Architecture and placement Polaria is a modern and, architecturally speaking, highly profiled building with a size of 2.200 m2. The building itself has already grown into a tourist attraction. Shaped as icefloes pressed upon the shore and easily reached by foot from the town centre of Tromsø. The centre attracts city visitors and tourists from the coastal steamer harbouring nearby. There is a large parking space in front of the building including a separat parking space for buses.
At Polaria you have the opportunity to learn about nature, life, and the extreme adaptions plants and animals need to hold in order to survive in the arctic. You can take your time studying and actively investigate our interactive and informative exhibitions. The exhibitions are focused on recent problems within polar resarch.
At close range you can study fish that only inhabit the near freezing waters of the Barents sea and the water around Svalbard. Most of the fishes and marine animals living in the waters north of the Vestfjord are represented here. In the aquarium you will also meet our three Bearded seals. The Bearded seal is one of the largest seals living in Norwegian oceans. It is a pure Arctic species and they inhabit the areas around Svalbard, and are not found along the Norwegian coast.
Feel and touch the Arctic. In the arctic landscape you are met by a blazing snowstorm in the polar night before you walk across the Arctic Ocean with the northern lights flickering in the starry night.
In Polaria´s supervideograph we show a panoramic film from the Arctic. You will be taken on a journey from the south to the north on the group of islands Svalbard.
The Polar Environmental Centre is the building next door to Polaria. It contains several national research- and management institutions working in the polar areas. Approximately 300 people are directly or indirectly engaged in the activities, a large number of those are scientists.
Between the end of November and January, the sun remains below the horizon, and Tromsø is in darkness. The winter is the best season to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis).