Tromsø lies in Northern Norway, located 350 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. Tromsø is the capital of the Arctic, surrounded by beautiful fjords and mountains. Human settlement dates back more than 10,000 years, whilst the local Sami culture is at least 2,000 years old. Tromsø was founded in 1794, and has a population of about 70,000 and covers an area of 2,516 square kilometres. The municipality has a population of (2015) 72,066, but with an annual influx of students it has over 75,000 most of the year. Most of Tromsø, including the city centre, is located on the island of Tromsøya, 350 kilometres (217 mi) north of the Arctic Circle. In 2012, Tromsøya had a population of 36,088. Substantial parts of the urban area are also situated on the mainland to the east, and on parts of Kvaløya—a large island to the west. Tromsøya is connected to the mainland by the Tromsø Bridge and the Tromsøysund Tunnel, and to the island of Kvaløya by the Sandnessund Bridge.
In the 1850s, Tromsø became the centre for trapping in the Arctic region. In the early 1900s, it was the starting point for expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic regions, hence its nickname – “Gateway to the Arctic”.
Seasons and climate
The city is warmer than most other places located on the same latitude, due to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream. From 20 May to 22 July, the midnight sun is a special experience, with daylight 24 hours for two months.
Between 21 November and 21 January, the sun disappears below the horizon and the polar night sets in. It is not completely dark in the middle of the day, however, and the light and colour in the sky during that time of year is very special – it is called the blue twilight.
Temperature in September can vary between high of 12°C and low of 4°C. The winter in Tromsø is not especially cold. The average January temperature is -4°C. There is often a lot of snow and the relatively mild winter is perfect for outdoor activities.
For more information about the weather in Tromsø, please see Yr.
Tromsø is among the best places on earth to observe the northern lights, with a season that lasts from September throughout March. However, chances of spotting the northern lights depend on the cloud cover and the amount of solar activity and are therefore difficult to predict.
For more information on Tromsø, please see Visit Tromsø.