Go to Iceland. Iceland is currently having a few economic problems so perhaps you can get cheaper hotels and food than in Tromso. Reykjavik is more lively than Tromso but the city skies are not quite as dark due to more street lighting. I only saw a poor display of aurora here but enjoyed the atmosphere of the city more.
Just back from a visit at the end of October, after the kronor had crashed and this made things cheaper, though still about the same as the UK.
We loved a second hand bookshop off the main drag and just down from Cafe Rosenberg and near the old Cirkus club. It was piled high with books, with a fair few in English. It has a vibe of total happy chaos.
Our favourite cafe was the one on the corner of Laugeamur and the street where Cafe Rosenberg is - it's a yellow house. Very good coffee, cakes and atmosphere.
We ate at two very good places down at the harbour. One is called "The Baron" and is a fish market. The owner takes his leftover fish and makes the most delicious crayfish soup you can imagine. You sit on old barrels and
drink beer while sipping your soup from a cup which is very atmospheric. If you get fed up with fish just by it is a very good hamburger joint with terrific burgers and fries. Even cheaper is the hot dog stand round the corner from it selling Icelandic sausages in a roll. Very reasonable.
Best bargain for shopping were the Red Cross
charity shops on Laugeamur. I got a beautiful
Icelandic wool jumper there for about five pounds.
And do try the public thermal pools of the city. They are more "real" than the Blue Lagoon, which though fabulous, is rather touristy in feel.
Café Rosenberg, Lækjargata 2, 101 Reykjavík
The Baron, Geirsgata 101
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