A 1,600-hour day
Between 21 May and 21 July, the sun shines day and night over Tromsø; a single day lasting 1,600 hours. OK, a bit of cloud cover and rain aren’t unknown in Tromsø, but uninterrupted daylight we can promise you. Viewing the Midnight Sun from 421 metres above sea level from Tromsø’s Fjellheisen cable car, or gazing out to sea at the dramatic cliff island of Håja are, quite literally, golden moments. When the sun paints golden stripes on the dazzling white walls of Tromsø’s Ishavskatedral (Arctic Cathedral) during a Midnight Sun concert, your thoughts can take flight…
To the mountains, to the sea, or in the city
The people of Tromsø postpone sleeping to winter-time, and go out on fishing trips and on mountain walks as long as the Midnight Sun is there. The Tourist Information Office has a huge selection of fishing trips, mountain walks, glacier walks, kayaking trips and mountain biking trips to offer, from the islands out in the west to the 1,800 metre-high Lyngsalpene (Lyngen Alps) in the east. A little more sedate are the ferry tours out to the islands in the north-west, while a guided tour of the famous Mack’s brewery is pure cultural history.
Carefree, lazy days of summer
When the sun peeks through, Tromsø’s main pedestrian street, Storgata, and all the pavement cafés, fill with summer-happy, chatty locals. The beach in Telegrafbukta bay is full of folks sunning themselves for hours on end and taking a 30-second dip in the waves. The people of the north know how to party and frequently end the evening in one of the city’s nightclubs ‒ and the sun’s still shining when they leave at closing time. Tromsø people don’t like wasting a single ray of sun.
Exploring the city
Tromsø city centre is an amusing and colourful, if not terribly well planned, mix of old and new, and has a considerable number of historic buildings. The mighty glass mosaics of the Ishavskatedral (Arctic Cathedral) shine with extra intensity in the summer light. The seals at the Polaria Arctic experience and aquarium love visitors when it’s feeding time. In the Arctic Botanical Garden, the Himalayan blue poppies blossom in July. At the University Museum you can get an overview of all the culture and nature of Northern Norway, while the Polar Museum tells the story of the courageous men and women involved in Arctic hunting trips and expeditions.
Cultural life moves out of town
Although cultural life and festivals go on all year round in Tromsø, in summer everything moves outdoors. Runners in the Midnight Sun Marathon in June cross the finishing line in the midnight sun. The Buktafestival in July brings together all the cool, new bands on the city’s beaches. The Ølfestivalen (Beer Festival) in August is a place to meet old heroes from Norwegian pop music.
Out of town
Some of the most amusing and colourful festivals are held out of town, like the indigenous people’s festival Riddu Riddu in Manndalen, the fishing festival “Sommargøy” on the island of Sommarøy, and the alternative Karlsøyfestival. Experienced festival-goers have their thermal underwear, Selbu sweaters and swimsuits handy, so a little fresh summer rain doesn’t matter.
Cheap and easy
From late June to mid-August the conference season takes a break, freeing up plenty of hotel rooms and airline seats. Book a cheap flight and make use of one of the many summer offers from Tromsø’s hotels (e. g. Amalie Hotel and ABC Hotel Nord) and get going. The tourist board has all the information.