.

Activities in and around Tromsø

Reindeer with sleigh harness
Tromsø is a paradise for adventure lovers. Taking part in a husky sled ride, exploring the Ice Domes or an exciting whale safari are just some of the activities you can experience here. A trip to the North Cape, the northernmost point in Europe, is also possible and offers a unique experience. In summer, there are hiking trails, kayaking tours and fishing opportunities. We have compiled a list of the best activities in Tromsø for you:

  • Tromsø's Northern Lights: Tromsø is one of the best places in the world to see the magical Northern Lights. The city offers numerous Northern Lights tours that take you to the best viewing spots. For a more personalized experience, you can also travel outside the city to darker areas where the lights can be seen particularly clearly. Make sure to plan your trip between September and March to have the best chance of seeing this natural phenomenon.</li
  • Tromsø Sauna: In Tromsø, the sauna offers a relaxing escape from the cold, with breathtaking views of the surrounding Arctic landscape.
  • A trip from Tromsø to the North Cape: A trip from Tromsø to the North Cape takes you through breathtaking landscapes and ends at the northernmost point in Europe, where you can marvel at the endless sea.
  • A whale safari: On a whale safari in Tromsø, you can experience the majestic marine mammals such as orcas, fin whales and sperm whales in their natural habitat, an unforgettable natural spectacle.
  • A husky tour in Tromsø: A husky tour in Tromsø offers the unique experience of gliding through the snowy wilderness, led by a team of enthusiastic sled dogs.
  • A snowshoe hike: Snowshoeing in Tromsø is a fantastic way to explore the silent, snowy landscapes and enjoy the tranquillity of Arctic nature.
  • A reindeer sleigh ride: On a reindeer sleigh ride, you can not only get to know the traditional way of transportation of the Sami, but also learn more about the rich culture and way of life of this indigenous people.

Culinary delights and culture in Tromsø

Tromsø's restaurant scene offers an excellent selection of local and international dishes. Here you can try fresh fish and traditional Norwegian cuisine. The city also boasts a vibrant cultural scene, ranging from festivals to museums and small galleries. Be inspired by Tromsø's creative energy and immerse yourself in the local art and music scene.

Travel to the Arctic: flight connections to Tromsø

Getting to Tromsø is quite convenient thanks to regular flight connections from German cities such as Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. You can book direct flights to Tromsø from some airports, but you often have a stopover.

Flights to Tromsø from the major US cities:</strong

  • Flight New York - Tromsø (JFK - TOS): approximately 10 hours; connecting flights available.
  • Flight Los Angeles - Tromsø (LAX - TOS): approximately 15 hours; connecting flights required.
  • Flight Chicago - Tromsø (ORD - TOS): approximately 13 hours; connecting flights available.
  • Flight Miami - Tromsø (MIA - TOS): approximately 14 hours; connecting flights required.
  • Flight San Francisco - Tromsø (SFO - TOS): approximately 14 hours; connecting flights available.
  • Flight Dallas - Tromsø (DFW - TOS): approximately 14 hours; connecting flights required.
  • Flight Atlanta - Tromsø (ATL - TOS): approximately 14 hours; connecting flights available.

When you arrive at Tromsø Airport and in the Nordic metropolis, you can choose between various transport options to get to the city center or to your accommodation. The availability of rental cars and a well-developed public transport network make it easy to explore the city and its surroundings.

If you prefer a more exciting journey, you can also travel first to Bergen, in the south of Norway, and from there take the ferry to Tromsø. The journey takes around 5 days and there are several stopovers so that you can discover a lot of Norway. However, we would rather recommend this option as a trip in itself.

Overnight stay with a view of the Northern Lights: Tromsø hotels and other accommodation

In Tromsø you will find a variety of accommodation options, ranging from luxurious hotels to cozy vacation apartments. Hotel Saga and Clarion Hotel The Edge offer excellent comfort and are ideal for relaxing after an exciting day. For a more authentic experience, you could try one of the many saunas or stay in one of the picturesque campsites. Many accommodations also offer spectacular views of the Northern Lights, which will make your stay unforgettable.

Tromsø's best hotels

  • Clarion Hotel The Edge Tromsø: With its modern architecture and stunning waterfront location, this hotel provides an ideal setting for romance under the Northern Lights. Its stylish rooms and excellent restaurant make it the perfect place for couples or anyone seeking Nordic charm and comfort.</li
  • Scandic Hotel Tromsø: The hotel is characterized by its warm hospitality and comfortable facilities, making it an ideal place for any stay in the fascinating Arctic environment. With modern designed rooms and a convenient location close to Tromsø's breathtaking natural phenomena, this hotel is a perfect base from which to discover the unique beauty of the region.
  • Hotel Saga Tromsø: A family-run hotel known for its personal atmosphere and friendly service. With comfortably furnished rooms and a central location that offers guests easy access to local attractions and activities, this hotel is an excellent choice for travelers looking to experience Nordic culture and scenery in a welcoming environment.
  • Skaret by Vander: Combining modern comfort with Scandinavian design, the Skaret by Vander in Tromsø offers a stylish stay with views of the stunning Arctic landscape. Ideal for guests who appreciate elegance and proximity to nature, this hotel is a perfect retreat to experience the beauty of Tromsø.</li
  • Pingvinhotellet UNN Tromsø: Pingvinhotellet UNN Tromsø, located right next to the University Hospital of Northern Norway, offers practical and cozy accommodation for visitors and patient families. With its functional facilities and friendly atmosphere, this hotel is an ideal choice for those seeking comfort and convenience in close proximity to the hospital.</li
  • Radisson Blue Hotel Tromsø: The Radisson Blu Hotel in Tromsø, with its prime location in the city center and impressive views of the fjords and the Northern Lights, offers a first-class experience for all guests. Its modern amenities and stylish ambience make it the perfect base from which to explore the Arctic beauty and vibrant city life of Tromsø.</li

Tromsø Camping

If you prefer to be at one with nature, Tromsø also has a number of camping options to offer. Camping in Tromsø offers a unique experience in the wilderness of the Arctic, where you can sleep under the magical glow of the midnight sun or the dancing Northern Lights, depending on the season. Surrounded by breathtaking fjords, high mountains and untouched nature, adventurers and nature lovers will find ideal conditions for camping in the wild. The clear, cool nights are perfect for campfires and sociable evenings outdoors, while the long summer days and dark winters provide ample opportunity for activities. However, it is important to be well prepared for the changeable weather conditions and to respect nature in order to fully enjoy this unique camping experience in the Arctic.

The Tromsø Lodge & Camping, with its picturesque location in the middle of the Norwegian wilderness and close to the city, offers the perfect base to enjoy the best of both worlds - the tranquillity of nature and the convenience of modern facilities.

How to plan your trip to Tromsø, Norway

Your trip to Tromsø will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience, whether you want to chase the spectacular Northern Lights, experience the unique Arctic culture or simply enjoy the breathtaking nature. With the right planning, you can make the most of your stay in this fascinating city. Tromsø is a destination that has a lot to offer for both adventure seekers and culture lovers.

Give your loved one a stay in Tromsø

Do you know someone who has always wanted to travel to Tromsø? With an airline gift voucher from Flightgift, you can open the door to the Arctic wonderland of Tromsø for your loved one and give them the freedom to choose from over 400 airlines to reach this fascinating Norwegian city, or any other destination worldwide. It is the ideal gift for those who dream of experiencing unique natural phenomena such as the Midnight Sun or the magical Northern Lights in Tromsø. The trip to Tromsø will not only be an unforgettable adventure, but also a loving gesture that shows how much you value the wishes and dreams of your loved ones.