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Lisa Mackinnon, Senior Short Break 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.

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 for UK citizens
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Distance from airports
Tromsø Airport 6 km

Tours and Excursions

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 Skjervøy, 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.

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 heading to the Swedish or Finnish borders!  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.

Arctic Landscape Tour

Marvel at the stunning Arctic landscapes on the small group tour with a local guide. Take in the views of the magnificent fjords and dramatic snow covered mountains as you drive along the Norwegian coast.  You might also be lucky enough to spot some wildlife including reindeer and seals in their natural habitat.

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.