To see the Northern Lights live and in color, we had to go to the far north, beyond the Arctic Circle. I have already reported on our results with aurora photography in this article. The starting point of our adventure under the polar sky was Tromsø, not without good reason also called the Capital of Aurora borealis tourism. But this place has more to offer. So here are our Tromsø highlights.
What speaks in favor of Tromsø is, on the one hand, the easy accessibility with a scheduled flight and, on the other hand, the many possibilities to join a guided tour if you want to save yourself the stress of exploring on your own. Or maybe a snowsuit and warm, waterproof boots do not fit in your luggage. You can borrow these things as a part of every standard guided tour.
We experienced Tromsø as a modern and cosmopolitan city. As long as you are not intentionally or unintentionally in the parking ban. Because the open-mindedness does not go so far that one would tolerate missing knowledge of the Norwegian language on traffic signs. So we had a ticket for around 80 euros as a souvenir in our luggage for parking in the wrong place for just a moment.
The Tromsø highlights also include museums such as Polaria, with the MS POLSTJERNA in front of it in a separate hall. It is an experience-oriented natural history museum with a focus on the Arctic Ocean. Not to be confused with the Polar Museum, a museum dedicated to polar explorers. There are still a number of art halls and exhibitions that unfortunately have to go unmentioned here.
Accommodation and meals
For one week we stayed in the SYDSPISSEN HOTEL. The furnishings are more like a youth hostel than a hotel, but the price is of course much lower than the competition. So if you are only looking for a roof over your head, a warm shower, and a rich breakfast buffet, you are well served here. We had already reserved a car before leaving, which we then picked up at the airport. Complete with spiked winter tires, which provided us with irreplaceable service on the icy roads of Norway. Driving through the tunnels to and from the island of Tromsøya with its two-lane roundabouts takes some getting used to.
As camping fans, we are of course primarily self-sufficient when it comes to meals. We can therefore not give any advice about the gourmet gastronomy that is certainly available in Tromsø. We had breakfast in the hotel mentioned above, otherwise, we got fast food on the way. There’s a Burger King in Tromsø with selectively unfriendly staff. So if you don’t want to do without the American meatballs in limp rolls, you can also find this here at high prices. The one-time visit to Burger King was certainly not one of the Tromsø highlights. The Reindeer – Stew from the Sami snack bar was more like it.
One of the highlights of Tromsø is a visit to the local mountain, Fjellheisen. The view from up here is priceless, even if the cable car ride isn’t a bargain. But by Norwegian standards that’s probably appropriate. Otherwise the location of Tromsø alone is worth the trip. And if you think you’ve seen everything in Tromsø, you can explore the area. Regardless of the direction in which you leave the island, in a few minutes you will find yourself in picturesque surroundings, whether it is the Lyngen Alps or the neighboring islands of Sommarøy or Kvaløya – nature lovers will certainly not get bored here.