Tromsø is the main city of Northern Norway and it’s also a university town. The main points of interest for tourists and photographers are;
- Fjellheisen cable car and Storsteinen mountain
- Polaria Arctic aquarium
- Polarmuseet, polar museum
- Arctic cathedral
- University nightlife
- Fjords and glacier tours
- Northern lights tours
- The hub for flights to Svalbard
A view of Tromsø from the cable car
There are lots of bars and restaurants in the city center. There are many hotels which are quite expensive, as is everything in Norway, so if you are traveling alone you may choose to stay in the hostel. You can take fjords and glacier tours during the day and northern lights tours at night.
If the weather is pleasant enough and the sky is clear I would recommend a walk up the Storsteinen mountain which overlooks the city. The mountain is quite steep, so you may prefer to take the Fjellheisen cable car. You can see from the above picture, downtown Tromsø is on the other side of the river, so you need to take a bus, taxi or walk over the bridge and to the bottom of the cable car. I decided to walk because I wanted to photograph the Arctic Cathedral on the mountain side of the bridge. From the cathedral the cable car is well signposted, or easy to find using maps and GPS. After walking up the mountain and back, I had done over 27,000 steps that day according to my phone.
I took a Fjords photography tour with Citycamp Hostel in Tromsø, they also do a Northern Lights tour, unfortunately I was a little to early in the year to take the lights tour, the first tour was going out 2 days after I left. They told me they sometimes drive as far as Finland if it’s cloudy to find the breaks in the cloud and see the lights whatever the weather!
Tromso to Narvik bus – 4 hours – 385 NOK
I took the Tromsø to Narvik bus at 0610, which arrived in Narvik at 1030, I got off at the shopping mall which is right next to the train station, here is the bus timetable. The bus leaves Tromsø from behind the Tourist Information office. My train left at 1303 so I had plenty of time to get some food in the shopping mall, the train times work well with the early bus.
Narvik to Stockholm direct train
For the train, the cheapest ticket to Stockholm, is just a seat, for an extra 200 SEK you can sleep on a bed, for some reason I decided to go with the seat. The seat wasn’t so bad because the car was nearly empty but, I would have slept better on a flat surface. The journey was long, with lots of long stops as it is a single train line and needs to move over for trains coming in the other direction. The stop where most people got on and off was Kiruna, all the other stops were quiet, most passengers getting on and off in Kiruna were tourists.
You may recognize this train from the Land of the Midnight Sun travel documentary with Alexander Armstrong. He took it from Narvik to Kiruna where he stayed in an ice hotel.