A city with a long history
Archaeological finds show settlements 9,000 years back in time.
In 1252 Håkon Håkonsson built the first church in Tromsø, it stood on Tromsøya, and was then the world's northernmost church.
In 1789, the Bergen trading monopoly was abolished, and people in North Norway could trade with whomever they wanted.
In 1794 Tromsø city status was signed by Christian VII, at this time it lived approx. 80 people here. From that time, it moved merchants from near and far here.
Tromsøværingen has always been an early adopter of international fashions and trends, so that a German traveler who visited Tromsø at the turn of the century was clearly impressed by the city and its fashionable ladies: "This must be the Paris of the North!" he said, and thus the city was one nickname richer.
The first ship went to the Arctic Ocean in 1820, and from 1850 Tromsø was Norway's leading arctic city. Arctic fishing became an important industry for Tromsø.
Visitors in the 19th century were often very surprised by the formation, language skills and culture in Tromsø, and a visiting German called the city the Paris of the North, while Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson reported to his Karoline that "here is only champagne and spectacle".
Several expeditions have been made from Tromsø to the Arctic. Roald Amundsen, Umberto Nobile and Fridtjof Nansen often visited Tromsø regarding their expeditions. The town was also nicknamed "The Gateway to the Arctic Ocean", which is well known and well-used about the Arctic city. This is due to the fact that most polar expeditions started in Tromsø, and that arctic hunting is part of the city's history.
Facts about Tromsø today
Be enchanted by the fantastic Northern Lights in winter and autumn or enjoy long sunny days in summer.
Tromsø is a popular meeting place and has grown to become a modern city municipality with a colourful and energetic population from all over the country and over a hundred different countries.
The city is accessible by plane, car, bus, or boat and is located at almost 70 degrees North.
Tromsø is Norway's third largest urban municipality by area (2,558 km²), of which 1,434 are on the mainland and 1,124 on islands. The municipality has a combined coastline of 1,275 kilometres. The municipality has approx. 65,000 inhabitants (2008).
Tromsøya is connected to the mainland by the 1016 m long Tromsø Bridge and the approximately 3500 m long Tromsøysund tunnel under Tromsøysundet and connected to Kvaløya with the 1220 m long Sandnessund bridge.
Tromsø boasts the world's northernmost university and brewery (Mack). The experiences in Tromsø have a wide range. Mountaineering in the midnight sun, fishing trips on land or water, slalom under the Northern Lights, dog walks, as well as several "world's northernmost" activities such as visits to brewery pubs and outdoor restaurants!