Polar Museum

Learn about life in the Arctic at Tromsø's Polar Museum. The building is located right on the water, near the bridge Bruvegen.

Historic surroundings

The Polar Museum is inside a building that used to be Tromsø's Customs House. The exhibit hall is within the oldest part of the museum, the 19th century Sea Warehouse. The Polar Museum is under the same umbrella company as the Tromsø Museum, MS Polstjerna, and Tromso's botanical garden. These important cultural attractions are part of the University of Tromsø, ensuring there is a focus on research, education, and preservation.

The Polar Museum opened on 18 June 1978, on the 50th anniversary of when the famous explorer Roald Amundsen went missing on his last expedition. The success of Roald Amundsen and Fritjof Nansen was certainly not just luck. These explorers spent much time researching and learning from the masters of the arctic, such as the Inuits and Sami people. Based on the knowledge of these cultures, these adventurers learned how to clothe themselves for the arctic cold, discovered tips for food preparation, and learned how to steer a dog sled. It was this knowledge that allowed them to be so successful in their journeys. At the Polar Museum, you will find a large Roald Amundsen collection that tells his story through photos and artifacts from his trips. There is also a photo gallery of Nansen's expedition on the boat "Fram" from 1893 to 1896.

Exploring the museum

Wander through this interesting museum full of information on northern Norway's history and arctic past. View photos of polar expeditions and artifacts of arctic trapping throughout the ages.

Some of the Artic trapping exhibits are not for the faint of heart, such as that of Henry Rudi, a Trapper who killed 713 polar bears, or the display about seal hunting. These exhibits do, however, provide a good lesson on the importance of animal conservation and give insight into hunting and trapping practices throughout the years.

Tromsø is known as the "Gateway to the Arctic" and was a center of sealing for decades. It is therefore the best place to learn more about hunting on the ice, an important piece of Norwegian culture.

Check out some of the museum's more unique exhibits, such as the "hidden treasures" audio guide that allows you to go on a search for QR codes both inside and outside the museum, and learn hidden stories about select objects along the way. This exciting museum and more awaits you in Tromsø.