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What to Pack for Tromsø in the Winter

February 6, 2024

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If you’re planning a trip to Tromsø in the winter, this packing list will help you out! During a winter trip to Norway, you’ll likely be spending a lot of time outside. You may be waiting to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, going snowshoeing, visiting a reindeer herd or various other adventures, so you’ll want to stay warm.

How cold is Tromsø in the Winter?

Tromsø can be quite cold in the winter, but it might not be as cold as you think.

In fact, Tromsø has mild weather for its latitude. The city is located on the water and the Gulf Stream (which originates in the Gulf of Mexico) pushes warmer temperatures into the area.

Average December temperatures in Tromso tend to be a high of 30°F to 33°F (about 0°C) and a low of 22°F to 25°F ( about -4°C). It is rare for them to fall below 10°F (-12°C).

The coldest time of year is in January, when temperatures range from 21°F to 29°F (-6°C to -1°C).

Tip: Layers are key for a winter trip, especially if you’ll be traveling with a carry on. Be ready to mix and match, and rewear certain items.

Lydia holding poles up on the air while snowshoeing in Tromso. She wears a purple puffer coat
Snowshoeing in Tromsø
Aurora Borealis in the sky, with snow capped mountains below
The Northern Lights

Tromsø Winter Packing List

  • Baselayers. These will do wonders for keeping you warm during your adventures. I wore Minus 33 base layers on this trip and was so impressed by how warm they kept me, while still being very lightweight.

  • Gloves or mittens. Mittens tend to be warmer than gloves, because your fingers can share the heat. These Smartwool mittens are made with recycled polyester and have silicone grippers.

  • Insulated boots with traction. While you’re walking around the icy streets of Tromso or walking in snow, it’s a huge help to have boots that will not only keep you warm, but will keep you steady on slippery surfaces. I was so thankful to have these insulated boots from Merrell.

  • A Buff, Neck Gaiter or Scarf. This is another item that you’ll definitely want to keep warm, especially if it’s windy. I prefer a neck gaiter over a scarf, because it’s much smaller.

  • Thick socks. This is a must for keeping your toes warm after being outside for a while! I love full cushion socks from Darn Tough. If you don’t have warm socks, you may want to wear multiple pairs.

  • Insulating fleece mid layer. You’ll want to have a mid-layer between the base layer and the outer layer. A fleece quarter zip or full zip works great for this.

  • Warm outer shell pants. I love Arc'teryx pants for their durability and comfort.

  • Rain jacket. You’ll need a waterproof outer shell if you encounter rainy or snowy conditions. This jacket from Columbia is my current favorite.

  • Headlamp or flashlight. There is little to no daylight in the winter, so having a light source can be really important. I love the Petzl headlamp with rechargeable batteries.

  • Camera and tripod. If you have the goal of photographing the Northern Lights, you will definitely want to bring a tripod. I use this tripod with my Sony A7iii camera and love how lightweight and sturdy it is.

  • Go Pro. This is great to have for adventurous activities such as snowmobiling, dog sledding or taking a polar plunge.

  • Chapstick. Your lips will likely be super dry in the cold weather.

  • Hand cream and moisturizer. Your skin will probably get quite dry in the cold weather. Make sure to bring a hand lotion and moisturizer that you love.

  • Toiletries. As with any trip, bring all of the toiletries you need, such as a toothbrush, soaps, a hairbrush, etc.

Still planning your Tromsø itinerary? Here are a few tours I highly recommend!

Final Thoughts

I hope this easy packing list helps you plan accordingly for your trip to Tromsø! If you’re looking for more information about visiting Tromso in the winter, I have a winter guide that includes the best things to do, where to stay and much more.

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