Tromso may be famous for its northern lights, dog-sledding, and whale watching, but don’t discount the warmer months! This is a guide to the best things to do in Tromso in summer!
We have visited Tromso in multiple seasons and we are so shocked at how much there is to do regardless of the time of year you’re visiting.
This guide breaks down how to still love the Norwegian city even in the off-season… and why we think Tromso really shines during the summer months and is worth your visit!
We will discuss things to do during summer in Tromso as well as some frequently asked questions.
If you have any additional questions (or recommendations), please let us know in the comments! Thanks!
Tromso in Summer – Overview
Norway is a large part of this blog because the country is fascinating and beautiful, and Megan used to call the country home and has been writing about it for a decade.
Megan has visited Tromso in multiple seasons but I have only experienced it in summer… but I was instantly sold.
Fresh off of a trip to the Lofoten Islands, I didn’t think anywhere could be a desirable ‘follow-up’, but Tromso surprised me!
Tromso was the first place I truly felt the magic of the midnight sun. And while I saw it in Lofoten, it just hit differently in Tromso than in Lofoten.
From first seeing Tromso from above on the plane to seeing it from above after a trip up Fjellheisen, this is why I think you should book a trip to Tromso in the summer.
And, of course, what to do there and some quick tips!
Tromso Summer Temperatures
Summer temperatures in Tromso are not as warm as one might think but they can vary from year to year.
Here are the summer averages (we are starting summer in ‘May’ just because that is when the Midnight Sun starts!).
- Tromso in May: Highs of 48F/9C ; Lows of 37F/3C ; 10 rainy days
- Tromso in June: Highs of 56F/13C ; Lows of 44F/7C ; 10 rainy days
- Tromso in July: Highs of 62F/17C ; Lows of 49F/10C ; 12 rainy days
- Tromso in August: Highs of 59F/15C ; Lows of 48F/9C ; 12 rainy days
Tromso is not ‘warm’ during the summer, but Northern Norwegians will think that it is! Don’t be surprised to see people swimming or wearing shorts even though the temperatures are not extremely hot!
Midnight Sun in Tromsø
From May 20 until July 22, you will experience the midnight sun in Tromso. Summer solstice is June 21, which is the ‘longest day of the year’ in Tromso and the closer to that exact date you’ll be in Tromso, the more ‘light you will have’.
The midnight sun is mind-blowing but will definitely throw you off just a bit! Fortunately, most hotels and Airbnbs in Tromso will have blackout blinds to help you sleep. Also, bring yourself a sleeping mask just in case!
One perk of the midnight sun in Tromso is that you will have such long days that you can pack so much into them! It will give you a chance to explore the area surrounding Tromso with ease, as well.
If you don’t quite understand how the midnight sun works, this graphic above may help explain things just a little bit!
Best Things to Do in Tromso in Summer
There are so many things to do in Tromso in summer!
We are covering some of the more obvious ones and ones you can also do during winter, but we are also adding some new ones in there like boat trips and hikes.
If you have any suggestions, please leave us a comment and let us know!
1. Take a Wildlife Bird Fjord Cruise in Tromso (includes Lunch!)
On this tour, you will have the convenience of being picked up at a predetermined location in Tromsø’s city center.
From there, you will be guided to the harbor to board the vessel, the “Fjord Queen”. Get cozy in a heated cabin, or don the provided insulated suits to remain on deck and soak up the incredible scenery.
This popular Tromso tour will give you a chance to admire the unique wildlife of the Tromsø region. Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of birds such as sea eagles, guillemots, and eider ducks.
You might even have the chance to see puffins (during their season), cormorants, seals, and otters! Be sure to have your camera ready for some amazing photo captures.
Depending on seasonality, you may also see small pilot whales and dolphins frolicking in the waters. Turn your attention to the shoreline for possible reindeer sightings and appreciate Tromsø’s diverse flora and fauna!
Finally, your exciting polar expedition concludes as you return to the Tromsø harbor.
The tour is 5 hours long, operated in English, and great for the whole family!
2. Go on a Small-Group 4×4 Arctic Road Trip
Head out on an adventurous 4×4 journey where you will get a chance to discover the Arctic in the best way possible – on a road trip! You will go out to Kvaløya island, where you will have magical views the entire way!
This tour will give you the chance to see sea eagles, reindeer, and even the elusive moose. You will stop several times to take photos and take in the scenery.
When you arrive to the island, those on the tour will have the chance to enjoy a homemade light picnic and a warm beverage before continuing on the journey through a mountain valley (and then ending up at a breathtaking fjord).
This Tromsø tour lasts for 5 hours, is conducted in English, and will have a maximum of 8 participants.
3. Enjoy Puppy Training at the Husky Kennel (with Lunch!)
Many travelers don’t realize that even though you can’t go dog-sledding across the snowy wilderness during the summer, you can still meet the husky dogs that take their winter work very seriously!
In fact, you will also get the opportunity to see puppies in training!
This 4.5-hour tour will take you on a walk in the Norwegian nature where you’ll have some of the farm’s 200 Alaskan huskies and their puppies joining you for the journey.
The hike will be around 1-1.5 hours in total and this is one of the best things to do in Tromso in summer for kids!
Transport from Tromso to the husky farm is included (and so is lunch).
4. Stop by the Arctic Cathedral
Probably one of the most famous and beautiful cathedrals in Norway, the Arctic Cathedral quickly piqued my interest due to its unique architectural design and elements.
I knew I wasn’t going to leave Tromso without paying it a visit!
Despite its modern and futuristic design, the Arctic Cathedral, or Tromsdalen Church as some refer to it, was built in 1965.
It is located in the eastern part of Tromso in the Tromsdalen Valley and if you like walking, then it is fairly easy to reach from the city center by crossing over the large bridge.
- January 2 – May 31: 13:00-17:00 (Wed. 14:00-17:00
- June 01 – August 15: 09.00 – 18.00 h. (Sun 13.00 – 18.00 h.)
- August 16 – Dec 30: 13:00-17:00 (Wed. 14:00-17:00)
5. Take in the Views from Fjellheisen
When we were flying into the Tromso Airport, we got to witness the fantastic scenery from the plane. Fortunately, we had another chance to ‘get above it’ once we arrived in Tromso.
That place is Fjellheisen, or the Tromso Cable Car. It really offered the best view over the city and it took our breath away!
To get to the Tromso Cable Car, you can take public transportation from the city center (number 28 bus).
As you will enter the cable car and start the ascent, you will get a view the entire way and then arrive at the top where you’ll find a restaurant/cafe, some trails, and a spectacular view.
We actually went just before midnight when we were there!
We saw other groups popping bottles of Champagne and celebrating the midnight sun and it remains one of my favorite experiences from my summer trip to Northern Norway.
Working hours: 10 AM–12 AM
- For adults NOK 225 (one way) and NOK 345 (return trip)
- For children NOK 115 (one way) and NOK 170 (return trip)
You can actually prebook your tickets to make things easier when you arrive!
6. Peruse the Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden
One of the most fascinating places to visit in Tromso in summer is the world’s northernmost botanic garden.
It is called the Arctic–Alpine Botanic Garden, or Arktisk Alpin Botanisk Hage in Norwegian.
The University campus garden has many plants that grow only in the Arctic and the complex was founded in 1994 and has since collected northern hemisphere plants and flowers.
You will be blown away by the diverse array of flora that surrounds you and will be excited to photograph it all.
The garden is always free and one of the best cheap things to do in Tromso. To get to the Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden, you can take bus 20 or 42. The ride takes only 5-10 minutes in total.
7. Walk Across Tromso Bridge
As I quickly learned, Northern Norway has so many bridges because driving is one of the main ways to get around up there.
Trains don’t go further north than Bodo and even bus schedules are minimal compared to the southern parts of Norway.
I found the Tromso Bridge, built in 1958, to be rather impressive, even after driving on some beautiful ones down in the Lofoten Islands.
You can easily incorporate a stroll across the Tromso Bridge on your way to walk to the Arctic Cathedral and Fjellheisen. Don’t forget to bring a camera as there are many great views from the bridge!
8. Take a Midnight Sun Hiking Tour
From around May 20 until July 22, Tromso experiences the midnight sun and it makes Tromso day trips easier as you have enough sunlight for anything you’d like to do!
It lengthens days and gives you many opportunities for great and unique tours to take during this time.
One of the best ways to truly experience the midnight sun is by taking a hiking tour at night!
On this tour, you will go out of the city toward the coast and do a gorgeous hike with an expert guide.
It will give you a chance to experience the Norwegian wilderness and Midnight Sun up close and personal while learning about the flora and fauna of the region.
The Tromso hike is easy and up a small mountain. You will be provided sandwiches (vegan and vegetarian options are available), a sitting pad, hiking poles, and a small backpack for the journey.
You will also have photos taken of you throughout the hike. Hotel pickup is NOT included, but hotel drop-off is.
9. Check Out the Polar Museum
One of Tromso’s most fascinating museums is The Polar Museum and we highly recommend you add it to your list for your Tromso summer visit!
The museum looks like a big red barn and is located right on the Tromso harbor facing the water.
You will get to learn how Tromso was the 19th-century gateway to the Arctic and how animals were trapped and what an important part of life that was for old Tromso.
In the museum, I got to see replicas of the polar explorers experiencing daily life, including many original tools, weapons, graphics, scenes, and more.
Address: Søndre Tollbodgate 11B, 9008 Tromsø, Norway
Open all week: 11 AM–5 PM
10. Photograph the Tromso Cathedral
As you walk along the central street in Tromso, you will notice a 19th-century, Gothic Revival-style church that you can enter and admire.
The Protestant Cathedral, known as the Tromso Cathedral, has more than 600 seats and is the northernmost Protestant Cathedral in the world.
The church is simple, yet extremely photogenic!
Summer in Tromso is a great place for hiking enthusiasts because the Arctic town offers several easy hikes for the active traveler.
Below are two of our favorite hikes in Tromso in summer!
11. Go Summer Hiking in Tromso at Floya
Usually, tourists take a cable car to reach the top of Floya Mountain. This is a 5-minute, easy journey. However, you can reach the top of Floya by hiking there if you’re looking for a little excitement!
The path to the top starts by taking the first right after you arrive at the cable car station (Fjellheisen). There is a sign that will guide you there.
Alternatively, you can walk up the Sherpa Staircase, which is a path that goes from the left side of the cable car station to the top of Floya.
This path will guide you to some breathtaking views and you’ll also possibly be able to see Kvaloya Island and the Lyngen Alps from afar!
The total hike is about 7 kilometers, or 4.3 miles (both ways), and it is considered a very easy one to manage.
12. Go Hiking at Brosmetinden
This is another easy hike that starts from Tromso to Brosmetinden Mountain and has a fabulous view of the ocean over the Northern Norwegian landscapes.
The path is well-marked. To get to the trailhead, you will need to head to the parking lot in Eidkjosen (about an hour’s drive by rental car or you can take bus #425 from Tromso to Rekvik/Tromvik).
The hike is around 4 kilometers, or 2.5 miles, in total and will offer truly spectacular views.
Where to Stay in Tromso
There are a few choices of places to stay in Tromso in summer. You can opt for a hotel or an Airbnb, or you can go camping.
Please see our specific guides below with our top recommendations:
Are you considering camping? Be sure to read up on how to go camping in Norway before heading out into the wilderness!
Our Thoughts about Summer in Tromso
We LOVED summer in Tromso. While this guide is aimed at those who are visiting Tromso for the first time, please note that this is just an introduction.
There are hundreds of trails in the surrounding area as well as many views and beaches (Sommarøy is a popular favorite)!
There are also many tasty restaurants in the city (you can see our favorites on our Tromso winter itinerary).
We hope that you consider a trip to Tromso in summer – yes, Tromsø’s winter is fantastic, but summer has SO much to offer!
Let us know if you have any questions or recommendations!
More Norway & Tromso Travel Guides
- Where to stay in Tromsø
- Day trips from Tromso
- Tromso camping guide
- Tromso airport to city
- Taking the Hurtigruten to Tromsø
- What to do in Tromsø in winter
- Tromso Airbnb options
- Best museums in Tromso
- Tromso travel tips
Pin this Tromsø in Summer Guide!