Tromsø is perhaps one of the most dynamic cities in Europe of its size, thanks in large part to 16.000 students from all over the world and several thousand tourists throughout the year. With the nickname "Paris of the North" - Tromsø is a city where there is something going on almost all the time, and there is plenty to do during the months of midnight sun if you are here for a short or longer visit. Here are at least 5 activities that are quality assured by the local population - other good ideas and experiences can be shared in the comments section at the end.
1. A hike in the mountains or by the fjords?
Tromsø has a lot to offer if you want to spend time in the mountains around Tromsø. Here there is something for every taste, and for all levels. The common denominator is the view - an awesome view almost wherever you choose to go.
The most popular in recent years is the Sherpa staircase up to Fjellheisen and Fløya. The trip is approx. 2 hours, and at the top, you can enjoy an ice cream or a waffle before you either take the same route down or go south and follow a marked path much used by the locals. No matter where you choose to go you finally end up at the start of the gondola where you can grab a bus back to the city center.
A safe, but demanding trip can also be made to the mountain Tromsdalstinden, which is the highest mountain visible from Tromsø at 1238m. Expect to spend up to 10 hours in total if you can´t cycle into the start of the marked track at Dalheim in the Tromsdalen Valley.
By bus or car, you can also reach Nattmålsfjellet and Buren on Kvaløya, which start from the same car park. Nattmålsfjellet is a nice and easy one-hour hike if you just want to enjoy the view towards the open sea and Ersfjord, while Buren is somewhat more demanding. If you are not afraid of heights and like steep terrain, you can venture to one of the highest mountains in the area, the Store Blåmann mountain at 1044m. The trail is relatively well-marked, but rocky. As long as you don't go too late in the season and are surprised by the lack of light, this is a great trip with an insane view.
If you just want a flat walk and enjoy life by the sea, there are several great options both on the Tromsø island itself and just outside the city. We like the promenade along the sea from the center of Tromsø and towards Telegrafbukta beach - remember to bring a towel, this is a perfect place to go for a swim. The tour takes you past Polaria, the Polar Institute, Hålogaland Theater, and the new modern buildings in the city. This tour takes approx. one hour each way.
Tromsdalen is also a much-used hiking area for the local population, both summer and winter - and you can enjoy a good path/road the entire trip. Start at the Arctic Cathedral and follow the signs towards Dalheim (approx. 10km) or for a slightly shorter trip towards "Gutta på skauen"/Lavvoen (approx. 7km). By car (the buses don't run that often in the evening/night), just check out the websites www.ut.no for a number of simple and nice trips on Kvaløya, Ringvassøy and Sommarøy.
The website Ut.no has made an overview listing some of the easier trips around the city - «Enkle turer i nærheten av Tromsø».
2. Visit a festival or maybe do a marathon?
Several festivals and events are organized in Tromsø throughout the summer. The "Bay festival/Telegrafbukta festival" in July is one of the highlights along with the Midnight sun marathon in the middle of June. The indigenous festival Riddu Riđđu is absolutely worth a visit and takes place in Manndalen a few hours outside Tromsø. The Karlsøy festival is an experience over a whole week and takes place as the midnight sun sets at the beginning of August.
3. Find a beach!
The sandy beaches in the north, both on the Tromsø island and just outside Tromsø, are some of the finest we know. It might not come as a surprise that the water can be somewhat refreshing at times, but it is well worth a dip late evenings when the sun is still high in the sky. And best of all is that it is possible to find a beach where you can enjoy both the sand and the view more or less alone or with a small group around the bonfire.
We can recommend Grøtfjorden, and then not the main beach where there can be a lot of people, but in Grøtfjorden itself on the way to the small community Tromvika.
A more local option is Telegrafbukta, a short half-hour walk from the center of Tromsø - the bus is also possible. In Telegrafbukta you are probably not alone, but the company of fellow travelers can also be pleasant. An hour southwest of Tromsø you will also find Sommarøy with dozens of beaches close to the road - here it is possible to bring a craft such as a SUP or a kayak to get out on several smaller islands with small coves and sheltered from the wind.
4. Grab a bike and go
By bike, you get close to wildlife and the authentic Tromsø. If you don't have your own bike and buggy, you can rent one from Tromsø Outdoor, which has a shop in the center of Tromsø. There are several great areas for road cycling and mountain biking in the scenic areas around Tromsø. Tromsdalen is an alternative if you want to go "off asphalt", and you can enjoy the late evenings quite well from the bike seat on both Kvaløya and Ringvassøy. Should you happen to find yourself on Senja just south of Tromsø, you really have an eldorado for cycling enthusiasts. An electric bike is recommended in headwinds, but keep in mind that the charging opportunities can be rather scattered if you are outside the city and only have a tent with you.
5. Test your sealegs and fish your own dinner
There is nothing like spending a few hours at sea under the midnight sun, and if you do not have access to a boat, several suppliers offer fishing trips or sightseeing adventures starting from the center of Tromsø.
You can choose between everything from slow-
moving fishing boats and sailing catamarans to fast-moving RIBs. If you just want to relax and fish from shore, Hella is a popular place approx. 30km from Tromsø. Here you find one of the strongest tidal currents in Norway between the island of Rya and the mainland, and it is teeming with both fish and birdlife. This is also a nice place to just take a walk among old houses that have been moved from the center of Tromsø, or a trip to the summer-open cafe nearby. A lesser-known place for fishing from land is Lyfjorden, about half an hour's drive from Tromsø. Follow the path on the north side of Lyfjorden and you will find several nice fishing spots from shore. Parking can be a challenge.
Do you have any recommendations or experiences you would like to share?