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Complete Guide to Winter Activities in Tromsø

Norway entices travelers all year round. And while travelers tend to go to Oslo and Bergen in summer, Tromsø is more popular during the winter season. This city is, perhaps, the best winter destination in the country thanks to the sheer number of exciting activities you can enjoy during this season! In this article, you can learn about all the exciting winter activities in Tromsø and plan the trip of your dreams.

You should bear in mind that many of these activities can be booked in combination with another. Besides, there are variations of tours that involve activities that we have listed below. This means that you can choose an option that suits your preferences and wishes best.


Chasing Northern Lights

Chasing northern lights in Tromso, Norway

When you are planning a winter trip to Tromsø, the first thing on your mind would most definitely be “I must see the Northern Lights.” And true, Tromsø is one of the best places in Norway to chase the Northern Lights.

Around the city, there are many good spots that you can use to hunt for aurora borealis, and knowledgeable people know where to seek it. Of course, despite all the labels of “guarantees,” there is nothing that would make it 100% certain that you will catch the Northern Lights. However, this magic phenomenon is definitely worth for you to make some effort.

Since chasing aurora borealis is one of the most popular winter activities in Tromsø, you shouldn’t be surprised that there are all types of variations of the Northern Lights tours. You can book a standalone Northern Lights Chase Tour, a special photography tour, or even enjoy a Northern Lights Sailing. Or, for the most magic experience, you can even book a cabin for viewing the Northern Lights! It’s all up to you and your preferences!

Dog Sledding

Dog sledding tours in Tromso, Norway

One can deservedly say that dog sledding is somewhere at the top of the list of the most popular winter activities in Tromsø. Just imagine being a sled dragged by athletic Alaskan Huskies: you can be either a driver or just a regular passenger. It’s all up to you.

Before cars, planes, and snowmobiles made the connection to northernmost regions much easier, dog sledding was the main means of transportation in the Arctic region. Today, dog sledding across the vast snowy plains near Tromsø is a breathtaking adventure for tourists. Given that there are many beautiful places to see around the city, you won’t have limited choices in terms of locations.

But the variations of dog sledding tours in Tromsø abound as well. You can book a short dog sledding ride in the morning, a lengthier evening tour, or even a 1-day trip (perfectly suitable for genuine thrill-seekers and adventurers). Of course, enjoying a hearty meal and a warm drink over the fire after finishing your ride is itself an unforgettable experience, too.


Husky Farm Visit

What to do in Tromso, Norway

Would you prefer to make new four-legged friends, but the idea of dog sledding doesn’t sound very enticing to you? In that case, a visit to a husky farm in Dyrøy, some 18km away from Tromsø, may well be a good alternative to a dog sledding adventure.

One cannot say that visiting a husky farm is more popular than dog sledding as a winter activity in Tromsø. Yet, it’s a pleasant and fun experience, too! Discover how the dogs live in their own houses at this farm and spend some time playing with them – they are always happy to have some fun! At the end of the tour, you will have a perfect opportunity to share a warm drink and delicious snacks over the fire and discuss how the experience was with the rest of your group.


Reindeer Sledding

Reindeer sledding and feeding in Tromso, Norway

Tromsø becomes a Norwegian travel hotspot in winter and offers travelers to take part in many exciting activities. Reindeer sledding is a popular activity among travelers to Norway in winter, and there’s no better place to try it than Tromsø.

Today, there are variations of reindeer sledding tours, which can be combined with other activities. We recommend you look for a reindeer sledding tour that includes an aurora borealis safari. If you are lucky enough, you will be able to enjoy the Northern Lights while being dragged in a sled by reindeer!

If you would like to expand your tour or order a combo tour, you make take advantage of the tours that combine reindeer sledding with a reindeer farm visit (read below). At the farm, you will not only have a chance to feed reindeer on your own, but also learn more about the unique, out-and-outer Sami culture.


Reindeer Farm Visit

Sami culture in Tromso, Norway

Herding reindeer has been an integral part of the life of the Sami people, who live in the northern regions of Norway. But since tourism in the region started to grow rapidly, the locals began opening their reindeer farms to travelers. Don’t miss out to learn more about the Sami way of life at a local reindeer farm near Tromsø.

When it comes to the best winter activities in Tromsø, reindeer sledding and farm visit tours are ought to be on that list. On the farm, located in a place of untouched nature, you will be able to explore how it is arranged, how the Sami people lived in the past, and what is their lifestyle nowadays. At the end, have a warm meal over a fire and share your emotions with your friends and the Sami guides!



Snowmobiling tours in Tromso

Are you dreaming of a fully packed, winter trip to Tromsø? Adding a snowmobiling tour to your adventure isn’t a bad idea for sure. Explore the magical landscapes near Tromsø – many of them look in winter like fabulous locations borrowed from fairy tales – on a comfy mobile. While not missing out on the fun of driving the vehicle, you will also get a perfect chance to enjoy the scenery of these beautiful places.

Snowmobiling is among the most popular things to do in Tromsø not least because of the endless variations of rides on these vehicles. You can enjoy a ride across snowy plains in the mornings and enjoy a beautiful sunset in the evening. Or, alternatively, you can traverse your way through the Lyngen Alps. All in all, the message is simple: an adventure awaits!



Snowshoeing Tours in Tromso, Norway

Tromsø is a one-size-fits-all destination for all winter activities, and snowshoeing is no exception. Lying north of the Arctic Circle, Tromsø is well-connected to the rest of Norway and offers endless opportunities for either guided or self-guided snowshoeing adventures.

There are many local companies and rental shops that offer equipment rentals and the services of guides around Tromsø. The local landscapes are perfectly fit for this activity. You can go on a guided hike into the mountains (for more experienced adventurers) or book a beginner’s snowshoeing tour with a visit to a local café.

Besides, bear in mind: while snowshoeing the vast snowy plains of Tromsø or the Lyngen Alps, there’s a high chance that you might get a glimpse of the aurora lights, too!


Cross-Country Skiing

Best things to do in Tromso, Norway

Cross-country skiing is, perhaps, Norway’s favorite sport, and it is barely possible to imagine Norwegians without their favorite sports activity. There is a saying that “every Norwegian is born with skis on his/her feet.” There is no better place in Norway to get an introductory course in cross-country skiing than Tromsø, since local guides can easily teach you how to ski in a fun, entertaining way.

If you are wondering about what to do in Tromsø, cross-country skiing may well seem like an exciting activity that is worth your attention. The sheer amount of varying (in terms of difficulty and landscapes), picturesque trails for cross-country skiing will make deciding which trail to pick somewhat difficult. But knowledgeable guides will do their best to help you pick the trail you would most certainly love to traverse!



Ice Fishing and Fishing from Boat in Tromso, Norway

Among travelers, fishing has recently been one of the fastest-growing winter activities in Tromsø. And it shouldn’t be surprising, given the ample opportunities for fishing in Norway generally and how much fish is valued in the local cuisine.

Just like with other winter activities in Tromsø, there are various variations of fishing tours. For instance, you may go for an introductory ice fishing tour not far from the city, in a serene, beautiful location. Another option is to embark on a fjord sightseeing and fishing cruise, where you will get a chance to taste your catch (after getting it cooked, obviously) right aboard the ship. If you are looking for a top-level fishing experience, you should look for a private fishing tour – an experience you will surely remember for long.

By the way, you can more learn about fishing in Oslo and fishing in Norway in our blog.


Arctic Fjord Cruise

Arctic Fjord Cruise in Tromso

Without a doubt, the Arctic fjord cruise is one of the best things to do in Tromsø in winter. Regardless of whether you are looking for a romantic fjord cruise in the evening or a sightseeing cruise to see the beautiful archipelago of Tromsø, you should definitely not miss out on a maritime adventure near Tromsø.

Experience the fabulous scenery and enjoy captivating landscapes around Tromsø on an exciting fjord cruise. If the weather is good enough, you can taste a delicious, warm soup while observing the spectacular views from the ship.


Whale Watching

Whale watching in winter in Norway

If you are wondering about what to do in Tromsø, whale-watching tours are likely to come somewhere at the top of the list. Norway is one of the best countries for this activity, since there are multiple whale-watching spots around the country. And a trip to Tromsø is also a fantastic chance for you to get a glimpse of these marine mammals in their natural habitat.

There are multiple tour options for a whale-watching safari. Most travelers opt to embark on a whale-watching trip on a comfortable, luxury yacht, which yields a top-notch experience – hot teas and soups will keep you warm during the entire trip. Alternatively, a whale-watching tour on a RIB boat is more extreme, since you will get a closer perspective on these huge mammals.


Explore the Nearby Islands

What to do in Norway in winter

You don’t expect to see the exploration of Tromsø’s nearby islands to see high on this list of the best winter activities in Tromsø. Nonetheless, you can always make a trip to Tromsø more exciting by topping it up with another adventure.

There are at least a few islands in the vicinity of this northern city that are popular among travelers. The first (and the nearest) one is Kvaløya, also known as Whale Island, where you can explore the Norwegian wilderness and observe the local wildlife. Also, don’t miss lunch in the popular fishing village of Sommarøy.

The other island in the vicinity of Tromsø is Senja, which is located slightly further from the city and is best known for the famous Segla hike. There are multi-day tours to this island, and they include a varying number of activities that we have listed above (dog sledding, aurora borealis safari, whale safari, and fjord cruise among others).


Explore Tromsø on an Exciting Walking Tour

City Walking Tours in Tromso, Norway

Even if you are thinking about exploring the nearby islands, don’t forget to add a Tromsø walking tour to your “must-see” list. Get acquainted with this northern city, see its iconic places, and find out why the city is nicknamed “The Gateway to the Arctic.”

There are a couple of walking tours around Tromsø on offer. Essential Tromsø introduces the most memorable, iconic parts and attractions of the city, while Tromsø City Walk is longer and rather centered around the city and its history. And we absolutely advise learning about the city on one of the walking tours before heading on to explore the other areas around Tromsø.

By the way, you can also learn about the best winter activities you can do with kids in Norway.

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