Tromso is the main city of northern Norway and it’s also a university town. Things to do in Tromso;
- Fjellheisen Cable Car and Storsteinen mountain
- Arctic Cathedral
- Fjords and Glacier tours
- Northern Lights Tours
- Reindeer Spotting
- Polaria Arctic Aquarium
- Bus to Narvik – Train to Stockholm
You’ll find hotels are reasonably priced for northern Norway.
Fjellheisen Cable Car and Storsteinen Mountain
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 Arctic Cathedral, the cable car is well signposted, or easy to find by using maps and GPS.
The Arctic Cathedral is a 50 year old church and the main church of Tromso. It’s unique design as well as inventive name make this a top photo location. Did you know there’s a similar looking cathedral in Reykjavik, Iceland called the Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral.
Fjords and Glacier Tours
I took a Fjord Adventure tour from Tromso. As a result I was able to take some magical fjord photos. In my opinion fjords photograph better from land than they do from a Fjord Cruise tour. Nonetheless, fjords are always magical to photograph!
Northern Lights Tours
Tromso is one of the best places in the world to view the Northern Lights. It’s located deep into the Arctic circle therefore the lights are often directly above you. For this reason, the northern lights are much stronger here than in Iceland or Alaska. You can take a 7 hour Northern Lights tour from Tromso which virtually guarantees a sighting. Finally, the Northern Lights are a natural wonder of the world!
Polaria Arctic Aquarium
The Polaria Arctic aquarium features sealife from this part of the world. For a guaranteed seal sighting, or you’re traveling with kids you must visit the Polaria. Furthermore, it’s an Instagram worthy building.
It’s unlikely you’ll see a reindeer in central Tromso. However, as you get out of the city and into the country your chances increase. For a 100% chance of a reindeer encounter, I recommend the Reindeer Feeding Tour.
Bus from Tromsø to Narvik
Tromsø 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.
Train from Narvik to Stockholm
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.