Tromsø is Norway's "Gateway to the Arctic," as the city sits above the Arctic Circle and offers easy access to the renowned Lofoten Islands and the country's northernmost reaches. But despite being so remote, the city is a vibrant, lively metropolis, lovingly referred to as the "Paris of the North." Enjoy the annual Bukta open-air music festival or visit one of the famed breweries. Discover the area's wildlife with whale safaris or watch the Northern Lights dance across the sky on a dinner cruise.

Getting Oriented

Tromsø's harbor at dusk.

Tromsø is Norway's largest northern city, sitting above the Arctic Circle and acting as a gateway to this renowned region. Despite its remoteness, over 70,000 people live in the city, and it's surprisingly cosmopolitan. Every year, Tromsø hosts the Bukta open-air music festival, attracting visitors from around the globe. The city's also known for the Mack Brewery, one of the world's most northern breweries. 

But of all the reasons to visit Tromsø, the Northern Lights is the most popular. Because of the city's location, you're more likely to spot the colorful Aurora Borealis than in other parts of the country. You can enjoy the show from a car tour, while snowshoeing or snowmobiling, with reindeer, near a traditional lavvo hut, or on a cruise. 

What to Do in Tromsø

Tromsø offers various Norwegian experiences, thanks to its far-north location. You can spend time learning about the region's distinct culture, enjoying nature with hikes, wildlife cruises, and snowmobiling, or chasing the Northern Lights.

Guided Hike with Husky Dogs

Keep the Huskies happy in the off-season with a hike.

Although typically a winter destination, you can still enjoy Tromsø in the summer. A favorite activity is visiting the adorable Husky packs that run with the dogsleds in the snowy season. In warmer weather, these energetic pups still need some activity so that you can enjoy a hike with the Huskies! After your trek, learn about the kennels, the history of dogsledding, and enjoy a piece of the area's famous chocolate cake. Read More

Northern Lights Adventure in Tromsø

Chase the Northern Lights and enjoy a cultural evening near Tromsø.

Combine chasing the Northern Lights with a cultural experience by enjoying a lavvu (a modern Sami shelter) and a warm bonfire roasting marshmallows. Warm up with a fire and hot beverage after zipping through the Norwegian countryside. Your guides will show you all the best places to catch a glimpse of the show so that you can enjoy various landscapes and scenery. Read More

Evening Snowmobiling

Catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights while snowmobiling.

Snowmobiling is a common means of transportation in Norway's upper reaches and a great way for you to go deeper into the countryside. You'll drive in pairs through the snowy abyss, stopping to learn about the area's history, switch drivers, and take photos. At the frozen Lake Finn, take a break for some photos and relax in the fluffy snow. Before heading back to Tromsø, you'll enjoy a warm meal in a traditional reindeer herder's tent. Read More

Cultural Walk with a Local in Tromsø

Tromsø's cosmopolitan waterfront.

Let a local lead you through the vibrant city of Tromsø, walking through the historic center from Strandtorget to Skansen. You'll follow along the city's old walls, which date back to 1794 while learning about the history before Tromsø was a settlement. Before visiting the waterfront and the Polar Museum, stop by historical sites, statues, monuments, and colorful murals. Read More

Tromsø Fjord & Wildlife Cruise

Cruise quietly through the water and find area wildlife. 

Explore the beauty and wildlife of Tromsøfjord on a fjord cruise. You'll glide quietly past snow-covered mountains and landmarks, such as Tromsø's famous Arctic Cathedral, before making your way into the open waters. Stop in a local fishing village to learn about the region's fishing heritage that impacts daily life in many Norwegian coastal towns. Explore the fish racks and test your senses with local delicacies! Read More

How to Craft the Perfect Itinerary for Tromsø

Summer scenery in Tromsø.

Tromsø is one of those Norwegian cities that makes an excellent hub for further exploration. You can easily combine a trip to Tromsø with other cities, such as Bodø or Trondheim in the north, or even Bergen and Oslo to the south. If you'd like to spend the entire time in Northern Norway, consider adding the scenic Lofoten Islands and the Alta region to your Tromsø adventure. 

To make the most out of your time in Norway, try to plan for at least one week, whether sticking to one area or hopping around a bit. Because Tromsø is so far north, add another week if you'd like to combine it with Southern Norway or the Fjord Region

Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following itineraries that include Tromsø: