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The Pukka Travels Guide to Tromsø, Norway

What to do, what to see, where to eat, drink & sleep in the Paris of the North

Tromsø, Norway is a very magical destination that has been recognized as one of the best places to marvel over the Northern Lights. With direct flights from Oslo, Stockholm, Frankfurt and London, explorers from all over the world are able to connect with nature in a city that nearly 70,000 people call home.

 

This guide to Tromsø will help you plan the most ideal stay while exploring Tromsø. From quaint and cozy coffee shops sprinkled throughout the town, fusion gastro bars, and adventurous day excursions, Tromsø has a lot to offer a variety of travelers & locals.

Day Tours around Tromsø

What to do during your days in Tromsø

Arctic Sail Safari  

While many marvel over the cozy candle lit streets & quaint coffee shops of Tromsø, true travelers will witness the magic, thriving wildlife & mystery  of Tromsø while out at sea. On this tour, you will be able to sail through the fjords and be on the lookout for wildlife in the area. This can include eagles, seals, and if we are lucky Orcas and Humpback whales while on a comfortable catamaran. You will also be able to go fishing & potentially prepare & eat your own catch. 

Daily, 5-6 Hours, 09:00 / 1700 NOK
Get more information here

 

Snowshoe Hiking Tromsø x Tesla Experience   

You will start the day at our basecamp in central Tromsø.  All of our tours are small (up to 5 passengers per Tesla), where comfort is key. We will then take you snowshoe hiking in some of the most scenic spots in the area. We tailor the hiking route based on the physical demands of the group.

Prices starting from 1300 NOK
Get more information here

 

Dog Sledding Tromso   

Dog Sledding in Tromso is one of the most popular land activities and we are proud to partner with a local company that loves their dogs just as you would love your own. The dogs love what they do, and is certainly an experience to remember when traveling to the Arctic. You and a partner will drive your own sled on this tour.

Prices starting from 1750 NOK
Get more information here

 

Reindeer Sledding & Sami Culture   

When exploring the Arctic, we want you to get to know the Sami people, and learn about their traditions and cultures.Therefore we have partnered with our dear friends at the sami camp where you can enjoy an unforgettable day. This tour includes a reindeer sledding and a Sami culture lecture at their camp. During this experience you also have a chance to feed the herd of around 200 reindeer, fun and exciting way to connect to this historically important animal. We then gather inside the “Lavuu” (Sami tent) for a hot traditional meal and listen to stories about Sami culture & history.

Daily, 4 Hours, 10:00 – 14:00 / 1290 NOK

Get more information here

 

Explore Tromsø by Night

Adventure at night around Tromsø

Northern Lights Sailing   

Sail through the fjords on a warm catamaran in search of the Northern Lights. We think this is the most comfortable way to see the lights considering our warm safety suits, freedom to explore and also stay warm inside our heated saloon with hot coffee and tea. 

Daily (May-August), 3 Hours, 21:00 / 1400 NOK
Get more information here

 

Northern Lights Mini Bus Chase 

Witness the Northern Lights on a comfortable northern lights mini bus tour in Tromsø with a guide who has the passion to help show you the northern lights dance in the sky above. This tour will leave from the center of Tromsø on a 15 seat mini bus where we will venture out to the best spots to watch the aurora dance in the sky. 

Daily :18:00 (First departure), 18:45 (Second departure) and 17:15 (we open this time slot of the other two are fully booked)  / 1650 NOK
Get more information here

 

More Winter Tours in Tromsø: 

Tromsø by foot

Must see activities while wandering around Tromsø

Fjellheisen (cable car)

For those who are into panoramic views this is a must do while in Tromsø. The cable-lift will take you 421 meters above the sea in just 4 minutes. From the top you will experience the most beautiful view of Tromsø along with the surrounding fjords.

Open daily
Get more information here

 

Ishavskartedalen (cathedral)  

Head across the Tromsø bridge and you will reach the Ishavskartedalen, one of Tromsø’s most beautiful churches. The best way to explore this church is to go to a midnight mass, listen to the Norwegian melodies and take in the atmosphere of a beautiful place in the middle of the Arctic.

Mack’s Brewery

 Since 1877 this brewery has been recognized as the most Northern Brewery in the world. Mack’s also produces incredible soda, water and cider for those who may have a different beverage of choice.

Get more information here

 

Our favorite cafes & coffee shops

Stay warm at these cozy spots around town

Smørtorget

A genuine café with fresh sandwiches, coffee and freshly baked Scandinavian sweets that offers a calm yet lively atmosphere. Inside of the café there’s a second hand shop where you can find clothes, books and other small trinkets to take back home. 


Get directions here

 

Risø mat & kaffebar  

An Atmospheric cafe that serves hand-brewed coffee and excellent lunch. They turn regular coffee brewing to art. The decor is reminiscent of London with a Scandinavian touch.

Get directions here 

 

Our favorite restaurants in Tromsø

Where to wine and dine in the Paris of the North

Hildr Gastro Bar 

One of our absolute favorite spots in the area. Hildr focuses on both international and locally inspired snacks, creatively crafted cocktails that are based on the season and chefs mood. A must try spot when visiting Tromsø.

Get directions here 

 

Emma’s

A lovely little restaurant near the Tromsø Cathedral that can be both intimate and formal, but homey and relaxing. Known for its flair on traditional French cuisine, they appreciate real food that makes one feel like they are back at home.


Get directions here

 

Fiskekompaniet

This restaurant has an excellent location alongside the harbor near the city center. Their food and service is known for some of the most genuine and healthiest food that they harvest from the ocean.

Get directions here 

 

Where to grab a drink in Tromsø

Sit down and relax at one of Tromsø's best bars

Bardus 

Whether you have a desire for a well-crafted cocktail, a great glass of wine, a beer you have never heard of or maybe you have the desire to flirt with the finest examples of aged distillation. Bardus will make you feel at home. If you are looking for a bite to eat you can slide into their bistro next-door and enjoy one of Tromsø’s finest kitchens.

Get directions here 

 

Sky Bar

Tromsø’s only sky bar on the eleventh floor of the Clarion Edge Hotel. Fantastic views over the city, relaxed rooftop bar in a trendy hotel. We think it is the best place to start (or finish) a night out in Tromsø.


Get directions here

 

Ølhallen

Norwegian for “beerhall”, was founded in 1928 as the official brewery tap for Mack Bryggeri and located in the basement of a neoclassical building erected in 1890 as home for the brewery founder, Ludwig Mack. The interior is slightly worn, from the clawless, stuffed polar bear to the brown, wooden furniture. This place is perfect for those looking to kick back and relax.

Get directions here

 

Where to sleep in Tromsø

Our favorite hotels in the downtown area

Comfort: Clarion “The Edge” Tromsø 

Thanks to its interesting architecture this hotel certainly stands out on the skyline of Tromsø. A conference hotel with both basic and luxurious suites, these rooms have an amazing view over both the harbor and the mountains. This hotel provides the restaurant Kitchen & Table where Tromsø meets Manhattan, the relaxed meeting point called “the living room” and the only rooftop bar existing in Tromsø.

Send us your dates & request booking here

 

Basic: Smart Hotel Tromsø 

The Smart Hotel in downtown Tromsø. Central, comfortable & modern for those looking for a simple, budget option for those who do not even like being in their hotel room (but when they are, they want to be central and comfortable). The rooms have everything you will need for a comfortable stay including a bathroom with shower, plush pillows free wifi and a TV. The room is ventilated with self-regulated heating and allergy friendly carpets. 

Send us your dates & request booking here

 

Unique: Volda Floating Home

Looking for a unique living experience? Volda Floating Home gives you a rare opportunity of living not near but on a Norwegian fjord! As a rebuilt ferry from 1962, Volda is a modern and tasteful architectural home situated right on the fjord. Volda has one big sleeping cabin on the upper deck, three on the main deck and three on the lower deck. The rooms are spread over the boats 340m2 space and together with three full bathrooms, there is an office, a private lounging area at the upper deck cabin, a laundry room and a big living room and kitchen area.

Send us your dates & request booking here

 

Getting there & Getting around

How to get to Tromsø & How to get around the city

Flying to Tromsø   

Flying to Tromsø is the easiest way to get to get here. Scandinavian Airlines, Norwegian Air, Widerøe and Lufthansa are the major airlines that fly here. You can get here directly from Oslo (daily flights), Stockholm, London, Frankfurt and Copenhagen (starting this winter on SAS). 

*Make sure to get a window seat, you will not regret it.

 

Cruise ship

If you are considering traveling by boat, there are a variety of cruise lines that stop in Tromsø including Princess, Hurtigruten, and Aida.

Getting around 

The public transportation system in Tromsø is incredible. With bus stops all over town and its surrounding areas, this is the most convenient and affordable way to get around the city. You can download their app, where you will find the timetable and map here.

 

Getting from the airport to town

Bus: When landing in Tromsø, go to the far end of the parking garage and take bus number 40 or 42 to Sjøgata S3 (this will take you to the center of town), and will cost you around 50 NOK per person.

Flybussen (airport express coach): There is a big red bus right outside of the terminal which will also drop you off in the center of town. This will cost around 100 NOK per person.

Taxi: There is a taxi stand outside of the airport terminal that will take you into town. This will cost around 200-300 NOK.

*It takes about 10 minutes to drive from the airport to the city center. 

Your Pocket Guide to Tromsø

Wifi is readily available in most cafe’s, restaurants, hotels & coffee shops, so no need to worry about getting lost in Tromsø. Simply download the map and you are good to go!

/ words by Perri Rothenberg
/ images by Perri Rothenberg & Max Lander 

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