When people think of Tromsø they often think of whale watching, hunting the Northern Lights and even husky safaris. However there are other things to do in Tromsø, maybe not much, but enough to keep you occupied on days when you’re not doing the main activities.
The Arctic Cathedral
Across the bridge from Tromsø on the mainland is the Ishavskatedralen, or the Arctic Cathedral. It’s visually stunning, likened by some to an iceberg. In actual fact it isn’t a cathedral at all, just a parish church that happens to look quite impressive. It looks stunning either against a blue sky during the day or when lit up at night. If you want to go inside then the cost is 50NKr which is about £4.50.
Whilst you’re on this side of the bridge a trip up in the cable car, Fjellheisen, to the lookout on Storsteinen is worth the trip. Pricey for the length of the journey (210NKr both ways) but hiking up or down in the snow is not really a viable option, especially with limited daylight. The view over Tromsø is amazing. You can see the whole of the island and have great views of the mountains surrounding you as well. From the top of the cable car, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can climb higher for even more spectacular views. There are no clear trails in the snow and it can easily reach above your knees so appropriate clothing and footwear are essential.
Back in town there are a few museums worth a visit. Sadly the Polar Museum was closed for renovations but should reopen Feb 2019.
For something different (and free) it’s worth popping into the Perspektivet Museum on Storgata. It focuses on photography with an eclectic mix of art. Currently showing photos of both religious life in Tromsø and life on English beaches.
If you don’t mind a walk, about 30 minutes from the centre then Tromsø Museum is worth a look. If you do mind a walk then bus 37 from the centre will get you there too. At 70NKr it’s one of the cheaper things to do in Tromsø. They have two exhibitions on the Sami people. One looking at the past with their reindeer herding and the other at more recent history. They have a fine selection of stuffed animals but the most bizarre and seemingly out of place is the selection of living insects and arachnids in glass tanks.
Finally, there is Polaria. A very small aquarium in the centre of time. There isn’t a great deal to see and unless you go for the seal feeding time, not worth the money. You can’t miss it in town. From the outside, it looks like someone has knocked over a set of white bookcases.
There are also a couple of statues to Roald Amundsen in town as he left from here on his final expedition – but the less said about him the better. Just look up Amundsen and huskies if you want to know more.
If you want to know more about getting to Tromsø in the winter then check out the blogpost here.