The ultimate guide to Tromsø (4-5 days)

When it comes to travelling in winter wonderland, few places can match upto the astounding beauty of Tromso. After being locked up for a considerably long time due to the pandemic, me and my girlfriend decided to pack our bags and head to Tromso for a small break from the hustle-bustle of Copenhagen and be close to nature. Fortunately, we ended being right in the middle of it !

This itinerary will help you in planning a hassle-free trip to Tromso and explore all the possible unique activities that one can try here.

Important tip: It is NOT needed to rent a car in Tromso! All tour companies provide pick-up and drop-off from hotel which is included in the price of the activities. So, its absolutely fine to use the public transport to go to Tromso city from the airport and then transportation related to every tour is taken care of by the tour agencies.

Day 1 : Arrival in Tromso

We arrived at Tromso in the afternoon around 2 pm on a very grey day with intermittent snowfall. We took a cab from the airport to our hotel Scandic Grand Tromso, put our bags in the cloak room and headed out to grab a bite. We wandered around the picturesque streets for sometime before heading to Mathallen for a late lunch. We tried the fish soup and it was delicious ! Their wine collection is super impressive. For dinner, we had already reserved a table at Bardus which is an impressive restaurant in terms of its decor, menu and service. I tried the reindeer meat which i can highly recommend while my girlfriend tried the fish which was very tender and delicious as well. We coupled it with some red wine.
Fish soup
Assorted fishes
Local cod with fish eggs

Day 2 : Sami experience and reindeer feeding

It was a very bright and sunny day which started with an excellent breakfast at the hotel after which we headed out for our adventure of the day which was to feed reindeers and experience Sami culture up close with the native people. We chose Sami adventure for this trip. It is a 5-6 hour long activity where we drove out to Sommarøy to see some beautiful snow covered landscapes and then had lunch at a very fancy restaurant. After that we headed to a reindeer farm owned by a Sami where he carries out herding activities. It was amazing experience to feed the reindeers by hand. They are very calm animals and don’t shy away when food is offered to them. Post that, we went into a traditional tent and had an informative session about the Sami culture and the importance of ‘joik’ which is their traditional way of singing and a very important part of their culture whilst sipping some hot tea. On our way back, we witnessed a magnificent sunset over the city.
Feeding reindeers

A word of caution: It is recommended to wear safety glasses or sunglasses when feeding the reindeers to prevent any chance of injury to the eye from the sharp antlers of the reindeers. Injuries have happened in the past and to the herders themselves !

Day 3 : Husky sledging

What’s a trip to the northernmost part of the Nordics without some husky sledging ! A lot of people have the idea that husky sledging is unethical because animals are subjected to an activity for pleasure of humans. I too had my skepticism in place which was put to rest once i reached the husky farm and we were given an introduction on how huskies are natural hunters and why its important for them to run and be physically active. The treatment to the huskies was top notch and they are incredibly friendly, viciously energetic and very well taken care of. We chose a self-drive husky sledge with Arctic Adventures. Overalls, boots, gloves and caps were provided by the team and was included in the price of the trip. The sledging tour took around 2 hours where we rode the wooden sledge through the snow and taking turns to switch between rider and passenger. There are around 3-4 members from the travel team who oversee proceedings for the whole time. It is a relatively safe activity to do.
Energetic ride
Friendly huskies and me

Day 4 : Snowmobiling in Lyngen Alps

A trip to Norway in winters is incomplete without a day of snowmobiling in the Lyngen Alps. We chose to go with Green Gold of Norway for this activity. Due to the restrictions on where snowmobiling can be done, we had to drive out of Tromso for this. The journey consisted of a 50 minute bus ride, then changing on to a ferry for crossing a fjord and then riding in cars for 20 minutes to the location of the snowmobiling. The guides were super fun and briefed us about the safety procedures. The gear that they rented out to us was in extremely clean and in very sturdy shape. After a 10 minute practice session we proceeded to ride up the mountains and manoeuvring among the trees was a super adrenaline rush ! At the very top we had some coffee and then had a ‘free-go’ of 15 minutes where we could ride at whatever speed we wanted in a relatively flat and clear area. We were also offered a free snow-shoeing activity which was also very nice on part of the agency. A warm and cosy lunch was also served with a very beautiful view from the dining room.
Atop the mountain

Day 5 : Northern Lights

The whole point of traveling to Tromso was for seeing the Northern Lights in the first place ! It is one of those places on earth from where the chances of seeing the Auroras are the highest and we were blessed with that when we went out on our adventure with Marianne for that. We chose Aurora Chasing Tour at Mariannes Heaven On Earth Aurora Chaser Tours since the tour is organized in small groups with special focus on photography. Overalls, winter socks and boots, winter gloves and handwarmers were provided to all. Marianne also has 10 tripods in her car along with other practical accessories like small torch lights etc. so that photography enthusiasts can have the full experience. We drove out of Tromso around 6 pm and went all the way to the border of Finland where we witnessed the magical auroras for the whole night at a freezing temperature of -12C. We had some warm soup and hot cocoa too and made our way back to Tromso at 2 am in the morning.
Magical Auroras

Day 6 : Exploring city

We had our return on this day and spend the morning exploring the city on foot. There was heavy snowfall and it felt nothing short of a winter fairyland with the streets white from snow and the colorful buildings providing a stunning backdrop. We checked out of the hotel at 12 pm and went to the airport to catch pur flight back to Copenhagen with a memory card full of pictures and a bucket full of memories.

Where to stay in Tromso:

Standard accommodations are available like:
1. Scandic Grand Hotel (Budget)
2. Scandic Ishavhotel (Budget)
3. Radisson Blu (Luxury)
4. Thon hotel (Mid-range)

How much does it cost ?

The activities are usually priced around the same range for all agencies. Here is something to help you get an idea of how much should you plan for different experiences (price per person0: 1. Reindeer feeding: 165-180 USD 2. Husky sledge: 220-240 USD 3. Snowmobiling: 200-220 USD 4. Northern lights (small group): 170 USD 5. Food and drinks: 50-80 USD/day

Budget friendly tips:

1. Book a hotel with breakfast.
2. Lunch is usually arranged on the group tours at really good places.
3. Avoid renting a car.
4. Bring in booze from duty free because alcohol is very expensive in Norway.
5. Most tours provide winter clothing so you can travel light.

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