The most popular destination in northern Norway is the city of Tromso. Known as the capital of the Arctic, this historic city is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, fjords, and green islands. Some of Norway’s most spectacular landscapes are found at this high latitude, and the Gulf Stream provides milder temperatures than many visitors might expect. Tromso travel isn’t bringing you to the ends of the earth; though the city is located more than 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, it is home to a lively cultural scene and active nightlife. Many visitors arrive simply to see the famous Northern Lights and are surprised by everything else the city has to offer.
The Northern Lights in Tromso are spectacular, and the city is known as one of the best places on Earth to observe them. It is recommended to leave the center of town for a dark location if you want to see this unique sight at its finest. The best months to see the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are October, February, and March. The Northern Lights in Tromso can appear in frequency between 6 pm and 1 am, though there is no guarantee that visitors will see the phenomenon during a trip to Norway, as weather and solar winds might be prohibitive. There are many tours that specialize in seeing the Northern Lights in Tromso, and they often combine other activities such as dog sledding and snowmobile rides.
Compared to other locations north of the Arctic Circle, Tromso travel is a breeze. Tromso Airport Langnes is only a two-hour flight from the capital city of Oslo. There can be up to ten flights a day on this popular route. If you’re looking to fly to Tromso directly from elsewhere in Europe, flights from London Stansted and Stockholm are also available. Many Norwegian cruises reach the northern city of Tromso as well. While it is extremely far north, visitors will find the landscapes and the opportunity to see the northern lights to be a rewarding experience and well worth the journey.
Tromso experiences the extreme of seasons, which can be an attraction in itself. The midnight sun can be seen from the end of May through the end of July and is a disorienting but interesting experience for travelers who have never been this far north. Between the end of November and the end of January, polar nights are experienced, and the strange light and color of the sky is striking. Despite these extreme conditions, locals in the city are known for being light-hearted and humorous, forming the foundation of the fun atmosphere at local restaurants, pubs, and the many hotels in Tromso.
One attraction that is not nature-based is Ishavskatedralen, the Arctic Cathedral, whose eleven spires represent the apostles left after the betrayal of Jesus. Tromso travel usually includes a visit to this popular attraction, which is the northernmost cathedral in the world. This building is the city's most recognizable landmark. Other attractions include a cable car that rises nearly 1,400 feet above sea level, providing a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and waterways. Lucky visitors have gotten to see the Northern Lights from the cable car as well. An arctic aquarium is a popular draw for families with children, and fresh fish from the Arctic Sea is another pleasure of traveling this far north into Norway.