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The Christmas town

TROMSØ

Christmas in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com
Christmas Town Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com

"As we were landing, we saw this winter wonderland from the plane."

Kristianne from Germany and Vincent from London

Tromsø is the main gateway to northern lights experiences in Northern Norway, and if you come in December, an extra treat awaits.

The lights from the Fjellheisen cable car are truly an amazing sight. Head down to the city centre of this Arctic metropolis for the real Christmas adventure to begin!

Fjellheisen in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com
Fjellheisen gondola in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com

Strolling around in streets decked in lights and garlands makes you feel like you're inside your favourite Christmas film.

Christmas streets of Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com
Christmas streets of Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com

Stock up on original handmade gifts like knitted hats and warm wool sweaters ...

Christmas window shopping in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com
Christmas window shopping in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com

... and take a spin on the Ferris wheel or on the ice skating rink by the harbour!

The Ferris wheel in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com
The Ferris wheel in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com

Remember to keep warm! Stop by for a delicious hot chocolate at one of the many cosy cafés in this lively student city, such as Helmersen Delikatesser & Vinbar (pictured), Smørtorget and Koseverden.

Now, time to head over to the Christmas markets!

Hot chocolate at Helmersen delicatessen and wine bar in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com
Hot chocolate at Helmersen delicatessen and wine bar in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com

Market stalls and activities are found throughout Tromsø. The stall pictured here has been set up behind the historic Mack brewery.

Check listings for markets and events.

Christmas market in the backyard of Mack Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com
Christmas market in the backyard of Mack Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com

Meet the farmers who serve local delicacies – and big smiles!

Taste Northern Norway's version of kebab: wild mutton in pitta bread.

Christmas market in the backyard of Mack in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com
Christmas market in the backyard of Mack in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com

Or try one of Norway's oldest exports: tørrfisk (stockfish) at one of the city's many excellent seafood restaurants, like Vertshuset Skarven.

Tørrfisk is a speciality in the Arctic kitchen. In December, you can try the Christmas version, lutefisk...

... which has been soaked in lye!

Stockfish from Arctandria restaurant in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com
Stockfish from Arctandria restaurant in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com

Don't miss the rocket shaped kiosk known as Rakettkiosken at Stortorget, Tromsø's main square. 

They make it extra cosy during the holidays by lighting a fire pit and laying out reindeer skins outside.

Rakettkiosken in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visit Norway
Rakettkiosken in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visit Norway

Snow, starry polar nights and northern lights make Tromsø unique from other Christmas towns.

But this doesn't mean you will have 24 hours of complete darkness. So make sure to enjoy a few hours of daylight outside ...

Kids at the harbor in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visit Norway
Kids at the harbor in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visit Norway

... including the magic hour, when everything is blue!

Could there ever be a more beautiful place for a Christmas concert than The Arctic Cathedral?

The Arctic Cathedral .
Photo: Bård Løken / Visit Tromsø
The Arctic Cathedral .
Photo: Bård Løken / Visit Tromsø

Join Tromsø locals for fun-filled, child-friendly events, including a boat trip in Arctic waters on board the old wooden vessel Hermes II.

Boat trip with Hermes II in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com
Boat trip with Hermes II in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com

Or let the kids decorate cod-shaped gingerbread cookies at Kystens Hus.

Kystens Hus has sushi and seafood restaurants, a large fish counter, an aquarium, and exhibitions on fish and fishing. During the holiday season, you can also buy handicrafts, jewellery, lefse (Norwegian sweet bread), and a variety of jams.

Kystens hus in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com
Kystens hus in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com

Christmas in Northern Norway is not complete without a trip outside the city.

Meet Santa's reindeer, ride a sleigh under the starry night sky, and experience Sami herding culture.

Reindeer sled in Tromsø .
Photo: Bård Løken / www.nordnorge.com
Reindeer sled in Tromsø .
Photo: Bård Løken / www.nordnorge.com

You are not the only visitor around.

Between November and February, large pods of whales and orcas frequently visit the area.

Join a whale adventure or wildlife safari.

Hval utenfor Tromsø .
Photo: Asgeir Helgestad / Artic Light AS / Visitnorway.com
Hval utenfor Tromsø .
Photo: Asgeir Helgestad / Artic Light AS / Visitnorway.com

Fly across snowy terrain, pulled by eager huskies! Find an expedition that is perfect for you.

Dog sledding on Kvaløya .
Photo: Bård Løken / Visitnorway.com
Dog sledding on Kvaløya .
Photo: Bård Løken / Visitnorway.com

Now we have to run to catch the cinema!

Watching a Christmas classic under a starry sky, wrapped in warm blankets with a hot mulled wine in your hand, is a whole new level of enjoyment.

Outdoor cinema in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com
Outdoor cinema in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com

Or enjoy nature's own show. Catching a glimpse of the northern lights can be enough to make you believe in Christmas miracles.

Take the Fjellheisen cable car to amazing views of the lights, or join a tour with one of the northern light guides to more untamed nature.

Northern lights from Fjellheisen in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com
Northern lights from Fjellheisen gondola in Tromsø .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com

"We came for the northern lights and the atmosphere. It's nice to see the lights all over town."

William and Laura from Italy

Tourists in Tromsø at Christmas time .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com
Tourists in Tromsø at Christmas time .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visitnorway.com

Tromsø has a unique atmosphere – all year round.

In winter, there are direct flights from several European cities, making Tromsø the perfect gateway to the beautiful wild regions of the north.

Plan your Arctic adventure in Tromsø today!

Ski touring under the northern lights .
Photo: Lars Mathisen / Visit Tromsø
Ski touring under the northern lights .
Photo: Lars Mathisen / Visit Tromsø

Northern lights forecast in Tromsø

Our 3-day northern lights forecast helps you find the best time to see the northern lights in Tromsø.

Get inspired

Christmas the Norwegian way

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Discover more Norwegian holiday traditions and treats.

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