- South Troms - the area around Harstad; islands with mountains and some agriculture
- Inland Troms and Senja - Bardu and Målselv; forested valleys, rivers and mountains, Dividalen national park, Senja island
- Tromsø area - the area around Tromsø city; including mountainous islands and the Lyngen alps
- North Troms - the northeastern part; islands and mountains, rivers, Reisa valley with Reisa national park
- Finnsnes - Third largest city (pop.: 10000)
- Harstad - Second largest city (pop.: 22000)
- Tromsø - Largest city (pop.: 66000)
Norwegian is the official language of Norway and it is the most commonly spoken language in Troms. Norwegian is mutually intelligible with Danish and Swedish.
Sami is official in one municipality, Kåfjord.
Most people speak English well. In theory, all Norwegians are also able to speak a third language, usually German or French (but also Spanish, Italian or Russian), as learning a third language is mandatory in the Norwegian school. However, most people's knowledge of their third "school language" is basic at best.
The easiest, fastest and probably cheapest way to reach Troms is by air.
There are three airports in Troms:
Tromsø airport is the largest airport in the county. Domestic flights to:
- Oslo Gardermoen (OSL)
- Moss (a.k.a. Oslo airport Rygge)
- Evenes (Harstad/Narvik)
and a number of smaller towns in Northern Norway
International flights to:
- London Stansted
- Stockholm (summer only)
Bardufoss airport serves Mid Troms, including Finnsnes and the island of Senja. Domestic flights to:
- Oslo Gardermoen (OSL)
Evenes airport is in Nordland county, and is the main airport for southern Troms, including Harstad and Narvik. Domestic flights to:
- Oslo Gardermoen (OSL)
E6 is the main route to Troms when driving from the southern parts of Norway (Oslo, Trondheim). Be aware of the long distances. From Oslo to the southern border of Troms it is appr. 1400 kilometers, and to the northern border appr. 1820 kilometers.
It is also possible to drive to Troms from Finland via European Route E8 from Tornio through the Torne Valley. E10 from Kiruna and Luleå in Sweden enters Norway just north of Narvik in Nordland county. The distance from the national border to Troms county border is appr. 50 kilometers. The best way from central Sweden to Tromsø is through Pajala-Kolari.
If you arrive during winter, be aware that winter tires are necessary and required by law. Do not try to drive without, even if you don't expect snow or ice.
There is no railway in Troms. The closest station is in Narvik just south of the county border. From Narvik there are buses to Harstad, Finnsnes, Tromsø and other towns in Troms. Narvik is connected only to the Swedish railway network, not the Norwegian. Passenger trains, going from Stockholm, are operated by SJ.
Because of the long distance, there are no long distance buses from southern Norway to Troms or Nordland. There is bus connection from Fauske in Nordland, which has train connection from southern Norway. Check rutebok.no.
Hurtigruten travels most of the Norwegian coast and calls at Harstad, Finnsnes, Tromsø and Skjervøy.
Timetables for most city- local- and regional buses, catamarans and ferries in Troms county can be found at rutebok.no (national) or 177troms.no (local). Unfortunately the local page is in Norwegian only.
Getting around in Troms is easiest if you have your own car. There are reasonably good roads all over the county. The main road network is mostly of quite good standard. Some roads are narrow and windy, this is especially true when it comes to local roads. Traffic levels are low, except in and around the largest towns. The only road toll in Troms is on road 858.
Some fjords are crossed by car ferry. They have fees. The ferry between road 82 and 86 go only in summertime with a few daily depatures .
Air travel is possible between Tromsø and Harstad (Evenes airport), and between Tromsø and Storslett (Sørkjosen airport). If you book your ticket well in advance this is likely to be the cheapest (and fastest) way of travelling between these places.
If you do not have a car, bus might be a good option, maybe even the only option. Most communities in the county can be reached by bus. There are regular bus connections between the larger towns, normally several buses each day. There are also regular connections to Alta in Finnmark county and Narvik in Nordland county. When it comes to smaller communities there might be a very limited service, maybe just a few buses during the week. It's important to plan ahead and check the timetables!
Many coastal communities can be reached by catamaran from the nearest town; Harstad, Finnsnes, Tromsø or Skjervøy. There are also catamaran routes between these towns. Hurtigruten travels most of the Norwegian coast and also calls at these four ports.
|Routes through Troms|
|Oslo ← Narvik ←||S N||→ Alta → Kirkenes|
|Tromsø ←||W E||→ Tornio|