Northern Lights
Northern Lights / iStock.com / Nitrogliserin
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Tromsø Waterfront
Tromsø Waterfront / iStock.com / vichie81
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Tulips in a Tromsø Park
Tulips in a Tromsø Park / iStock.com / Boddill
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Ishavskatedralen
Ishavskatedralen / iStock.com / vichie81
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Smørbrød
Smørbrød / iStock.com / olgna
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Mountains Outside Tromsø
Mountains Outside Tromsø / iStock.com / utflytter
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Boathouses in Winter
Boathouses in Winter / iStock.com / Liima10
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Tromsø
Port
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

A gateway to the Arctic, Tromsø was made famous as the launching point for Arctic expeditions. Today, it's still a base for adventurers of the leisure type: Northern Lights hunters and winter sports lovers. As a big university town, there’s a lively atmosphere with lots of shops, bars, and restaurants. Stop in for a beer at one of the world’s most northernmost breweries for some well-deserved bragging rights.

What We Love

Polar Museum: Polar History 101 is taught at this excellent museum with exhibits on Fridtjof Nansen’s and Roald Amundsen’s world-famous expeditions (one was the first to reach the South Pole; the other made the first Greenland interior crossing); Wanny Woldstad, the first woman to winter in the Arctic; and the region’s history of seal hunting.

Arctic Cathedral: This striking structure evokes a Sami tent or icy glaciers. It’s a must-see (and you will when you arrive in port) for the enormous stained glass windows and nearly 3,000-pipe organ.

Best Known For

Winter Activities: Whether you’re mushing a dogsled or snowmobiling on frozen fjords, there are many opportunities for polar adventures in Tromsø and its surrounds. 

Polaria Museum: You can’t miss this unusual museum, constructed to look like tumbling ice floes. Inside, an Arctic aquarium harbors bearded seals and exhibits on the polar region’s changing landscape.

Who It's Best For

Northern Lights Hunters: Tromsø is located in prime Northern Lights territory, so the chances of getting a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis is high, particularly between the months of September and April.

Polar History Buffs: Tromsø has a rich history of intrepid adventurers — hunters, trappers, and researchers, including Roald Amundsen, the first explorer to reach the South Pole.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Prices are High: Nothing is Norway comes cheaply, so be prepared to pay a premium.