It’s not without reason that Tromsø is called the “Gateway to the Arctic”: it’s 350 kilometers above the Arctic Circle, after all. On a mission to see what the magical coastal city is all about, professional photographers Nige Levanterman and Sarah Lauren traveled to Tromsø to photograph its mind-bending landscapes and the elusive northern lights. Here, they share some of their boldest snaps and their top five photo stops that you shouldn’t miss in and around this dreamy Norwegian gem.
A modernist must
Completed in 1965 and considered groundbreaking for its time, Tromsø’s Arctic Cathedral continues to impress and serve as visitors’ prime photo op. Despite its name, the cathedral is actually a church – and a photographer’s playground. Because of the low sun in the Arctic Circle, the photo term “blue hour” was coined – the time between sunset and darkness that’s considered to be the best time to take photos. And on this day, it lasted a full three hours.
Get the bigger picture
This is the view from the top of the Fjellheisen cable car overlooking Tromsø. Snapped during blue hours with the amazing deep pink sky as a backdrop. “I was only going to stay up here a few hours but as the sun moved in a low arc across the sky the lighting the colors kept changing and getting better and better,” Levanterman said. You can see the bridge crossing over to Tromsø island, the low clouds hovering in the valley and the stunning landscapes engulfing the city.
It can take a lot of patience and luck to see the northern lights – but Tromsø is among the best places to spot them. Captured on the very first day of the Norway trip, the aurora left quite the impression. Racing across the sky in vibrant colors, Levanterman described the sight as “a waterfall in the sky.” In all the excitement, it’s easy to forget to keep your eye on the lens – especially when you’re snapping with a two-second exposure.
Into the wilderness
Get out of the city and glide over the majestic white landscape – courtesy of your very own dog sled. On a day out like this, it won’t be long before you feel part of the pack. Drifting through the sparkling snow at an incredible speed, the photo was snapped as the sled came down into the valley. Action packed and yet incredibly tranquil, it’s an experience worth capturing on film. And if dog sledding isn’t on your bucket list, there are many more natural wonders to see if you venture just a little further out of the cozy city.
It’s all about the sunset
Set your sights on Tromsø from an elevated position. Watch the sun descend over the city and take in the Arctic wilderness first hand. Whether you take a dog sled, the cable car or are set on a hike – the result will be entirely worth it. Behind the camera, many more photographers had set up their stations to capture the moment. Prepare to be drawn into the vastness of it all, when the clouds roll in over the water and the sun just barely glimpses through. The best kind of way to end your trip!
Your Arctic experience awaits from the stylish Radisson Blu Hotel, Tromsø.