Women swimming in the ocean
©Frida Xiang

10 reasons to visit Tromsø in summer

Welcome to Tromsø and the midnight sun.The Arctic capital is located 69° North, between majestic mountains, beautiful fjords, and charming island communities – and in the summer, the sun never sets. You will discover untouched Arctic nature just a short distance from the urban culture of the city. You can easily combine beautiful nature-based experiences during the day with culture, restaurants and the pulsating nightlife in the evening. There is a wide range of activities to choose from, and you will find something to suit every need.

1. Midnight sun

Between May 19th to July 26th you’ll experience the midnight sun in Tromsø. During the night, everything calms down while the sun illuminates the city and the surroundings. You’ll feel energised and time loses its relevance. This makes it possible to enjoy many different activities such as midnight hikes, fjord excursions by car and boat tours. The glowing light makes you see everything in a new way! Read more about the midnight sun season here. 

2. Urban wilderness

In Tromsø you get the best of both worlds – city life and beautiful nature, just outside your doorstep. The city is filled with life, and you’ll find mountains to explore in every direction. Start the day taking in the views from a mountain top or fishing in the fjords and end the day with a nice meal of local delicacies before heading out to enjoy the endless summer nightlife. 

3. City life, history and culture

You will find many exciting activities to do and places to visit in the city. Stroll around the Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden, visit the Science Centre of Northern Norway or gain new knowledge at the city’s museums including the Polar Museum, the Arctic University Museum of Norway and Perspektivet Museum. Greet the seals at Polaria and enjoy a panoramic viewing of the films shown in the experience centre there. Discover the attractions here. 

Visit some of our art museums and galleries or check out glass design at Blåst and locally made jewllery at Wabi Sabi. You will find nice little shops in Tromsø – everything from niche stores, to shopping centres. When it comes to shopping centres, you will find Nerstranda and Veita in the city centre, Amfi Pyramiden in Tromsdalen and Jekta Storsenter in Langnes. See tips on shopping here.

Explore the city by walking around and look at the old wooden buildings along the quayside and at Skansen. Rent a bike to explore the Tromsø island by yourself or join a guided tour.

4. Hiking paradise

The Tromsø region has great hiking opportunities in every direction and many of them are on our doorstep. The reward when you reach a mountain peak is amazing, and you can only enjoy the view! There is an option for everyone, regardless of age or experience. The closest is the “city mountain” Fløya, where you also find the Cable Car, and can be easily reached from downtown Tromsø. From the Cable Car you’ll have the postcard view of the city and the surroundings. On Kvaløya the possibilities seem endless, and the west coast is the perfect spot to observe the midnight sun. Often you find yourself all alone on the trails, and you can take in the true beauty of the nature and landscape. Please remember to be considerate of the nature around us and have read on our tips on how to take care of Tromsø here. Read more about hiking in the region here.

5. Taste the local food

The streets in downtown Tromsø are full of restaurants, cafés and bars that combine local produce with international flavours. Try local delicacies from the sea, such as cod, halibut, shrimps from Lyngen and Atlantic wolffish. Tasting the North Norwegian traditional stockfish is mandatory. Produce from the surrounding forests and mountains includes reindeer, moose, kid and lamb. Strawberries ripened under the golden rays of the midnight sun are extra sweet and considered by many as the world’s best. The city centre is full of cozy cafés around every corner, and on sunny days and evenings life at the outdoor seating areas in downtown restaurants are full of life. You will also find the world’s northernmost brewery, Mack Ølbryggeri, in Tromsø. Read more about restaurants, cafés and bars here.

6. Explore the fjords

The north Norwegian fjords offer visual impressions that last a lifetime. You can set off from Tromsø by car, or on a tour by boat or minibus to experience the fjord landscape in one of the world’s best-preserved natural areas. Besides witnessing beautiful landscapes with mountain peaks, islands, white beaches and turquoise water, you can see small communities and farms where people live in harmony with nature. Experiencing the fjords from the seaside is especially impressive, and you can choose between fishing trips, sailing with catamaran, RIB-tours and sightseeing tours by boat. Read more about fjord excursions here.

7. Arctic wildlife

The wildlife in Tromsø can be seen from land, along the road as you go for hikes, or explored by boat. Reindeers are frequently seen near the roads of Kvaløya, and sometimes wandering the neighborhood eating delicious plants from gardens. On boat tours it is not uncommon to see harbor seals, harbor purpoises or white-tailed eagles. Birdwatching is popular and you might see puffins, European storm petrels and much more. The king of the woods, the moose, is also a common sight in our region. Read more about Arctic wildlife here.   

8. Tromsø region

Tromsø is the perfect hub to explore the region. Within a two-hour radius of the Tromsø island, you find beautiful island paradises such as Sommarøy and Senja, and the majestic fjord landscapes of Lyngen. These are great places to see the costal culture and visit small fishing communities. On Senja you'll find one of the National Tourist Routes, filled with scenic views. What about a visit to the Polar Park in Bardu to experience Arctic wildlife up close? Read more about the region here. 

9. Island hopping from Tromsø

Did you know the island of Tromsø and the municipality of Tromsø are two different things? The island of Tromsø is where you find the city centre and most of the population, while the municipality of Tromsø consists of many islands and a big part of the mainland. The municipality is 2521 square-kilometre and two of the biggest islands of Norway, Kvaløya and Ringvassøya, are part of the area. Some islands are easy to reach by bridges and tunnels, others are connected by ferry and express boats. Exploring the islands of Tromsø is an adventure and requires planning, but it is totally worth it. There might not be many ferry departures, so make sure you have planned for the return or an accommodation at the destination. 

10. Nightlife, events and festivals

Tromsø is renowned for its pulsating nightlife. You will find bars, pubs and cafés to suit every taste. These venues often have concerts. In summer the Tromsø region hosts several exciting music festivals, including Bukta – Open Air Festival at the city beach and the indigenous festival Riddu Riddu in Kåfjord. If you are into running, do not miss the spectacular Midnight Sun Marathon in June, or Tromsø Mountain Challenge in August.

Practical information:

Tromsø airport is centrally located just a 10-minute drive from the city centre. There are excellent flight connections, both domestic and international, or travelling with car along Northern Norway. Read more about travelling info here. 

Tromsø has a wide range of accommodation suitable for all budgets and all needs. Choose between one of the 2,600 hotel rooms in the city centre, stay in an apartment or spend a few days in a holiday house, cabin or fishermen’s cottage outside the city. Find your place to stay here.
 

Find your next summer adventure here

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