Visiting Tromso Ice Domes in Norway

Tromsø Ice Domes – The Ice Hotel of Tromso Norway

In Europe, Norway, Travel inspiration by Jurga10 CommentsTHIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS

Tromsø Ice Domes is the newest addition to the already impressive list of unforgettable things to do in Tromsø in winter. Surrounded by beautiful mountains in Tamok Valley in Northern Norway just next to the Finnish Border, Tromsø Ice Domes might look like a regular snow igloo at first sight. But appearances can be misleading. The moment you open the door you step into a true winter wonderland…

Tromso Ice Domes were first opened in the winter of 2017/2018, and the project was a big success from the start. So it looks like it’s there to stay and will be opening every winter.

The first edition features a huge igloo complete with two ice bars, an ice restaurant, a cinema, and one hotel room. In the future they are planning to have more hotel rooms and turn the Ice Domes into a real Ice Hotel.

Ice bar at the Tromso Ice Hotel in Northern Norway

Ice bar

 

Since the Ice Domes have to be rebuilt from scratch every year, I assume that they will look somewhat different every winter. The focus this winter season was on the ice art that reflects the unique bond between local Sami people and nature.

I’ve seen several ice bars and ice hotels before, but I can tell you that none of them even compares to what I found in Tromso. So let me take you on a short tour inside this winter wonderland and inspire you to go and visit Tromso Ice Domes for yourselves there’s also a short video below).

Update: Based on the questions and comments I got, I want to clarify that you don’t have to stay in the ice hotel in order to visit it. The tour I took was just a half day trip from Tromso and everybody can do it. It costs just a fraction of the actual hotel stay, and you can admire this beautiful place just as well.

I visited Tromso Ice Domes as part of my winter trip in cooperation with Visit Tromsø and would go back in a heartbeat!

Below you can find my review of this unique place and practical tips for your visit. Read on!

Tromso Ice Domes is a true winter wonderland in Northern Norway

 

Visiting Tromso Ice Domes

After a 1,5hr drive through spectacular scenery along the fjords we reached Camp Tamok where the Tromso Ice Domes are located.

We were greeted by a guide who took us on a tour inside the Ice Domes. She told us the story about how the whole Ice Domes project started.

Apparently, the owner had a dream of building the Ice Domes, but couldn’t get a loan from the bank, because you know – who would lend 160,000EUR to build a place that will melt 6 months later. However, he was so passionate about the idea and confident in its success that he decided to sell his own house in order to fund the project.

Snow igloo - Tromso Ice Hotel in Norway

From the outside it looks like any regular igloo, but first looks can be deceiving

 

It took 5 weeks to build the place and apparently most time and money went into interior decoration of the igloo. They hired some of the world’s best ice artists from China and the result is simply incredible. Let’s take a look inside.

Tromso Ice Domes in Northern Norway

The entrance to the Ice Domes

 

Ice Bar

The first room we entered was a beautiful ice bar where visitors were offered an ice shot (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options are available). Just hold your glasses tightly or they will slip out of your fingers because, yes you guessed it… the glasses are made of ice!

Drinks in ice glasses at an ice bar in Northern Norway

You can have a drink and eat your glass afterwards 🙂

Ice Bar in Tromso Norway

Attention to little details is what makes this place so special

 

While you have a drink and listen to the stories about the local Sami culture, you can admire the stunningly detailed ice carvings on the walls. And just in case you think you see a Santa Claus here, look closer – it’s actually a Sami person riding a reindeer-pulled sleigh. Now you know where the image of Santa’s reindeer comes from.

Sami on the reindeer sled ice carving - this image is probably the predecessor of Santa Claus

Sami people used reindeer sleighs long before Santa Claus 🙂

Reindeer ice carvings at Tromso Ice Domes in Norway

Isn’t this ice bar just incredible?!

 

Ice Cinema

Our next stop was an ice cinema where we watched a short film showing the beautiful surroundings as well as the construction process of the Ice Domes. It’s really impressive to see how it’s all done!

Ice cinema at Tromso Ice Domes in Norway

Watching a film at the ice cinema

 

Ice Hotel

As I said, at the moment Tromso Ice Domes only have one hotel room with plans to expand to 7 rooms next year. But what a room it is! Everything is made with so much attention to detail. Who wouldn’t like to spend a night here…. And no, the mattress isn’t made of ice, so you can get a really good night’s sleep.

The price tag of such a stay is really high though, but if you have 1.250EUR to spare, this fairytale-like bedroom is all yours for one night. The guide told us that the prices will probably be lower next year as they open more hotel rooms. So let’s hope it becomes more affordable and more people can enjoy this unique experience of spending a night in an incredibly beautiful ice hotel.

And in case you wonder how cold it is, the igloo has a pretty much constant temperature of -5°C (23°F). So nothing to worry about; and they provide you with a good sleeping bag.

Ice bed at an ice hotel - Tromso Ice Domes Norway

Stunningly beautiful ice hotel room

 

Ice Restaurant

The last room we visited was an ice restaurant. You can have a hot meal here (needs to be booked in advance), or order some drinks if you like.

Ice restaurant at Tromso Ice Hotel Norway

Ice restaurant

 

Practical information for visiting Tromso Ice Domes

  • Tromso Ice Domes are open in winter season from 10 December to 31 March.
  • You can visit Ice Domes with a tour that is run by Destination Tromso. It departs from Tromso city centre twice a day (10AM and 2.30PM) and takes about 4hrs in total.
  • You can also visit Tromso Ice Domes individually by car. See the map below for the exact location. Please note that it’s a long drive (96km-60 miles) and the roads can be really slippery – they were completely covered in ice when I visited.
  • If you decide to go by car, it’s best to call them in advance and inquire about the best times to visit. At the moment they run guided tours at 11AM, 1PM, and 3PM. It’s a little bit cheaper than taking a tour, but not worth renting a car just for that.

As promised, here is a short video of Tromso Ice Domes as they look in winter 2017 – 2018.

 

***Read also: Best tours in Tromsø***

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Visit Tromso Ice Domes - a true winter wonderland in Northern Norway

Visit Tromso Ice Hotel in Norway
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Comments

  1. My kids were enraptured by your video of the hotel. Amazing! Thank you for sharing this place. We’re putting it on our list!

    1. Author

      Glad to hear that, Mandy. It’s a beautiful place indeed, definitely worth a visit if in Tromso in winter. Would be interesting to see how they decorate it next year, I assume it will be somewhat different every year.

  2. the detailing on those walls in incredible. Still not convinced I could manage -5 sleeping conditions but I’d definitely enjoy a drink at the bar!

    1. Author

      Haha, I’m with you on the drinks in the bar, Alex. It was so cool to drink out of those ice glasses and enjoy such beautiful surroundings at the same time. The ice art is truly incredible, it always amazes me how much fantasy people have and how much craftsmanship to make such beautiful carvings.

  3. This place is incredible! I love all the details (the ice carvings on the wall especially) that have gone into building such a unique place. If I happen to win the lottery, this would be somewhere we would be visiting as the experience to stay somewhere like this would be worth the price tag. Thanks for sharing Jurga!

    1. Author

      I am sure it would be an unforgettable experience to spend a night in such a beautiful hotel room, Sharee. As I said before, you don’t have to stay here in order to see the place, so it’s also affordable even to those of us who don’t play lottery :).

  4. This hotel looks amazing! I have been to an ice bar in Norway and that was a fun experience, but this looks incredible and cold!

    1. Author

      It’s warmer inside the igloo than on the outside in winter. 🙂

  5. How awesome it must be to experience this. I’ve never been in Norway or experienced this at all, but it would definitely be something on my list to do if ever in the area. But then again.. for the cost is another matter haha!

    1. Author

      Hi Zoe, yes indeed, staying in an ice hotel is very expensive. But a short tour to visit it is much more affordable. Still, by no means a cheap experience at almost 90EUr/pp for this half day trip from Tromso, but then nothing is cheap in Norway.

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