The Best Tromso Excursions

If you’re heading up to Norway, these are the Tromso excursions you should check out!

Tromso Norway day trip guide

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If you’re heading up to the Arctic Circle, you’re probably here for one excursion in particular: seeing the Aurora Borealis. And truly, if you’re lucky enough to see it, it’s worth all the time and money it takes to get out there!

While you’re up there, there are so many great options for Tromso excursions. I’ve rounded a few of my favorites, including my real opinion on whether the day trip was worth the price tag.

the dancing lights in multiple colors

Northern Lights Chase

The one thing you must do in Tromso is go on a northern lights chase! The Tromso region is the best in the world for the likelihood of spotting the aurora borealis due to its positioning within the green zone. So it’s the perfect area to base a Northern Lights trip! 

I’ve already written a massive guide to the Tromso Northern Lights, including companies, what to expect, what gear you might need, and more! 

Dog sled day trip Tromso Norway

Sled dogs

If you do one more excursion other than a northern lights chase, go ride a dog sled! It was my favorite of the Tromso excursions.

There are a variety of options – you can sign up to just ride or to be the musher! If you want to just ride, sign up early because it fills up fast. I chose this one where you paired up and each person rode half and drove half.

This was our second time dog sledding. The first was in northern Italy and we fell in love with it! But here in Norway, it was even better because we got more time on the sled and more time with the dogs.

Tromso dog sled activity

A reminder that this is an athletic experience! When you go uphill, you have to help the dogs by pushing, similar to pushing off when you’re on a skateboard. So you end up a little sweaty even though it’s below freezing. 

But it’s worth the sweat! The feeling is both exhilarating and silly. And best of all, you’re partnered with someone so you get to ride in the sleigh half the time. 

Pro tip: if you can, ask the guide if you can be the last sled. You’re less dependent on the person in front of you to set the speed that way and get more of a unique experience! 

Best Tromso day trips

The guides here are great: they’ll teach you everything you need to do beforehand and provide snow suits and shoes to make sure your gear is up to the task of keeping you warm and dry. 

Afterward, there’s plenty of time to pet and cuddle the dogs. These pups are domesticated and really want to play with you! 

I highly recommend our tour group – everything was well organized and we had a blast!

Tromso day trips Norway reindeer

Reindeer & Sami Culture

To be honest, I’m of two minds about the reindeer day trip. We did a reindeer visit, and it was really fun! 

There are options to ride a sleigh pulled by them, which sounds like a fun alternative to dog sledding if you prefer. We did a farm visit where you feed them breakfast and hang out for an hour in their fields. 

I enjoyed it – they’re domesticated, so you can wander freely among them. If they see the feed bucket in your hands, they’ll come straight over and even eat from your hand if you’re patient! 

Reindeer are a lot smaller than my American brain assumed – average about 4-5 feet tall, so much smaller than moose or cows. Up close, they look a lot more like cows than deer or elk. 

Tromso Norway reindeer day trips

I really liked learning about the Sami, the indigenous people of Norway. The farm belongs to a Sami family, which is always the best way to learn about a local culture. I’m always happy to spend our money on the local community!

If we’re honest, though, we’re paying money to do farm chores. Which is a brilliant business model! I don’t begrudge them that. BUT at over $125 per person, it wasn’t worth the cost in my mind.

Of all the Tromso excursions on this list, it’s probably the one I recommend least. But I include it because I loved the cultural aspect, and the reindeer sure were cute. And how many people can say they’ve fed a reminder???

Tromso day trips reindeer visit

Whale Watching

People travel all over the world for the majesty of seeing whales in the wild! Whale-watching season in Norway overlaps with Northern Lights season, so it’s an easy excursion to add on.

From mid-October to late January, it’s possible to see orcas, sperm, fin and humpback whales off the coast of the islands around Tromso. Like a Northern Lights chase, the boats choose their locations for the day based on where the best sightings have been recently, trying to give you the best views possible!

It’s one of the longer Tromso excursions – typically 8-9 hours. Make sure it doesn’t overlap with timings for any northern lights chases you may have booked!

This one is especially good – it specifically says 95% of tours see whales (a guarantee you won’t find with Northern Lights tours), and the boat’s interior is heated but still has panoramic windows. So no standing in the freezing wind all day!

As a bonus, these tours all go through the incredible Norwegian fjords, offering a truly epic backdrop to the day!

Tromso lunch with the Sami cultural experience

Ice Domes Overnight

Want to do something really unique while you’re in Norway? Sleep in an ice dome!

This overnight experience may offer the best of all worlds. It takes you out to visit these domes, created with snow and ice every winter. They’re as much works of art as a unique place to sleep!

Because they’re built so far from towns, there’s almost no light pollution. Meaning you have a great chance of seeing the northern lights without spending the evening chasing them down!

The excursion also includes a chance to go dogsledding as well, combining a bunch of my favorite parts of my trip to Tromso.

It’s also possible to visit the ice domes as a day trip if you can’t swing an overnight, but if you’re going to do it, you might as well really do it!

Norway dogsledding

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