Participant’s guide

Here, we will try to give you practical information to help you navigate and to help you get the most out of your stay in Tromsø.

  • We have prepared a Google map with most necessary points at the campus and in town plotted in.
  • A map of the university campus to help you navigate here. See also our MazeMap service with our conference venue.
  • A document with comprehensive information on local transportation in Tromsø.
  • We have also added some more information on how to buy bus tickets in Tromsø …
  • Wi-Fi access on campus: We have Eduroam, but we also have a guest network For participants coming from abroad we have prepared a guest account. Ask for your guest account information at the registration desk.
  • If you want to explore the nature surrounding Tromsø, e.g. see the Aurora or go on a whale watching trip, Visit Tromsø has a number of links for you to explore.

Getting to Tromsø, for those of you who are new to the town, is by plane. The nearest train station is 3 1/2 hours drive from Tromsø, and it is connected to the Swedish, not the Norwegian, rail network. There are about a dozen daily flights in each direction between Oslo and Tromsø, flown by SAS and Norwegian. You can also fly directly from London Gatwick or Stockholm Arlanda, if that suits you better than flying through Oslo. And our airport is a 45 minute walk from the campus, there is even a pedestrian path between us and the airport.

Welcome to Tromsø!

Tromsø is the gateway to the Arctic – the major town in Arctic Norway, a communication hub, an administrative centre and historically also the point of departure for Polar expeditions, sealing and whaling vessels en route to the seasonal hunting grounds and for hunters and trappers embarking on an isolated winter in the Spitzbergen archipelago.

Today, Tromsø is a thriving modern town of over70,000 inhabitants, supplemented by about 9,000 students. In addition to the university itself it has a modern university hospital and is also host to a number of other research institutions, most notably the Norwegian Polar Institute.

Climate and Northern Lights

At the start of the conference, Tromsø also enters the Polar Night, meaning that the sun will be permanently below the horizon until January 21st next year. The return of the sun is always celebrated!

If the weather is cold, it is often also a clear sky and there should be good chances of seeing the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis. There is also a service providing a forecast of Northern Lights activity.

Unless otherwise indicated, plan for cold weather, but follow the weather forecast service. (We won’t guarantee the reliability!) The current weather can be followed from an on-campus weather station with a live web camera facing south.

Clothing

Whatever weather, it won’t be warm by anyone’s but an snowman’s standards, so you will need warm clothing, a scarf, gloves or mittens, solid shoes and something to warm your head with. People won’t expect others to look elegant at this time of year, looking sensible and warm is the correct thing here.

Snow boots shouldn’t be necessary, but sturdy shoes that will suffice in some 10 cms of snow – we are geared to clearing snow, but not continuously. While pavements and walkways won’t always be free of snow, you should not be expecting to wade in it – though that is a rule that has exceptions.  No slippery soles! – it can be ice on pavements and walking paths (will be, if there is snow on the ground) so don’t plan on running. Unless you really want to, you won’t have to move long distances outdoors  – we’re talking a couple of 100 meters at a time, at the most.

Also bring some light indoor shoes and change into them when you arrive at the conference.

Food and drink

The dark season is often a social season with lot of people meeting at restaurants to eat seasonal food. Noteworthy Norwegian foods for the pre-Christmas and Christmas season are lutefisk, pinnekjøtt and rakørret. We dare you to try it if you have a chance! The end of November is the lutefisk season, and in most good restaurants you will encounter the the typical smell of lutefisk.

With the typical Norwegian food of the season goes good beer and aquavit. The local brewery Mack (the world’s northernmost brewery) makes a pleasant lager. Some of the local pubs have a good selection of good beers from Norwegian micro-breweries – if you like beer, try them out. Leif (a senior member of the organizing comittee) will be a good adviser on this … Among good places for micro-beers are Ølhallen, Skarven and Blå Rock. Norwegian aquavit is made of potato and tastes of various spices; among them caraway, aniseed and fennel seeds. Skarven should be a good place to try one or – possibly – two. They are strong!

We hope you will enjoy your stay in Tromsø!

Travelling through Gardermoen

Be aware that when you arrive at Gardermoen Airport in Oslo from abroad, you have to get your suitcase, carry it through customs and then upstairs to check it in again – then queue up for a new security check to be admitted to the departure lounge. This can take time, so unless you have a long stop-over you shouldn’t plan a long visit to the arrival tax-free store. If you visit it, remember you’ll have to go through security again so all liquids have to be carried in sealed plastic bags.

When going back, a tip is that Gardermoen has a large selection of good Scotch, much malts. And on your return you are in transit and there is no luggage hassle.

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