So, you are considering visiting Tromso with Kids or you have already booked your trip? Great! The Arctic City of Tromsø has a lot to offer and even more during winter time.
To fully enjoy your time in Tromsø it takes some planning before you arrive. Most winter activities are booked weeks if not months ahead, so you need to choose carefully and book as soon as possible. This article will give you an idea of what to do in Tromso with Kids and eventually help you make the most of your time in the Arctic:
Tromso Arctic Reindeer Experience
Reindeer Sledding and Sami experience
We were looking forward to this activity and it did not disappoint. We were picked up by bus in front of the Radisson Blu hotel and after 25 minutes we arrived at the camp. The group gathered in the lavuu (tent) where we were introduced to the reindeers and off we went to meet 200 of them. It was really amazing being so close to the reindeers, touching and feeding them. We could try our luck at lasso throwing and also ride on the reindeer pulled sledge. The children loved the experience and were proud to help gathering the reindeers after the sleigh ride.
Tromso with Kids – Experiencing Sami culture
Next it was time to warm up in the tent with a home made reindeer stew prepared over the fire. There was also hot chocolate, coffee and cookies. When everyone was ready the group gathered around the fire in the lavuu where Anneli spoke about the Sami people and how their families have lived for generations. Before leaving, she performed a joik (traditional Sami song) for us, which was really special. We felt fortunate to have experienced a piece of Sami culture during our stay in Tromsø. It was definitely the highlight of our tip to Norway. An experience not to miss if you visit Tromso with Kids!
Price: Adult: 1190 NOK, Children: 595 NOK. More info.
The Aquarium was the first thing the kids wanted to visit upon arriving in Tromsø. The building is easily recognizable from the outside due to its particular shape. Inside you’ll be able to see two short panoramic films about the Northern Lights and about Svalbard. The Aquarium features the local sea life and the highlight is the seals feeding, taking place at 12.30pm and 3.30pm daily. Children will enjoy the little playground and the ship simulator. If you are hungry or thirsty there is a café on the first floor and a gift shop.
Price: Adult: 130 NOK, Children: 65 NOK, Family: 280 NOK. More info.
The Polar Museum
Located close to the harbor in a historic red building, the Polar Museum is all about the history of Tromsø being the Gateway to the Arctic. You’ll learn about trapping, seal hunting, overwintering in the Arctic and about different polar exhibitions. We found the museum very interesting and well laid out. There is also a temporary exhibition on display.
Price: Adult: 60 NOK, Children: 30 NOK, Family: 120 NOK. More info.
You can cross the bridge on the way to the Arctic Cathedral. It is an easy stroll with lovely views.
Tromsø Arctic Cathedral
Although it is called the Arctic Cathedral, it is actually a church. The building is unique from the outside and can be seen from many places around Tromsø. The inside is dominated by a stained glass window. Concerts take place several times a week at 11pm.
Tip: Combine the Arctic Cathedral with the Cable Car (approx 1km)
Price: Adult: 40 NOK, kids are free
Opening times: 3pm-6pm
Fjellheisen – Tromsø Cable Car
The cable car is a must to take in the amazing views over Tromsø, the Fjords and neighboring islands. A short ride will take you to 421m. The weather can change quickly during the winter. We went up under blue skies and 30 minutes later we got caught in a snow storm with low visibility. There are several walks starting at the top of mount Storteinen, a playground and a restaurant.
Price: Adult: 170 NOK, Children: 60 NOK, Family: 350 NOK. More info.
Located centrally in downtown, Tromsø church is worth seeing because it is the only Norwegian cathedral made of wood. Entrance is free.
A temporary exhibition about Sami art and people was taking place when we visited. Usually the museum shows Nordic artworks. To keep children busy, a kids corner with crayons and paper is available in the museum. Entrance is free.
Do you know that you can actually spend time on the ship while it is docked in the harbour? A Hurtigruten arrives around 2.15pm daily and leaves again at 6.30 giving you plenty of time to explore the ship. Have a look at the outside pool, the different decks and bridges, take a seat in the observation lounge and enjoy the views of the mountains, the Arctic Cathedral and the bridge through the large panoramic windows.
A small snack bar and a shop are open if you want to buy something.
Tip: Don’t forget your ID in order to access the ship!
Where to eat in Tromso with Kids:
First of all, we found eating out in Tromsø really expensive. Secondly, as it isn’t easy to get a table, you need to book 1-2 days ahead. Once, we had no other choice than to eat at the Burger King- the kids were happy, the parents less. But thankfully the two other nights scored a table in the following restaurants:
In both restaurants, we were really happy with the quality and presentation of the food. For children they suggested a dish from the menu for half the price. To give you an idea, for two starters, two main dishes, two kids plates and 2 glasses of wine, we paid around 200€. You can easily book both restaurants via Bookatable.com.
Shopping in Tromso with Kids
The main shopping street is Storgata. A shopping center called Nerstranda with more than 40 shops and cafés is located in Strandgata. Most of the shops close close at 8pm during the week and at 6pm on Saturday. On Sundays, the shops are closed.
Two things we are disappointed about:
We didn’t want to book a tour but try our luck at seeing an Aurora from the Center of Tromsø. Unfortunately it didn’t happen although the skies were clear on one night.
We were in contact with Villmarkssenter to go on a dog sledding tour. We confirmed the booking and then never heard back. When we contacted them, they just told us they were eventually fully booked and had no space for us left. Saying that we were disappointed would be an understatement. I mean, how often do you get the opportunity of dog sledding? So of course we urge you to skip the Villmarkssenter company for any of their activities. They are a total scam and their only interest is to make money on our back without any consideration.
What you need to know before visiting Tromso with Kids:
• If you are traveling as a family, get a taxi to and from the airport. It’s cheaper than Flybussen
• Download the official Visit Tromsø app to help you get around and know what’s going on in Tromso
• The Northern Lights Season goes from September to April
• Bring warm, comfortable clothes & shoes and dress in layers
• Dog sledding is the most popular activity so book well in advance
• Review of our stay at the Scandic Ishavshotel
If you have any questions about visiting Tromso with Kids, please leave a comment below or contact us. Of course, this list of activities is not exhaustive. As always, we only include things we experienced personally. For more travel inspiration follow Letzflyaway on Facebook.