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 realise that most of the best Tromso activities can only be done with an organised 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
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. This is the tour that I did when I visited Tromso in March.
- Polar whale and sea bird boat safari. This tour only runs from November till the end of January (whale season).
- Whale watching on a catamaran. Available from mid October to mid February.
- RIB boat cruise.
- Arctic sailing safari.
- Polar fishing adventure. This is similar to the Polar fjord cruise and is run by the same company, but there are just very few dates available at the time of writing. Alternatively, check this fishing cruise.
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:
- Small group 7-hr Northern Lights tour. This is the best-rated small group aurora tour in Tromso.
- Small group Northern Lights photography tour. Probably the best price/ quality ratio aurora tour you can find in Tromso.
- Aurora chase with professional photographers. This is a big bus tour, extremely well organised, and one of the two aurora tours I did in Tromso.
- Husky sled ride under the Northern Lights. If you don’t get to see the lights, at least you had the husky ride.
- Northern Lights and husky experience with dinner. No sled ride on this tour, just meeting the huskies.
My personal favourite tour in Tromso in winter was husky sledding. It was a real bucket list item for me and it didn’t disappoint. And now that I saw that it’s possible to join a 2-day husky sledding expedition (available only in March and April in 2019), I am seriously contemplating going back to Tromso in winter.
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 read all about my experience and tips for dog sledding in Tromso.
Here are some of the best-rated dog sledding tours in Tromso:
- Husky sled drive with lunch. This is the tour I did (and loved it!).
- Husky sled ride with lunch. Exactly the same tour as above, but you don’t get to drive, just sit in the sled.
- Husky sled ride under the Northern Lights
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 the 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:
- Reindeer sledding, feeding, and Sami culture tour. This tour includes about 30min of sledding.
- Reindeer feeding, Sami culture, and short reindeer sledding tour. Just 5-10 minutes of sledding.
- Reindeer feeding, lasso throwing, and Sami culture tour with lunch. This is the cheapest reindeer tour, but there is no sledding included at all.
- Reindeer camp dinner, Sami culture, and chance of Northern Lights. This is an evening tour, mostly focused on Sami culture.
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.
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.
- Historical Tromso city walk.
- Tromso beer safari. This tour takes you to the world’s northernmost brewery.
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.
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:
- Fjords small group bus tour. This is a good option to see some of the beautiful surroundings near Tromso if you’re not planning to rent a car.
- Snowmobile safari tour from Tromso. Available from December till the end of March.
- Guided snowshoe hiking tour. Winter only.
- Husky hike with aurora camp. This is an overnight tour, you sleep in the camp (and save one night of hotel costs).
- Cross country skiing or a cross country ski lesson for beginners.
- Visit Tromso Ice Domes. I loved this place!
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 centre 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:Booking Tromso tours online in advance 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 cancelled 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 up front, especially dog sledding tours in winter.
Hope this helps you to plan your trip to Tromso and tick some amazing activities off your bucket list. If you are looking for more travel tips and inspiration for Norway, make sure to check our Norway travel page.
Do you have any questions? Don’t hesitate to leave a reply below and I’ll do my best to help.
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