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Tromso is a city and municipality in Troms county, Norway.The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Tromso.Tromso city is the ninth largest urban area in Norway by population, and the seventh largest city in Norway by population.It is the largest city and the largest urban area in Northern Norway, and the second largest city and urban area in Sapmi (following Murmansk).

The area has been inhabited since the end of the ice age.Speakers of Norse, the ancestor of Norwegian, brought their culture to the area during the migrations of the Vikings before AD 890, when Ohthere's settlement existed to the south of today's Tromso.The first church on the island of Tromsoya was erected in the 13th century, and the area is one of Denmark–Norway's very northernmost territories not contested by Russia.During the 17th century, Denmark–Norway solidified its claim to the northern coast of Scandinavia and during this period a redoubt, Skansen, was built.Tromso was issued its city charter in 1794 by King Christian VII.The city was established as a municipality 1 January 1838.The rural municipalities of Tromsoysund and Ullsfjord, and most of Hillesoy, were merged with Tromso on 1 January 1964.The population of Tromso municipality is 63,596, and the urban area, Norway's ninth most populous, is home to 53,622 people.

Most of Tromso, including the city centre, is located on the small island of Tromsoya in the county of Troms, 350 kilometres (217 mi) inside the arctic circle.The island is connected to the mainland by the Tromso Bridge and the Tromsoysund Tunnel, and to the island of Kvaloya by the Sandnessund Bridge.The city is warmer than most other places located on the same latitude, due to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream.The city centre of Tromso contains the highest number of old wooden houses in Northern Norway, the oldest house dating from 1789.The Arctic Cathedral, a modern church from 1965, is probably the most famous landmark in Tromso.The city is a cultural centre for its region, several festivals taking place in the summer.The largest football team in the city, Tromsø I.L, plays in the Norwegian Premier League.

The Midnight Sun occurs from about 18 May to 26 July, although the mountains in the north block the view of the midnight sun for a few days, meaning that one can see the sun from about 21 May to 21 July. Owing to Tromso's high latitude, twilight is long, meaning there is no real darkness between late April and mid-August.The combination of snow cover and sunshine often creates intense light conditions from late February until the snow melts in the lowland (usually late April), and sunglasses are essential when skiing. Because of these diametrically different light conditions in winter, Norwegians often divide it into two seasons: Morketid (Polar Night) and Seinvinter (late winter).

How to Reach

By Air

All international and domestic flights land at the small, modern Langnes Airport (IATA: TOS).There are about 10 daily departures to Oslo, by SAS and the low cost Norwegian.There are flights to Svalbard (Spitsbergen), and the city also has connections to Murmansk and Arkhangelsk (Nordavia) several times a week. In summer, there may be flights to Stockholm as well.The low cost airline Norwegian has a direct route to London/Gatwick, going through London may be the cheapest option for getting to Tromso.From April 2009 AirBaltic has a direct route from Tromso to Riga.SAS commuter airline Wideroe has routes to several other North-Norwegian airports, mainly STOLports.

By Car

The roads up to Tromso are in good condition, but it is a long drive from Southern Scandinavia. When in Tromso, renting a car is an option.In June, July and August, prices are high and reservation is a must. The rest of the year, it is relatively cheap (around NOK 1000) for a small car for a whole weekend.Make the reservation in the office hours before 4pm on Friday.

By Train

There is no train all the way to Tromso.Take a bus from the railheads in Fauske, Narvik and Rovaniemi.The Swedish railway network has a branch line to Narvik, some 4 hours by bus south of Tromso.There are 2-4 buses a day to Narvik, depending on the day of the week. The train from Stocholm to Narvik may be both good and cheap, while the bus from Narvik to Tromso may be rather expensive.

Key places to visit
Aurora Borealis, Tromso University Museum, Tromso Cathedral, Tromsdalstinden, Arctic-alpine Botanic Garden


Places to Visit

Aurora Borealis

The Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights is a natural light phenomenon in the night sky.Tromso is very favorably located for viewing the Northern Lights, but you cannot see the aurora at all times.Tromso is within the aurora belt mostly between 6pm and midnight, occasionally between 4pm and 2am.Clouds obstruct the view of the Northern Lights.October and November are humid autumn months, and often you don't see the lights.From December onwards, the weather is drier.

Tromso University Museum

Is the oldest scientific institution in North-Norway.It was established in 1872 and incorporated in the University of Tromso in 1976.The museum has 80,000-90,000 visitors annually.The museum consists of six departments Geology,Botany,Zoology,Archaeology,Cultural History and Sami Ethnography.The museum publish the popular science magazine Ottar (Norwegian only) and an English language publication called Way North.

Tromso Cathedral

In Tromso, Norway is the seat of the Diocese of Nord-Halogaland.Tromso Cathedral is the only Norwegian cathedral made of wood.The church is in Gothic revival style, with the church tower and main entrance facing west. It is likely to be the northernmost Protestant cathedral in the world.With 800 seats, it's one of Norway's biggest wooden churches.The oldest object is a Madonna figure, possibly from the 15th. C.The interior is dominated by the altar with a copy of the painting Resurrection, by the noted artist Adolph Tidemand.


Is a mountain east of the city Tromso, Norway.The summit measures 1,238 meters (4,062 ft) above sea level. Snowfall varies from one year to another, but the peak is usually snow free only for a few months in the summer.The mountain is easily spotted from the city centre of Tromso.The summit is a popular hike, requiring nothing more than good shoes, normal physical condition and plenty to drink.Hikers may summit Tromsdalstinden either from the suburb Tromsdalen, or from Ramfjorden. The slopes up are not technically difficult, though fog and rain can make the ascent complicated for those not familiar with the terrain.When approaching the mountain from the southeast (Ramfjorden), though, hikers and skiers must at one point move over the southwestern or northwestern (city-facing) sides of the mountain as the mountain becomes too steep.The best season for hiking is May through September.Skiers usually take the Fjellheisen aerial tramway to Storsteinen, and begin their ascent from there.There are two main treks, the Winter trek and the Summer trek.

Arctic-alpine Botanic Garden

The Arctic-alpine Botanic Garden (Arktisk alpin Botanisk hage) is the world's northernmost botanic garden. It is located in Tromso, Norway, and is run by the Tromso University Museum.It opened in 1994, and is open from late May to early October.The garden displays Arctic and alpine plants from all over the northern hemisphere.Entrance is free of charge.From May 15 until July 27, the sun is continuously above the horizon in Tromso.The two months of midnight sun provide some compensation to the plants for the short growing season and the low temperatures. In the months of May, June and July the theoretically possible number of hours of sunshine is 623, 720 and 695, respectively.The average hours of actual sunshine is about 200 for each of these months. From November 21 until January 17 the sun never rises. Snow generally covers the ground from October or November on, and will accumulate until the beginning of April.Snow then gradually melts and the ground will usually be bare around mid May at sea level, while lingering on far into the summer at higher altitudes.The season in the Botanic Garden is usually from end of May until mid October.

Right Time to Visit

April - August
September - December


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