Visit Tromso in December for an unforgettable winter experience
Tromsø is a city located in the northern part of Norway, about 350 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. It is the largest city in Northern Norway and is often referred to as the “Gateway to the Arctic“. The city is surrounded by mountains and fjords, which make for a stunning natural landscape.
Tromsø is known for its rich cultural heritage, which is reflected in its architecture, museums, and festivals. The city has a vibrant arts scene, with several theaters, galleries, and music venues. The Arctic Cathedral, which is one of the most iconic buildings in Tromsø, is a stunning example of modern architecture and is a must-visit attraction.
Tromsø is also a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, especially in winter. The city is a great place to see the Northern Lights, which can often be seen dancing in the sky from late September to early April. There are also several ski resorts and cross-country skiing trails in the area, as well as opportunities for snowmobiling, dogsledding, and ice fishing.
In addition to its natural beauty and outdoor activities, Tromsø is also known for its food culture. The city is famous for its seafood, especially Arctic cod, and salmon, as well as local delicacies like reindeer and moose. There are several restaurants and cafes in the city that specialize in traditional Norwegian cuisine.
How is the weather in December?
December is one of the coldest and darkest months in Tromsø, but it is also one of the best months to see the Northern Lights. The average temperature in December is around -3°C (27°F), but it can get much colder, with temperatures sometimes dropping below -10°C (14°F). The days are very short, with only a few hours of daylight, and the nights are long and dark.
In December, Tromsø is covered in snow, which makes for a beautiful winter wonderland. The snow can sometimes cause disruptions to transportation, so it is important to check the weather forecast and plan accordingly. It is also important to dress warmly and in layers, as the temperature can vary throughout the day.
Despite the cold weather, December is a great time to visit Tromsø for those who want to experience the magic of winter in the Arctic. The city is decorated with Christmas lights and there are several Christmas markets and festivals throughout the month. The Northern Lights can often be seen dancing in the sky, and there are several tours and activities that offer the opportunity to see them up close.
Renting a car in Tromso in December
If you’re planning to visit Tromso, Norway during the winter, renting a car is the best way to get around and explore the city and its surroundings. To rent a car, it’s recommended to book ahead of time to ensure availability. Check the website of Rentalcars so you can compare the different rental companies.
When driving in Tromso during winter, it’s important to prepare for the snowy and icy conditions. It’s recommended to rent a car with studded winter tires, as they provide better traction on icy roads. Additionally, it’s important to drive carefully and adjust your speed according to the weather conditions.
If you’re not used to driving in snowy or icy conditions, it can be helpful to practice in a safe and open area before hitting the roads in Tromso. Visitors should also be aware of the limited daylight hours during winter and plan their driving accordingly.
Top attractions in Tromso in December
Tromsø is one of the best places in the world to see the northern lights. The best time to see them is from late September to early April.
Tromsø is located in the middle of the Northern Lights oval, which means that it is one of the best places in the world to see the Aurora Borealis. You can take a Northern Lights tour from Tromsø, which will take you to the best locations for viewing the lights. Some tours even offer warm drinks and snacks to keep you warm while you wait for the lights to appear.
Tromsø Arctic Cathedral
The cathedral is one of the most iconic buildings in Tromsø. It is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture and is definitely worth a visit. It is one of the most iconic buildings in the city. It was built in 1861 and is the only cathedral in Norway made of wood. In winter, the cathedral is beautifully lit up with Christmas lights and is a must-see attraction.
For opening hours, visit the Artic Cathedral website.
Polaria is an Arctic aquarium and science center. It is a great place to learn about the Arctic ecosystem and see some of the animals that live there. In winter, you can watch the seals being fed and learn about the different species that live in the Arctic.
There is also an interactive exhibit that allows you to experience the Northern Lights and the Arctic landscape.
You can buy tickets for Polaria by following this link.
Fjellheisen Cable Car
The Fjellheisen Cable Car takes you up to the top of Mount Storsteinen, which offers breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding mountains. In winter, the cable car is a great way to see the Northern Lights from above.
At the top of the mountain, there is a restaurant where you can enjoy a warm meal and a drink while taking in the views. You can buy tickets for the Fjelheisen Cable car in advance so you don’t need to wait in line.
Tromsø Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden
The Tromsø Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden is the northernmost botanical garden in the world and is home to over 5,000 plant species. In winter, the garden is covered in snow and ice, which makes for a beautiful winter wonderland.
You can take a guided tour of the garden to learn about the different plant species and how they survive in the Arctic climate. The entrance is free.
In the garden, there is Hansine Hansen’s café. It is open every day during the period of 30th of June until the 15th of August, from 11:30 am until 03:30 pm (15:30).
There are several Sami tours and activities that offer the opportunity to learn about Sami culture and traditions. You can visit a Sami camp and meet with a Sami family, learn about their way of life, and hear traditional stories and songs. You can also try traditional Sami food and learn about the importance of reindeer herding to the Sami way of life.
Outdoor activities in Tromso in December
Dogsledding is a popular activity in Tromsø. You can take a tour through the snow-covered landscape with a team of huskies.
The tours are usually led by experienced guides who will teach you how to drive the sled and take care of the dogs. You can choose from a variety of tours, from short trips to longer expeditions that last several days.
Snowshoeing is a great way to explore the mountains around Tromsø. You can rent snowshoes and explore the beautiful winter landscape on your own or with a guide. Snowshoeing is a low-impact activity that is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.
Tromsø has several ski resorts that offer a variety of slopes for skiers of all levels.
The resorts are located within a short drive from the city and offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains. You can rent equipment and take lessons from experienced instructors if you are a beginner.
Have a look at this article “Where to ski in the Tromso area” for more details.
Ice fishing is a popular winter activity in Tromsø. You can rent equipment and try your luck at catching fish in one of the many lakes or fjords around the city. Some tours even offer the opportunity to cook and eat the fish you catch.
Snowmobiling is a thrilling way to explore the winter landscape around Tromsø. You can take a guided tour through the snow-covered mountains and valleys, stopping at scenic viewpoints along the way.
Snowmobiling tours are usually led by experienced guides who will teach you how to operate the snowmobile and take you to the best locations for sightseeing.
Reindeer sledding is a traditional Sami activity that is popular in Tromsø. You can take a tour through the snow-covered landscape with a team of reindeer pulling a sled. The tours are usually led by Sami guides who will teach you about the history and culture of reindeer herding.
Essential travel tips for Tromso in winter:
- Dress warmly: Tromsø can get very cold in the winter, so make sure to bring warm clothes and layers. We have written an article about what to wear in Iceland. You can have a look as the weather can be quite similar in the north of Norway.
- Book tours in advance: Popular activities like dogsledding and northern lights tours can get booked up quickly, so make sure to book in advance. Check GetYourGuide of Viator for promotions for activities in Tromso in winter.
- Try local cuisine: Tromsø is known for its seafood and local delicacies like reindeer and moose. Make sure to try some of the local cuisine while you are there. If you want to know more about food and drinks in Norway, you should check this website. They listed all bars and restaurants in Tromso.
Best places to stay in Tromso in winter
This is a luxury hotel located in the heart of Tromsø, with stunning views of the harbor and the surrounding mountains. The hotel features a rooftop bar and restaurant, a fitness center, and a spa. It has received excellent reviews for its modern design, comfortable rooms, and friendly staff.
You can check prices here. Rooms start from €200 for 2 persons, breakfast included. The Polaria Aquarium and the Tromsø Cathedral are both within 300 m of the hotel.
This is another luxury hotel located in the city center, with panoramic views of the harbor and the Arctic Cathedral. The hotel features a restaurant, a bar, and a fitness center. It has received excellent reviews for its spacious rooms, excellent breakfast, and convenient location.
You can check the prices and availability here.
Radisson Blu Hotel Tromsø
This is a mid-range hotel located in the city center, within walking distance of many of Tromsø’s top attractions. The hotel features a restaurant, a bar, and a fitness center. It has received excellent reviews for its comfortable rooms, friendly staff, and convenient location.
You can check the prices and availability here. Rooms start from €250 for two people.
Comfort Hotel Xpress Tromsø
This is a budget hotel located in the city center, within walking distance of many of Tromsø’s top attractions. The hotel features a self-service check-in, a lounge area, and a 24-hour gym. It has received excellent reviews for its modern design, comfortable rooms, and affordable prices.
You can check prices and availability here. Rooms start from €150 for two people.
Tromsø Lodge & Camping
This is a budget-friendly option located just outside the city center, in a beautiful natural setting. The lodge offers a range of accommodation options, from cabins to tents, and features a restaurant, a sauna, and a hot tub. Check prices and availability here.