One of the best things we did during our time in Tromsø, far up in the north of Norway, after our weekend in the capital of Oslo, was to hike up the Sherpatrappa to the best view of the entire city.
Tromsø is a well-known northern Norwegian destination, offering the chance to see the midnight sun in summer where darkness never comes as the sun never sets, and, in winter, one of the world's most magical phenomenons: the aurora borealis or the northern lights. We got so lucky with our time in the Arctic - along with our weekend spent in Sommarøy - and saw and experienced everything we wanted to!
The best view in Tromsø is from the observation deck at the top of the cable car, rising prominently above the Arctic Cathedral. Technically, the view isn't actually on the island of Tromsø - instead, it's on the mainland just across the bridge, offering exceptional panoramic views of the entire island of Tromsø, the surrounding fjords and the breathtakingly majestic mountains.
You can walk to the start of the Sherpatrappa from downtown Tromsø in about half an hour. The Sherpatrappa are an all-year-round set of 1200 stone steps, named for the Nepalese Sherpa who built them, which you can climb in the sun or snow all the way to the very top of the cable car (and save yourself the 395 NOK / ~34 EUR ticket!).
SHERPATRAPPA HIKE DETAILS
When: year-round, but if there's snow, it can be icy, so be sure you're wearing good boots; crampons recommended!
Difficulty: easy, but can be much more challenging with snow and ice
Length: 1.3km each way up Sherpatrappa, plus walking from Tromsø and any extra exploring you do up top (we took the cable car back down as it was too icy for a downward hike).
Directions: we walked from our apartment rental in Tromsø across the bridge and then up the steps - you can find our exact route on Strava. The Sherpatrappa start here, and then you simply follow the 1200 stone steps up the mountain.
Bathrooms: yes, at the top of the cable car
Public Transit: not needed, it's walkable from downtown Tromsø