Tromso, Norway: 12 Best Things to Do in Winter 2024 | Guide to Lofoten

TROMSØ IN WINTER

12 Best Things to Do in Winter 2023/24

Discover the best things to do in Tromsø in winter (November – March) with this practical and in-depth guide that Radka wished she had when she worked in a travel agency in Tromso 😂❄️🌌

Tromsø, located above the Arctic Circle in Norway, is a popular destination for visitors looking to experience the beauty of the winter season. The city is surrounded by stunning snow-covered landscapes, making it a great place to enjoy outdoor winter activities.

One of the top attractions in Tromsø during the winter months is the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). The city is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights, and the winter months offer some of the best viewing conditions.

In addition to Northern Lights tours, Tromsø offers a variety of other winter activities. Dog sledding, reindeer sledding & Sami storytelling, skiing and snowboarding, fishing, and snowshoeing are just a few options.

Tromsø has a vibrant cultural scene, with various museums, galleries, and cultural events. In addition, the city’s restaurants and cafes offer a range of local and international cuisines.

Overall, Tromsø is a beautiful and exciting destination to visit during the winter season. 

In this article, we focus on the most popular winter activities you can enjoy in Tromsø, some on guided tours, and others independently. 

Additionally, we have written an article that focuses on what to expect when visiting Tromsø in winter, covering topics such as transportation, accommodation, and dining.

You can conveniently find all this information in our interactive map of Tromsø: Winter edition.

Lastly, since many visitors come to Tromsø to witness the aurora borealis, we have a separate article dedicated to the northern lights in Tromso. It provides recommendations for six tour providers we have experience with, all of which offer exceptional Northern Lights tours.

The best place to watch northern lights without taking a guided tour in Tromso, Norway is from the top station of the Fjellheisen cable car
The upper cable car station in Tromso is a great place to watch the northern lights above the city.
The best place to enjoy the view of Tromso is from Mt Floya. You can get there on foot using the Sherpa Stairs or by Fjellheisen Cable car.
Even when the northern lights are not active, the view from Mt Fløya is stunning.

HERE ARE THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN TROMSØ IN WINTER:

❄️ NORTHERN LIGHTS HUNTING

❄️ DOG SLEDDING

❄️ REINDEER SLEDDING & FEEDING + SAMI CULTURE

❄️ WHALE WATCHING

❄️  VISITING AN ICE DOME

❄️ FJORD TOURS & WINTER SIGHTSEEING TRIPS

❄️  DEEP SEA FISHING AND ICE FISHING

❄️ TRIP UP TO TROMSØ CABLE CAR

❄️ SNOWMOBILE TOURS

❄️ SNOWSHOE HIKING

❄️ ALPINE SKIING, SKI TOURING & CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING

❄️ WINTER SEA KAYAKING

Are you planning to explore the surroundings of Tromsø by car?

1) NORTHERN LIGHTS HUNTING IN TROMSØ

Northern Lights hunting in Tromsø is an unforgettable adventure that offers a chance to witness the mystical auroras dancing across the Arctic skies. 

With over 100 specialized companies offering Northern Lights tours, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. 

These tours vary in focus, with some dedicated solely to chasing the Northern Lights, while others bundle in exciting activities like dog sledding or reindeer sledding.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS

The Northern Lights season in Tromsø typically runs from the end of August until around mid-April, but most tour companies operate between September 15 and March 31.

Statistically, the best time for witnessing the Northern Lights is during the spring and autumn equinoxes at the end of September and March. 

However, Tromsø’s strategic location beneath the aurora oval means that even during periods of low solar activity, you still have a chance to witness this natural wonder when the skies are clear.

 

What makes Tromsø truly special for Northern Lights hunting is its flexibility. Due to its excellent geographical positioning, tour operators can venture in various directions based on the ever-changing weather conditions. 

On cloudy or stormy days, the local experts go the extra mile – sometimes even crossing into neighboring Finland – to find pockets of clear skies, ensuring you have the best opportunity to spot the breathtaking auroras. 

Just remember that the aurora borealis is a natural phenomenon, and you are never guaranteed to see it. Even though the tour guide will, of course, do everything he/she can to make it happen, you should come with the right mindset that you will spend an evening outside, sharing stories by a bonfire, drinking hot beverages, and taking in the Arctic landscape. And if you are lucky, Lady Aurora will dance for you.

Even when it is snowing or raining in Tromso, it is still possible to find places with clear sky in the surroundings.
The guided tours in Tromso have Tromso just as a home base and do trips in the radius of 150km. If it is cloudy, rainy or snowy in Norway, they will go to Finnland
The guided tours never stay in Tromso. If it is cloudy in Norway, they will drive you to Finland.

BOOKING A TOUR OR CHASING ON YOUR OWN

While booking a guided tour to see the northern lights is not strictly necessary, we highly recommend it. 

Here are eight reasons why booking a Northern Lights tour can be your best chance to see the aurora. 

✨ You do not need to drive.

The ice may be slippery and dangerous. We would not recommend renting a car unless you have experience driving on snow and ice in the darkness.

 

✨ You do not need to follow the weather and aurora forecast.
It takes time and experience to understand all the different apps and weather graphs.

✨ You do not know where to go.
The guides know all the places in the surroundings of Tromsø where it is possible to park the car/minibus/bus and walk to the best spots with an open horizon and no light pollution for the best photo compositions.

✨ You do not know what to look for.
Sometimes the northern lights are weak, and it is hard to tell the difference from the clouds. The local guide will know.

✨ You do not know how to set up your camera.
Taking pictures of northern lights is not easy. You have to have the right equipment and set the camera correctly.

 You want to have nice pictures of yourself and the northern lights.
Taking pictures of people and the northern lights is challenging. The photographer needs to use an external light source (headlamp) to lighten the person in the image for a few seconds while the person can not move. It requires practice to get the picture right.

✨ You will get warm clothes from the tour company.
You will be outside for several hours while waiting for the northern lights to show up. And unless you watch them from a jacuzzi (our favorite activity), you will get cold. You can skip investing money into heavy winter boots and a thick down jacket when going on a tour since most companies will offer you a thermal suit. Some companies also provide shoes.

You want to know more about the northern lights. Did you know that the Sami people used to hide when the lights were dancing in the sky?

Northern Lights Tour with Wandering Owl
Wandering Owl is one of the best companies in Tromso that offers guided northern lights tours for small groups.
Wandering Owl is one of the best companies in Tromso that offers guided northern lights tours for small groups
Wandering Owl's main point of difference is focus on regenerative tourism which includes collecting data for scientific projects.

WHICH TOUR SHOULD I CHOOSE?

There are more than 100 tour operators in Tromsø who offer Northern Lights tours, so it can be tough to choose the right one. Here are a few tips to help you make a decision:

Look for a tour operator with a good reputation.
 Read reviews from past customers to get an idea of the quality of the tours offered by different companies.

Consider the group size.
 Some people prefer small, intimate tours, while others prefer larger ones because of the price or convenience of having a WC on board of a big bus.

✅ Compare prices.
Prices for Northern Lights tours in Tromsø can vary, so it’s a good idea to shop around and compare prices before making a decision.

Here you can see our recommendations for the best northern lights tours in Tromsø. 

THE BEST NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS IN TROMSØ:

🌌 GREENLANDER TROMSØ (Tripadvisor)

🌌 WANDERING OWL (Tripadvisor)

🌌 NORTHERN HORIZON (Tripadvisor)

🌌 NORTHERN SOUL ADVENTURES (Tripadvisor)

🌌 NORTHERN SHOTS (Tripadvisor)

🌌 PUKKA TRAVELS  (Tripadvisor)

CHASING AURORA WITHOUT A GUIDE

On days with clear skies and good aurora activity, you can easily spot the northern lights from downtown Tromsø. 

However, finding a place with minimal light pollution is always better. 

One of the best spots to watch the northern lights is from the top of the cable car that goes to Mt Fløyen. 

Other good locations are Lake Prestvannet and Telegrafbukta Beach. See more tips for northern lights viewing locations in our map of Tromsø!

NORTHERN LIGHTS IN TROMSØ: SEASON

Even though the northern lights are present in the sky all year round, you can only see them when the sky gets dark enough. 

The Northern Lights season in Tromsø typically runs from the end of August until around mid-April, but most tour companies operate between September 15 and March 31.

Statistically, the best time for witnessing the Northern Lights is during the spring and autumn equinoxes at the end of September and March. However, Tromsø’s strategic location beneath the aurora oval means that even during periods of low solar activity, you still have a chance to witness this natural wonder when the skies are clear.

NORTHERN LIGHTS IN TROMSØ: pRICE

The price of a Northern Lights tour in Tromsø varies depending on the tour type and size. 

Generally, you can expect to pay between NOK 1600 and NOK 2400 per person.

It is a good idea to compare prices and read reviews before booking a tour to ensure you get the best value for your money.

Are you looking for things to do in Tromsø, Lofoten or Alta?

2) DOG SLEDDING iN TROMSØ

No trip to Northern Norway would be complete without a husky safari in Tromsø! 

Dog sledding is an unforgettable experience, and there is hardly a better way to enjoy being outside in the Arctic landscape than being pulled by a team of enthusiastic huskies.

Dog sledding is a fun activity suitable for anybody since you can choose between a self-driving tour and a tour where an experienced guide drives the sled.

 It might come as a surprise, but driving a dog sled can be physically demanding. 

When you’re going uphill, you might need to hop off the runners and jog alongside the sled to help the dogs so they are not pulling too much weight up the hill. If you’re getting tired, the alternative is to hop back on and help push the sled like you would a skateboard.

Whichever dog sledding type you choose, you are bound to have the experience of a lifetime.

GUIDED DOG SLEDDING

On guided husky sledding, the driving is done by a professional guide, and you sit in the sled, take pictures, and enjoy the ride. 

This type of dog sledding is perfect for families with young children, people with medical conditions or physical restrictions, and those who want to chill and take it all in.

SELF-DRIVING DOG SLEDDING

On a self-drive dog sled safari, you get to be a musher (the sled driver) for the day. 

Don’t worry if this is your first time trying it. Driving a sled is pretty straightforward, and the dogs know what to do. You steer, break, and now and then, you might need to jump out of the runners and help the dogs.

It can be a physically demanding activity, but it is also a great way to get some exercise and experience the thrill of traveling through the snowy landscape.

The sleds require one person sitting in the sled and one person driving it. You will change positions halfway. If you are a solo traveler, you will get paired up with somebody. The self-drive tours have an age limit of 16 years.

DOG SLEDDING IN TROMSØ: SEASON

The dog sledding season lasts from the beginning of November until the beginning of April, depending on the snow conditions. 

Most people think of dog sledding as a typical winter activity. However, you don’t have to wait for the snow to settle if you want dog sledding. 

Most kennels provide tours in wheeled carts, husky walks, and kennel visits where you can learn about the history of the sport, how the dogs are trained, and pet the dogs and puppies.

DOG SLEDDING IN TROMSØ: pRICE

The price of dog sledding tours can vary, but they tend to be more expensive than other winter activities. 

This is mainly due to the cost of maintaining the sled dogs – the winter dog sledding season is relatively short, and the dogs need to be fed and taken care of 365 days a year. 

Are you planning to visit Tromso in winter?

3) REINDEER SLEDDING & FEEDING + SAMI CULTURE

Reindeer and Sami people have a connection that is thousands of years old. In fact, according to Norwegian law, only Sámi people who have or had reindeer herding as their primary occupation can conduct reindeer husbandry in the Sámi herding area. 

While you can stumble upon reindeer herds while exploring the surroundings of Tromsø, at Tromsø Arctic Reindeer, you can get up close and personal with these magnificent animals without disturbing their natural habitat. 

You can partake in feeding the reindeer, reindeer sledding, and sharing a traditional meal while listening to the fascinating history of the Sámi people and stories about their culture. 

Visiting the reindeer camp is one of my favorite activities in Tromsø. Here, you can read more about our experience visiting Tromsø Arctic Reindeer.

 

IS THE REINDEER FARM AN AUTHENTIC SAMI EXPERIENCE?

The tourism industry in Scandinavia has been criticized for turning Sámi culture into a marketing tool to attract tourists. 

Gift shops have offered cheap reproductions disguised as traditional craftsmanship, and attractions featured non-Sámi staff dressed in traditional Sámi clothing. 

However, in recent years, there has been a positive movement of Norwegians (Swedes and Finns) and Sámi towards working together and creating sustainable, small-scale, culturally sensitive tourism products.

The Tromsø Arctic Reindeer is a family business founded by the Sámi reindeer herder Johan Isak Turi Oskal in 2016. 

The initial purpose of the reindeer farm was to protect the animals from the perils of climate change. Unfortunately, climate change-induced rainfall forms a thick layer of ice, which makes it impossible for reindeer to dig through it and obtain lichen and moss, the staples of their diets.

Tromsø Arctic Reindeer is one of the tourist attractions that combines the original livelihood of reindeer herding while sharing the Sámi culture and knowledge with visitors from all over the world. 

 

REINDEER SLEDDING/FEEDING IN TROMSØ: SEASON

Tromsø Arctic Reindeer offers tours from the beginning of November until about mid-April. The reindeer sledding activity depends on snow conditions. 

REINDEER SLEDDING/FEEDING IN TROMSØ: PRICE

The price for a reindeer sledding and feeding tour in Tromsø starts at around NOK 1,190 (about $119) per person. This price includes daytime reindeer feeding and the Sámi culture experience.

If you want to try reindeer sledding, expect to pay NOK 1,340 – 1,790 ($134 – $179). 

Do you want to get close to the reindeer and hear about Sámi culture?

4) WHALE WATCHING iN TROMSØ

Whale watching allows you to see whales up close and observe their behavior in their natural environment. It is a unique opportunity to learn about these animals and appreciate their beauty and majesty. 

Whether you are a nature lover, a scientist, or someone who enjoys a unique and memorable experience, you might want to consider joining a whale-watching tour in Tromsø.

During the winter months, herring migrate into the fjords around Tromsø to feed on plankton and to spawn. This migration attracts a variety of whale species, including humpback whales and killer whales, which follow the herring into the fjords to feed on them.

THE MIGRATION PATTERNS CAN CHANGE ANY TIME

If you want to visit Tromsø and go on a whale-watching safari, do not postpone your trip for too long.

The migration patterns of herrings and, hence, the whales can change at any time. The Tysfjord area, located south of Narvik, has been the center of the seasonal Norwegian orca migration since 1990. 

In 2012, the herring and Orcas moved more north to the surroundings of Tromsø. 

However, in 2017, the whales swam into the fjords close to Skjervøy, just north of Tromsø. So far, they have been returning to Skjervøy every winter since, but it is uncertain when the herrings will change their migration pattern again.

Skjervøy is luckily not so far from Tromsø, so most tours depart early in the morning from Tromsø. 

POPULAR WHALE WATCHING TOURS IN TROMSØ

🐋 A popular choice is the “silent “whale safari on board a comfortable electrical catamaran. 

🐋 Another option is a tour on a RIB boat.

RIB stands for “Rigid Inflatable Boat.” These boats are known for their sturdy, rigid hulls and inflatable collars or tubes, which provide buoyancy and stability.

The RIBs have a smaller capacity, are faster, and you can get closer to the whales. However, they are not suitable for small kids or people who have problems with their backs.

It is too far to drive a RIB boat from Tromsø to Skjervøy; therefore, you will be transported to Skjervøy by bus.

WHALE WATCHING IN TROMSØ: SEASON

The whale-watching season lasts from the beginning of November until the end of January.

WHALE SAFARI IN TROMSØ: PRICE

Several tour operators in Tromsø offer whale safaris, and the price for these tours varies depending on the specific operator and the tour length. 

🐋 The “silent” whale safari onboard an electrical catamaran costs NOK 1,590 (about $159) per person, and the tours typically last for around 8 hours. 

 🐋 The Whale Watching Tour onboard a RIB boat costs NOK 2,900 (about $290), including a bus transfer from Tromsø and a 3-hour boat trip. 

It might seem like a big difference compared to the electrical catamaran, but bear in mind that the catamaran has a capacity of 140 people. At the same time, the RIB boat can only take 12.

There is no whale watching in Tromsø in summer. If you want to see whales in summer, you need to travel to Andenes, Vesterålen.

5) VISITING AN ICE DOME

The Ice Bar in Tromsø is a popular tourist attraction and a fun place to have a drink. It is decorated with ice sculptures and has a range of ice furniture, including ice chairs, ice tables, and an ice bar. The bar serves various drinks, including cocktails, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages.

However, if you want to see an even “cooler” place with a cinema or restaurant made of ice or spend a night in an ice hotel, add Tromsø Ice Domes to your bucket list.

BUILT NEW EVERY AUTUM IN TAMOK VALLEY

The Tromsø Ice Domes  are constructed each winter using ice blocks and snow, and they offer a range of activities and experiences for visitors, such as ice sculpting, ice fishing, and snowshoeing.

In addition to staying in the ice rooms, you can also participate in various winter activities, such as dog sledding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

If you do not have a budget for staying overnight in one of the ice rooms, you can visit the Ice Domes on a day trip from Tromsø.

TROMSO ICE DOMES: SEASON

The Tromsø Ice Domes are a popular attraction in Tromsø, Norway, and they are open seasonally from December to April, depending on the weather conditions. 

The Tromsø Ice Domes in Tamok Valley will be open this winter season from December 20, 2023, to April 9, 2024.

TROMSO ICE DOMES: PRICE

The price for a trip to the Tromsø Ice Domes depends on the specific activities and experiences you choose to participate in, but a general admission ticket usually costs around NOK 975 (about $97) for adults and NOK 487 (about $49) for children. 

This ticket includes access to the ice sculptures, the ice chapel, and the ice bar. In addition, there will be some free time to walk around and visit the reindeer herding next to the Ice Domes.

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The Tromsø Ice Domes also offer an overnight stay package, which includes:

❄️ An overnight stay in a standard ice room

❄️ Guided tour through the ice domes

❄️ Evening guided snowshoe hike

❄️ 3-course dinner & breakfast

❄️ Morning activity (dog sledding, snowmobile safari, or reindeer sledding). 

 

The price for this package starts at around NOK 12,810 (about $1281) per 2 persons.

November in Tromso is not just a dark month. You can witness beautiful longlasting sunsets.

6) FJORD TOURS & WINTER SIGHTSEEING TRIPS

The fjords around Tromsø are a breathtaking destination in the winter months, with their stunning landscapes and diverse marine life. One of the best ways to experience the beauty of the winter fjords is to go on a fjord cruise.

The skipper will tell you about the marine life in the area. If you are lucky, you can spot sea eagles, a variety of seabirds, seals, and even a whale. You can also try your luck at fishing!

Going on a fjord cruise in Tromso is one of the best ways how to see fishing boats in action.
The fjords around Tromsø. Pictures were taken in January on a whale watching trip with BRIM EXPLORER.
Brim explorer fjord cruise in the setting sun in january in Tromsø
The fjords around Tromsø. Pictures were taken in January on a whale watching trip with BRIM EXPLORER.
The surroundings of Tromso in winter
Amazing November light illuminating the mountains close to Skjervøy.

If you do not fancy a boat trip, you can take a road trip and see the fjords from the land. Take a scenic drive to Kvaløy island and visit the Ersfjordbotn village and Sommmarøy.

Sommarøy is an island surrounded by crystal-clear blue waters and sandy beaches, and it is a popular destination for visitors to the region. If you feel uncomfortable renting a car and driving in winter conditions, you can join a minibus tour that visits these stunning locations.

Sommaroy is a perfect destination for a winter day trip from Tromso.
Sommarøy
Kvaloya is a perfect destination for a day trip from Tromso.
Kvaløya

FJORD TOURS & WINTER SIGHTSEEING TRIPS: SEASON

FJORD TOURS & WINTER SIGHTSEEING TRIPS: PRICE

Polar Night Season in Tromsø starts on November 27th and lasts until January 15th.

7) TRIP UP TO TROMSØ CABLE CAR

The cable car in Tromsø, also known as the Fjellheisen cable car, is a popular attraction that offers breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding landscape. In winter, it is a popular place to watch and photograph the northern lights dancing above the city.

The cable car takes passengers up to the mountain plateau of Storsteinen, which is 420 meters (1,378 feet) above sea level. From the top of the mountain, you can see panoramic views of the city, the fjords, and the snowy mountains.

In addition to the cable car ride and the spectacular view, there is also a restaurant and a viewing platform at the top of the mountain. The restaurant serves a range of local and international dishes, and you must try the Northern Lights chocolate cake! I am addicted to it!

If you’re looking for a unique way to see the city and the surrounding landscape, the cable car is one of the best things to do in Tromsø.

The best place to enjoy the view of Tromso is from Mt Floya. You can get there on foot using the Sherpa Stairs or by Fjellheisen Cable car.
The viewpoint at the top of the cable car station in Tromsø offers the best view of the city and its surroundings. Pllus they serve an amazing chocolate cake!

SHERPA TRAIL UP TO MT FLØYA

If you do not fancy cable cars, you find the price too steep, or you enjoy hiking, you can take the Sherpa Trail up the mountain. 

A 5.5-kilometer (3.4-mile) loop starts and ends at the Fjellheisen cable car station. The trail goes through the forest and along the mountain plateau, offering great views of the city and the surrounding landscape.

It is moderate in difficulty, with some steep sections and rocky terrain. It might be tricky in the winter and spring (bring ice cleats for your boots and hiking poles), but there are no dangerous sections. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow.

TROMSØ CABLE CAR: SEASON

TROMSØ CABLE CAR: PRICE

Note that when the wind is too strong, the cable car will be out of service.

8) SNOWMOBILE TOURS IN TROMSO

Tromsø is surrounded by stunning snow-covered landscapes, and a snowmobile tour is a great way to take it all in. 

However, the laws on recreational uses of snowmobiles in Norway are stringent. Snowmobiles can only be used in a few selected areas in Norway or if you got a permit to use them for a particular destination and purpose, like transporting materials to remote cabins, in ski resorts, and in reindeer husbandry. 

Recreational riding of snowmobiles in Norway is heavily regulated/prohibited, but commercial snowmobile tours—or snow scooter safaris as the Norwegians call them—are allowed. 

Each snowmobile would have two people, one driver, and one passenger. Driving a snowmobile is similar to driving an ATV or a motorbike – it is not difficult but requires a bit of coordination and balancing. 

To drive a snowmobile, you must have a valid car driving license (you do not need it for this tour), and the minimum age for the passengers varies among providers from 7 to 12 years. 

The snowmobile tours depart from Tromsø, but they will take you further inland, either to the Lyngen AlpsFinland, or the beautiful Tamok valley.

CAN CHILDREN JOIN A SNOWMOBILE SAFARI?

Snowmobile tours can be a fun family activity for older kids and teenagers. However, it is essential to note that snowmobiling can be a potentially dangerous activity. 

At Camp Troll and Camp Tamok, kids above seven years old can join the trip as passengers. However, for this Snowmobile tour, where you go to the border between Norway, Finland, and Sweden, the kids must be at least 12 years old. 

TROMSO SNOWMOBILE SAFARI: SEASON

The snowmobile season in northern Norway lasts from the end of November/beginning of December to beginning of April, depending on the snow conditions.

TROMSO SNOWMOBILE TOURS: PRICE

The prices for snowmobile tours in Tromso vary depending on the length of the tour and the activity provider. Generally, expect to pay from around NOK 1800 (about $180) to NOK 3320 (about $332) per person.

9) SNOWSHOE HIKING IN TROMSO

Tromsø experiences long, cold winters with a lot of snow. Snowshoe hiking is a great way to experience the beauty of the Arctic landscape in the winter. It’s a relatively easy activity suitable for people of all fitness levels and an excellent way to get some exercise outdoors. 

Snowshoeing can also be fun for families with kids over eight.

Several companies in Tromsø offer guided snowshoeing trips to the nearby mountains. We can recommend the snowshoe hikes with Wandering Owl!

You can also rent snowshoes at Tromsø Outdoor and try snowshoeing on your own. When you pick up the snowshoes there, they can recommend some beginner-friendly routes based on the weather and snow conditions. 

You can, for example, take the cable car (Fjellheisen) up to Storsteinen and take a short snowshoe trip up to Fløya. Or rent a car and head to Sommarøy, where you can go to Ørnfløya.

SNOWSHOE HIKING IN TROMSO: SEASON

While the amount of snow can vary from year to year, it is generally common to have snow in the mountains around Tromsø from November to May. 

GUIDED SNOWSHOE HIKING TOURS: PRICE

The prices for guided snowshoe hikes in Tromsø vary depending on the length of the tour and the activity provider. Generally, expect to pay from around NOK 900 (about $90) to NOK 1800 (about $180) per person.

10) FISHING AND ICE FISHING IN TROMSO

Fishing has been an essential part of the culture and economy of Tromsø. The city is on an island surrounded by the icy waters of the Norwegian Sea. The currents around the Tromsø attract various fish species like arctic cod, halibut, and pollock.  

In the past, the fishing industry in Tromsø was primarily focused on the processing and export of dried cod. Today, fishing is still an important part of the culture and economy of Tromsø, and the town is known for its high-quality seafood.

Fishing is a popular activity in Tromsø, and joining a fishing tour in the unique Arctic setting is possible. Strong ocean currents around Tromsø transport nutrients and attract various marine life. 

We can recommend this 3-hour long deep sea fishing tour. You can also try your luck at fishing on one of the catamaran sailing/sightseeing fjord tours. The guides will take you to the best fishing spots, where you are almost always guaranteed to catch a fish. 

And if you are not a big fan of ocean and boats and still would like to catch a fish and BBQ it afterward, then try 
ice fishing!  

WINTER FISHING IN TROMSO: SEASON

You can join the deep sea fishing tour from Tromsø from November 3 until the end of March. The catamaran sailing tours usually operate the whole year round.  

GUIDED WINTER FISHING TOURS IN TROMSO: PRICE

The prices for guided fishing in Tromsø vary depending on the length of the tour and the activity provider. Generally, expect to pay around NOK 1500 (about $150) per person.

11) ALPINE SKIING, SKI TOURING & CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING

In Tromsø, you’ll find options for various skiing experiences during the winter months.

ALPINE SKIING IN TROMSO

First, there’s Tromsø Alpine Park, our local ski resort. It’s not very big, with only two ski lifts and a few slopes, but it’s perfect if you’re new to skiing or want a fun day out with the family. It’s super close to the city, so you can easily pop over for some skiing.

SKI TOURING AROUND TROMSO

The real magic of skiing in Tromsø happens when you venture into the nearby mountains for ski touring. Places like Kvaløya, Lyngen, and Senja, just a couple of hours by car from Tromsø, are world-famous for their ski touring opportunities.

Ski touring in Tromsø is an exhilarating experience, but it comes with responsibilities and safety considerations. One of the most critical aspects of ski touring is selecting terrain that matches your skill level. Tromsø offers a wide range of options, from beginner-friendly routes to challenging backcountry adventures. It’s essential to assess your abilities honestly and choose terrain that suits your experience level.

Additionally, staying informed about local weather conditions and avalanche forecasts is crucial. Tromsø’s mountainous terrain can be unpredictable, and safety should always be a top priority. Before embarking on a ski tour, check the current weather conditions and consult the local avalanche forecast. Avoid heading out in adverse weather or high avalanche risk situations.

For a safer and more enjoyable ski touring experience, consider booking a guided tour with a knowledgeable local guide. 

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING IN TROMSO

If you’re looking for a different kind of adventure, cross-country skiing might be just the thing. It’s the most popular winter activity among Norwegians and for a good reason. Imagine gliding through snow-covered forests, past steep mountains, and over frozen lakes. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy the natural beauty of Norway at a relaxed pace.

Cross-country skiing is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels, plus it’s a great way to stay active during the winter months. You’ll find several cross-country tracks in Tromsø, some even lit up with artificial lighting, so you can try it out and enjoy the serene winter landscapes.

If you’ve never tried cross-country skiing before, don’t worry! You can join a guided tour where you’ll get to learn the basics of this beloved Norwegian national sport. It’s a fantastic way to start your cross-country skiing journey while exploring the beautiful winter landscapes of Tromsø.

SKIING IN TROMSO: SEASON

The season for alpine skiing and ski touring in Tromsø typically runs from late November to early April (alpine skiing) or to early June (ski touring). However, it’s essential to check the local weather and snow conditions before planning your trip, as they can vary from year to year. 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR VISITING TROMSØ IN WINTER

Visiting Tromsø in winter promises a magical and snow-covered wonderland, with the Northern Lights dancing in the night sky and a range of exciting winter activities awaiting you. However, this icy paradise also comes with unique challenges and considerations that are essential to make the most of your trip.

BOOK IN ADVANCE

Tromsø is a popular winter destination, with the peak months being February and March. Also, if you plan to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Tromsø, you must book well in advance!

CHOOSE THE RIGHT TIME

Different winter activities have different seasons. 

For example, the Northern Lights tours run from September to March; whale watching safaris are available from November to January, and dog sledding and reindeer sledding run from November to April. 

In addition, the polar night in Tromsø lasts from November 27 until January 15. 

YOU DON'T NEED TO RENT A CAR IN TROMSØ

If you stay in the city center of Tromsø and do mainly guided tours, you won’t need a car. The road conditions in Norway can be challenging, especially during the winter when the roads are covered in snow and ice. Moreover, parking in the Tromsø city center is expensive. 

TAKE YOUR TIME

If your main goal is to see the northern lights in Tromsø, make sure you plan enough time in the city. You do not want to book a two-night trip and arrive in the middle of the 3-day winter storm. I would recommend you spend at least four days in Tromsø. 

DRESS IN LAYERS

Dressing in layers is essential to staying warm and comfortable when visiting Tromso in winter. Even though Tromsø has a much milder climate than expected, the winter weather can be extreme, with cold temperatures, strong winds, and heavy snowfall.

 

Wearing layers allows you to adjust your body temperature and protect yourself from the elements. Adding or removing layers can regulate your body temperature and stay warm or cool as needed. Layering also helps to trap body heat, which is especially important in cold weather.

 

By following these tips, you can enjoy your trip to the fullest and experience all that Tromsø offers, even in the coldest weather.

EXTEND YOUR TRIP

If you’re already in Tromsø, consider a winter trip to Svalbard. Svalbard is an archipelago of islands home to some of the world’s most breathtaking and unique landscapes. Moreover, Svalbard is the only place in Norway where you can see polar bears in their natural habitats. 

It is important to note that there are no tours on Svalbard that can guarantee sightings of polar bears. However, some tours and activities on Svalbard offer a higher likelihood of seeing polar bears. 

For example, boat tours and cruises around the islands often have a good track record of spotting polar bears, as they can cover a larger area and get closer to the animals. Similarly, guided snowmobile tours can also be an excellent way to see polar bears, as they allow you to explore remote areas of the islands where the animals are more likely to be found.

Svalbard is just a short flight from Tromsø; direct flights are available from the city. Given its proximity and many attractions, Svalbard is worth visiting if you’re already in Tromsø. 

If you have questions about winter activities in Tromso or want to share your own Tromsø winter stories, please feel free to do so in the comments below. Your insights and experiences can be invaluable to fellow travelers, creating a supportive and informed community eager to explore this Arctic gem.

Picture of Ivar & Radka

Ivar & Radka

Hi! We are Ivar & Radka, an international couple who runs the Guide to Lofoten. We met in Trondheim and lived together in western Norway, Narvik and Tromsø. At the moment we call western Lofoten our home. We hope our page will make it easier for you to explore the beautiful places that made us chose Norway for our home.

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