I would say that Kari was quite accurate when she once told me that Tromsø is a vibrant town. It may be small, but it certainly has character and some wonderful views. Here are my tips and tricks:
- As with all major Norwegian towns, Tromsø has mobile applications that you can use to buy public transportation tickets and to map out a route on the public transportation.
- Unfortunately the buses do not actually list or announce the stops, so if you’re confused or a newcomer to the town definitely ask the driver to help you get off at the correct stop.
- You can take the flybussen or the local 42 bus into town from the airport (or from town to the airport)
- To be honest I think that Tromsø’s biggest draws are the reindeer races during Sami Week and the scenery. I wasn’t able to take the local cable car, but I’ve been told that it’s well worth the effort.
- The burgers at Blå Bar are surprisingly delicious and Smørtorget is well worth the stop for both cheap eats and some cheap shopping.
Although my first two days started out with bright and sunny weather, I did not have such good luck on my last day in Tromsø. My initial plans had been to either ride the local cable car or to go to Kvaløya, or whale island, but because the visibility was quite low I decided to scratch both plans. Luckily two of my good friends from Trondheim, Nicole and Juliana, had also come up to Tromsø, and we hung out together in what remained of our time in the city.
Because there wasn’t too much for us to do, we spent the majority of our time wandering around the city center. I had seen Kari early on in the year, and she had really downplayed Tromsø. When I arrived I was expecting little more than a one street town. To give Tromsø due credit, its city center is about 6 blocks by 6 blocks. Plus, considering that I had been to Svalbard the week before it really did seem like a town.
After wandering into some of the local shops, we decided to go to the Arctic Cathedral. Unfortunately it wasn’t open, but it was still nice to go take a look at the imposing structure. It’s one of the few buildings that dominates the skyline when looking from Tromsø to mainland Norway.
After that, all that was left for us to do was to catch an excellent burger at a place called Blå Bar and to then catch the local bus to the airport.