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Tromsø often is a pleasant surprise for its visitors. Many people visit the city for its location just above the Arctic Circle to experience the midnight sun (in summer) or the Northern Lights (in winter) and don't expect much of it. They often are surprised that Tromsø is a lovely and lively town with cozy bars, cafes and good restaurants. No wonder, for no less than fifteen percent of its population are students. Furthermore, the rugged area of mountains and fjords is simply spectacular.
The city has a very diverse population of almost 70,000, apart from the Norwegians, there are large minorities of Sami (Lapps), Russians and Finns.
Tromsø is located in the far north of Norway, 350 km above the Arctic Circle and about 2200 km south of the North Pole. The larger part of the city is on the island of Tromsøya. A tunnel and a bridge connect this island to the mainland, where the more modern residential areas are.
Tromsø was and is an important fishing port; its fleet mostly fishes the Arctic Ocean. Because of fishery, there are some fish processing companies. Furthermore, this city is the base for North Pole expeditions and cruises to Spits Bergen. Tourism is increasingly important. The city is a popular conference venue, where participants can combine their meetings with experiencing natural phenomena like the midnight sun or the Northern Lights.
Tromsø's airport is located only five kilometers northwest of the city center. Tromsø Airport in Langnes is easily accessible by rental car. From the center go in the direction of Langnes, via a tunnel more than 1700 meters long you will arrive at the airport.
Tromsø has good public bus transport. All buses run via the central bus station Prostneset and don't only go to the city, but also to Narvik, Harstad, Storslett and Alta. Furthermore, there are fast ferries to various destinations north and south of Tromsø.
Tromsø is not a busy town and signage is excellent. Therefore, you will not experience any trouble finding your way by rental car. In the center you have to pay for street parking facilities (on weekdays from 07.00 to 17.00 hours, on Saturdays from 08.00 to 15.00 hours, on Sundays it's free). There are parking facilities in and around the center.
The city has a good range of hotel accommodations, most in middle class and above. June is the busiest month, followed by July. Also, autumn and spring can get quite busy. Therefore, it is recommended to book your accommodation well in advance.
Budget travelers will find it difficult to find a suitable room. On the other hand, in Norway it is allowed to camp anywhere in the wild on the condition that there is at least 300 meters between you and any houses or other buildings.
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