Best Tromso tours and popular excursions in Tromso, Northern Norway

Best Tromso Tours (Excursions You Must Do!)

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Tromso is one of Northern Norway’s top destinations offering a wide variety of activities. Whether you come in summer or in winter, there is always so much to see and do. However, if you do some research, you’ll quickly realize that most of the best Tromso activities can only be done with an organized tour. After all, you can’t go whale watching or dog sledding on your own… But what are the best tours in Tromso?

To make your trip planning easier, I researched tens of Tromso tours and excursions and hand-picked some of the best guided tours and day trips in Tromso. Some tours are only available in winter, some can be done in any season. From whale watching or fishing to reindeer- and dog sledding, Tromso is a fantastic place to tick many unforgettable experiences from your bucket list. The choice is yours to make. Find out!

Featured image by Sharon Ang via Pixabay

Best excursions and tours in Tromso Northern Norway

Fjord cruise

There is probably no better way to explore the magnificent mountain scenery around Tromso than by taking a fjord cruise. Depending on the season, you might get to see some marine wildlife or try fishing as well.

I went on a fjord cruise on a really cold and windy grey winter day, yet it was still amazing. If you are interested, you can read about this and other great things to do in Tromso in winter. But if you’re wondering whether it’s worth it, all I can say is that everyone on our boat was very enthusiastic about the trip.

Here are some of the best fjord cruises, whale watching trips, and other boat trips in Tromso:

Polar fjord cruise and whale watching is one of the most popular tours in Tromso
Polar fjord cruise © Marcelo Quinan via Unsplash

Northern Light tours

The most popular winter excursions in Tromso are without a doubt the Northern Lights tours.

I am always a bit hesitant to suggest to book a tour for something that you can see for free. However, there are many reasons to consider taking a Northern Lights tour in Tromso. First, the Northern Light tours bring you to a place where the chances to see auroras are highest for that specific night. Second, you don’t need to rent a car and drive in the dark on the icy roads. Third, you can benefit from the knowledge and experience of the guides, who will often also give you aurora photography tips. And finally, if you book a small group tour, you also get a warm suit as well as a really nice bonfire experience.

For more information and to get a better idea of what to expect from the Northern Lights tours in Tromso, you can read my personal experience and practical tips for chasing Northern Lights in Tromso.

Here are some of the best Northern Lights tours in Tromso:

Watching Northern Lights in Tromso Norway
Tromso is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights

Dog sledding

My personal favorite tour in Tromso in winter is husky sledding. It was a real bucket list item for me and it didn’t disappoint. 

If you book just one tour in Tromso in winter, make it dog sledding! Note that dog sledding tours are only available in winter, from November till early April. Here you can find some of the best-rated dog sledding tours in Tromso.

I did this self-drive husky sled tour and highly recommend the experience and the location!

If you are really budget-conscious, here is the cheapest highly-rated dog sledding tour in Tromso. The price difference isn’t big though – husky sledding is an expensive activity.

If you are interested to know more about husky sledding, here you can read all about my personal experience and tips for dog sledding in Tromso.

Dog sledding in Tromso Norway - our experience and practical tips
Dog sledding was my personal no. 1 tour in Tromso

Reindeer sledding and Sami culture tours

Another bucket-list item for many people traveling to Northern Norway is meeting reindeer. Northern Norway, as well as Finland, is home to Sami tribe and reindeer are an indispensable part of their culture. Therefore the area around Tromso is a perfect place to see them.

There are many possibilities to see or feed reindeer, as well as do some reindeer sledding in Tromso. Note that the tours that involve reindeer sledding only run in winter (usually from around mid November till mid April).

Here are some reindeer sledding tour options near Tromso:

TIP: Reindeer sledding vs. dog sledding. If you are not sure which tour to choose, reindeer sledding or dog sledding, and don’t have the time or the budget for both, I recommend dog sledding. They are both very different experiences, but dog sledding goes much faster and takes much longer.

Reindeer sledding with Sami people in Tromso Norway
Reindeer sledding with Sami people

Tromso town tours

All the tours mentioned above start and end in Tromso, but they are all located outside the city. If you want to explore the town a bit more, consider these excursions.

TIP: For more ideas on what to do in Tromso town, please check our post on the best things to see and do in Tromso in winter. Among others, it has the whole section on the main Tromso attractions.

Colorful buildings of the old town in Tromso Norway
Colorful buildings in Tromso harbor © Ulrich Scharwachter via Pixabay

Other suggested tours in Tromso

The excursions I described above are the most popular tours in Tromso. If you are looking for the most memorable experiences, then look no further – seeing the Northern Lights, reindeer or dog sledding, as well as fjord cruise are the main options to consider when visiting Tromso.

There are of course many more tours and day trips, so if you are looking for more ideas, read on.

Here are some other tours that you can do in Tromso:

Visiting Tromso Ice Domes in Norway
Tromso Ice Domes

So, this is my selection of the best Tromso tours. Once again, this is just a small part of all the excursions that are available in Tromso. I hand-picked these tours based on reviews, best date availability, and the easiness of booking (and cancelation).

You can also just go to Tromso’s visitor center upon arrival and try to book some tours directly. However, my experience visiting the city last winter shows that many tours get sold out. Small group Northern Lights tours are extremely popular, just as dog sledding.

TIP: Book your Tromso tours online in advance! This gives you a possibility to compare offerings and prices, read the reviews, and to make sure that you can do the tours you want, rather than risk them being fully booked. You don’t necessarily have to book Tromso tours months in advance, but if your travel dates are fixed, you might as well do. Most of the tours I suggest in this post can be canceled up to 24 hours in advance, so you have nothing to lose. As a minimum, I would try to book the tours you really want to do at least two weeks upfront, especially the Northern Lights tours and dog sledding tours in winter.

Hope this helps you to plan your trip to Tromso and tick some amazing activities off your bucket list.

TIP: If you are visiting Tromso in winter but are not sure how to plan your trip, please check our suggested itinerary for 3 days in Tromso in winter.

Do you have any questions? Don’t hesitate to leave a reply below and I’ll do my best to help.

More tips for your trip to Tromsø:

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Best tours and activities in Tromso Norway


  1. Hi, thank you for the list, super useful! Question, do you have recommendations for overnight tours? We have 5 nights in Tromso so we could fit something like this,

  2. Hi Jurga, My family and I will be travelling to Tromso on Nov. 25 (arrive in the afternoon) and leave on Nov. 30 (morning). We will be there for 4 full days. It will be me, my wife and 2 young kids. We are really planning to see the northern lights. Would you be able to recommend a day by day itinerary for us? I like all the things you did listed above and I am trying to work around that for us. We are planning to rent a car to be able to go around ourselves. Hoping to hear from you soon. Thank you!

    1. Author

      Hi, it’s really difficult for me to recommend an itinerary, especially by car, but here you can find all my suggestions for what to do in Tromso in winter. I think it’s best to pick one outdoor activity per day, during the daylight hours, and then spend the rest of the time exploring the town in the afternoon and chasing the Northern Lights at night.
      You don’t really need a car in Tromso in winter, except indeed if you want to drive outside of town every night and go looking for auroras. For the rest – all the activities will include transportation from town and will not be any cheaper if you drive there yourself. Some activities like boat tours don’t require the car at all… Maybe Tromso Ice Domes might be a bit cheaper to visit if the transfer is not included, but you’d have to call and ask them how it works because they have set times when they do tours, so it’s best to know that before you set because the drive is quite long. Talking of which, they may not yet be open in November…
      So you should really do some research, decide what you want to do, and then figure out if it makes sense to rent a car (or maybe not for the entire duration). Because renting a car in Norway is really expensive (you can compare prices and find the best deals for car rental here) and parking isn’t cheap either and it would be a complete waste of money to rent a car and then have it standing waiting for you while you do organized tours where transfers are included anyway.
      I’d only rent a car if you are planning to go and explore outside of town, but beware that you’ll likely be driving on ice (usually, they don’t bother to clean the roads as locals are used to it).
      PS if you are ok to drive far (2,5-3 hrs one way from Tromso), you may want to visit the Polar Park with kids.
      Hope this helps a bit.

  3. hi jurga thank you so much for sharing your experience and travel tips it has inspired me to go to tromso in February for my birthday. I would like a few tips as I will be travelling with my husband and my 9 year old daughter. my main to do list there is to see the northern lights and dog sledging. maybe another activity that you can recommend that my daughter might enjoy. planning of staying for 4 days. I don’t mind to drive there but as you said car hire is expensive. if I decide not to drive where would you recommend for us to stay. where its easier to get around with buses etc.. thank you

    1. Author

      Hi Jane, you really don’t need a car. If you take tours, they pick you up in the town center, and it’s so compact that you can easily walk everywhere. Please check our Tromso in winter article for more ideas on what to do in town. At the bottom of that post, you’ll also find our tips on where to stay.
      For your daughter, reindeer sledding might be nice too. Definitely go up the mountain by cable car for nice views. There are several museums and an aquarium in town as well.
      UPDATE: we now published a detailed guide to Tromso hotels. It contains our hand-picked selection of best-located Tromso hotels for all budgets.

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