Tromsø

Travel Guide Europe Norway Tromsø

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Introduction

Tromso City

Tromso City

© ozzett

Cities north of the Arctic Circle in Europe are not quite as rare as hens' teeth - as Tromsø proves. In both directions the Hurtigruten boat calls on the same day that it passes the glorious Lyngen Alps and on both days it passes them at sunset, northwards after an afternoon in Tromsø, southwards en route for Tromsø at midnight.

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Sights and Activities

If you reach Tromsø on the Hurtigruten's northern voyage, there is a shore trip around the city visiting the so-called 'Ice Cathedral.' Unless you plan to use the funicular on your southbound return (and possibly even if you do) you could consider foregoing the trip and riding a local bus to the funicular. The church at Hammerfest can be adequate compensation for missing the 'Ice Cathedral' and the view from the top of the funicular is a stunner. What's more, it's cheaper!

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Events and Festivals

TIFF

The year's first festival is usually Tromsø International Film Festival. An anual festival that has been going on since 1991. It's Norways largest festival for films, and takes place in several venues at the same time. Some of the venues are outside in the arctic winter, meaning that it is nice and dark. Perfect for outdoor viewing. It is also cold, so perfect for snuggling up in your favorite winter clothing. For prices and exact dates see the webpage (tiff.no).

Nordlysfestivalen

This festival is mainly about classical music, but has evolvet to include a large array of different genres of music. It's been an anual event since the late 1980's. Concerts with both local and international artist will be on the program. Time of year is usually around January/February. For more information see nordlysfestivalen.no.

NUFF

NUFF is an offshoot of TIFF. It is an annual short film festival for young filmmakers. The festival is usually held in June at Verdensteateret cinema. A venue that in itself is worth a visit for it's large paintings. For more information see nuff.no.

Bukta

Ask any Tromsøværing (Innhabitor in Tromsø) what the main festival in Tromsø is, and he will probably say "Bukta". "Bukta is shorthand for Buktafestivalen, the large rock music festival held every year in July. The main venue is Telegrafbukta (also just called Bukta) a large outdoor area at the seafront on the southern part of Tromsøya. For more information see bukta.no.

Insomnia

Are you into electronic music? Then Insomnia is for you. It's an annual music festival that focuses on electronic and techno music and culture. The festival has concerts, club events, seminars, workshops... Despite the name it's not usually during the midnight sun, but takes place in the Autumn. Fore more information see insomniafestival.no.

Kulturnatta

Kulturnatta translates to the night of culture. It is a collaboration between organisations and businesses in Tromsø to show the culture the city has to offer. It takes place only during one day and night in October. To see more visit their facebook bage, https://www.facebook.com/kulturnattatromso2018/.

Barentsjazz

One of the annual jazz-festivals in Norway is Barentzjazz. Ordinarily held in August. There are many venues, and many artists. Unfortunately their webpage is mainly in Norwegian, but you can still get a feel of the festival here barentsjazz.com.

Rakettnatt

Rakettnatt is a music festival at Stortorget in Tromsø. It's an annual affaire since 2015 with a lot of popartists, but also artists with a little different kind of style. The event is always in August, and you can see more information on the webpage rakettnatt.no.

Samisk uke

The Sami are the indigenous people in the North, with their own culture and language. They celebrate this culture in Tromsø every year in february with a Sami Week (In Norwegian Samisk uke). Here you can see races with reindeer, lassoing and more. The event takes place in Storgata in Tromsø and is arranged by MSM. You can read more on msm.no.

Running event

The same people that arrange the Sami week, arranges a few running events in Tromsø. The most known is the Midnight Sun Marathon, which takes place in June. But they also arrange an event in August, January and March. You do not have to be an avid runner at the peak of fitness to participate, but it's still running. See msm.no for more information.

Arctic Trombones

The Arctic Trombone Festival is an annual event that's held on a handfull of days in September. You don't have to play a trombone to be there, but you do have to enjoy trombones. Originally it was a gathering of former students, but it has involved into something more. For more information visit www.atlf.no

SMAK

This is the festival for anyone who need good food. Arranged every september (week 38) it has the stated goal of promoting Northern Norwegian food cultures and produce. With a little under 100 exhibits you will not go hungry from this festival. See smakfest.no for more information.

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Getting There

By Plane

There are several daily flights between Tromso and Oslo by different airlines (SAS, Norwegian Air Shuttle, both Oslo-Rygge and Oslo Gardermoen Airport). Norwegian Air Shuttle also flies to Bergen, Bodø, London and Trondheim, while SAS also serves Alta, Bodø, Longyearbyen, Trondheim and Stockholm. Nordavia has flights to Arkhangelsk and Murmansk, airBaltic flies to Riga and Oulu, and Widerøe has flights to Alta, Andenes, Bergen, Hasvik, Hammerfest, Harstad/Narvik-Evenes, Hasvik, Honningsvåg, Kirkenes, Lakselv, Sandefjord [seasonal; summer], Stokmarknes, Sørkjosen and Vadsø. Finally, BH Air has seasonal (summer) flights to Burgas.

Airport buses linking the airport with the town are synchronized with at least SAS flights, but increasingly also with other flights. City buses stop at the fork near the airport. Taxis are available, as are rental cars, both relatively expensive of course.

By Train

Still not possible, the nearest railroad station is in Narvik.

Tromso - An unique city in the Arctic

Tromso - An unique city in the Arctic

© ristinw

By Car

If you drive the E-6 from the south or E-6/E-8 from the north, leave E-6 in Nordkjosbotn and follow E-8 to Tromso. If you have been driving in the Lofoten Islands or Vesteraalen and want to take a short-cut to Tromso you can take a car-ferry from Andenes to Gryllefjord, drive from Gryllefjord to Botnhamn on the northern part of Senja, take a car-ferry from Botnhamn to Brensholmen (the route is signposted, by ferry-signs marked Kvaløya), from there it is approximately 70 kilometres by road to Tromso. NOTE: These car-ferries only run in the summer months. Dates and timetables can be found on the Senjafergene website.

By Bus

Connections both north and south. If you want to go to Harstad or Finnsnes/Senja, it is generally faster and more comfortable to go by boat. For Narvik, the bus is probably the best option.

By Boat

Hurtigruten, of course. In addition, there is a speedferry-connection (hurtigbåt) between Tromso and Harstad (only passengers, no cars). This route also calls at Finnsnes. There are two daily trips in each direction in weekends, and three or four on weekdays.

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Getting Around

By Car

If you are planing to visit just the city of Tromsø, a car is not needed. But to explore the nature which is surrounding Tromsø it is strongly recommended to rent a car. You will find car rental company at the Tromsø airport and also in the city center. Be aware that parking in Tromsø is very expensive, even more expensive is the fine you get if you do not buy a parking ticket. The car rental prices in Norway are very high, consider to rent a camper van so you combine mobility and accommodation. You will find many places along the roads outside of Tromsø to stay for the night in a camper. Also chasing the Northern Lights is perfect in a camper.

By Public Transport

City bus from the airport to the city centre takes about 10 minutes and costs 27NOK. City busses are available for transport in the city. Taxis are also available.

By Foot

The city centre is quite compact and easily traversed on foot.

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Eat

Tromsø has several very good places to eat, especially if you are looking for local food. From whale steak to seagull eggs you can experience the arctic kitchen nowhere better then in Tromsø. Maybe the most attractive place for a coffee or cake is the old house of the slaughter house. It is called Aunegården, located right in the city center.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Most Norwegian households are connected to the Internet in some way (often broadband), making cybercafés hard to find outside major cities, due to a relatively small market. Most public libraries have free public access to the internet, but a limited number of computers and limited opening hours.

However, if you bring a laptop with a wireless connection you will find wireless internet zones just about everywhere (gas stations, city centres, cafés, shopping centres, hotels etc.), sometimes free, but be prepared to pay for it though. It is not unusual for hotels to have a terminal for guest use. Well over half of the camp grounds have wifi internet, but if it's crucial for you, best to ask before paying for your camping space.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international calling code for Norway is 47. Emergency numbers include Police at 112, Fire at 110 and Emergency Medical Services at 113.
If you are unsure which number to call, 112 is the central for all rescue services and will put you in contact with the correct department. For non-emergencies, the police is to be called on 02800.

Cell phone Coverage generally is very good, except maybe some of the valleys, fjords and mountains. The company with the best coverage is Telenor. The other main operator is Netcom. These two deliver coverage to a multitude of other companies (Tele2 and Network Norway are two smaller companies that deliver coverage in the main cities, but utilize the othe two's net when outside).Prepaid sim card are available in all shops that sell phones and also petrol stations and kiosks. Prepaid has been in a slump in Norway after forced registration was effected, so prices are a bit higher for these than for subscriptions.

If you plan to do quite a bit of websurfing on the phone then Telenor's Prepaid (or "Kontant" in Norwegian) might be the ticket. You can surf as much as you wish, but the card doesn't get charges for more than 10 NOK per day (worth it if you use more than 2MB per day on the days you surf - though after 500MB the speed get's axed to 100kb/s).

Post

Red mailboxes are found easily and post offices are plentiful, with opening hours on most being 9:00am to 5:00pm, with usually shorter hours on Saturday. Stamps can usually only be found at post offices although some popular tourist venues might carry them. Norway's postal system, "Posten", has a good website with a lot of English information including up to date prices and also details about the opening hours of the nearest post office. The most commonly sent format for travellers are letters and cards up to 20 grams, check their website for current prices. If you want to send packages, you might also use international courier companies lik DHL, UPS or TNT.

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Accommodation in Tromsø

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Tromsø searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

Contributors

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Tromsø Travel Helpers

This is version 27. Last edited at 14:43 on Aug 7, 19 by Utrecht. 5 articles link to this page.

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