We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Norway / Tromso Travel Dilemmas!

In cooperation with: Visit Norway
Which Tromso hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
43 posts
7 reviews
Save Topic
Norway / Tromso Travel Dilemmas!

Hi all!

I have been waiting for years to get an opportunity to see the Northern Lights. Now, on exchange at Edinburgh University from Australia, it makes things a lot easier, kind of.

I am fairly restricted in terms of times due to classes. But would visiting Tromso in mid December be better than mid/late November? Or mid/late November be better in terms of seeing the NL and general prices? Would 4 days be enough?

Also, I'm trying to figure out whether it is worth catching Ryanair and landing in Oslo Torp and doing all the changes (though would that allow me to explore more of the country? Worthwhile?) or direct flight from Edinburgh? It is just that Norwegian airline's airfare is 4 x Ryanair's at the moment!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance. Cheers!

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
43 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
11. Re: Norway / Tromso Travel Dilemmas!

Thanks everyone for such helpful advice. Cheap places to eat food is always good! I will probably have to pack some.

I have read on the site that Guide Gunnar is awesome. I can probably only afford one Aurora sightseeing trip.

05.10 - 6 pm: Aurora Sightseeing - 14 vacant

06.10 - 8 pm: Aurora Sightseeing - 11 vacant

07.10 - 6 pm: Aurora Sightseeing - 13 vacant

08.10 - 6 pm: Aurora Sightseeing - 13 vacant

As you can see, on the 06.10 the trip starts at 8pm. Is it better to attend an earlier session 6pm or a later one? Which would increase my chances of catching the NL? Thanks!

North Coast, N...
Destination Expert
for Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
5,367 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
12. Re: Norway / Tromso Travel Dilemmas!

His Aurora Sightseeing tour normally leaves at 6pm - if you look further on the activity calendar, you can see that that one 8pm tour is pretty much the only one all season! I guess he has something on which means he can't make a 6pm start that day. Most evening tours leave between 6pm and 7pm.

Personally I would go for a 6pm option but I am sure you will still get just as good value for money if the 8pm options suits you. Lights can be seen anytime with darkness (clear skies and auroral activity permitting!) but it does seem that often the best shows seem to be late at night which is why the 8pm kickoff isn't a big deal- you will see people commenting on this forum that they have returned at times as late as 3am from tours!

Good luck planning :)

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
43 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
13. Re: Norway / Tromso Travel Dilemmas!

I see, thank you for the prompt reply :) Well, early start won't hurt!

I also had another question. Currently I am looking at:

Edinburgh - Bergen (5th Nov arriving morning)

Bergen - Tromso (8th arriving morning)

Tromso - Edinburgh (10th Nov leaving morning)


Edinburgh - Tromso (5th arriving morning)

Tromso - Edinburgh (8th leaving morning)

Do you think it would be worth visiting Bergen? And am I allocating enough time for Tromso? Thanks!

Blackpool, United...
Level Contributor
400 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
14. Re: Norway / Tromso Travel Dilemmas!

I did 4 days/3 nights (Saturday pm to Tuesday pm) which was enough time for me to see the main local attractions and do a couple of evening Lights tours (I did chasing tours to try and maximise my chances of seeing the lights).

I guess it depends on what your main reason for travelling to Norway is - if its about the Lights, then maybe best to concentrate on Tromso but if this is likely to be the only chance you have to visit Norway maybe you would get more out of a 2-centre trip? I havent been to Bergen yet, so can't comment but I'm sure you'll get some ideas in the Bergen forum to help you decide.

ponaire - I'm afraid the words 'low cost eateries' and 'Tromso' wont feature in many sentences (!) but the cafe-side of the baguette shop also looked reasonable and was busy with locals so definitely worth putting on your list. There was also a vegetarian cafe recommended to me that sounded reasonable, although I didnt get chance to visit, but I will try to find the name and post it up.

Arctic Norway/London
Level Contributor
35 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
15. Re: Norway / Tromso Travel Dilemmas!

If you want some tips on how to do Tromso on a budget - have a look at this: iglobetrotter.com/norway/tromso/tromso-on-a-…

It gives you some ideas for cheap northern lights activities and also where to eat and go out when there.

There are also loads of other guides and northern lights stuff on the site too, and is very handy.

Another option in terms of flying might be the direct Norwegian flight to Tromso from London (tuesdays and saturday)- booking early you can get a return for about 100quid.. and getting to london would probably be cheaper than Oslo from Edinbourgh.

Have a great trip and fingers crossed you see the northern lights!


Level Contributor
1,740 posts
147 reviews
Save Reply
16. Re: Norway / Tromso Travel Dilemmas!

If you have to change plane in south Norway anyway, and if the northern lights are your main motivation for coming to Norway, you might consider going to Alta instead of Tromsø. On average, they have 1/3 of the precipitation of Tromsø in winter. Presumably, the periods of clear sky are correspondingly longer too.

The 30 year avarage for Tromsø:


The 30 year average for Alta:


As I write this, four consecutive days with heavy rain and not a glimpse of the sky are expected in Tromsø. Admittedly, the weather won't be much better in Alta :)

The weather normally changes quite fast in the coastal climate, so with four days in Tromsø, you might have a fair chance of seeing the phenomenon. Of the three nights, expect at least two to be cloudy. And although northern lights are quite usual, it might not show itself during the clear lull.

If you head in to SKibotn, two hours by car from Tromsø, the weather is on average much better. It is here the northern lights guides probably will take you, but you could rent a car or take the bus instead.

17. Re: Norway / Tromso Travel Dilemmas!

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:16 am, April 08, 2011