Norway whale-watching

Best Time to Visit Tromso – Tromsø Weather by Month

The best time to visit Tromso will depend entirely on your preferences. Spring can still bring chilly temperatures and snow, but by May, the days start to lengthen, and temperatures become more pleasant. With some luck, you may even be able to catch a glimpse of the aurora in April.

On the other hand, going to Tromso, Norway in June or July means the chance to experience the midnight sun, or 24 hours of daylight. Summer is also the best time of year to visit Tromso in terms of weather since temperatures reach their yearly peak and the snow all but disappears. If hiking, camping, and all outdoorsy things rank high on your must-do list for Tromso, summer is the time to visit.

Tromso Northern Lights cabin, best time to visit Tromso

Best Time to Visit Tromso – Tromsø Weather by Month

That said, Tromso has rightfully earned its place as one of the best places to see the Northern Lights in the world. If it’s aurora chasing you’re after, September to March is the best time to see Northern Lights in Tromso. Fall is also the best time to go whale watching, as there’s still enough daylight to see the whales, unlike in winter, when polar night brings 24 hours of darkness.

As you can see, each season comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, the best month to visit Tromso for you will hinge on your temperature and weather preferences as much as your desire to see the Northern Lights, midnight sun, whales, polar night, or Christmas decorations.

At the end of the article, you’ll also find a section where we recommend when to go to Tromso based on your interests (northern lights, midnight sun, whale-watching, hiking, etc.)

Tromsø weather by month

Since Tromso is located quite far north, temperatures hover around freezing for much of the year. Even in summer, when temperatures reach their highest point, the weather is mild but not hot.

In terms of precipitation, Tromsø weather by month can vary. The fall and winter months bring a fair amount of snow and rain, but precipitation levels drop off quite a bit in spring and summer.

The most unique element of Tromso weather, however, is the fluctuating number of daylight hours throughout the year. Tromso’s far-north location creates extremes for daylight hours: 0 hours of daylight in December, yet 24 hours of daylight in June and July.

To help you plan your trip, below is a chart of Tromso temperature and weather by month:

 

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Hours of daylight

1-2 hrs

7 hrs

11-12 hrs

16-17 hrs

22-23 hrs

24 hrs

23-24 hrs

17-18 hrs

13 hrs

9 hrs

3-4 hrs

0 hrs

Hours of sunshine

0 hrs

1 hrs

4 hrs

6 hrs

7 hrs

8 hrs

7 hrs

6 hrs

3 hrs

2 hrs

0 hrs

0 hrs

Average low temp.

22°F

21°F

25°F

29°F

37°F

42°F

48°F

46°F

42°F

35°F

29°F

26°F

Average temp.

26°F

26°F

29°F

35°F

43°F

48°F

54°F

52°F

47°F

39°F

33°F

30°F

Average high temp.

29°F

30°F

34°F

40°F

50°F

55°F

61°F

59°F

53°F

43°F

36°F

33°F

Days with precipitation

13

11

11

11

10

10

11

12

13

15

13

14

Average precipitation (rain + snow)

456 mm

450 mm

307 mm

190 mm

69 mm

61 mm

77 mm

75 mm

93 mm

180 mm

275 mm

375 mm

Northern Lights

Yes

Yes

Yes

Maybe

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Whales

Yes

Maybe

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

WEATHER IN TROMSO MONTH BY MONTH

 

Average temperature in Tromso

The average Tromso temperature by month varies from a low of 26°F in January and February to a high of 54°F in July. Since the winters are so chilly, make sure to pack warm clothes and layers for your visit. Even in summer, having layers and a jacket is useful for when the temperatures drop.

Average precipitation in Tromso

In terms of Tromsø weather by month, rain occurs throughout the year, though less frequently in the summer. Snow is possible for the majority of the year, except from June to August. As for days of precipitation per month, this number can range from a third to half of every month throughout the year.

Spring weather in Tromso

Although spring in Tromso means lengthening days and warmer temperatures, snow can generally fall until the beginning of May. Moreover, the weather varies from a low of 29°F in April to a high of 50°F in May, so wear layers and be prepared to shed them as needed.

Tromso Viking cabins, Tromsø weather by month

Spring weather in Tromso

On the bright side, spring is the best time to visit Tromso if you want enough daylight for activities without the hassle of adjusting to 24 hours’ worth. While days in April contain 16 to 17 hours of daylight, days in May have up to 23 hours of daytime.

Tromso in April may be a fairly chilly and snowy place, but it’s still worth visiting. After all, as long as the Northern Lights forecast bodes well, you’ll have the chance to see the aurora for yourself, since April forms the tail end of Tromso’s Northern Lights season.

As the weather in Tromso in April is still so brisk, expect to encounter snow, along with some rain. Still, the increasing hours of daylight and sunshine mean you’ll get to enjoy the first signs of spring.

  • Hours of daylight: 16-17
  • Hours of sunshine: 6
  • Average low temperature: 29° F
  • Average temperature: 35° F
  • Average high temperature: 40° F
  • Average days with precipitation: 11
  • Average precipitation: 190 mm
  • Northern Lights: Maybe
  • Whales: No

Spring begins in earnest in Tromso in May. The temperatures warm up significantly, and the region receives very little precipitation compared to the rest of the year.

Furthermore, nights become incredibly short, since daylight lasts for between 22 and 23 hours a day. Unfortunately, this large amount of daytime makes it impossible to see the Northern Lights. You also won’t be able to see whales, since May is outside of whale watching season, so this is not the best time to visit Tromso for cetaceans or the “Green Lady.”

Still, May is the best month to visit Tromso if you want to take advantage of the many hours of daylight, very little precipitation, and comparatively warm temperatures.

  • Hours of daylight: 22-23
  • Hours of sunshine: 7
  • Average low temperature: 37° F
  • Average temperature: 43° F
  • Average high temperature: 50° F
  • Average days with precipitation: 10
  • Average precipitation: 69 mm
  • Northern Lights: No
  • Whales: No


 

Summer weather in Tromso

Visiting Tromso in summer offers plenty of perks. In contrast to the constant darkness of winter, visitors now experience the midnight sun, or 24 hours of daytime.

Furthermore, temperatures peak for the year, although they don’t quite reach the same heights as temperatures in other European cities. Still, this warm yet mild weather means you’ll feel comfortable outside without getting overly hot and sweaty. The warmer temps also make the snow disappear, although the area can still receive a bit of rain.

Midnight sun in Norway, Tromsø weather by month

Summer weather in Tromso

Ultimately, summer is the best time of year to visit Tromso if you want to enjoy temperate weather, see the unique natural phenomenon of the midnight sun, and explore the great outdoors.

There’s no sunnier place than Tromso, Norway in June. The midnight sun, or 24 hours of daylight, shines throughout the entire month, making this the best time to visit Tromso to see this incredible phenomenon. An excellent way to enjoy the reddish-golden glow the midnight sun creates is by taking a fjord and wildlife cruise, one of the best tours in Tromso.

In terms of weather, precipitation throughout the month, on the few days it does occur, will only be rain, so you won’t have to worry about snow.

  • Hours of daylight: 24
  • Hours of sunshine: 8
  • Average low temperature: 42° F
  • Average temperature: 48° F
  • Average high temperature: 55° F
  • Average days with precipitation: 10
  • Average precipitation: 61 mm
  • Northern Lights: No
  • Whales: No

Welcome to Tromso’s hottest month of the year. Yes, temperatures peak at around 61°F in Tromso in July, but this mild summer weather, which will probably be cooler than you’re used to, is perfect for hiking. Instead of having to pack liters of water and get drenched in sweat, you’ll be able to enjoy spectacular views from Tromso’s peaks while remaining relatively cool.

Moreover, visitors can still enjoy plenty of daylight and sunshine in Tromso in July, since daylight ranges between 23 and 24 hours a day. You certainly won’t get any snow, but there may be some rain throughout the month.

  • Hours of daylight: 23-24
  • Hours of sunshine: 7
  • Average low temperature: 48° F
  • Average temperature: 54° F
  • Average high temperature: 61° F
  • Average days with precipitation: 11
  • Average precipitation: 77 mm
  • Northern Lights: No
  • Whales: No

August is a busy month in Tromso’s tourist season. As such, accommodations can fill up quickly, so be sure to book a room in one of the best Tromso hotels well in advance.

The days begin to shorten, so you’ll no longer experience 24 hours of daylight, but you’ll still enjoy plenty of sunshine and relatively warm temperatures. That said, August is the start of the rainy season, so you may have to endure some showers, although at least there’s no chance of snow.

While you’ll just miss the midnight sun and Northern Lights season, August is still one of the best times to visit Tromso for visiting Arctic beaches and camping in Tromso.

  • Hours of daylight: 17-18
  • Hours of sunshine: 6
  • Average low temperature: 46° F
  • Average temperature: 52° F
  • Average high temperature: 59° F
  • Average days with precipitation: 12
  • Average precipitation: 75 mm
  • Northern Lights: No
  • Whales: No


 

Fall weather in Tromso

If you’re dying to see the Northern Lights in Norway but want to avoid the cold, fall is the best time of year to visit Tromso. The Northern Lights season begins in September, and temperatures are still warm compared to winter, which is ideal for outdoor aurora chasing.

Northern Lights in Norway, best time of year to visit Tromso

Fall weather in Tromso

Coincidentally, whale watching season begins in November, so that’s a fantastic month to visit Tromso and see both cetaceans and the aurora. Best of all, nights don’t last as long as in December or January, so there’s still enough daylight to see and do things during the day.

September is the best time to see the Northern Lights in Tromso for several reasons. First off, darkness is your friend. As the number of daylight hours shortens to 13 per day, the longer nights mean a higher chance of seeing the aurora.

Second, temperatures begin to cool off, but not dramatically, so staying outside for several hours is still rather pleasant. Lastly, September is the clearest month of the Northern Lights season, since precipitation levels are relatively low.

As such, you should plan to visit Tromso in September if you’re passionate about seeing the Northern Lights and want to experience them in the best conditions possible.

  • Hours of daylight: 13
  • Hours of sunshine: 3
  • Average low temperature: 42° F
  • Average temperature: 47° F
  • Average high temperature: 53° F
  • Average days with precipitation: 13
  • Average precipitation: 93 mm
  • Northern Lights: Yes
  • Whales: No

Because Tromso ranks as the best destination for the best Northern Lights trips, tourists flock to the city throughout the aurora season, including October.

The weather in Tromso in October shifts out of summer mode as the snowy season begins in earnest. Also, rain is quite common for almost half of the month. On the other hand, you’ll benefit from a decent amount of daylight and sunshine, which is ideal for exploring during the day before going aurora chasing at night.

  • Hours of daylight: 9
  • Hours of sunshine: 2
  • Average low temperature: 35° F
  • Average temperature: 39° F
  • Average high temperature: 43° F
  • Average days with precipitation: 15
  • Average precipitation: 180 mm
  • Northern Lights: Yes
  • Whales: No

Visiting Tromso in November is ideal for both whale watching and Northern Lights viewing. November marks the start of Tromso’s whale watching season, which extends until the beginning of February.

Moreover, the low hours of daylight and 0 hours of sunshine create the perfect conditions for aurora viewing. On top of that, if you visit Tromso in November, you’ll avoid the chill and 24-hour darkness of the depths of winter.

  • Hours of daylight: 3-4
  • Hours of sunshine: 0
  • Average low temperature: 29° F
  • Average temperature: 33° F
  • Average high temperature: 36° F
  • Average days with precipitation: 13
  • Average precipitation: 275 mm
  • Northern Lights: Yes
  • Whales: Yes


 

Winter weather in Tromso

Despite the cold and darkness, Tromso really comes alive in wintertime. Whale watching season and aurora season overlap in Tromso in winter, so it’s a fantastic time to visit if you want to cross both activities off your bucket list.

Ice domes in Tromso, best time of year to visit Tromso

Winter weather in Tromso

Winter is also one of the best times to visit Tromso for Northern Lights, as there are 0 hours of daylight throughout most of the season, meaning exceptionally long, dark nights. To see the aurora well, however, the skies must be clear, and unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

This time of year tends to bring a lot of snow, which means the skies can frequently be cloudy. On the other hand, the snow creates a lovely atmosphere, and on the days when the sky is clear, you should be able to enjoy the aurora dancing overhead.

Tromso becomes a winter wonderland in December, which is the snowiest month of the year. Despite the frigid temperatures and 24 hours of darkness, there are still plenty of ways to keep busy in Tromso in December: whale watching, aurora chasing, reindeer sledding, and more.

Best of all, visiting Tromso at Christmas means the chance to see festive decorations, visit the Christmas markets, and go ice skating.

  • Hours of daylight: 0
  • Hours of sunshine: 0
  • Average low temperature: 26° F
  • Average temperature: 30° F
  • Average high temperature: 33° F
  • Average days with precipitation: 14
  • Average precipitation: 375 mm
  • Northern Lights: Yes
  • Whales: Yes

Visit Tromso in January if you want to experience slightly more daylight than in December. These few hours of daytime mean it will be easier to spot whales if you take a whale watching tour. As in December, nights are incredibly long and dark, which is ideal for Northern Lights viewing.

Weather-wise, January is even colder and snowier than December, so be prepared to bundle up. You can always take refuge from the cold inside one of Tromso’s museums.

  • Hours of daylight: 1-2
  • Hours of sunshine: 0
  • Average low temperature: 22° F
  • Average temperature: 26° F
  • Average high temperature: 29° F
  • Average days with precipitation: 13
  • Average precipitation: 456 mm
  • Northern Lights: Yes
  • Whales: Yes

The days finally start to lengthen in Tromso, Norway in February, so there’s enough daylight for hiking, wildlife tours, husky sledding, and more. Whale watching season officially concludes at the end of January, but if you’re lucky, you may be able to catch sight of some marine mammals at the beginning of February.

The weather is just as cold and snowy as in January, and the nights are still long enough for optimal aurora viewing.

  • Hours of daylight: 7
  • Hours of sunshine: 1
  • Average low temperature: 21° F
  • Average temperature: 26° F
  • Average high temperature: 30° F
  • Average days with precipitation: 11
  • Average precipitation: 450 mm
  • Northern Lights: Yes
  • Whales: Maybe

March is the winter month with the warmest temperatures and most daylight, so it’s the best time to visit Tromso in winter if you want to sightsee during the day. Whale watching season has ended by this point, but aurora season is still in full swing.

In fact, March is one of the least cloudy months of the aurora season, so it’s an excellent time to photograph the Northern Lights. Although the weather in Tromso, Norway in March can be snowy and rainy, much of the month is usually precipitation-free.

  • Hours of daylight: 11-12
  • Hours of sunshine: 4
  • Average low temperature: 25° F
  • Average temperature: 29° F
  • Average high temperature: 34° F
  • Average days with precipitation: 11
  • Average precipitation: 307 mm
  • Northern Lights: Yes
  • Whales: No

 

When is the best time to visit Tromso?

Ultimately, Tromso is worth visiting at any time of year, so the best time to visit Tromso will depend on what you value most. For some travelers, unique natural phenomena will trump cold temperatures and long nights, while others may prefer long hours of sunshine and warmth.

To help you decide when to visit Tromso, below are some of the best times to do popular activities:

Best time to see Northern Lights in Tromso

The best time to visit Tromso for Northern Lights is winter since the nights are so dark and long, but September is also an excellent month for aurora viewing. In fact, the entire aurora season lasts from September to April, so if you’d prefer to experience warmer weather and have plenty of daylight hours for exploring, spring or fall is the best time to visit.

Tromso Northern Lights, weather in Tromso in October

Best time to see Northern Lights in Tromso

Whenever you choose to come to Tromso, be sure to book one of the best Tromso Northern Lights tours in advance, like this one. Taking a tour will eliminate the stress of forecasting the aurora for yourself and increase your chances of actually getting to see the Northern Lights.

Of course, if you want to see the Northern Lights without even leaving your hotel, book a room at one of the best Northern Lights hotels in Norway, several of which are in Tromso.

Best time to see the midnight sun in Tromso

If you want to experience the midnight sun, the best time to visit Tromso is the longest day of the year, the summer solstice on June 21st. You’ll also experience about 24 hours of sunshine per day from the end of June to the beginning of July.

Best time of year to visit Tromso for whale watching

Tromso’s whale watching season starts in November and ends in January, but the best month to visit Tromso for whale watching is November, when there are still several hours of daylight and temperatures are relatively warm.

Whale watching tour in Tromso, weather in Tromso, Norway

Best time of year to visit Tromso for whale watching

With a little luck, however, you may be able to catch some whales at the beginning of February, especially if you book one of the best whale watching tours from Tromso, such as this whale safari and cruise.

Best time to go hiking in Tromso

The best time of year to go hiking in Tromso is summer. Not only are the temperatures warm, but there’s also more than enough daylight to accommodate a long hike.

Tromso, Norway brometinden trail, best time to visit Tromso for Northern Lights

Best time to go hiking in Tromso

Best of all, there’s no chance of snow, which can make trails slippery and treacherous in fall and winter.

Cheapest time to visit Tromso

For travelers on a budget, the best time of year to visit Tromso is from January to March. Winter tends to be the off season for tourism, so accommodation prices drop accordingly.

Least touristy time of year to visit Tromso

Many travelers find it more pleasant to visit a city when there aren’t many tourists around. If that’s the case for you, the best time of year to visit Tromso is any month besides May, August, September, or July, the busiest months for tourism. Keep in mind, however, that Tromso can be consistently busy from September to April, which is aurora season.

Best month to visit Tromso

As you’ll have already seen, there’s no single best month to visit Tromso. Rather, each month offers something unique and exciting to appeal to travelers’ interests. The winter months will appeal more to aurora chasers and Christmas enthusiasts, while the spring is better suited for travelers who want to celebrate one of Norway’s biggest holidays.

On the other hand, summer offers plenty of hiking and camping opportunities, as well as the chance to see the midnight sun, while the fall is ideal for whale watching.

The chart below shows you the activities you can do each month in Tromso:

BEST MONTHS TO VISIT TROMSO

WHAT TO DO IN TROMSO MONTH BY MONTH

January

Meet reindeer and go reindeer sledding

February

Go husky sledding

March

See the Northern Lights

April

Enjoy the first signs of spring

May

Celebrate Constitution Day (May 17th)

June

See the midnight sun

July

Swim in the fjords

August

Hike in and around Tromso

September

Watch an aurora display

October

Explore the Arctic landscapes

November

Go whale watching

December

Celebrate Christmas and experience polar night

BEST MONTHS TO VISIT TROMSO

 

Don’t forget to download a map of Tromso before your visit so you can get around. And, if you’d like to travel to Norway with us, feel free to join our photo tour to the Lofoten Islands, which are not far from Tromso!

Ultimately, the best time of year to visit Tromso is whenever suits you best. As long as you plan your visit to Tromso to coincide with the activities that appeal to you the most, you’ll definitely enjoy yourself, no matter how snowy the weather or how constant the daylight.

Enjoy your time in Tromso!

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COFOUNDER & TRAVEL JUNKIE

Hi, I'm Ascen, a globetrotter based in Philadelphia, USA. I enjoy exploring new landscapes and creating in-depth travel guides for Capture the Atlas.

I have felt a special connection with nature and all the inhabitants of the planet since I was a kid. I am passionate about discovering new countries and especially their wildlife, but no matter how many places I visit, I will always belong to the remote beaches of Almería, in Southern Spain.

You can know a little more about me here.

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