If you’re wondering about Norway clothing and what to wear in Tromso in Winter, I too spent ages on the internet trying to find out information. I didn’t know how cold it was actually going to be because I visited during the Polar Night at the end of November.
Having lived in Australia since 2011, I had no warm clothes for the trip. I thought it was going to cost a lot to prepare to see the Tromso Northern Lights. So I’m bringing you everything I learnt about Norway clothing and what you should pack for Tromso.
FACT! Did you know the most popular tourists in Tromso are from Australia? I guess it must be because of the snow!
Snow scenes when we landed into Tromso airport.
The first thing you need to understand is Tromso weather. We visited Tromso at the end of November – early December during the Polar Night.
When we got off the plane, it was actually snowing. Although when I looked at the temp difference from England to Tromso on my weather app, it didn’t look too different.
I was convinced it would be freezing in Tromso but in actual fact it wasn’t at all. I was rarely ever cold and at times I wore too much and I had to take layers off.
This was the coldest it got for me in this picture at Fjellheisen
It was cold on the Northern Lights tour as there’s a lot of standing around for ages so make sure you wear thermals.
It was also really cold when we went up to the top of the Cable Car to Fjellheisen (the viewpoint overlooking the city) but other than that it wasn’t too bad. It does however get much colder as the winter months go on.
You can find out about the Tromso weather Norway forecast here.
Average temperatures, precipitation & wind
September: 9.6°C / 88 mm / 2.3 m/s
October: 4.5 °C / 89 mm / 2.9 m/s
November: 0.1°C / 30.3 mm / 3.8 m/s
December: 0.5°C / 235.6 mm / 4.4 m/s
January: -1.5°C / 166.2 mm / 4.9 m/s
February: -2.9°C / 108 mm / 3.6 m/s
March: -1.6°C / 148 mm / 3.7 m/s
Our Tromso airbnb accommodation
We booked this airbnb (but click here first to get $76 off your first booking) which is a two bedroom loft right in the middle of Tromso. It’s a lovely, cosy place to stay in with a great kitchen to cook and we even had a few things stocked in the fridge for our arrival.
The only problem with it is it’s located on a hill and is a bit of a pain when you’re running late to head to a tour meeting point – not fun when there’s ice around!
Looking for something else?
After staying in Tromso, we would have easily considered one of the following hotels because they were closer to town than where we were staying. Each of these hotels are located right in the heart of Tromso and offer up fantastic facilities for everyone.
Raddison Blue Hotel Tromso is our top pick because it’s a stylish hotel, right in the centre of Tromso. It’s also the main pick up point for most of the tours (which makes it much easier than having to walk on the ice around town, trust me we had to rush over here for many tours!).
This is another fantastic Tromso accommodation option, right in the heart of the city so you won’t need to walk far to see the city sights. It’s a cash-free 3 star hip hotel with free wifi and bike rental.
Tromso Bed & Books is located in the middle of Tromso. This cosy Tromso accommodation includes a library, a sun deck, free wifi and laundry facilities. Just imagine it snowing outside and you’re curled up with a good book. Bliss!
BraMy Apartments The View is located in Tromso and is close to Kongsberg Spacetec. It’s got a spectacular view of Tromso that you probably won’t even want to leave.
Rent snow clothes from Tromso Outdoor
Luckily, after a bit of research I found Tromso Outdoor, a tour company who also specialise in Tromso rental clothing. What a genius idea!
I loved Tromsø Outdoor’s snow boots!
At Tromso Outdoor, we hired out a brilliant warm down jacket that was super cost.
The boots we hired out were excellent from Tromso Outdoor. I even considered buying a pair of Sorel Boots for like £150 which is a good investment if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the snow. They are really warm and make all of the difference when you’re in snow temperatures.
I ended up just bringing my Scarpa waterproof hiking boots which I bought from here which were good for arriving and leaving Tromso. To be honest, you really need snow boots to deal with the ice and colder temps for your entire trip.
Spikes are a must have when visiting Tromso in winter.
The big saviour were the spikes you put over the soles of your shoes to stop you from falling over onto the ice. You can buy your own for less than $10 from here.
It turned out not many people wore spikes and the locals find it a novelty to watch the tourists wear them, but I can tell you what, they are 100% worth it and a definitely must have item on your Tromso packing list!
It wasn’t much fun walking up and down this icy hill each day!
You could spot a tourist a mile off as they walked very slowly and nervously around the streets in Tromso. I saw locals wearing trainers and even a lot of people cycling through the ice. I have no idea how they even did that!
Our airbnb was up a hill and on the first morning trying to walk down was an absolute nightmare in my Scarpa Boots. As soon as we picked up our clothing rental, it all changed. We were confident and gliding through the snow thanks to these boots and spikes!
If you’re staying in a hotel, Tromso Outdoor will even deliver your clothing for FREE before you even arrive. If you’re staying in an airbnb, you’ll have to pick up your clothing from their office in the city or you can pay an extra charge for them to deliver it to your door.
I was so thankful for finding Tromso Outdoor and it was a saviour for our trip to Tromso for sure!
Other things I brought with me included some thermals which I only wore when we went on a Northern Lights tour. I should have worn the trousers I hired from Tromso Outdoor as well because it was freezing. When you’re standing outside for hours on the Northern Lights tour, you’ll want to wear as many layers as possible.
I also bought two 100% wool jumpers which I love. To be honest, in the 5 days I was in Tromso, I only wore the one the whole time.
I always wore a scarf, hat and jeans along with my boots and jacket rental. I read on another blog about how the locals just wear loads of wool jumpers and no coat but this is absolutely rubbish. We didn’t see anyone crazy enough to not wear a coat!
Don’t worry about having to spend $$$ on your clothing for your holiday to Tromsø, you can just hire most of it from Tromso Outdoor!
They offer many different clothing rental packages. We got the Exclusive Arctic Clothing Package which cost 820Nok (AU$135) for 5 days, or you can hire for less days, ie 389Nok for 1 day ($63). The package included the following
- Down jacket
- Insulated pants with straps
- Hat with ear flaps
My Norway clothing Tromso packing list
Here’s my complete Norway clothing Tromso packing list of everything I took with me on my trip in early December for five days.
I bought a big puffer jacket, like a big douvet with me. The good thing about the one I bought is that it’s super light weight but keeps you super warm. It also came with gloves and more importantly pockets.
2 wool jumpers
I brought two 100% wool cable knit jumpers which are absolutely essential for your trip to Tromso. They are breathable but also super warm.
I found the thermals came in handy especially for the Northern Lights tours. Honestly, you’ll be glad to bring some too!
2 long sleeved tshirts
I really appreciated wearing long sleeved tshirts underneath my jumpers. You’ll definitely need at least one to take with you.
4 wooly hats
I took 4 hats so I could get different images of my time in Tromso. Otherwise I was wearing pretty much the same clothes all day (same coat, jeans and boots).
Thin pair of gloves
I bought a thin pair of Icebreaker gloves so that I could easily use my camera without taking them off. Trust me, you’ll be taking photos. If you’re after some snow boarding gloves check here.
A big scarf
I’m really glad I took my big scarf because it can get really cold and you’ll need to protect your face from the wind and snow.
3 pairs of jeans
Might seem like a lot of jeans to take for a 5 day trip but I’m glad I had three pairs with me. You’ll need them incase they get wet from the snow. And best get skinny jeans so they don’t drag in the snow.
Scarpa hiking boots
I absolutely love my Scarpa hiking boots. They taken me to Everest Base Camp and they are definitely needed when you arrive in Tromso. If you’re looking for snow boots, check these out here.
I took two pairs of Icebreaker merino socks with me which you’ll 100% need. You always need to keep you feet and head warm and a good pair of soaks is a must. I love Icebreaker, they are honestly the best.
I took my flannelette pyjamas with me to Tromso. Although it was quite warm in our accommodation, I’m glad I had them with me.
I’ve had my NorthFace backpack for years and it’s been to a lot of countries with me. I never go on any trip without it. It’s a great for storing everything you’ll need for your day trip in.
Lucas Paw Paw
You’ll definitely need Lucas Paw Paw lip balm as the weather is still pretty cold. If you don’t take any with you, you’ll get cracked lips for sure.
Norway Lonely Planet
Make sure you don’t leave for your trip to Tromso without a Norway Lonely Planet!
If you’re going on any tours, most companies will give you snowsuits and all of the appropriate clothing for being outside for long periods of time in the evening.
I still 100% would bring the above with me if I visited Tromso again.
What we rented from Tromso Outdoor
- 1 x jacket – so warm and I wore this most of the time
- 1 x waterproof trousers – I should have worn these on the Northern Lights tour as it get cold standing outside for a long time
- 1 x super warm hat – I didn’t wear this
- 1 x gloves – I didn’t need them as I wore my thin gloves instead
- 1 x snow boots – the lifesaver
- 1 x crampons – the biggest lifesaver (remember you can buy your own here for less than $10)
Our tech stuff
- I took my GoPro 5 and GoPro Karma Grip
- Canon G7X as my video camera
- Canon 6D with lenses Canon 50mm F1.8 (the nifty 50!) and Canon 24-105
- iPhone X for social posting – UK sim cards work exactly the same and there’s no extra charges involved
- Powerbank to charge up my phone during the day
- I should have brought a tripod for The Northern Lights!!
If you’re heading to Tromso Norway early December then it actually wasn’t as cold as you’d expect. When we returned to England, it actually felt colder there than in Tromso!
Then bring some jeans and a decent wool jumper, hat, scarf, gloves and some thermals with you! If you’re going to be visiting between January – March then you’ll need everything I’ve mentioned.
Hopefully this Norway clothing Tromso packing list will help any of you going to Tromso to see the Northern Lights.
Read more posts about Tromso below!
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Tromso is all about tours. Trust me, there are some incredible activities you absolutely need to do when you visit. Check out some of these awesome Tromso tours below!
Norway Clothing: Tromso packing list
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