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Written by Shrinivas on June 9, 2020 Share on

These Best Things to Do in Tromso are sure to mesmerise the traveller

Tromsø, a northern Norwegian city in Europe, is a significant cultural centre above the Arctic Circle. It is popular as a point of view for bright Northern Lights that light up the night sky occasionally. The historic core of the region, on Tromsø Island, is distinguished by its centuries-old wooden buildings. The skyline is dominated by the Arctic Cathedral from 1965, with its distinctive peaked roof and stained-glass windows.

Northern Lights, Tromso
Source: Unsplash

Tromsø city centre contains Northern Norway ‘s highest number of old wooden houses, the oldest house dating back to 1789. For its location, the town is a cultural centre with many festivals taking place throughout the summer. The electronica pair Röyksopp and Lene Marlin, Torbjørn Brundtland and Svein Berge started their careers in Tromsø. Likewise, noted musician Geir Jenssen is from Tromsø.

Top places to visit

Tromsø Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden

The flowering season begins in early May despite the snow, rewarding visitors with displays of purple saxifrage and yellow cushion plants, pasqueflowers and a variety of flowering bulbs. The garden is divided into 25 collections, each showcasing a different species or region of cold weather including Himalayan plants, the Arctic, and other extreme climates, as well as traditional plants. Flowering continues until the October snow is back.


Polaria, Tromsø’s unique new museum dedicated to everything to do with the Arctic, is hard to miss, located just a few minutes’ walks from Tromsø city centre. Designed to look like Arctic ice floes forced onto the ground, the outside looks like a toppling set of dominoes. Here, visitors will find a variety of Arctic exhibits, including an extensive installation showing how climate change has an irreversible effect on glaciers and Arctic wildlife, as well as a film about the aurora borealis (northern lights). It also houses an Arctic Aquarium which features resident bearded seals and several Arctic fish species.

Reindeers, Tromso
Source: Unsplash

 Polar Museum (Polarmuseet)

The position of Tomsø more than 321 kilometres beyond the Arctic Circle allows it a perfect home base for polar expeditions, and for this purpose, it was known in the late 19th century as the “Gateway to the Arctic.” The Polar Museum is one of the best places to visit and learn about the long past of the region, from its exploration and first settlers to the once-flourishing whaling industry, and its ultimate turn into a central Arctic research centre. Exhibits include historical information about some of the earliest expeditions and explorers such as Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen, as well as exhibits presenting the findings of the extensive continuing research. The museum ‘s latest exhibit, Polar Night, looks into Arctic wildlife’s fascinating world during the endless winter nights.

Arctic Cathedral (Ishavskatedralen)

Just before the mainland Tromsø Bridge sits Tromsdalen Church, better known as the Cathedral of the Arctic (Ishavskatedralen). Jan Inge Hovig crafted this stunning illustration of the bold contemporary architecture now popular in all of Norway in 1965. Hovig ‘s architecture connects with the Nordic environment in aspects of religious reverence, recalling the form of the sails of the ships and the solid white of the sea. It is a significant landmark and visitor destination, noticeable from both incoming and Tromsø Sound flights. The most prominent characteristic of the cathedral is its 1,500 square meter glass mosaic crafted by artist Victor Sparre.

Fishing in tromso
Source: Unsplash

Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum

The Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum is a free art gallery, situated in Tromsø, next to both the port and the local tourist information centre. The permanent collections contain over two thousand paintings from the 1800s to the present in different media, and prominent artists contain Edvard Munch, Harriet Backer, and Anna-Eva Bergman.

Perspektivet Museum (Perspective Museum)

This unique photography museum does much more than display half a million pictures, exploring Tromsø today and history. The photos, presented in a documentary-style format, not only depict Tromsø ‘s existence but also examine a series of thought-provoking cultural and social themes that stimulate dialogue and lasting interest.

Tromsø Museum

The most famous region of the Tromsø Museum is devoted to the Northern Lights, serving as an instructional centre that helps tourists to bring the science behind the phenomena into their hands. Exhibits provide a glimpse at the past of work into aurora borealis, a detailed overview of what causes such lights shine.

Tromsø Cathedral

Built in 1861, Tromsø Cathedral is situated in the centre of town, southwest of the main quay. This Gothic Revival cathedral is the world ‘s northernmost Protestant cathedral, and the only cathedral made entirely of wood in Norway. The altarpiece of the Wooden cathedral is a spectacular copy of the Resurrection of Adolph Tidemand.

Science Center of Northern Norway

The Northern Norway Science Center, home to Norway ‘s largest planetarium, offers visitors a thrilling up-close look at the spectacular northern lights of Tromsø on its vast digital screen. One of the largest exhibits of the museum focuses on the unique nature of life deep inside the Arctic Circle and how this affects every aspect of life, from the economy to everyday life.

Hella, Kvaløy

On the east side of the island of Kvaløy, about 32 kilometres south of Tromsø, lies the village of Hella and its open-air museum, which contains a number of houses from old Tromsø. Hella is also home to prehistoric rock carvings dating back to 7000 BC, one of which is available for viewing to the public; other prehistoric carvings can be found at the edge of Balsfjord in Tennes.


Skansen began life as a customs station in 1789 and is Tromsø’s oldest building. The remains of medieval fortifications dated from the 13th century are much older than this picturesque house and the other smaller houses that surround it. The building today houses a small café, open during the summer months and serving traditional food in a cosy atmosphere. It is one of the most beautiful places in Norway.

Tromso Norway
Source: Unsplash

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