"Beautiful Tromso - Gateway to the Arctic" Top 5 Page for this destination Tromsø by angiebabe

Tromsø Travel Guide: 269 reviews and 700 photos

To Tromso on the Lyngen of the Hurtigruten

a 4 hour stopover in Tromso was an excellent idea! but with the early nightfalls of the arctic winter arriving at 230 pm meant a rush to get to see some stuff before the sunset and got dark!
and being a sunday the highlight museums were closed or just about to close. but nevermind ...next time...! and enjoyed my roaming and camera clicking all over the place....

i thought the architecture was awesome

This is the local library! looks more like the Sydney opera house!!
and lots of other lovely architecture - particularly old wooden houses and churches such as the 1861 wooden cathedral the Tromso Domkirke
then theres the 1 kilometre bridge!! that crosses the harbour linking the main settlement on Tromsoy Island to the mainland (since which also has been built a tunnel under the strait to cope with the demand!) and to the interesting architecture of the modern Arctic Cathedral symbolising the dark period of the winter and the northern nights and houses Europe's largest glass mosaic.

Capital of Norways arctic with lots of history

Tromso, the capital of Arctic Norway, with its population of 59,000 is apparently the worlds northernmost university town, most northern botanic gardens and also has the worlds most northerly brewery (tho i find that hard to believe!maybe something i could sometime investigate the accuracy of that info!!)

There are also records in the British Museum of King Alfreds 9th century handwritten account of meeting Ottar from Malangen, just south of Tromso, boasting that he lived further north than any Norseman being chieftain of Halogaland with 20 cows, 20 sheep, 20 pigs and 600 reindeer! Historians apparently believe he lived in this area though archeologists have not discovered any evidence of him but unearthed several 1000 year old houses.
Tromsos first church was built in 1252 and acquired town status in 1794 after Bergen and Trondheim lost their trade monopoly in northern Norway.

For generations the sea traffic to and from Northern Russia has been considerable with the hunting of whales, seals and walruses giving rise to new traffic with Russian, British, Dutch and German ships visiting the town.

Theres record of minor confrontations here with minor vessels during the Napleonic wars of 1812 and later during the WWII the German warship the Tirpitz was sunk here by British bombers, killing 1200 men.
Interestingly during 1940 the King and Norwegian government fled here in 1940 when the Norwegian resistance in the south were crumbling and then from here escaped to England.

Also it was from here that many polar expeditions departed from and down at the harbour is a statue of one of Norways most world known explorers Roald Amundsen who was the first to make it to the South Pole. It was in 1928 that he flew from here in a seaplane to rescue his colleague, and competitor, Italian Umberto Nobile. Nobile returned but sadly Amundsen didnt and the statue was erected in his memory.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:beautiful wooden buildings - esp the beautiful wooden churches and the modern stuff is impressively contemporary and stylish!
  • Cons:gets dark too early in winter!we arrived just ahead of advertised arrival time and it got dark half an hour later!
  • In a nutshell:interesting seeing life up in the Arctic circle - short short days in winter, unending daylight in summer!so much beauty!
  • Last visit to Tromsø: Feb 2007
  • Intro Updated Dec 30, 2011
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Reviews (12)

Comments (16)

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Oct 1, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    Just decided on a January visit here to try (again!) to see the Northern Lights, plus a few nights on a Hurtigruten ship :-)

    • angiebabe's Profile Photo
      Oct 1, 2012 at 12:22 PM

      how much of the trip are you doing?...ive been trying to sort my South Am trip along with RTW ticket and thinking about a heap of things going on at moment...helps so much being in a spot with great wifi connection here where i am in Moroco at moment. but its looking like i will be copping out too and go with a tour that looks great but but doesnt include a few places that I really had wanted to get to...Ecuador looks great but wont be getting there - but will all be added to my wishlist along with the rest of the want-tos! all the best with the treasure hunt, wont be back in London til mid Oct now.

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Oct 2, 2012 at 1:06 AM

      Shame you're missing the Hunt but sound like you're having a great time over there. When do you plan to go to S Am? We should try to meet up after I get back from Ecuador if you're around - and with Lesley too :-)

      We're going to be doing Tromso to Kirkenes and back, with a few nights in Tromso before and a couple after.

  • Nov 16, 2009 at 12:15 PM

    Excellent tips! I love the interesting modernist architecture building!

  • georeiser's Profile Photo
    Nov 12, 2009 at 5:23 PM

    Very good tips on Tromsø. A pity you missed the nightlife there. The boat is called "Hurtigruten" (Hurtig = fast, ruten = route")

  • calcaf38's Profile Photo
    Sep 12, 2009 at 1:03 PM

    Thank you for your kind comments on my Honduras pages. This page is fantastic. The photo of the bridge in the night is my favorite.

    • angiebabe's Profile Photo
      Oct 1, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      hi and thanks Oliver with our new vt reply to comments ability...its been such a long time...how are you doing?!

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Dec 27, 2008 at 8:15 AM

    You obviously didn't have the best conditions for sightseeing there, what with the dark and cold, but your pictures are still beautiful. Hope some day you can add summer pictures of Tromso to your page.

  • Sep 7, 2008 at 5:43 AM

    I've already been to Tromso before but it seems that I missed a lot on that short trip---thanks for the introduction and tips!

  • Toshioohsako's Profile Photo
    Apr 14, 2008 at 11:27 AM

    I like Thromso as it is open to the sea and the mountains. I came here on the way to Cape Cod. It was a nice stopping point.

  • SWFC_Fan's Profile Photo
    Mar 10, 2008 at 3:43 PM

    Glad to see that you made the most of the short daylight hours to take lots of lovely photos! The conditions in Tromso look and sound similar to those that I experienced in Reykjavik - the short, dark days would drive me mad after a while!

  • Museeuw's Profile Photo
    Oct 6, 2007 at 10:11 AM

    And again you made me jealous! Goodnight!

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Sep 30, 2007 at 12:17 AM

    I have never been that far north. It looks very beautiful, but the dissadvantage is that it is dark too long. Looks like Tromso have managed to mix old wooden houses with modern architecture in a good way.


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