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Helen Perrin, Product & City Breaks Specialist

"If you’re looking for a vibrant city with a special touch then Tromsø is the exciting city break for you. Nothing beats the Northern Lights, which can be seen here during September and March, I recommend pre-booking a Northern Lights tour so local guides can take you to the best locations to catch the phenomena. Tromsø is also a great city for outdoor enthusiasts since there is a lot of opportunities for hiking, kayaking and you can even go whale spotting! But do remember to pack a thick coat, because Tromsø isn’t the warmest of cities - even in the summer!"

Tromsø at a glance

Lively Tromsø is an island of colourful houses, nestled between snowy mountains and picturesque fjords above the Arctic Circle. From September to March it is a hub for those in search of the Northern Lights, while from May to July the midnight sun shines on golfers playing a round on the world’s most northerly course. A great vantage point for both phenomena can be had from Fjellheisen, the city’s cable car.

Winter activities include whale watching expeditions to spot the humpback, sperm and killer whales which tend to inhabit nearby waters from November to February, and reindeer-sledding and husky-mushing trips which offer an introduction to Sami culture.

Whatever the time of year, the city provides art, culture, good food and thriving nightlife. It attracts those with an interest in all thing polar to the Polar Museum and Polaria, an ‘arctic experience’ centre including aquarium, housed in a contemporary building designed to represent ice floes.  Another stunning building is the modern Arctic Cathedral, which can be found over the bridge on the mainland.

Perfect if you’re looking for:

  • Outdoor activities
  • Art and culture
  • Picturesque setting

Getting around

Tromsø is very compact and easy to navigate on foot, however there are plenty of buses within the city from early morning to late at night, seven days a week. Tickets can be purchased on board the buses, payment by cash only. The Flybussen transports passengers from the airport to the centre in 15 minutes.

Shopping in Tromsø

Storgata is the main shopping street in Tromsø, there is a variety of shops selling both local and international products. During December the city comes alive with a warming festive sprit filled with markets and stalls perfect for picking up stocking fillers.

Dining in Tromsø

Tromsø has excellent seafood, often received straight off the boat that day. It also has more unusual local delicacies such as reindeer, whale and, until recently, seal. Perhaps unexpectedly, local strawberries are particularly juicy, having ripened in the midnight sun. The city has numerous fine dining restaurants which showcase local ingredients and traditional recipes. There are also more relaxed cafes, which serve great food on a lower budget.

Must-try local dishes:

  • Mack Ol og Masegg – local beer and hardboiled seagull eggs, a popular snack
  • Blanding – a mix of pilsner and dark beer in the same glass, as served in Olhallen beer hall
  • Lutefisk – a traditional dish of fish preserved in lye, often eaten during the festive period

Get your tailor-made city break itinerary

Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Tromsø designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:

  • All travel and transfers on days of your choice
  • Accommodation from our handpicked range of Tromsø hotels, to suit your budget and requirements

Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.

Important information
Population 72,066
Languages Norwegian
Currency Norwegian Krone
Visa Information No visa required
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Distance from airports
Tromsø Airport 6 km

Tours and Excursions

Winter Programme

Whale and Seabird Safari

With waters rich in herring and plankton, the coast of Tromsø is considered among the best areas in the region to spot whales. On this small-group tour you will cruise towards Whale Island, surrounded by beautiful scenery, while looking out for humpback and killer whales, and birds such as sea eagles. Your guide will tell you all about the diverse sea life under the waves and hot drinks and snacks will be available.

Dog Sledding and Campfire Lunch

This dog sledding tour on the island of Kvaløya offers spectacular views of the mountains surrounding Tromsø. Includes sled tour driven by a guide, a chance to meet the 300+ dogs and a traditional Sami lunch around the fire.

Reindeer Sledding, Feeding and Sami Culture

Join Sami guides for an unforgettable experience of reindeer sledding. After the sledding (approx. 30min) you will visit the Sami camp where you can feed the herd of around 200 reindeer before gathering inside the lavuu (Sami tent) for a hot meal and traditional stories and song. This tour can be booked for the morning or evening for Reindeer Sledding and Northern Lights!

Northern Lights Chase

A chase allows you to go where there is the best opportunity to see the lights on a given night, even if that means crossing the border into Sweden or Finland! While there is no guarantee, the far north of Norway is one of the best places to see this spectacular phenomenon during the winter months.

Evening Husky Sled Ride

With sleds driven by professional mushers, guided by headlamps and your dogs’ noses, you will be taken up into the mountains for a magical winter experience. Meet the 350 huskies that live at the camp and spend time with the puppies, enjoy a warm meal gathered round the campfire and, if luck is on your side, watch the Aurora Borealis dance across the skies.

Northern Lights Cruise

Northern Lights from the sea are a particularly beautiful sight with minimal light pollution and this tour has the added bonus of offering great views of Tromsø too. Hot drinks and cake are served on board and your knowledgeable hosts will be happy to help with photographing the lights and any questions you may have.

We would be happy to arrange an excursion for you. To discuss options with a member of our knowledgeable team or to book, please contact us on 0131 243 8098.