Polarmuseet i Tromsø

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11 Søndre Tollbodgate, Tromso, Norway

Polarmuseet i Tromsø Tromso Reviews

sarahsan sarahsan
403 reviews
Wander through an exciting polar history! May 14, 2010
The Polar Museum in Tromsø was open 18 June 1978, on the day 50 years after Roald Amundsen left Tromsø on his last journey (never to return), to search for Umberto Nobile and the airship "Italia".

The museum is located in the protected custom-house facility from the 1830s. The museum is nicely layed out and the exhibitions are very educational and they have lots of photos and artifacts to support the history. Unfortunately, most of the explanations are in Norwegian only. But don´t worry. You can pick up a booklet at the ticket office for free. The booklet comes in 7 different languages (English, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Italian and Norwegian) and contains all the explanations.

The Polar museum is devided into 3 parts:


The winter hunting i Svalbard concerns the hunting of polar bears and Arctic foxes. The exhibition showes an original trapper´s hut constructed of Siberian drift wood. It was built in 1910 and was the main base for five trappers. You can go inside the hut and get a good impression of the hunting community in and around a traditional overwintering station in the Arctic around 1930.

Arctic seal is the second major category of hunting shown. This was a long tradition in Tromsø and the exhibition shows how seal hunting in the Arctic took place in the past. Overall there are 32 seal species in the world. Of these, six species are known in Norwegian waters (gray seals, harbor seals, harp seals, hooded seals, ring seals and bearded seal).

There is also an exhibition on the earliest hunting period in Svalbard, where the Dutchman Willem Barentsz's famous voyage in 1596 stated that there were plentiful stocks of whale and walrus in the waters around Svalbard. The majority of the whalers in the 1600's also hunted Svalbard reindeers. Eiderdown was collected in the summer and foxes were hunted in the winter.

SVALBARD- the name comes from middle-age Nordic, "sval" means cold, "bard" means coast, the land with the cold coast. It is better know in English as Spitzbergen.


This exhibition showes the expeditions of Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) and Fridtjof Nansen (1861-1930).

The exhibition on Roald Amundsen shows many photos from his life and exploits in the Polar region as well as historical objects from his various expeditions. These were expeditions with ships like the "Belgica" in 1897-99, "Gjøa" in 1903, "Fram" and the South Pole in 1910-12, "Maud" and the Northwest Passage in 1918-23 and by air to the North Pole in 1925-26 and the airship "Norge"in 1926. What an adventurer he was!

The exhibition on Fritjof Nansen, the man who went on an expedition to the North Pole in the polar vessel ”Fram” in 1893 – 1896, shows a dedicated photo collection on him. First and foremost, he is known as the polar explorer, zoologist, oceanographer, diplomat and humanist. He also made a significant contribution as a refugee-assistance organizer and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922.


At the time of writing The Polar museum have a special exhibition called "The artist Fritjof Nansen". Here you can see drawings and lithographs by Fritjof Nansen. He is best know as an explorer, scientist and humanist, but he always had crayons, pencils and water colours with him on his travels round the world.

There is also a small exhibition on early aviation in the arctic, which presents models of famous airships from polar aviation history during the period from 1897-1928.

The Polar Museum in Tromsø is very interesting and I can warmly recommend it.

Opening hours are:

March 1. – June 15. : 11am – 5pm

June 16. – August 15. : 10am – 7pm

August 16. – September 30. : 11 am – 5pm

October 1. – February 28. : 11 am – 4pm

Entrance is:

Adults: 60 kr

Students/Retired: 50 kr

Family: 120 kr

Children: 10 kr
Polarmuseet i Tromsø
Reindeer hunting in the 1600´s
Trapper´s hut (1910)
Polar fox trap
vances says:
Excellent review...and great to have a "warm" recommendation for a "polar" visit!

Posted on: May 14, 2010
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