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  2. Things to do in Tromsø in the winter

Things to do in Tromsø in the winter

If you’re looking for a winter destination that offers picturesque landscapes, delectable food, memorable nature experiences, and plenty of winter charm, then the vibrant city of Tromsø is the place for you. Dubbed “the Paris of the north”, this city is one of the best to celebrate Christmas due to the magical feel of the city.
Activities in Tromsø - Aurora Safari Camp in Tromsø - Norway
Tromsø Safari
People may think you’re crazy for traveling to this part of northern Norway in the winter, but there are many things you can see and do to make the cold temperatures worth it! Tromsø offers the perfect winter wonderland experience for anyone who is willing to take the trip.
Tromsø Safari

Chase the northern lights

Viewing the northern lights has to be the number one thing to see when visiting Tromsø in the winter. This polar city is known as one of the best places in the world to view the northern lights. If you’re lucky enough, you can even see the green hues from the city center. But - to get the best view of the lights, you’ll need to get out of the city center! 
Booking a guided tour is recommended for those chasing the northern lights. An experienced guide who knows the local area well knows just where to go to chase the lights, and may also be able to help you get the best photos of this natural wonder! The tours will take you away from the bright lights of Tromsø city center, giving you a much better chance to get a good view of the fascinating lights.
While the goal is to see the northern lights, an added bonus of these trips is seeing the Norwegian landscape where you will encounter massive glaciers, snowy mountains, and dramatic fjords. There are many different ways you can experience the northern lights, have a look below!

Enjoy a whale-watching cruise

Whale watching is a spectacular experience. Take part in a silent whale watching cruise along the stunning Tromsø coastline – you’ll be gliding along the water in an eco-friendly hybrid electric catamaran, giving you the chance to experience the breathtaking view of killer and humpback whales at close proximity, without disturbing these magnificent creatures.
Things to do in Tromsø - Whale watching with a quiet hybrid boat - Tromsø
Brim Explorer

Go dog-sledding

If your time in Tromsø is limited, dog-sledding is an absolute must! You will have the experience and thrill of a lifetime. Go on a sled that is pulled by huskies that are just as excited about the ride as you will be. You have the option of “driving” the sled and directing the huskies or just sitting and enjoying the ride. If you drive, you normally switch with another person halfway in the journey so that you can enjoy both the thrill of riding and driving. Don’t forget to pet the huskies for a job well done! Join one of our husky safaris for a truly special guided experience in the Arctic landscape.
Tromsø husky safari, Tromsø - Norway
Tromsø Safari

Enjoy a snowmobile safari

The Tromsø area is known for its fantastic snow conditions in winter, and there are few better ways to explore the Arctic landscape than on a snowmobile safari. Join a snowmobile tour of the spectacular Lyngen Alps with an experienced local guide, and enjoy a fun and fast-paced way to experience this winter wonderland. There will be plenty of chances for snapping some great photos, and after the tour, you’ll be treated to a delicious fish soup!
Lyngen Snowmobile tour in Tromsø, Norway
Tromsø Safari

Go up Fjellheisen

For the best views of Tromsø, a trip up the Fjellheisen cable car can give you more than you bargained for. The panoramic views of the winter wonderland will cause you to not want to come down. Capture a bird’s eye view of the small islands, vast mountains, and even the northern lights if you are lucky enough. Don’t forget to take a camera to immortalize the beauty! If you’re hungry or cold, you can stop by Fjellstua cafe for some famous gløgg (a popular Norwegian Christmas drink), hot beverages, cold beer or snacks.
Tromsø cable car - Tromsø, Norway

Tour Ishavskatedralen (the Arctic Cathedral)

Tromsø’s most famous landmark features a uniquely shaped cathedral whose architecture was mainly inspired by icebergs and traditional Sami dwellings. The name translates to “The Cathedral of the Arctic Sea”, and it looks like a set of triangles stacked like dominoes. You can see the spectacular cathedral from anywhere in the city. The cathedral features mosaic glass which creates a stunning light show when the sunlight hits it and is well worth a visit!

Visit a Sami reindeer farm

The Sami people are the only indigenous group that currently exists in Norway. They are known for living in the harsh artici conditions and raising reindeer for a living. In Tromsø, there are plenty of opportunities for reindeer sledding through the snow, and also learning about theculture and hiistory of the sami people. Visiting one of the Sami reindeer farms is a great way to give them your support, and is especially fun for kids!
Reindeer In The Sunset - Tromsø, Norway
Lyngsfjord Adventure

Tromsø ice domes

If you would like to visit a real igloo complete with an ice bar, ice cinema, ice restaurant, and ice hotel rooms, you should check out the Tromsø ice domes in the winter months. If your budget allows, opt to spend a night in an ice hotel and experience what it is like to sleep in a real-life igloo!

Go ice fishing

Have you ever watched cartoons where you see people casting a fishing line in a hole in the ice to catch fish? This activity offers exactly that, and it’s quite common in Norway. Experience what it is like to gather food in harsh conditions by going ice fishing or hunting for a few spots on your own.
Ice fishing Northern Norway
Terje Rakke/Nordic Life - Visitnorway.com

Visit Tromsø’s Christmas markets

From mid-November through to December, there are several Christmas markets in Tromsø featuring beautiful Christmas decor and twinkling fairy lights to give that magical feeling that comes with the season. You can buy locally made bags, jewellery, enamel mugs, hand-blown glass items, chocolates and many other gifts to take home with you!
Northern Lights over Tromsø - Norway
Gaute Bruvik/Visitnorway.com

The best things to do in Tromsø

Book an exciting activity in Tromsø. Check out our exciting collection below!

Life in the arctic

Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway

Norway’s Arctic Climate

Norway’s Arctic is one of the most astounding places on the planet. From the vast untouched snowy landscape, to the breathtaking Aurora Borealis, to the unique wildlife, the Arctic is truly something incredible. Unfortunately, climate change is having a devastating impact on Arctic regions worldwide. If change doesn’t occur rapidly to repair the damage that has already been done, the results will be devastating for Arctic regions as well as the rest of the world.

Polar bears in Svalbard - Norway

Animals in the arctic

It should come as no surprise that the Arctic region is one of the toughest places on earth for wildlife to live. Humans have been able to adapt fairly well to living in this part of the world due to the ability to wear clothing and reside in heated structures throughout the majority of the winter. However, for the animals that are forced to stay outside and venture through the Norwegian fjords and other areas of the Arctic, the climate is much more inhospitable.

Mining community of Longyearbyen, Svalbard - Norway

The Arctic Circle

Sitting at Earth’s most northerly latitudes, you can think of the Arctic as the planet’s hat. The main focus of this area is, of course, the North Pole, however there is so much more to it than that. Surrounding the North Pole is the Arctic Circle which stretches out into different countries, forming a line around the top of the Earth. Let’s take a closer look at this fascinating part of the world.

Aurora Safari Tromsø - Northern lights tour from Tromsø, Norway

How to have the ultimate arctic adventure

When you book a trip to somewhere adventurous like the Arctic, you want to make sure that every second of the journey is packed with as much excitement as possible. But in order to do this, you need to know a variety of things about your destination such as where to sleep, what to do, and what to eat while you are there.