Tromso, hailed as Norway’s gateway to the Arctic, is filled with enough nature, history, and adventure to easily fill three days. You can search for the Northern Lights and humpback whales, ride across the tundra in a snowmobile, or go sledding with huskies. Here’s how best to spend 72 hours in Tromso.
Day 1: Explore the City
Begin your visit to Tromso by getting acquainted with its most important sights. Walking tours typically cover the Arctic Cathedral, one of Tromso’s oldest landmarks, and take you to the Polar Museum to learn about the history of polar exploration. Tours tend to conclude at a local pub, an old-school explorers’ hangout where dozens of Norwegian microbrews are on tap.
If you’re visiting Tromso between September and March, you’re most likely to see the Northern Lights. Maximize your chance of spotting the Aurora Borealis on a tour that’s dedicated to spotting Aurora; tours typically take you out of the city to remote locations where the lights are most visible. In summer, take advantage of near-endless sunlight to attend a midnight concert at the Arctic Cathedral or embark on a late-evening cruise through the surrounding fjords.
Day 2: Animal Adventures
If you’re in Tromso in November through February, increase your chances of spotting the world’s largest marine mammals on a whale-watching tour that takes you out to the fjords; with luck, you’ll spot orcas and humpback whales. Otherwise, embark on a husky-sledding tour and experience the thrill of zooming across the tundra on a sled pulled by dogs. Tours from Tromso typically take you to nearby husky farms, where you can get acquainted with the dogs before discovering parts of the icy wilderness that are usually off-limits in a sled.
Whether you’re visiting in winter or summer, spend the evening around a cozy campfire, either by snowshoeing to a remote forest location or walking to a beach bathed in the midnight sun. Tours typically include food and drinks.
Day 3: The Great Outdoors
Start your day with a fishing expedition that takes you sailing on the Norwegian Sea in search of salmon, char, and grayling. Hear salty tales of the sea from fishermen guides and enjoy lunch made from the day’s catch. Alternatively, drink in alpine landscapes on a snowmobiling safari in the Lyngen Alps, the landscapes of which are characterized by glaciers, ravines, and rivers. These tours typically include a round-trip ferry ride to the Lyngen Alps and teach you how to drive a 2-person snowmobile through snow-clad hills, valleys, and tundra.
After all of the exertion of the morning, relax on a tour of Tromso’s best pubs. Tours tend to take you to Tromso pubs that are filled with history and typically include beers alongside Arctic tapas such as reindeer carpaccio and cold-smoked salmon. Afterward, ask your guide for the best nearby restaurants for your last dinner in Tromso.