The city centre of Tromsø is the largest wooden city north of Trondheim, and has a rich neoclassic architectural inheritance, richly interspersed with both beautiful and not so nice buildings from later periods.
Polaria has an arctic aquarium where the main attractions are the bearded seals. The bearded seal is an arctic species, and they are popular among children, due to their quiet disposition and intelligent nature.
In large fish tanks you can also see the most common species of fish in the Barents Sea and around Svalbard, and in a panoramic film you can follow the little auk flying across the Spitsbergen Archipelago.
Watch this video from Tromsø:
The Arctic Cathedral
The Arctic Cathedral, built in 1965, is the city’s most recognisable landmark. This distinctive structure was inspired by Northern Norway's landscapes, and features an original glass mosaic. In summer, the cathedral’s Midnight Sun Concerts are an excellent prelude to viewing the midnight sun.
Fjellheisen Cable Car
The cable car up Storsteinen Mountain, 420 metres above sea level, offers breathtaking panoramic views over the city, the surrounding waterways and mountains, and, if you are lucky, of the midnight sun or the northern lights.
The Botanical Gardens
The world’s northernmost botanical gardens contain Arctic and Alpine plants from all corners of the globe, many of them too heat sensitive to grow in any other botanical garden. Blue poppies from the Himalayas, lewisias from the Rockies, local primroses and a tasty selection of traditional medicinal plants are among the highlights.
History, art and heritage: Tromsø's museums
The University Museum of Tromsø shows the depth of North Norwegian nature and culture, focusing on the indigenous Sami culture, as well as archaeology, religious arts, geology and the northern lights, all in a family-friendly manner.
Tromsø’s history of daring explorers and tough arctic explorers is told at the Polar Museum, housed in a traditional wharf house from 1830 amid some of Tromsø’s oldest buildings.
The Perspektivet Museum offers exhibits on the history of Tromsø, as well as thought-provoking temporary exhibits. The building itself is a beautiful merchant’s residence in neo-classical style from 1838.
The Art Museum of Northern Norway portrays Northern Norwegian art and motives, ranging from the nineteenth century's masters to contemporary art.
Challenging exhibits of Norwegian and international art can be seen at the Tromsø Gallery of Contemporary Art.
Mack Bryggeri, the world’s northernmost brewery, welcomes visitors on a guided tour of their production facilities as well as of the atmospheric Beer Hall Ølhallen from 1928.
Attractions out of town
Out of town, numerous small attractions complement the impressive scenery. The Låvhaugen Local Museum on the island of Sommarøy shows a traditional fisherman’s home. The Museum of Northern Troms at Svensby displays a Coastal Sami dwelling with an impressive collection of artefacts.
Do not miss the little, wooden Lyngen Church in the scenic village of Lyngseidet.
Tromsø Family Park and Hillesøy Bird and Animal Park are favourites among animal lovers and families.