The name of the city comes from the island of Tromsoya, on which it is located (oya - island, the prefix Troms remains unknown). The first well-documented records of settlement in this region come from the legendary Ottar of Halogaland in the late 9th century. Ottar described himself as "a Viking living farthest north" when he visited King Alfred in England. In 1252, the first church of Sanctae Mariae de Trums juxta paganos (Our Lady of Tromso among the pagans) was built in Tromsoya. However, the rapid development of the city occurred at the end of the 18th century and was closely related to the cod trade. In 1794 Tromso received city rights, despite the fact that it had... 80 inhabitants. Tromso quickly became the main center of fishing and hunting in the Arctic. In 1877, the Mack Brewery, which still exists today, was established. During this period, people from the south began to refer to the city as the "Paris of the North" because they were surprised that the people of Tromsø were very sophisticated and distinguished. Many arriving in the city expected rather savages wearing animal skins. At the turn of the century, the city gained another nickname "Gateway to the Arctic" when it became a base for explorers of the far North. Roald Amundsen, Umberto Nobile, Fridtjof Nansen often prepared their trips in Tromso. During World War II, the city was the base of the Nazis. On the neighboring island of Hakoya, at low tide, you can see the skeleton of Tirpitz, the largest ship in the Nazi navy, and the Ramfjord has extensive tunnels where u-boats were stored. The post-war development of the city included the construction of both bridges (Tromsobrua - 1960, Sandnessundbrua - 1973) and tunnels under the city (built in stages from 1988 to 1999). At the moment, Tromso is the capital of the northern region of Troms og Finnmark and is the most important urban center in the north of the country.
WHAT TO DO IN TROMSO
Nowadays Tromso is the largest city in the region and an important academic and industrial center. From year to year there are also more and more tourists, mostly wanting to see the beauty of the Aurora Borealis. However, the city itself also has a lot to offer to tourists.
This aquarium and museum dedicated to the Arctic attracts primarily with its interesting shape. Architecture itself is an attraction and it is worth stopping by Polaria to see it. It is also worth seeing Polaria from the side of Tromsdalen. Inside the aquarium, we will meet the inhabitants of polar ecosystems and learn more about the processes taking place in the ice cap of both poles. The biggest attraction is the public feeding of seals living in Polaria. They are held twice a day (12:30 and 15:00) and, according to their owners, the show is to stimulate the seals (so that they do not gain too much weight). This keeps the animals in good condition as they often cannot return to their natural habitat. The museum also has an unusual cinema room. The panoramic view allows us to experience the northern lights or get closer to the most inaccessible polar regions in full view. It is always an alternative for those who do not see the Aurora with their own eyes.
195nok - adult
85nok - children
POLARMUSEET - POLAR MUSEUM
Located in one of the oldest buildings, it offers, among others the first ever documentary movie or the still well-preserved beloved dog of Romuald Amudsen himself. The stories presented at the Polar Museum will tell you about the first peoples of Northern Norway, the first settlers of Tromso, about the whaling and fur industry, and about the many research expeditions. The museum, although recently restored, has retained its traditional character, so do not expect many multimedia attractions inside. It is also quite large, so it is worth book some time. Perfect solution for snowy or rainy days.
100nok - adults
free for kids
Cable car to the nearby peak with a beautiful panorama of Tromso. The mountain is not located on the island of Tromsoya itself, but on the mainland and offers a beautiful view of the whole of Tromsoya and other islands such as Kvaloya. Just after the bridge, it is worth following the signs pointing to the "cable car", which will lead you straight to the cable car station. You can get to the top by cable car or you can walk for free by stairs parallel to the cable car line. There are about 1,200 stairs to climb, constructed by Sherpas from Nepal. At the top of Mount Storsteinen, there is a restaurant where you can find shelter on windy days or frosty nights while waiting for the Northern Lights. The route is not too difficult and the elevation is small. Before going upstairs, it is worth checking if the cable car runs (usually it freezes during strong winds) on the website. In addition, the summit is sometimes shrouded in dense clouds, so it is worth to adopt a simple rule: if you can see the peak from Tromso, you will certainly see the city's panorama from the top
One of the symbols of Tromso. Built in 1965, it has beautiful architecture. The church, mistakenly called the cathedral (the legitimate cathedral is located on Storgata Street), with its shape resembles the Haja Island, visible from the Sommaroy beaches. Midnight concerts are organized for tourists, during which you can listen to classical music. The interior is characterized by the typical austerity of Protestant churches, except for the impressive stained glass windows.
Sooner or later, everyone visiting Tromso will appear on Storgata, the main pedestrian street in the city. Storgata is lined with some very old houses, restaurants, gift shops and travel agencies. It looks especially interesting during the polar night, decorated with hundreds of various decorations and lamps. On the main square at Storgata there is the Kirke Dom - the only fully wooden cathedral in Norway. Of course, it is probably the most northerly Protestant cathedral in the world. At the other end of the street there is another yellow church - Our Lady's Procathedral. Storgata is the perfect place to buy souvenirs.
The oldest part of the city, the Open-Air Museum, is located near the marina. The open-air museum area is very small (limited) and can be visited during a visit to the center. There are both original fortifications and the oldest residential buildings, including the smallest residential house in Norway - a very 'Instagram-like' place. The Open-Air Museum itself is tiny, you can walk around it in a few minutes, but it's worth visiting the Polar Museet for a while.
A very interesting place is Telegrafbukta, a city beach. In this place, after two months of polar night, the inhabitants celebrate the first sunrise on January 21. It is also a very good place to admire the Northern Lights, if, of course, you can find clear skies above Tromso. You can spend a lot of time here, walking, picnicking or just relaxing. The Telegrafbukta overlooks one of the largest islands in Norway - Kvaloya. A very popular music festival, Buktafestivalen, takes place on the Telegrafbukta in summer.
An equally interesting point on the map of Tromso is Lake Prestevannet located on a hill in the very center of the island. There are walking paths around the lake, the place is popular with both locals and tourists. Prestevannet is also a good alternative to observing the aurora, if you do not intend to rent a car and go out of town.
YOU CAN COUNT ON US
Would you like to drive away from the city center to wittness norwegian wilderness? We offer scenic roadtrip around Kvaloya island to show you breathtaking spots. With a bit of luck you will see reindeers, eagles, otters, seals, but for sure it will be unforgettable experience to see sandy beaches and dramatic mountains.