The autumn in Tromsø is short yet overwhelmingly beautiful. There at many highlights at this time of year: mountain hikes in colourful autumn landscapes, surreal contrasts in the light, crisp fresh air and a solid portion of indoor cosiness, preferably with locally sourced ingredients on your plate.
The autumn season in Tromsø lasts from late August to late October. After a long, green summer under the golden rays of the midnight sun, the surroundings are coloured in tones of yellow, orange and red. From as early as late August, we can see a dusting of snow on the highest mountains overlooking the city. This is a beautiful sight, to put it mildly.
The transition from bright summer to dark winter offers an abundance of highlights. Here are some of them:
Refreshing autumn weather and comfortable temperatures
The autumn air is crisp and fresh, but the temperatures remain comfortable. Although the weather in Tromsø can be unpredictable and often changes quickly, that is part of the charm! Nothing is as fascinating as weather.
The temperatures at this time of year can vary greatly – from over 20 ˚C degrees down to sub-zero. The later in autumn we get, the colder it gets. The average temperature in Tromsø during the autumn months ranges from 3 to 11 ˚C.
No one knows when the first frost will come but it’s likely to be in October. When that happens, it’s time to tie your scarf around your neck, put your hands in your pockets and breathe in the fresh, cool autumn air.
Activities like dog sledding and berry picking
Tromsø offers a wide and varied range of autumn activities. The city is surrounded by countless mountains and peaks, which are perfect for spectacular mountain hikes of various levels in golden colours. Join us on a boat trip for sightseeing or fishing in one of Tromsø’s magnificent fjords, or how about a relaxing sea kayaking trip?
You can bike in the mountains or in the city, and energetic huskies are waiting at the region’s many kennels to take you on an adventure. Dog sledding is an activity that can be enjoyed year-round. It’s especially beautiful in autumn when traditional sleds are replaced by wheeled carts, since no one knows for certain when the first snow will arrive.
Autumn is also a fascinating time to experience wildlife. By heading out on a boat trip, you can experience a rich bird life, reindeer grazing on the shore and porpoises and seals swimming next to the boat. If you are lucky, the majestic white-tailed eagle will hover in the sky above you.
Autumn is also the time to pick an abundance of wild mushrooms and berries. The Outdoor Recreation Act grants us the right to freely harvest from nature’s pantry, and in autumn the forests and mountains surrounding Tromsø are brimming with delicacies like blueberries, cloudberries and chanterelles. The berries are extra sweet when they ripen slowly under the golden rays of the midnight sun. Put your backpack and hiking boots on and set off on a walk in the countryside with an extra dimension. Read more about mushroom and berry picking here.
Northern Lights and the autumn forest
Did you know that you can see the mythical northern lights in the Tromsø region from late August? It’s common to think about the green light dancing over a snowy landscape. However, autumn in Tromsø offers something completely unique – the northern lights dancing over reddish orange autumn forests. It’s hard to imagine anything more beautiful than that!
Autumn offers bright days and dark nights. This combination may not sound exotic, but it is for us living up here in the north. We only experience this in the months of August, September, October, March and April. These months offer great variations in the light and beautiful bright red sunsets that take most people’s breath away.
Tromsø is a mecca for foodies
As the days get shorter and colder, we are automatically drawn to Tromsø’s many good eateries. What could be better than sitting down, relaxing and enjoying a coffee at a cosy café? Imagine being in the company of good friends with a flickering candle on the table as you taste the great coffee on offer in the city accompanied by delicious homemade cakes and pastries. Heading indoors on rainy days is especially good and the weather outside quickly becomes irrelevant.
Many of the city’s restaurants serve exclusive local delicacies. Tromsø has a vibrant food culture, and you will find everything from Norwegian dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients to more international flavours. Fish and seafood are harvested in the sea around Tromsø, while salmon is caught in nearby rivers. Reindeer meat, lamb, grouse and elk (also known as moose!) come from the mountains, as do various varieties of wild mushrooms and berries. It’s a very short distance from farm to table!
Shopping, attractions and historic neighbourhoods
Wandering along the city streets is extra nice in the autumn. Tromsø has a compact city centre, which is great to experience on foot. The city has many exciting, colourful neighbourhoods. Along the way, you can visit museums, galleries and attractions, such as the Arctic University Museum of Norway, the Science Centre of Northern Norway, the North Norwegian Art Museum and Galleri Nord.
The Tromsøbadet indoor water park offers fun for the whole family, as does the Arctic experience centre Polaria, where you can greet the seals. You can challenge your fear of heights at the Tromsø Climbing Centre or test your competitive instinct at ByBowling in the city centre.
Shopping enthusiasts will find plenty of options in downtown Tromsø, as well as at the shopping centres in and around the city. You can find good deals on clothes, souvenirs and local delicacies. Several shops in Tromsø sell wonderful locally produced knitwear, which is nice to take home!
In autumn, Tromsø hosts several popular festivals and cultural events including Tromsø Jazz Festival, Rakettnatt Music and Arts Festival, Insomnia Festival and SMAK Food Festival.
Pop into Visit Tromsø’s tourist information centre for more tips.
Welcome northwards this autumn!
As a sustainable destination, the tourism industry in Tromsø works continuously to reduce the negative impact of tourism on the environment. We encourage everyone who visits Tromsø to read the “Tromsø cares” guidelines.
Please help us take care of Tromsø so that those who come after you will have just as good experience as you!