Surrounded by pristine islands, dramatic mountain peaks and picturesque fjords, Tromso is the largest town in northern Norway. It attracts scores of visitors from all over the world thanks to its eclectic mix of nature, culture and history.
With more pubs per capita than any other Norwegian town and a bustling café and restaurant scene, Tromso is as vibrant as they come. Tromso is also home to the northernmost university in the world.
But it’s for the spectacular natural scenery that most make their way to this arctic town located almost 400 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. The Lyngen Alps – rising 1,800 metres above the fjord – are ideal for skiing and dog-sledding in winter and hiking in the summer.
And thanks to the moderating effects of the Gulf Stream, Tromso enjoys a remarkably pleasant climate, making a visit to this beautiful town viable almost any time of the year.
Cruise ships dock at either Prostneset dock, right in the heart of the city, or at Breivikaat dock, 4 kilometres north of town. Shuttle buses are provided to take cruise passengers from Breivikaat into town.
There are limited facilities at both ports. However, all the amenities passengers need can be found within the city centre, which is either a short walk from Prostneset dock or a quick shuttle bus ride from Breivikaat dock.
Facilities nearby include:
- Internet access
- Public toilets
- Cafés, restaurants and bars
- Shopping and entertainment
- Tourist information centre.
How to Get Around
Most of the attractions in town can be reached on foot. However, you may want to take a bus, hire a car or catch a taxi to reduce travel times. Taxis are easily found within Tromso, along with numerous buses and car hire offices.
Travel times from Prostneset dock:
- It is a 10 minute journey to the Polar Museum
- It is a 25 minute journey to the Arctic Cathedral
- Most fjord sailing trips depart from Prostneset dock.
- It is a 10 minute drive to the Fjellheisen Cable.
- Currency - The local currency in Tromso is the Norwegian Krone (NOK). Coins come in 50 øre (1/2 krone), 1, 5, 10 and 20 kroner denominations. Notes come in 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 kroner denominations.
- Time Zone - Tromso runs on Central European Time (CET). It is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
- Weather - Tromso experiences a subarctic climate, with cold winters and cool summers. The average daytime temperature during summer (June to August) is around 10 degrees Celsius. During winter (November to March), the average temperature hovers around -3 degrees Celsius. Despite its northerly location, Tromso sees over 1,000mm of rainfall annually, most of it falling between September and December.
- Tromso Fjord Cruise - Sail around the stunning island of Tromso on a 3-hour fjord cruise and immerse yourself in the beautiful nature this part of the world is famous for. Sailing trips generally include all warm clothing, coffee and tea, and fresh seafood.
- The Arctic Cathedral - Built in 1965 and formerly known as Tromsdalen Church, the triangular-shaped Arctic Cathedral is the most famous landmark in Tromso, standing majestically against a backdrop of forest-clad mountains. Inside the cathedral, a huge stained glass window depicts Christ’s descent to Earth, casting the interior in warm, glowing colours. Opening hours are from 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 1pm to 7pm Saturday and Sunday during summer (June to mid-August). Reduced opening times apply during other months.
- Fjellheisen Cable Car - Head to the top of Mt. Storsteinen by cable car and be rewarded with panoramic views of Tromso and the surrounding islands. The 421 metre ascent to the top of the mountain takes around 4 minutes and, once there, visitors can dine at the mountain-top restaurant or spend an hour or two hiking around the surrounding woodlands. The Fjellheisen Cable Car service is open every day from 10am to 1am from late May to mid-August (until 10pm at other times of the year).
- The Polar Museum - Spend a few hours at the Polar Museum learning about polar exploration and hunting in northern Norway. The museum contains excellent displays, stuffed animals, and aquariums with all kinds of marine life, as well as a small theatre that plays a couple of films: one on the Svalbard archipelago and one on the northern lights. Visitors can also feed the in-house seals. The Polar Museum is open from 10am to 7pm every day during mid-May to August (open until 5pm other times of the year).