Planning a trip to Tromso, Northern Norway, and wondering what to include on your list of things to do in Tromso? First of all, you’re in for a treat! This beautiful Arctic city has so much to offer. You'll get to see anything from stunning fjords and amazing beaches, to fascinating galleries and museums.
Let’s take a look at some of the best activities in Tromso and all the must-see sights, so you can enjoy your perfect Tromso trip!
Where is Tromso?
Located in the very northern part of Norway, the city of Tromso sits above the Arctic Circle. As one of Norway's major cities, Tromso is actually the second-largest one north of the Arctic Circle and has become known as the Arctic Capital. This is thanks to its rich culture, diversity and history. Tromso has a population of over 64,000 people from over 100 different countries!
Most of the beautiful city of Tromso is actually located on an island. That includes the city’s airport, university and downtown area, which is connected by both bridge and tunnel to the mainland.
Our Favorite 15 Things to Do in Tromso
Wondering what to do in Tromso? Look no further – we’ve got you covered! Here are our top things to do in the wonderful Norwegian city of Tromso:
1. Take a Breathtaking Tromso Fjord Cruise
Set among some of Norway’s most stunning fjords, Tromso is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing fjord cruise. Glide along the water as you experience the beauty of untouched nature around Tromso. Enjoy snow-covered mountains and picturesque fjords. You’ll also have the chance of spotting amazing marine wildlife, including whales, dolphins and seals, as well as seabirds, such as sea eagles.
As one of the best things to do in Tromso, taking a Tromso fjord cruise allows you to enjoy the magnificent Arctic coastal scenery up close. You can even view small island communities and fishing villages along the way.
2. View Tromso From Above on Fjellheisen Cable Car
Enjoy an amazing panoramic view of Tromso by taking a ride on the Fjellheisen Tromso cable car to the top of Storsteinen Mountain. At 420 meters above sea level, the large outdoor terrace at the top offers incredible views of fjords mountains. Watch islands and the open ocean, as well as the twinkling Tromso city lights.
Probably the most popular of all these fantastic things to do in Tromso, soaking in the beautiful sights while riding on the Fjellheisen cable car has to go on your must-see sights in Tromso list!
3. Visit Tromso Cathedral (Arctic Cathedral)
Also known as the Arctic Cathedral, Tromso Cathedral is a triangular-shaped building whose design was inspired by Arctic nature. Consecrated in 1965, Tromso Cathedral’s modern architectural style makes it one of the most famous landmarks in Tromso.
You can soak in the spectacular stained-glass mosaic windows, prism chandeliers and master woodwork of Tromso Cathedral on your visit.
4. Spot the Northern Lights or Midnight Sun in Tromso
Due to Tromso’s very northerly location, this city is one of the best places in the world to watch the Northern Lights in winter. Also, to enjoy the midnight sun in summer. Its northern latitude means Tromso experiences polar nights and polar days. That means 24 hours of darkness in winter and 24 hours of sunlight in summer.
Make sure to bring your camera as you witness one of nature’s most spectacular phenomena during the nighttime hours. The dazzling sunlight illuminating the sky at midnight, or the awe-inspiring dancing Northern Lights show in Norway!
We always recommend renting a motorhome in Tromso and going hunting for the Northern Lights.
5. Soak in Beautiful Nature at Tromso’s Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden
The Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden in Tromso is the world's most northerly botanic garden. It showcases a variety of beautiful plants indigenous to the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
Visiting this astonishing selection of flora and fauna is one of the best, unmissable activities in Tromso. You can find Alpine plants from every continent here – plus it’s free to visit.
6. Explore Tromso’s Fascinating Polar Museum
Due to its northerly location being the ideal base for Arctic exploration, Tromso became known as the ‘Gateway to the Arctic’ from the 19th century. The Polar Museum tells the stories of some of these daring polar expeditions, as well as exploring all about sealing and hunting in the Arctic.
In a lovely seafront location, the Polar Museum in Tromso is situated in an old 1830s warehouse and is only around 5-10 minutes walk from the city center.
7. Take a Hike Around the Stunning Grotfjord
When wondering what to see in Tromso, the picturesque Grotfjord is a must. This incredibly scenic location will ‘wow’ you everywhere you look. With an expansive fjord, towering mountains and beautiful beaches, Grotfjord has it all!
Taking some time to visit Grotfjord is one of the best things to do in Tromso to experience the stunning nature that this area has to offer. Grotfjord is one of the best areas in Tromso for hiking and also camping.
8. Discover Tromso’s Library and City Archives
Visiting Tromso’s Library and City Archives is regularly rated as one of the top things to do in Tromso. The library has a striking contemporary exterior. You'll get impressed right before you even get to explore its extensive book collection.
Overlooking the harbor, Tromso Library is a great place to read, write or simply enjoy a quick coffee stop in the café.
9. Relax at Telegrafbukta Beach
Situated close to Tromso city center, relaxing Telegrafbukta beach (Telegraph bay beach) is one of the best things to do in Tromso. You can also enjoy a game of beach volleyball, a swim in the sea, or practice slacklining at Telegrafbukta beach if you fancy something more active!
Around the beach, you’ll also find large forest and grassland areas. One of the most popular music festivals in Northern Norway, Bukta Open Air Festival, is held at Telegrafbukta every year.
10. Learn About Norwegian Legends at the Troll Museum
The first and only troll museum in Norway, this amazing museum was created using AR (Augmented Reality) technology. Explore Norse legends, folklore and fairy tales as you explore the interactive exhibits at The Troll Museum.
Certainly, one of the most fun activities in Tromso for both kids and adults. It will take you about an hour to soak in all the rich cultural goodness of this brilliant museum.
11. Enjoy Cultural Cinema at Tromso International Film Festival
Held every year in January, the Tromso International Film Festival is a big date on the calendar for both Norwegian and international filmmakers. Under 60,000 visitors attend the festival events. These include outdoor screenings, making it Norway’s biggest film festival.
Tromso International Film Festival started in 1991 and even has an outdoor snow cinema – make sure to wrap up warm!
12. Take a Stroll Around Tromso Port and Bridge
Connecting Tromso to the mainland, Tromso Bridge is one of the most famous city landmarks. Whether you choose to walk or drive along Tromso Bridge, taking this bridge either from or to the island that houses most of Tromso city is quite the experience!
If you’re curious about what to do in Tromso, the port area is well worth an explore, with many top-rated seafood restaurants located here – yum!
13. Visit the Open-Air Folkeparken Museum
Breathe in the fresh air as you take a cultural tour through Tromso’s Folkeparken Museum. Open every Sunday during summer, you can learn all about fishing and its importance to Northern Norway at this museum.
Located in the south of Tromso, this open-air museum allows you to visit a big boathouse to see some typical Norwegian fishing boats for yourself.
14. Go Skiing or Snowboarding in Tromso
Ready to take to the ski slopes? Whether you prefer skiing or snowboarding, you can enjoy your pick of winter sports here in Tromso. With a whole range of amazing skiing locations in the Tromso region, enjoying some winter sports will allow you to experience the snowy mountains up close.
You can also choose to book a guided ski tour in Tromso if that sounds good to you. Get your snow gear on, ready to enjoy one of the most active and adventurous activities in Tromso!
15. Explore the Arctic University Museum of Norway
Did you know that Tromso is the world’s most northerly university town? The Arctic University in Tromso has around 12,000 students and houses an outstanding museum all about Norway’s history, people and nature.
In the Arctic University Museum of Norway, you can experience an interactive Northern Lights simulation. Also learn all about the Vikings, Sami culture and how Norway was impacted by World War Two, as well as see a beautiful exhibit of Medieval Norwegian art.
Tick Your Favorite Activities Off Your Own Tromso Things to Do List!
Inspired to make your dream Norway trip to Tromso a reality? Let’s get you started with planning your Tromso adventure! As well as creating your ideal itinerary based on our top Tromso things to do list, you can take a look through our range of affordable Norway campervan rentals to find your perfect ride.
Traveling by campervan will allow you the ultimate freedom and flexibility when visiting Tromso and further afield in Norway. You can take your home with you on the road, meaning you don’t have to worry about finding accommodation. Instead, you can enjoy peaceful nights sleeping among the stars and fjords. What’s not to like?!