Tromso, Norway

Tromsø Bridge

Tromsø Bridge

When my husband and I decided to head to Lapland, Tromso seemed like a good start- and end-point. It is in the middle of the Aurora Borealis zone, there were regular flights to and from Oslo and it was large enough to comfortably spend a few days in the Polar Night, which is the period from November to February when the sun does not rise above the horizon, without getting cabin fever.

Looking across Tromsøysundet Strait

Looking across Tromsøysundet Strait

For a small city, Tromso has tons of hotels and a decent selection of restaurants and bars. The nicer restaurants all require reservations, which we did not have the foresight to secure since we intended to participate in many evening activities. We ended up eating many off-hour meals in a pizzeria and a pub, which were nothing fancy but did the trick.

Main Street

Main Street

The short main street is lined with shops, restaurants and offices. There are a few sights, including a polar museum, a history museum, an art museum and churches. We skipped the sights and kept busy with activities like aurora chases and dog sledding. There were all kinds of activities on offer including visiting glass-blowers, reindeer sledding, visits to a Sami camp, whale watching and seal hunting. It was challenging to choose a few daytime activities since the evening aurora hunts last well into the night.

Colorful skyline

Colorful skyline

Old wooden houses populate the town. The oldest ones date to the 18th century, before they were banned in many Norwegian cities for being a fire risk.

View to the south

View to the south

The area has been inhabited since the end of the ice age. Norse and Sámi people settled here in the Middle Ages and still populate the region.

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