Paris of the North: Tromso, Norway
Buzzing with tourists and high of relative sophistication, Tromso is one of the best places to watch the northern lights. Compared to the rugged north of Norway, which was subjected to ruins and destruction by the Nazis, Tromso hosts a wide array of hotels, clubs, adventure sports, cable cars and splendid tourist spots.
Tromso is also known as the largest city at this Latitude. Surrounded by a huge wilderness outside the city, Tromso is one of a kind. One can feel overcome by the landscape of this beautiful city in the Arctic.
The sun sets for a final time in November and the Polar nights begin. The days are short and nights are long. The longer the nights, the more the opportunity to see the soul-soothing Aurora Borealis (northern lights). The sun rises again in late January. But in most parts of the north will be unable to see a sunrise due to the beautiful mountains surrounding the city.
Tromso was the main expedition and fishing port of the North Pole in the 19th century. Thanks to the tourism industry, the city has bloomed beyond description. Tromso is said to be the best location to see the northern lights as it is located in the heart of the Aurora Oval. Boosting a variety of bars and urban activities like laser tag, mini gulf and modern cinema, Tromso is the perfect holiday vacation in Norway. With a population of 76,000 residents, Tromso has a rich history with the Sami people.
Sami people have inhabited northern Scandinavia for over 1000 years. Half of the current population lives in Northern Norway. While you are here, you can book a reindeer sledding tour. Owning a reindeer is an honor only granted to Sami people.
Land of the Midnight Sun
A brilliant specialty of Tromso is the midnight sun. 76 days of midnight sun between May and July. During the summer months, you can enjoy up to 24hrs of sunlight above the Arctic Circle.
The Iconic Northern Lights
Splendid collisions between electrically charged particles of the sun, in the night sky around the magnetic north pole. The display usually begins in the late afternoon or evening with varying intensity into the night. These eternal displays of colored waves are usually green, pink, white, or purple dancing across the night sky.
The Northern lights have been a favorite tourist attraction in Norway. Its dreamy, romantic and enchanting aura continues to wrap admirers into its great pull.
Legend and Myths Surrounding the Aurora Borealis
Aurora is the Roman Goddess of the dawn.
Nordic people believe that it is a portal into the great beyond.
Aurora is also said to be the land of the soul’s entry point.
The Vikings believed that the reflections are from Valkyries, maidens who carry dead warriors to Valhalla (heaven).
The Lakota Sioux believed the lights as spirits of generations, yet to be born.
Things to do in Tromso
Tromso has never disappointed its tourists. A wide variety of activities beckons travelers across the world. Adrenaline fueled dog sledding, reindeer sledding, cable car ride (panoramic views of Tromso & Tromsoya island), a visit to Sommaroy, the Arctic Caribbean (a tiny island surrounded by crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches), skiing and other adventure sports in the whizzing of snow.
The arctic Cathedral stands out in this splendid maze of a city (a triangular silhouette building and glass façade). Winter in Tromso is not especially cold. The average January temperature is -4 degrees Celcius.
How to reach Tromso?
Tromso Airport Langnes (TOS) is a short 3 minute drive from the city center. You can take domestic flights from Oslo. International flights to Tromso are London Gatwick, Frankfurt, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oulu. You can also reach by boat from Hurtigruten, all year round. Buses are all general city buses.
If you are thinking of renting a car in Norway, you should know the city has strict rules and it is quite expensive. Driving in winter road conditions gets tricky. Nevertheless convenient. Just look out for moose and reindeer!