This is a guide to accessibility in and around Tromsø. With rugged landscapes, mountains, snow and citylife, you will find that the Arctic Capital is more accessible than you might think. The city centre is well contained and easy to get around in year-round. The footpaths are heated which means they will be clear even in winter.
The hotels, cafes and restaurants are well equipped to welcome you as a visitor with accessibility issues. This also goes for museums, galleries and the science centre. These are fully accessible including the Botanical Garden (only open in Summer). For experiences and tours around the region you will find that there are many tour providers who will happily accommodate guests with accessibility issues, including Northern Lights tours!
In order for you to have the best experience we recommend contacting us in advance so that we can help you out in the best possible way.
Getting around the City
The city centre is mostly flat and attractions are close by within working distance or a short bus ride. If you are in a wheelchair you will find the city centre mostly accessible even in the wintertime as main streets are heated and cleared of snow.
The major museums, galleries and experience centers around town, like Polaria, are all wheelchair accessible with ramps and /or lifts. Polaria even has a lift to their seal exhibit as well as their cafe. The Polar Museum is unfortunately only wheelchair accessible on its ground floor.
Aurora Kino also has a lift for wheelchair access if you’d like to see a movie or are here during the Tromsø Film Festival.
Cafes, bars and restaurants in the city centre are within walking distance of most major attractions and many are equipped with ramps and have space to accommodate wheelchairs. Many of them also have HC toilets available including smaller cafes.
You can call them directly when booking if you have need specific information.
Many of the hotels in town have wheelchair-accessible rooms, ramps, HC toilets, elevators and parking. Clarion Hotel The Edge, Radisson Blu, Clarion Collection Hotel Aurora, Quality Hotel Saga, Scandic Ishavshotel, Thon Hotel Polar, Smart Hotel Tromsø, Thon Hotel Tromsø, Clarion Collection Hotel With, Comfort Hotel Xpress Tromsø are fully accessible for guests and several hotels have handicap rooms adapted for wheelchair users (manual / electric) with walk-in showers. All have access to disabled parking and HC toilets.
Enter St Elisabeth hotel used to be a former hospital and has rooms specifically designed for guests with a disability and features a rehabilitation pool.
When you are reviewing hotel options on our site look for the accessibility information listed on the hotel details on our website for specific information on each.
Sights and activities
During the summer and autumn the Cable car is a fantastic way to see Tromsø if you have accessibility issues. Both the viewpoint and Fjellstua Café are wheelchair accessible however it is recommended that you take a companion to assist you. The wheelchair entrance is at the north side of the ground station building. The public bus is just a short walk from the entrance and the public bus is also wheelchair accessible.
In the wintertime snow and ice can make accessing the wheelchair entrance from the car park or bus stop difficult. It is up a small, but steep hill, so we suggest you have some help and try to park as closely as possible to the entrance.
Visiting the Arctic Cathedral is a wonderful experience. Going to a midnight concert in Summer or Winter is an experience you'll never forget. Visiting the cathedral in summer time you will find that the building is easily accessed. In the winter there is a ramp, however, it may be difficult to access the entrance from the car park without assistance. Inside the church there is a lift and HC toilets and to view concerts its no problem to enter with a wheelchair.
Many tours and experiences can cater to visitors with accessibility issues, however, access to all activities planned for that tour day can depend on your specific needs. Most of the tours require guests to be able to sit in a normal seat with their wheelchair stored.
Dog and reindeer sledding can be accessible depending on how limited your mobility is. For example, in a dog sled you need to be able to have some use of your legs to be able to sit comfortably. Equally in the reindeer sled you must be able to sit in the carriage.
When in doubt it is best to contact our activity suppliers directly well in advance.
Yes you can do a Northern Lights tour in a wheelchair! However, many suppliers have limitations so its best to contact us at the Offical Tourist Information Centre. There are several suppliers who have transport that accommodates wheelchairs as well as others who can store your wheelchair if you are able to sit in a normal seat.
Note that Northern Lights tours or chases can take many hours. Whilst HC toilets are accessible on some routes, its not always possible to stop and find a HC toilet. Equally when on a chase many tour operators like to take guests on a short hike away from the vehicle to avoid light pollution. This can be problematic if you have accessibility issues.
Therefore, the best recommendation is to book a private tour where you can stop close to a HC toilet. The tour operator will find a location where you can view the lights close to the car without any walking.
There are several tour companies who specialise in tours for visitors with accessibility issues and can ensure that you have a great experience.
Whilst smaller boats like RIB boats are unable to take a wheelchair, you can enjoy a tour or even a whale safari on some of the larger boats. Keep in mind that your wheelchair might need to be stored. Many of the smaller boats whilst being able to store a wheelchair, might not have HC toilets. Contact suppliers directly when booking for details.
Accessible transport and parking
Tromsø port terminal at Prostneset has a ramp and also lifts. This is where you find Tromsø's official tourist information centre, the Hurtigruten terminal, the express boats/ferries and the regional buses.
If you would like an itinerary planned with accessibility in mind for your time around Tromsø don’t hesitate to contact the Tourist Information.
Most public buses are wheelchair accessible with low entryways and ramps. A concession fare (50% of the ordinary fare) is available to seniors (over 67) and blind/disabled passengers with a concession card from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV). Guide dogs and companions of blind/disabled passengers may travel free of charge.
There are a number of regional bus lines and private bus companies. Whilst many cater to travellers with accessibility issues, its best to confirm with them directly before you arrive. In general whilst local Tromsø buses are wheelchair accessible the further you travel within the region the more planning you might require.
For more information on purchasing tickets and bus routes see our travel information page.
There is a limited selection of vehicles available for rent within Tromsø. It can not be guaranteed that you will be able to secure a vehicle that meets your needs if you are in a wheelchair, so we would recommend contacting the rental companies directly for booking.
Keep in mind public transport in Tromsø is wheelchair accessible. Many tour providers have vehicles that accommodate guests with accessibility issues, particularly if you book a private tour. If you are unable to secure a rental car big enough, don’t worry, you can still get around and enjoy your time here. It just takes a little more planning.
There are disabled parking spaces throughout Tromsø city and around the island as well as close to the cable car and Arctic Cathedral. Tromsø parking has a map of available spaces on their website. It is in Norwegian, but if you select the wheelchair icon from their drop down menu, you can see a view of all disabled parking places on the map.
Regional ferries are able to accommodate wheelchairs, but we recommend you check according to the ferry you are planning to take.