Homestay in Tromsø
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Sep 1, 2013 11:52 PM Last Post By: genm10
Aug 12, 2013 4:18 AM
Homestay in TromsøHi,
Since hostels do not exist in Tromsø, I have been looking for other options for budget accommodation. The 'Visit Tromsø' ( http://www.visittromso.no/en/Accommodation/Home-stays/ ) website has a list of homestay places. Has anyone had any experience with those places? Are they safe for solo female travellers? Grateful for any advice and suggestions!
Aug 12, 2013 6:58 AM
1Budget and Tromsø are a bit tough! The best place to stay is the ABC Nord Hotel, has a kitchen where you can cook and for Tromsø good value for money. If they're full, I'd say a home stay or B&B is your next option, and yes, it will be perfectly safe for a single female!!! Norway is more or less as safe as it gets, usually it's a room in the basement of a villa that's rented, in a perfectly safe area.
Aug 14, 2013 4:28 AM
2#1 - Many thanks for your advice. So far, only one home stay place has responded, and it's a flat apparently owned by a man living by himself. I'm not sure I feel comfortable sharing a flat with a male stranger. But it is considerably (more than 50%!) cheaper than a hotel room eg at ABC, and the homestay place is listed on the Visit Tromso website (my LP guidebook mentions the homestay section on this website, but has not recommended any place / home in particular). So I am still a bit undecided at this stage...
Aug 14, 2013 9:37 AM
3I don't know where you are from, or how much you've been on the road before - so I can only answer in general terms.
In Scandinavia it's very common for men and women to be friends, share a flat and so on. Going to stay with a friend overnight is no big issue. When I have a look in my address book my best friends seem to be male, I sometimes go out with them for a beer or a meal without my husband, I go travelling with them at times, again without my husband. Most likely this man will be friendly enough, show you your room, give you the key and generally be friendly - but have no further expectations, he will NOT try to get you into bed - unless you really try to get HIM into bed. If you get this contact through an agency he will not be a stranger, it's not someone you met in a bar and followed home. Most likely he's doing this because A. He likes to meet new people B. If he's single he has no-one to share the rent.....
Norwegians are very friendly - you will have no trouble at all, even if you decide to stay at the home of a single guy!
Aug 15, 2013 5:20 AM
4#3 - Thanks for sharing your thoughts, which are somewhat reassuring. I live (and have grown up) in the West and have travelled extensively (alone most of the time). I have done numerous homestays where hostel accommodation was not available, but have always booked through a reputable agent. The reasons why I am hesitant about this particular homestay are: 1) the host is not a 'friend' - in fact, even a stranger I meet in a bar would seem more like a friend than the host; 2) I didn't find him through an agent. I just saw his place listed on the Visit Tromsø (tourist office) website, which is not an agent, and in any case bookings are made directly with the host and not through the website. I don't know whether they have any vetting system to ensure only trustworthy places are listed.
I am sure I sound paranoid (especially to the Norwegians and people who know the Norwegians well!), but the thought of staying with a male stranger conjures memories of the couch surfing incident widely reported in the news in Hong Kong a few years ago, where a girl from Hong Kong was sexually assaulted by her couch surfer host in the UK. In a way, even couch surfing is less risky than homestay because you can at least look at other couch surfers' reviews. I haven't been able to find any review at all of the host who is offering homestay to me.
I suspect that at the end of the day, I will just go for a hotel room even though it pains me to think I'm paying twice as much...
Aug 18, 2013 7:01 AM
5Out of curiosity I had a peek at the visittromso homepage, checked out their private accomodation - none of them states that it's a single man renting a room in his flat or house. So, how did you find him?? Or is the information different on the English page???? There's several that are regular bed&breakfast, so why not pick one of them??
If you're staying for a week or more, try 'Havna Hotel', don't tell them you're a tourist, claim to be on a business trip as they cater only for business travellers. There's a kitchen to Cook in, near the bus stop and generally a friendly atmosphere.
Good luck whatever you choose!
Aug 18, 2013 2:17 PM
6Thanks for your suggestions. Unfortunately I will be in Tromsø for less than a week... I basically emailed everyone on the homestay list on that website, and all of the places who responded charge as much as a hotel room, except one. So I asked the host for that place about his living arrangement and he told me he was living by himself. Most probably he is a perfectly normal and decent person, but the question is what I'm comfortable with. I may go with ABC as you originally suggested. Thanks again!
Aug 19, 2013 12:24 AM
7Quite a lot of the Norwegian houses have a 'hybel', a small, extra 'flat' that is often rented . check with him if this is the case. If so, you will have your own room and bathroom and kitchenette, possibly a washing machine. Worth looking into. If not, the ABC is a good choice, or, depending on time of year, a cabin at the camping ground, around 400 NOK per night. The camping ground is on the mainland, you can get a local bus, then it's a 10 min walk.
Enjoy Tromsø, it's beautiful.
Sep 1, 2013 11:52 PM
We stayed in the Homestay called anemone Bed & breakfast and it was lovely. I would highly recommend it and I think the price is good and the quality of the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen is very high. The kitchen has a lot of equipment for you to cook on. Oystein the host is lovely and can help you with how to get around and what to do. The accommodation is on the Bus route between the airport and the city centre - very good instructions on the website. Once we were there we loved walking from the house, past the lake and down to the city centre then vice versa. It does not take too long. There are supermarkets nearby and room in the fridge for you to store your food.
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