A flying trip to Tromso, Norway
I recently changed jobs in November last year, and although I usually travel quite frequently with my work, it meant that I had nearly four months between my last trip in my previous job and my first trip in my new job. So last week, the moment finally arrived for me to get back on a plane to go on my work travels. To be honest, I was getting serious cabin fever sitting at my desk for more than two weeks, so this was really exciting for me! I lucked out with my first work trip in this job being to Norway. Norway is one of those countries that’s always been on my list to visit, but I’d never really had the time to do a trip there. I only went for two nights so it was somewhat of a whistle-stop tour of the city I visited, Tromso. I was doubly excited that not only would I tick a new country off my list, but it would also be my first trip to somewhere in the Arctic Circle. Tromso certainly didn’t disappoint me; it was such a beautiful little city with unbelievable scenery and it’s somewhere I’d definitely try to go back to on holiday sometime!
Tromso is located right in the north of Norway and has a population of around 64,000. The city itself is mainly located on an island surrounded by fjords and mountains, but there is some of the town located across a bridge that joins the two parts. The main part of the city is very walkable (about 10 minutes end to end!) so it’s very easy to get around! Tromso is located inside the Arctic Circle but the climate is much milder than I expected due to the Gulf Stream. Air temperatures didn’t go much below -3°C when I was there but the wind chill made it feel a lot colder, so don’t be lulled into a false sense of security! I’d heard that Norway is expensive and I found that to be true; if you’re planning a visit, expect to pay around twice the price for food compared to in the UK and be aware that the minimum taxi charge starts at around 80 Krone (or £7.50).
Although I was only there for a short time, I did manage to get out and about to explore the local area inbetween work events on Friday. Another consideration if you’re travelling to Tromso during the winter months is that the days are very short; whilst I was there it was getting light at about 8:30am and dark just after 3pm. However, this did mean I managed to catch both beautiful sunrises and sunsets!
I left my hotel fairly early on Friday morning as I had to check out and had identified a nature spot I wanted to visit before heading for breakfast and then onto work. The spot I headed to was a beach about half an hour walk from my hotel, which was right in the centre of the city. The beach is called Telegrafbukta and I honestly could not recommend visiting this spot more. The only other people down there were locals walking their dogs so it was completely tourist-free, which was a nice change from the centre of Tromso. Tourists probably weren’t going down there for good reason; although it wasn’t that cold walking through the streets, the beach was completely exposed and the wind was pretty fresh!
It was worth the biting cold though for the absolutely spectacular views. The view of the snow-covered mountains across the sea with the pink and blue sunrise sky behind was beyond perfect. I felt like I was on the edge of the Earth and the magnificent Arctic nature surrounding me was breathtakingly beautiful.
After my morning beach excursion, I headed back to town for breakfast, walking along the seafront and past the harbour. The views I saw from basically anywhere in the city were stunning and I loved seeing all the boats in the harbour against the backdrop of Nordic houses across the sea.
I finished my work event at 2pm, which meant there was about an hour before sunset in Tromso. A lot of people who’d visited Tromso recommended going up the cable car, and I’m not one to pass up a cable car opportunity! I tend to enjoy doing these when I’m on a work trip because they’re generally quite cheap, aren’t too time-consuming and generally offer spectacular views to give you a sense of perspective for where you are. The cable car cost 190 Krone (about £18) return for an adult, or 140 Krone (about £13) return for a student and there’s usually a departure every half hour. When we were there it was quite busy though so they did seem to be going more regularly than that!
Tromso’s cable car offering certainly didn’t disappoint. The views from the top of Fjellheisen mountain were absolutely stunning and the sunset colours really took my breath away. From the top of the cable car you could see all of Tromso as well as the fjords and mountains beyond. There is a viewing platform by the cable car station but you can also wander around the mountain-top for more views. During my visit the snow was very compacted which effectively turned the mountain into an ice-rink, but it was still worth navigating the treacherous terrain to get the best sunset view!
Finally, it was time to head back down to the city to grab a quick dinner before heading to the airport. Fortunately, as Tromso is so small the airport is only about 10 minutes’ drive from the city centre, meaning you can really maximise your time there before leaving. I enjoyed my brief time in Tromso so much that I’m definitely considering planning a holiday there as there are a lot of excursions on offer that I didn’t get chance to do, such as Northern Lights tours and husky rides.
Have you been to Tromso? What was your favourite thing to do?