Tromsø: A Northern Norwegian City to Enjoy Architecture and Nature


Located in the Arctic Circle in northern Norway, Tromsø is a city surrounded by tranquil fjords. The city is home to numerous architectural and natural sites, making it a popular tourist destination. In this article, I will introduce the characteristics of Tromsø and its main attractions.

Characteristics of Tromsø

Tromsø is a city located in the Arctic Circle in northern Norway. The urban area of Tromsø is situated on an island called Tromsøya, which covers an area of 21 square kilometers. The city has a population of approximately 80,000 people, making it the 8th largest city in Norway. Excluding Russia, it is the largest city in the Arctic Circle among the Nordic countries. Tromsø is known for its beautiful aurora sightings during the winter, while the summer season experiences the phenomenon of the midnight sun, where the sun does not set for an entire day.

Surprisingly, the climate in Tromsø is mild compared to other Nordic countries, despite its high latitude location. This is due to the warm Gulf Stream, which keeps temperatures from dropping below -5℃ in the winter.

With its temperate climate and location surrounded by the sea, Tromsø has seen the development of seal hunting and fishing since the 19th century, and has also served as a trading hub connecting various regions. Additionally, the magnificent natural scenery of Norway’s fjords has led Tromsø to be referred to as the “Paris of the North,” similar to how Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is called the “Venice of the North.”

The Arctic Cathedral, a landmark of Tromsø

The Arctic Cathedral, also known as Tromsdalen Church, is the landmark of Tromsø. Designed by architect Jan Inge Hovig, the Arctic Cathedral was built in 1965. 

The church’s front features a modern glass facade with a cross-shaped pillar. The side of the church is made of concrete walls, ingeniously layered and staggered. This unique design is said to have been inspired by the acoustics of a pipe organ. 

The interior of the church features a pipe organ inspired by the image of a ship’s mast, and a stained glass window depicting the resurrection of Christ. The abundant use of glass allows natural light to pour in, creating a bright atmosphere in the church. It’s worth noting that the church is located on the Norwegian mainland opposite Tromsøya, so be mindful of the location when traveling.

Tromsø Bridge connects Tromsøya and the mainland

The Tromsø Bridge is a vital access point connecting Tromsøya and the Norwegian mainland. With a total length of 1036 meters, the Tromsø Bridge spans across the Tromsø Bay, making it a large-scale bridge. The bridge is accessible to both vehicles and pedestrians.

Polaria Aquarium, the northernmost aquarium in the world

The Polaria Aquarium, built by the Norwegian Environment Agency in 1997, is the northernmost aquarium in the world. Known for its distinctive appearance, the Polaria Aquarium is designed to resemble a row of dominoes toppling over. The aquarium primarily features marine life found in the Arctic Circle, along with educational exhibits targeted at children on the Arctic ecosystem and the mechanics of the aurora.

The breathtaking view from Storsteinen Mountain

Storsteinen Mountain is a rocky mountain known for its stunning views of Tromsø. At an elevation of 420 meters, a cable car operates to the summit year-round. From the top, visitors can enjoy spectacular views of Tromsø’s simple cityscape and the vast fjlandscape of the fjords on the horizon.


In Tromsø, visitors can enjoy a variety of experiences, from churches and aquariums to the picturesque Nordic nature. Additionally, Tromsø is a small city, making it convenient that accommodations, cafes, shops, and other facilities are concentrated within walking distance from the city center.