Tromsø is a beautiful and charming city of approximately seventy-two thousand people. It is located in the far north of Norway -- so far north, in fact, that it's right in the Arctic Circle! Although it can get pretty cold here, this city is definitely worth a visit. The main draw card to this town is that it is one of the best cities from which to see the stunning Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). If you want to see the Northern Lights, plenty of tours are offered from here; alternatively, if you are on a budget, simply wait for a clear night during winter and chances are you will see it.
Because Tromsø is so far north, during the winter there is not much daylight and for about a six-week period from late November to mid-January, the city enters a "polar winter" whereby the sun remains below the horizon. During this period there are plenty of activities to do in Tromsø, including husky dog and reindeer sledding, whale watching, and cross-country skiing. Tromsø is also famous in Norway for its nightlife. After all, if you're going to have six weeks of darkness, why not take advantage of it, right? If you can afford it, Tromsø has quite a number of bars and clubs.
In contrast to winter, during summer Tromsø experiences what is called the "midnight sun," whereby the sun remains above the horizon all day long. While in summer it may not be possible to see the Northern Lights, the midnight sun is also a fascinating a natural phenomenon that allows tourists to partake in a completely different activities. Play golf at 11:30 p.m., go for a hike up a mountain at 2 a.m. -- why not? You can also visit the beautiful fjords nearby, for which Norway is so famous, or walk or take the cable car to the top of the Tromsø mountain for an excellent view of the city and its surrounds.
Unfortunately, as with the rest of Norway, hostels in Tromsø do not come cheap. If traveling as a couple or group, it may be wise to consider sharing a private room, as this tends to work out a little bit cheaper in the long run. Moreover, there are limited options for hostels in Tromsø, so try to book early if you can. Fortunately the local campsite also offers dorm beds in cabins, so also look at these. The quality of the hostels in Tromsø is rather standard. They are kept clean and shared cooking facilities for cooking. Keep in mind, however, that in addition to the hefty per-night price tag, it is not uncommon for hostels in Tromsø and in Norway to also charge extra for bedding.
Tromsø may be expensive, and it certainly isn't the easiest place in the world to get to (flights to/from Oslo are the easiest option). However, it is definitely worth the effort to visit. This city is stunning and vibrant, and visiting here will most likely be an experience you will never forget -- especially if you manage to see the Northern Lights!
Hi, I'm Cat MacGregor,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Tromsø hostels. Welcome.