Cost of Travel in Tromso: Budget Breakdown (Winter Edition)

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I have long avoided writing a guide about the cost of travel in Tromso because whenever I have gone there, I have just packed as many things into a trip as possible, without too much concern regarding cost.

The reason? Because I am going to write about activities, hotels, and food on this blog. So, I want to do as many activities as possible, stay at as many diverse places as possible, and eat at as many restaurants as possible.

Planning your trip to Tromso last minute?

Below are some of the top tours, hotels, and more! Donʻt forget to plan ahead when visiting Tromso and nearby!

🇳🇴  Top activities and tours in Tromso:

  1. Best Northern lights tour from Tromso (#1 selling Tromso tour!)
  2. Tromso Ice Domes (ice hotel that you can visit – it’s unreal!)
  3. Whale Watching tour w/ orcas and humpbacks (bucket-lister from Nov-Jan)
  4. Sami and reindeer feeding experience (best tour for families!)

🛌  Top Hotels in Tromso:

  1. Clarion ‘The Edge’ (Tromso’s most beautiful hotel – on the sea!)
  2. Thon Hotel Tromso (I stayed here twice and recommend it!)
  3. Smarthotel Tromso (I also stayed here – mid-range/budget!)
  4. Radisson Blu (many tours leave from here – by harbor)

✈️  Want to get from the airport to Tromso hassle-free? Find the best airport transfer option here!

But the emails have come through for years. The ‘How much is a trip to Tromso?’ or the ‘Can I visit Tromso on a budget?’ emails.

So, after all this time, I feel confident enough to break it down so you can get a better idea of the cost of travel in Tromso, Norway.

I was recently back in the Northern Norwegian city for a month and I feel like I have a pretty decent idea of how to visit the city on various budgets and how to make the most of Tromso regardless of how much money you travel with!

Cost of travel in Tromso: a breakdown (+ budget tips!)
Cost of travel in Tromso: a breakdown (+ budget tips!)

If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments or send me a message.

This is also my first guide on the blog about the cost of a destination, so if there are any suggestions about how to make it better or clearer, I am also open to criticism. Thanks!

The Cost of Tours in Tromso

I am starting this guide with the cost of tours in Tromso, simply because that is probably why you’re visiting in the first place!

In Tromso, you will have a variety of diverse tours to choose from. The one super essential thing to know is that these tours are booked months in advance.

Tromso harbor is a place to stroll around (for free)!
Tromso harbor is a place to stroll around (for free)!

I used to be confident that you could hop on tours at the last minute in Tromso, but there is currently an imbalance with accommodation in the city, and that is causing a lot of accommodation with few tour opportunities.

This primarily affects dog-sledding and the Sami tours (limited farms/ranches). So, book as far ahead as possible!

Here are some of the most popular tours in Tromso:

  • Northern lights
  • Whale watching
  • Dog-sledding
  • Sami cultural tour (includes reindeer ranch)
  • Tromso Ice Domes
  • Fjord boat tour

I have no idea what type of traveler you are or what type of trip you’re seeking, but here are some quick thoughts about the tours above, including what price you should expect to pay (an approximation).

➡️ Northern lights tour: about $160. These tours are strictly northern lights tours. You will go out ‘chasing’ them in a van and set up somewhere to have a small fire.

These tours are non-refundable if you don’t see the lights so can be risky, but it is an adventure (after all).

➡️ Whale-watching tour: about $160. This tour is a must if you’re there during the season (November until January). It is a full-day tour and on a spacious, silent catamaran.

➡️ Sami cultural tour (and reindeer ranch): about $165. This tour has two options – one includes reindeer sledding and one does not. I, personally, don’t find reindeer sledding ethical so I avoid it (and ranches that do it).

My Sami cultural tour (with a bit of aurora!)
My Sami cultural tour (with a bit of aurora!)

The tour linked above is the latest I went on and I LOVED it. If you do the evening one, you will have dinner included and we even saw the northern lights. I think this is a Tromso itinerary must.

➡️ Dog-sledding: about $230. This is one of the more expensive tour offerings in Tromso, but it also consistently gets the best reviews from visitors. This requires a bit of an adventurous spirit.

Usually a half-day tour. If you want to maximize your opportunity to see the northern lights, book an evening one (but you won’t have as much time to take photos since you’ll be sledding).

➡️ Tromso Ice Domes: about $132. This is a visit to the Tromso Ice Domes and their reindeer farm.

If you have never been to an ice hotel before, this is a worthwhile and easy tour. If you have been to one before or plan to visit one on your trip somewhere else, I would avoid this.

➡️ Fjord boat tour: about $112. This is a great tour if you are more into ‘soft adventure’ and need a break from the more active side of Tromso.

There are a few fjord tours, but I have done multiple with Brim Explorer (linked above) and had fabulous experiences on each.

Brim Explorer fjord tour
Brim Explorer fjord tour

Note: While I didn’t list it here, snowmobiling will be one of the more costly activities in Tromso. The tours are not currently released for the 2024-2025 season, so I am not putting it on this guide yet.

However, I will say that I have snowmobiled in many places on my travels and my least favorite experience was taking a tour from Tromso (to Kilpisjarvi, Finland).

The Cost of Accommodation in Tromso

Oh, how the cost of accommodation in Tromso varies from season to season! But, this is a winter guide, so these prices will be on the higher side of things.

You have a few options for accommodation in Tromso: hotels, hostels, camping, and Airbnbs.

While I see the benefit of Airbnbs if you’re staying for a longer duration or are on a budget and want to cook for yourself, I would avoid them for the average traveler.

They are creating a huge tour imbalance in the city and it is creating a huge problem for locals as the cost of buying a place is skyrocketing. For that reason, I am going to leave Airbnbs off this guide.

Hotels in Tromso

Like everywhere else, the cost of a hotel in Tromso depends on your dates. But, I would say that it is around $275-300 a night during the winter. However, if you’re booking around Christmas or New Year, expect to pay quite a bit extra (around $400+).

Please find one that includes breakfast in their price and do not pay $30+ for breakfast at a hotel in Tromso. They are just not worth it. The cafes around town have cheaper food and it’s better.

Here are a few of my favorite hotels in Tromso:

I did not list prices with each as the price in December skyrockets. But one interesting thing to note about hotels in Tromso is that you don’t have any super luxurious hotels (yet).

Radisson Blu Tromso (popular hotel to stay at)
Radisson Blu Tromso (popular hotel to stay at)

So accommodation all seems to hover around the $250-400 range for most of winter (except for the holidays).

Hostels in Tromso

Affordable accommodation in Tromso isn’t the easiest to come by. But, you do have an option (but it books up so far in advance).

Camping in Tromso

I have an entire guide about camping in Tromso with more details but the two things to know here are that wild camping in Norway is legal and that there are some actual camping facilities in Tromso.

Do note that these also include cabins so make sure you look at the option you’re seeking (and not the wrong thing).

The Cost of Transportation in Tromso

When you’re in Tromso, you have a few options for getting around: walking, taxis, rental car, or public transportation.

During the winter months, I would avoid renting a car. The roads of Norway in winter are not for those who don’t have experience driving on snow and ice and it is a shame when tourists rent a car and use local resources because they don’t know what they are doing and end up in a ditch somewhere (seen it too many times in Finland where I live!).

So, I am not recommending a rental car in Tromso during this time.

👣 Walking: free! This is the easiest way to navigate the city. Throw on a pair of crampons if you’re not comfortable with your gait on ice and snow and head out!

Crampons are great for a lot of walking (just take off indoors)
Crampons are great for a lot of walking (just take off indoors)

🚕 Taxis: readily available throughout the city but I would download the app ‘Taxifix’. You can get a taxi pretty quickly with it and it is not as unaffordable as you’d think.

You can get around the city for $15-25 (depending on where you’re going). A taxi from Tromso Airport to the city is around $25-30.

🚍 Public transportation: the cheapest way to get around Tromso. You can see the timetables for buses here.

If you are using the buses frequently throughout your trip, I would get a weeklong pass (you can also purchase this at the Visit Tromso office at Storgata 83).

The Cost of Food in Tromso

Tromso is not a budget destination. Food will be costly in the city and there is no way around that.

One thing to note beforehand is that you will have meals included in some of your activities! Tromso Ice Domes visit, whale watching, and a few others have lunch included in the price (or offer an option when booking).

If you have breakfast included in your hotel stay, fantastic.

But for other meals? You’re on your own. Here are some suggestions I have:

Breakfast in Tromso

Included in the hotel or to grab a pastry from one of the cafes in Tromso. Cafes also have great coffee (and offer cheaper refills if you get the black-filtered coffee). Some of my favorite cafes are:

  • Smørtorget
  • Kaffebønna
  • Risø
Smørtorget cafe for coffee and pastry
Smørtorget cafe for coffee and pastry

A cup of coffee is about $3.50-4 (black coffee) and a pastry is around $5.50.

Lunch in Tromso

If you are on a tour, you will likely get enough food to cover your lunch. Otherwise, some good options are:

  • Lunch at a normal restaurant: $20-25 (give or take)
  • Hotdog at Narvesen/7-11 (a totally acceptable Tromso thing!): about $4
  • Eating a late breakfast and saving food: free (I always take extra bread and a banana from hotel breakfasts and enjoy for lunch)

If you see a restaurant in Tromso that you want to eat at but it seems unaffordable, see if they have a lunch menu! The lunch menus are often cheaper.

Dinner in Tromso

This is where prices start to escalate. Naturally, your dinner costs will be reflective of where you eat, but generally, I would say $40-50 per person is a good starting point for a nice meal out.

Dinner in Tromso
Dinner in Tromso

Here are some of my favorite restaurants in Tromso (all are mid-range in terms of pricing):

  • Storhus (pizza)
  • Bardus Bistro & Bar
  • Full Steam Tromso
  • Burgr
  • Mathallen

Grocery Stores in Tromso

One of the best budget tips for Tromso is to grab something from a grocery store instead of eating out. You can get a loaf of bread for $4 or so and some toppings like cheese, ham, and more.

Even bread-slicing machines in grocery stores will slice it all up for you, making sandwiches a viable option!

Grocery store haul (for taco night)
Grocery store haul (for taco night)

Some of the grocery stores you will find in Tromso are:

  • Coop Extra/Prix
  • Kiwi
  • Rema 1000
  • Joker
  • Eurospar

Kiosks in Tromso

Kiosks have some to-go items like hotdogs and pizza slices. They are easy and tasty (well, the pizza is not but the hotdogs are).

But, I would avoid buying other goods in them, as they are triple the price of a grocery store.

Pølser = hot dog
Pølser = hot dogs
Easy and cheap!
Easy and cheap!

Some of the kiosks you’ll find in Tromso are:

  • 7-11
  • Narvesen
  • MIX

The Cost of Flights to Tromso

Here is where it gets completely all over the place! Tromso does not have too many direct flights from other places in Europe, but there are some seasonal routes to the UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, and more.

You will find plenty of flights from Nordic cities up there too.

Flying on a direct flight to Tromso from Rovaniemi
Flying on a direct flight to Tromso from Rovaniemi

If you are coming from far away (Australia, India, USA, etc), do note that you may pass through Oslo on the way up.

Here are a few glimpses of pricing getting from Oslo to Tromso during the winter months on Skyscanner (green is the cheapest, red is the most expensive):

Comparing November to December
Comparing November to December
Comparing December to January
Comparing December to January

The Cost of Winter Gear for Tromso

Winter gear can cost an arm and a leg for those visiting Tromso. I live in Arctic Finland, so I have more than enough and don’t have to buy anything but those coming from Australia, for example, probably have to fork out quite a bit of money for winter gear for a one-time trip!

You have a few options for winter gear in Tromso: buy your own or rent it.

You can rent gear at Tromso Outdoor. They offer packages for around $55 a day (children’s package is about $35/day) where you can get jackets, snow boots, and more.

Winter gear is not cheap!
Winter gear is not cheap!

One thing to note is that if you’re dog-sledding or snowmobiling (and even on some aurora tours), they will provide winter suits for you. But whale watching, Sami cultural tours, fjord cruises, and others will not. So be sure to dress appropriately.

If you’re on a budget, shops like Decathlon have some great deals here in Europe and the US. I would just recommend 100% wool for your clothing if your budget allows it. It is the warmest!

Visit Tromso Culture Pass

For those visiting Tromso and wanting to go to every museum or experience in the city, a Tromso pass may be a smart option. There are ‘classic’ passes and ‘culture’ passes. The classic pass also includes a family pass option.

My Tromso culture pass served me well
My Tromso culture pass served me well

These are only good options to consider if you are truly keen to visit a lot of museums in the city!

  • Classic pass: includes Fjellheisen cable car (normally $40+ round-trip), Polar Museum, Arctic University Museum of Norway, Polaria, Science Center of Northern Norway, Arctic Cathedral, and a bus ticket (1 day). See pricing here.
  • Culture pass: includes Fjellheisen cable car (normally $40+ round-trip), Polar Museum, Arctic University Museum of Norway, Polaria, Magic Ice, Arctic Cathedral, Troll Museum, Perspektivet Museum, Art Museum of Northern Norway, Science Center of Northern Norway, and bus ticket (7 days). See pricing here.

Tips for Visiting Tromso on a Budget

I should write an entire guide to this in the future, but here are some quick thoughts for visiting Tromso on a budget:

Be flexible with dates. Late December is the worst time to go. Hotels and flights are so much cheaper during shoulder season.

Buy filtered black coffee in cafes because refills are generally cheaper than the original cost.

Save food from breakfast and eat lunch with it.

I definitely took from this Radisson breakfast!
I definitely took from this Radisson breakfast!

✅ Use grocery stores instead of kiosks (or even restaurants).

Use public transportation. It is efficient and very cheap in Norway (about $4 if you purchase on the app and a bit more if you purchase on the bus).

You can purchase a 7-day ticket for around $32. Tromso is quite walkable, though.

Do activities at night so you can see the northern lights on one of them.

If the night is clear - head to the harbor!
If the night is clear – head to the harbor!

You can do Sami tours, snowmobiling, dog-sledding, and fjord tours all in the evenings and it gives a chance to escape the city to somewhere dark and you can use it as a way to see the northern lights too.

How much is a day in Tromso?

Here is a general recap of the prices I listed above so you have a better idea of what things cost on a day in Tromso:

  • Hotel: about $300/night
  • Breakfast: free
  • Lunch: $20/pp
  • Dinner: $50/pp
  • Tour: $160/pp (depends on the tour)

I am not going to add that up as it will depend on group size with hotels (and ages for tour prices).

But I think $200/pp a day is plenty if you spread activities out and don’t eat multiple meals out per day if your budget does not allow it.

Naturally, you can make this more expensive or cheaper, depending on how you cut costs. Please note that I am not including transportation costs in this because I am assuming you are taking tours or reaching places on foot.

Do you have any questions about how much a trip to Tromso costs? Let me know in the comments. Thanks!

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Are you planning your trip and are curious about the cost of travel in Tromso, Norway? This guide offers Tromso budget tips and a full breakdown of costs. | Tromso on a budget | What to do in Tromso | Things to do in Tromso | Tromso in winter | Winter in Tromso

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