Tromsø has a population of about 68,000 and covers an area of 2,516 square kilometres.
Tromsø is home to the world's northernmost university, brewery (pages only in Norwegian), botanical garden and cathedral.
Human settlement in Tromsø dates back more than 10,000 years, whilst the local Sami culture is at least 2,000 years old. Tromsø was founded in 1794. In the 1850s, Tromsø became the centre for trapping in the Arctic region. In the early 1900s, it was the starting point for expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic regions, hence its nickname - "Gateway to the Arctic".
In spite of its location so far north, Tromsø enjoys a moderate oceanic climate. From 20 May to 22 July, the midnight sun is a special experience, with daylight 24 hours for two months.
Between 21 November and 21 January, the sun disappears below the horizon and the polar night sets in. It is not completely dark in the middle of the day, however, and the light and colour in the sky during that time of year is very special - it is called the blue twilight.
The winter in Tromsø is not especially cold. The average January temperature is -4°C. There is often a lot of snow and the relatively mild winter is perfect for outdoor activities.
Tromsø is among the best places on earth to observe the northern lights, with a season that lasts from September throughout March. However, chances of spotting the northern lights depend on the cloud cover and the amount of solar activity and are therefore difficult to predict.
Northern lights safaris and nightly visits to northern light camps along with activities such as dog sledding, snowmobile rides and reindeer sledding are all popular in the Tromsø area in winter. See what to do in Tromsø.
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Located 350 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, Tromsø is the capital of the Arctic, surrounded by beautiful fjords and mountains.
Key facts about Tromsø
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