Tromsø - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Tromsø

Tromsø

Set in a magnificent landscape of dramatic snow-capped mountains with a rocky shoreline, Tromsø is a lively town characterised by unusual old wooden houses, street music, cultural events and the most pubs per capita in Norway. It is the capital of the north and a bustling metropolis in comparison to the surrounding fishing communities along the northern coast of Norway; it is also a vibrant university town.

Known as the 'Gateway to the Arctic' and situated within the Arctic Circle, the town is an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding area and has the greatest amount of Northern Light activity on earth, making it a sought-after tourist destination from which to experience the spectacular show of the Aurora Borealis. The Midnight Sun during summer is another strange phenomenon, when continuous daylight makes people forget to go to bed, and the winters experience a few hours of bleak twilight during midday. It is these extreme light conditions that hold the greatest fascination for tourists, regardless of the season, and make it such an intriguing place to visit.

There are several museums and other places of interest, a cable car to the top of one of the surrounding hills providing fantastic views, and boat trips into the fascinating landscape of the arctic fjords.


Information & Facts

Climate

Tromsø has a continental sub-arctic climate with cold winter weather and short summers. It rains year-round with October generally seeing the highest rainfall. Tromsø usually has a lot of snow in winter (January to April) and cool summers, only reaching an average high of 59°F (15°C). Large areas in the Tromsø municipality are located above the treeline and have an alpine tundra climate.

Language
Norwegian is the official language, but English is widely understood.
Money

The official currency is Norwegian Krone (NOK) divided into 100 ore. Larger establishments accept major credit cards and travellers cheques. Use of credit cards is widespread, with Eurocard/Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club the most common. Visitors should be aware that credit cards are generally not accepted as a means of payment in Norwegian supermarkets and petrol stations. Foreign currency and travellers cheques can be exchanged at banks and major post offices, as well as many hotels and travel agents, although for poorer rates. ATMs are available in all towns and cities.

Time
Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March and the Saturday before the last Sunday in October).

The spectacular design of the white and ultra-modern Arctic Cathedral is visible from afar, situated on a small hill on an island linked by the spindly Tromsø Bridge. It is an architectural masterpiece, made up of eleven large triangular sections representing the eleven faithful apostles and symbolising northern Norwegian heritage, culture and faith. It bears an interesting resemblance to the Sydney Opera House in Australia, but its colour and shape can also be likened to an iceberg. The cathedral has one of the largest stained glass windows in Europe, and the interior is decorated with grand chandeliers that are made up of many prisms of colour and lights, representing hanging ice formations.

Polaria is an information and experience centre for the whole family, combining interactive experiences with knowledge about the arctic environment. There is a panoramic film about the arctic wilderness of Svalbard, an Arctic Walkway that creates a snowstorm experience and the Northern Lights spectacle. The seal pool is especially exciting at feeding time, and an aquarium provides a close look at arctic sea mammals and life in the freezing waters.

The Tromsø Museum is northern Norway's oldest and largest museum with exhibitions devoted to the cultural and natural history of the region. There is a comprehensive display relating to the traditional culture and music of the Sami or Lapp people and their nomadic, reindeer-herding way of life. There are also daily films in summer about the Northern Lights.

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