Most of you are going to Tromsø to see the Northern Lights or experience Arctic. Snow will be here until the May. Not to be disappointed you should now something before:
1) Northern Lights are visible only in a clear weather during the night from OCTOBER to MID APRIL. Therefore you can see NL from Tromsø city (great view from my apartment, all NL at this blog pics are taken from my living room). It is no need to take very expensive and Northern Light tours. I suggest to go on a dog sledging, Sami or reindeer experience, round trip with coastal steamer (Hurtigruten), skiing, walk with snow shoes etc. for the same price you will get amazing adventure and possibility to see Northern Lights in addition (evening tours).
2) You are going to place high above the arctic circle. To enjoy the Tromso you must wear appropriate clothing and boots ( e.g. hat, gloves, scarf, winter jacket, waterproof & warm boots; see my my blog post about clothing). If you are going to dog sledding all clothing including boots are provided by tour organizers.
Dog sledding (taken by us, Baiba&Matt):
Round trip Tromsø – Skjervøy:
Northern Lights & Tours & Photos:
How to see Northern Lights? (do not miss it because of lack of knowledge):
Northern Lights are visible only in a clear weather during the dark period of day. Usually it is starting from late evening till the morning. Lights are changing all the time and may disappear in 15 min and then come again after a while. Therefore you should turn off all lights in apartment and take a look once in a while. My apartment is perfect for that, you do not need to freeze outside waiting for Aurora.
Remember that I’m giving these tips for free. NL tour will cost a fortune but they use the same strategy as me. Only difference is in a car – bringing you around Tromso when you can see the same thing from my apartment to give you feeling that you are really chasing something.
- Check the forecast once an every hour at http://www.aurora-service.eu/aurora-forecast/ . If the index is more than 1.67 NL will be visible. If higher than 3, you will see NL even trough the clouds.
- If the index is high enough turn off all lights in apartment including your laptop and wait (!). My apartment is on excellent location, city lights do not distract the view. Northern lights are natural phenomena therefore its not static, lights may dissapear after 15 min and then show up again later.
- If the skies are clear enough (some clouds do not count) and index is high enough, but you do not see anything from living room then walk out of apartment up wooden stairs and look there. This location is dark enough. It is no need to go further from this place.
- It is easy to miss Northern lights: 1) if you do not turn off completely all lights in apartment. 2) Are not patient and go away/ go to bed too early/ turn lights on. 3) Do not check the forecast once an hour and do not go to look at the other side of house in case of high NL activity (higher than 3-4)
I have faced many cases when I come home and show guests Northern lights they would be missed because of lights on (despite all my tips and guidance before). Also many people miss NL because they are in a bed already. As well they are out in a city but forget to have a look up to skies when coming home.
You can take beautiful photos of Northern Lights even with phone. Colors will be much brighter in phone. I use my Nokia Lumia, I have seen wonderful photos from my guests IPhones. However tripod is mandatory, when shooting with camera.
Here you can see Northern Lights in a video from my guests: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMFzZ3vc9P8
Northern Lights from my living room shoot by Nokia Lumia 925:
Activities in Troms:
- Dog sledding (if you don ‘t afraid to lead you own crew). Have tried, highly recommend: http://www.activetromso.no/dog-sledding
- Round trip Tromsø – Skjervøy. Only weekdays (Mon-Fri), departure from Tromso at 14:00. Price in link below not actual (will cost more than in link).
Tickets&info (please ask more info&prices at ticket office):
Troms fylkestrafikk Tromsø: Open: Monday 0 Friday: 08:00 – 17:00
Roald Amundsens Plass 1b, 9008 Tromsø
- Northern Lights overnight experience:
- Dog, Reindeer sledging:
- Tromso Mack beer museum:
- Arctic Cathedral:
- Verdensteatret, oldest cinema in Northern Europe, beautifully renovated with nice cafe
- All Tromsø museums
Especially University museums, they provide good price for combo ticket
Enjoy your stay here in Tromso and do not hesitate to add your experience!