Women swimming in the ocean
©Frida Xiang

10 reasons to visit Tromsø in summer

Welcome to Tromsø and welcome to the Midnight Sun. The Arctic capital lies 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. With more than 150 summer activities to choose from, you will find something to suit every taste. 

1. Midnight Sun

Between May 19th to July 26th you’ll experience the Midnight Sun in Tromsø. The long, bright summer nights make it easy to lose track of time. You may find it hard to go to bed when it’s light around the clock. Participating in outdoor activities in full daylight late at night add a whole new dimension. How about kayaking under the Midnight Sun, going on mountain hikes or a romantic stroll in the magical light? If you’re up for it, Midnight Sun Marathon is also arranged every summer in Tromsø. Enjoy the light! You can rest later. 

2. Arctic beach life

There are many wonderful, white sandy beaches around Tromsø. You will find the urban beach Telegrafbukta within walking distance of the city centre. If you have a car, it’s well worth exploring the beaches on the nearby islands of Kvaløya and Sommarøy. It’s not every day the temperature shows 20˚C, but that shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying the beaches anyway. Take a refreshing dip in the cold water and familiarise yourself with the terms “summer wool” and “summer mittens”. Have a read on our tips on how to dress during summer in Tromsø. And don’t forget to bring your sunglasses, day and night!  

3. Food culture

The streets in downtown Tromsø are full of restaurants and bars that combine local produce with international flavours. You will find the world’s northernmost brewery, Mack Ølbryggeri, in Tromsø. Several popular microbreweries have popped up in the latest years, including Bryggeri 13 and Graff.
Try local delicacies from the sea, such as cod, halibut and Atlantic wolffish. Tasting the North Norwegian delicacy stockfish is mandatory. Tasty produce from the surrounding forests and mountains include 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.
On sunny days and evenings, life at the outdoor seating areas in downtown restaurants are full of life. Buy fresh Lyngen shrimps and enjoy them at the beach in Telegrafbukta. If you have a chance to go fishing, for instance at Hella on Kvaløya, we recommend grilling your catch on an open fire near the water’s edge at night and enjoy the fresh self-caught fish under the Midnight Sun. Read more about food and drink places here. 

4. Mountains and sea

Tromsø has mountains to hike for every level and you will almost certainly be rewarded with outstanding views. The closest is the “city mountain”, Fløya, which you can easily reach from downtown Tromsø. You can choose between several hiking routes of various levels or take the Cable Car to the plateau overlooking the city in one or both directions. If you have plenty of time, there are countless mountain hikes within a one or two-hour drive. Choose between Kvaløya, Lyngen and Senja, to name a few. Please remember to be considerate of the nature around us and have read on our tips on how to take care of Tromsø here.
If you don’t like mountains, the sea is a good alternative. Throughout the Tromsø region, the sea is never far away. This offers great opportunities for fishing trips, boat trips, sailing with catamaran, RIB, kayaking and Midnight Sun cruises. Book summer activities here

5. City and culture

You will find many exciting activities to do in the city centre with your feet planted firmly on the ground. 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 or check out glass design at Blåst. It’s also enjoyable to wander round and look at the old wooden buildings along the quayside and at Skansen. If you wish to see the island on a bike, there’s good opportunities for all versions, like e bike, family offers and various time periods. Discover the attractions here

6. Nightlife 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, while in summer the Tromsø region hosts several exciting festivals. 

7. Shopping

You will find nice little shops in downtown Tromsø – everything from niche stores to delicatessens. Take a break at one of the many cosy coffee bars and cafés, like Koslig Café or Smørtorget. 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

8. Tromsø region

If you have enough time, we recommend exploring the surrounding region of Troms. Within a two-hour radius of downtown Tromsø, you will find beautiful island paradises such as Sommarøy, Senja and Karlsøy. These are great places to see the coastal culture, visit small fishing communities, Hamn in Senja and beautiful tourist roads packed with nature experiences. In Målselv, you can visit Polarbadet indoor water park and see salmon fishing at close range, while in Bardu you can have an authentic wolf kiss at Polar Park. Read more about the region here. 

9. Easily accessible

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. 

10. Good accommodation options

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.