Photo: © Gaute Bruvik / www.nordnorge.com
Fjord Tours Articles / 21 Dec 2021

Christmas in Tromsø

Tromsø is one of the most popular Norwegian Christmas destinations, and you can’t go wrong with a visit to this polar city during the holidays. If you’re looking for that magical Christmas feeling, there’s no better place to find it than Tromsø.

In this beautiful Arctic city, surrounded by wild nature and snow-capped mountains, possibly with a gorgeous view of the northern lights dancing across the sky above you, you’re sure to discover the magic of Christmas.

Aurora Safari Minibus 3
Photo: Tromsø Safari

What is Tromsø like in December?

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, you can’t go wrong with northern Norway! The winter is a fantastic time to visit Tromsø, and you’re almost guaranteed to find a blanket of snow on the ground if you come at Christmas.

With the darkness of the polar night (the sun sets in late November and doesn’t rise again until the end of January), the many glittering lights and decorations illuminate the streets of Tromsø beautifully. Though the days and nights are dark and cold, the atmosphere in the vibrant city of Tromsø is cozy and festive, with plenty of fun Christmas activities to take part in and delicious festive foods to sample. Tromsø is a wonderful destination for a holiday at Christmastime, with plenty to do and see for the whole family.

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Photo: Brim Explorer

What is there to do in Tromsø at Christmas?

Christmas in Tromsø is a lovely time of the year when this beautiful city really shines – and there’s plenty to do. If you’re planning a visit to Tromsø this holiday season, you can combine Christmas shopping, nature experiences, and much more.

The city center of Tromsø is always decorated beautifully at Christmastime, with lights and decorations illuminating the narrow cobbled streets and charming little shops. You’ll find a range of different museums and art galleries in the city center that are well worth a visit during your stay. There are also plenty of cozy cafés and restaurants that you can nip into to warm up while you’re out shopping or enjoying the sights of the city. If you’d like to make your trip extra magical, why not go skating in the ice rink in the city center during your visit, where you’ll have a stunning view of the Arctic Cathedral and the historical Fjellheisen cable car?

A big attraction for travelers to northern Norway in the winter is the many traditional activities one can take part in, such as dogsledding in the beautiful winter wonderland, snowmobiling, or going on an Arctic Fjord Cruise or even a Silent Whale Watching cruise. By joining a northern lights tour, you’ll get the chance to see these fascinating lights dancing across the sky – in the dark of winter, there are fantastic opportunities for getting a good view of this natural phenomenon. There are several ways of experiencing the spectacular Northern Lights!

Ways to experience the Northern Lights

Northern Lights Cuisine Cruise

Take in the atmospheric Arctic night onboard a silent electric ship with uninhibited panoramas. Includes a tasty three-course dinner.

Aurora Safari Camp in Tromsø

Join in on an Aurora Safari Camp in Tromsø and experience the magical Northern Lights! Enjoy an evening in a safe and private camp where you get the opportunity to take unique photos of the dancing Northern Lights.

Northern Lights Photo Tour from Reine

Experience the greatest show on earth and join in on a Northern Lights Photo Workshop in Lofoten.

Northern Cuisine and Aurora Chase in Tromsø

The Northern Cuisine and Aurora Chase combine two precious local ingredients: the northern lights and locally sourced and prepared food by a great chef. This is an exclusive small-group tour, all to give you a relaxed and cozy experience while triggering your senses.

Aurora Safari Minibus in Tromsø

Join in on a flexible Northern Lights adventure focusing on comfort, safety, local experiences, and of course, the Aurora Borealis! With in-depth knowledge and experience, an enthusiastic guide takes you to remote open places or even privately owned aurora sites around Tromsø. You travel by minibus in small groups and during the tour, you can enjoy splendid views of the Aurora and dive into the region's culture and history through stories around the bonfire.

Are there Christmas markets in Tromsø?

Tromsø has several fantastic Christmas markets to offer, where you can walk around to take in the cozy atmosphere and sample some of the local food and drinks. These markets usually start in late November and run all through December, and are dotted around the city. Warm-up with a hot chocolate or try gløgg, which is a mulled wine Norwegians drink at Christmas, as you browse the market stalls and take in the festive atmosphere.

You’ll have plenty of chances to pick up some Christmas gifts to bring back home with you, as you’ll be able to browse stalls full of handmade goods by local artists and designers. There are also many small, independent shops selling locally made jewelry, art, traditional crafts and much more.

Foap Zettel Tromso 3310975 Zettel Foap Visitnorwaycom

What Christmas foods are typical in Tromsø?

For many Norwegians, Christmas is the most important holiday of the year, with many traditions related to food and the enjoyment of the holiday. Tromsø is known for being a culinary hotspot, with many restaurants focusing mainly on in-season local ingredients and traditional cooking methods.

If you’d like to tuck into a Norwegian Christmas meal in Tromsø, there are plenty of options! You’ll be able to enjoy traditional Norwegian festive foods like ribbe (pork belly) and lutefisk (dried cod) at well-known establishments like Mathallen – and don’t forget to sample the classic Norwegian Christmas dessert riskrem, which is a delicious rice pudding served with red sauce.

Tromsø is a magical place, and what could be better than visiting this Arctic city at Christmastime? With its cold weather and plenty of snow, Tromsø provides the perfect backdrop for your Christmas holiday. Just be sure to bundle up nice and warm during your visit!

Check out all our exciting activities in Tromsø

Midnight Sun adventure with RIB-boat in Tromsø

Join in on a RIB-boat trip by night from Tromsø and explore the Midnight Sun and surrounding nature in all it's glory. Icluding a stop at Gåsvær Island.

Aurora Safari Camp in Tromsø

Join in on an Aurora Safari Camp in Tromsø and experience the magical Northern Lights! Enjoy an evening in a safe and private camp where you get the opportunity to take unique photos of the dancing Northern Lights.

Northern Lights Cuisine Cruise

Take in the atmospheric Arctic night onboard a silent electric ship with uninhibited panoramas. Includes a tasty three-course dinner.

Silent Whale Watching Cruise

Join in on a Silent whale watching cruise along Tromsø, and watch the humpback and killer whales as they feed in the herring-rich fjords.

Coastal Scenery Safari with Local Tastings in Tromsø

Join in on a safari to Tromsø’s stunning coastal landscape, full of mountains, fjords, islands, and a fascinating history dating back more than 9,000 years. The safari includes visits to the mountain valley of Kattfjordeidet and the beautiful island of Sommarøy.

Dog sledding husky Safari in Tromsø

Join in on an exciting dog sledding adventure in wild and beautiful surroundings! Just over an hour from Tromsø, you find an amazing kennel, surrounded by mighty mountains and deep valleys. Here you get to experience a husky sledding trip in a real Northern Norwegian Arctic environment!

Snowmobile Safari in Lyngen, Tromsø

Explore the majestic Lyngen Alps with a local guide on this scenic and exciting Snowmobile Safari. Experience winter nature at its very best, as the Lyngen Alps offers some of the most beautiful winter scenery in all of Norway!

Arctic Fjord Cruise in Tromsø

Join a cruise on a hybrid-electric boat and amplify your experience with raw nature and wildlife. From fish below and birds above. Step ashore in a local fishing village and learn about the traditions and lifeline of many Norwegian coastal towns.

Coastal Scenery Safari with Local Lunch in Tromsø

Experience the Northern Norwegian culture by seeing the spectacular landscapes, tasting delicious local food and meeting the friendly locals during the magical polar nights.

Northern Cuisine and Aurora Chase in Tromsø

The Northern Cuisine and Aurora Chase combine two precious local ingredients: the northern lights and locally sourced and prepared food by a great chef. This is an exclusive small-group tour, all to give you a relaxed and cozy experience while triggering your senses.