When we were planning our trip to Tromso, Norway, I was slightly worried about bringing the right clothing with me because we were visiting during the Polar Night at the end of November. I searched high and low for a Tromso packing list blog which is why I’m bringing you this one.
Having lived in Australia since 2011, I had zero warm clothes with me so I thought it was going to cost a bomb to buy a lot of suitable clothing before we even arrived! Did you know Australians are the most popular tourists for visiting Tromso? I guess it must be because of the snow!
Tromso packing list
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How cold is it in Tromso?
We went to 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 good old my weather app, it didn’t look too different. I was convinced it would be freezing but in actual fact it wasn’t at all. I was rarely ever cold and actually at times was wearing too much and was hot.
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. The coldest I felt up the top at Fjellheisen in Tromso
You can find out about the weather in Tromso here.
Tromsø’s average temperatures, precipitation & wind are:
- 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 if you’re interested 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.
If you’re looking for a good deal, check out the below.
Rent warm clothes from Tromso Outdoor
Luckily, after a bit of research I found Tromso Outdoor, a tour company which also specialises in warm clothing rental. What a genius idea!Tromso Outdoor shop in the city.
At Tromso Outdoor, we hired out a brilliant warm down jacket even though I stupidly bought one from Zara which I didn’t wear much in the end because the jacket from Troms Outdoor was so cosy.I loved Tromsø Outdoor’s snow boots!
The boots we hired out were excellent from Tromso Outdoor. I even considered buying a pair of Sorel Boots for like £150 but didn’t need to because the boots we hired looked exactly the same. I ended up just bringing my Scarpa waterproof hiking boots with me which were OK but you really need snow boots to deal with the ice and colder temps.
It turned out not many people wore the crampons and the locals find it a novelty to watch the tourists wear them, but I can tell you they were 100% worth it.
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 crampons!
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 cheap thermals I bought from Primark for £8 which I only wore when we went on a Northern Lights tour (I should have worn the trousers I hired from Tromso Outdoor instead really) because you’re standing outside for a long time.
I also bought two 100% wool jumpers off ebay for like £10 each. 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 £££ or $$$ 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 cost820Nok (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
What clothes I took to Tromso during winter
Here’s my complete list of the clothes I took in my luggage to Tromso for our trip in early December for five days.
- 2 x 100% wool jumpers
- 2 x long sleeved thin tshirts to wear underneath the jumpers (I wore one)
- 1x thermals – long sleeved top and bottoms
- 4 x warm hats – I took so many hats as a way to change up my outfits
- 1 x cheap gloves
- 1 x big scarf
- 3 x jeans (I wore jeans everyday)
- 1 x hiking boots
- 2 x wooly hiking socks
- 1 x zara puffer coat
- 3 x tshirts – I didn’t need these
- 1 x warm pyjamas – our airbnb was actually very warm with central heating
- 1 x lucas pawpaw for lips plus hand cream
- 1 x handbag and north face backpack
- I’d bring a swimsuit if you’re staying in a hotel
- 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.
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 cheap ones from Primark
- 1 x snow boots – the lifesaver
- 1 x crampons – the biggest lifesaver
- 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
Tromso packing list
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If you’re heading to Tromso 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!
If you’re heading to Tromso around November – December then I’d suggest renting a jacket, boots and crampons for sure from Tromso Outdoor. 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 Tromso packing list will help any of you going to Tromso to see the Northern Lights.
Have you read my other blogs yet about our travels?