Svalbard Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by zrim
  • Things to Do
    by zrim
  • Things to Do
    by zrim

Svalbard Things to Do

  • Arctic Safari: Arctic Foxes

    Cute, fuzzy, playful animals. If you are lucky enough to find the foxes, you can watch them for hours.

    more
  • Arctic Safari: Reindeer

    If you can get out into the fjords and make a landing, it is very possible to get a good look at reindeer. They are very easy going and don't really fear humans. By being quiet and respectful it is not hard to get fairly close. The reindeer just go about their business of eating enough summer vegetation to last them through the long winter.

    more
  • Arctic Safari: Polar Bear

    Everyone loves polar bears and Svalbard may be the best place on earth to actually catch sight of a polar bear. But it takes some doing. They don't just hang about Longyearbyen. You will need to get out on a boat with a knowledgeable guide. A small boat, not a luxury cruise liner.

    more
  • Polar research and information on...

    The Norwegian Polar Institute has a lot of scientific and other useful info on their web pages. Gives loads of info on Svalbard. Check it out.The Polar institute has an office in the Local Government building in central Longyearbyen.

    more
  • The ropeway exchange

    In use until the late 1970ies, the ropeways from the various mines converged here at the exchange. It is now maintained as a museum piece, quite interesting to see, and the place gives a good overview of Longyearbyen, too. It is a good evening stroll. Don't go much beyond here without some polar bear defence. With a gun, you can safely walk the...

    more
  • Svalbard reindeer

    Svalbard reindeers are tame as puppies, and hunters who go for them during the season (there is some culling) are talking about how bad it feels to walk up to the Rudolfs and shoot them point blank...They are seemingly tame because they have no history of beeing much hunted or chased by people and thus humans do not constitute any hazard to them....

    more
  • Fishing on Svalbard

    I was curious about this myself, and did a bit of research ... with some disappointing news:Yes, saltwater fishing is free and available to all, but there may not be that much to be caught from land, by a rod. Adventfjorden and parts of isfjorden are silted by glacial waters, not good for fishing...There is one exception - arctic char: it is an...

    more
  • Things to do on a budget in...

    While flying to Svalbard can be done cheaply, it is less of a chance to stay and do sightseeing on the cheap. Nevertheless, here are some suggestions:1) Walking the peripheral roads of Longyearbyen on a photo safari2) Check what's on offer in the tourist office or on internet event calendars, and read up on their general info3) Visit the Svalbard...

    more
  • Go to Church!

    Svalbard Kirke is the world's Northernmost church. It's the only church I've visited, where the church porch (in Norway called weaponhouse) actually is used for storing weapons (because carrying weapons into the sanctuary is prohibited).It's the only church I've visited where the vicar greeted us all to find out how many different nationalities and...

    more
  • Mine 3

    Mine 3 is located in the mountain-side, just above the airport outside Longyearbyen. This coal mine was closed in 1996, and now parts of it is open to visitors. An ex-miner was our guide, and he shared his knowledge and stories with us. I found it very interesting.The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is also located at the site. We got to see an example...

    more
  • Snowmoblie trips

    The tour-companies offers several trips. Some short - some longer. We opted for a short trip, and it ended up even shorter. The weather got so bad we had to abort and return to Longyearbyen, for safety reasons. But it was fun as long as it lasted!Be prepared to drive your own snowmobile. Bring you driving license.

    more
  • Dog- sledding

    For a dog-lover like me, this was the perfect day. We drove out of town, to where the dogs are located. We got to spend some time with the dog, learned how to put the harnesses on and make them ready for the ride. We teamed up in pairs - and off we went!The ride itself goes to the snowmobile-free Bolter-valley. All you could here was the panting...

    more
  • Ice Grotto Tour

    We were driven to the Longyear Glacier in a tracked vehicle (bumpy). After admiring the views, we descended down into the glacier. Walking and crawling through the tunnels made by melting water. The ice and rock formations are amazing!Not for people suffering from claustrophobia....

    more
  • Lilliehöök Fjord

    The only place in Svalbard that is NOT "off the beaten path" is the main town, Longyearbyen--and even that is way off the beaten path when it comes to the rest of the world. But of course you don't want to travel all this way just to see this small town with its few shops and houses, you've got to also see some of the wonderful nature which makes...

    more
  • Longyearbyen Museum

    Longyearbyen museum offers various exhibition of flora, fauna, coal mining, artic history, wildlife, animal and hunting history. And Svalbard during the 2nd World War, etc.

    more
  • Daytour by snowscooter in Svalbard

    It's recommended to rent your own snowscooters and take a trip from Longyearbyen to Barentsburg or even longer to the Isfjord Radio. When you drive down the backside of Longyearbyen, just follow the track untill you are in "Reindalen" (it's a huge valley). Then turn right untill the valley where it meets the icefjord. (It takes about 30 minutes in...

    more
  • Things to do during a Svalbard weekend

    Difficult choise, you may not be able to do everything you want...Check out Svalbard.net and pick a selection of activities that go well together timewise and otherwise, book and pay online. That eases your life once in Longyearbyen, you do not need to waste time rushing around organising.If you are a first-timer on Svalbard, I will recommend to...

    more
  • Svalbard in December

    Going to Longyearbyen in December? The general tourism portal is www.svalbard.net, and they do list most of the winter activities available from the tour operators and hotels - some are valid for December also, and an event calendar. So does www.svalbard.com and www.ssd.no But what are your expectations? Indoor activities, outdoor or what?...

    more
  • Bjørndalen hike

    Bjørndalen (Bear Valley) is at the end of the road west of Longyearbyen - well past the airport. The road extends past some cabins and gets rougher and if not well equipped for the outdoors and polar bear encounters, turn around here. Hang around the car and look for birds, polar foxes, reindeers, but leave the doors open ready to jump back in,...

    more
  • SVALSAT polar earth station

    Svalbard is site for the SvalSat satellite earth station for earth observation satellites; weather, ice cover, pollution etc. No doubt also more obscure stuff - greetings from Big Brother.... Read more about it via the link provided below.You can get to SvalSatby taking the road past Mine 3 above the airport, and walk in on the plateau if they do...

    more
  • CIA on Svalbard

    Bush is busy, that's derived from the fact CIA has made lots of info on Svalbard. If I had known all this before my last trip I could have saved myself all this tourism tips stuff on VT. Well, it is a good source of info, take it for what it is...

    more
  • Study at Svalbard - UNIS

    There is a University Centre at Svalbard, collaborating with many other circumpolar universities and Arctic research institutions. It is admionistratively linked to the University of Tromsø. It is a good chance to stay long in Svalbard bystudying at UNIS. Check it out! There are two associated web addresses that you should check below: UNIS' own...

    more
  • Gallery Svalbard

    Artists have been drawn to Svalbard for ages. A gallery was set up some years back, mostly featuring the paintings by Kåre Tveter. Since the opeing in 1995 the scope has been considerably expanded, and more artists take sabbaticals and prolonged stays in Longyearbyen. There is a little artists colony here, in fact.There is a permanent exhibition as...

    more
  • Check out the lone gun...

    Just near the airport/Hotellneset there is a ship cannon placed smack on the tundra. There is WW2 history connected to this one, part of the defence of Svalbard. There is currently no use of it or no function apart from being a memorial and a reindeer back-scratching tool these days.Svalbard Museum has a lot of info on the events during WW2 at...

    more
  • Longyear glacier

    Just a hike up the valley from Longyearbyen settlement you will find the Longyear glacier. It carves up a lot of sedimentary rocks with plenty of fossils in them. It's a good place to go fossil hunting.You will probably need a rifle or company with somebody who carries a rifle here as it is a little bit away from the settlement and other people....

    more
  • Mine No 7

    Mine No 7 is a working mine. It is owned by its workers, and delivers high quality coal to metallurgical industry and the power plant at Longyearbyen. You can visit the mine by joining a tour organised by Svalbard Explorer. I have visited both No 7 and No 3, and I find the No 7 much more interesting to visit.You go about 4 kms into the mountains by...

    more
  • Visit a coal mine in Longyearbyen

    There are two coal mines that are open for the public. One mine is actually closed for operations (Mine #3) and runs as a museum of the old methods. The other mine (Mine #7) is still active and mining coal for the power plant of Longyearbyen and some specialized metallurgical industries. The commercial Svea Mine in van Mijen Fjord 60 km from...

    more
  • Svalbard Museum

    Svalbard Museum tells the story of environment and human history of the Svalbard Archipelago. Emphasis is given to the past whaling industry, trapping, coal mining, war occupation and administration of the islands. Norwegian, English display texts.Good bookshop with a selection of posters, maps, books and scientific works on the islands and other...

    more
  • The Global Seed Vault

    A stable rock formation near Mine # 3 quite close to the airport has become the Global Seed Vault. In principle, seeds, genetic material, from all the world's food plant species will be stored here as a back-up in case of some calamity. Unless you have a special connection you cannot enter the vault. The main administration is located in Oslo. For...

    more
  • A walk to the North Pole....?

    I have had some questions about how to get to the North Pole, and to quell future questions I have collected some info here. I have never been to the North Pole, thus my immediate question back is what do you really want to do there? You need to go during good winter/skiing condtions and while there is light. Forget it during the arctic winter...

    more
  • Longyearbyen-The Capital of Svalbard

    Longyearbyen is the seat of local government and Norway’s main administrative centre on Svalbard. The small colourful community of approx. 1 800 inhabitants has developed from being a typical mining community into a community with a number of businesses and industries.Unfortunately, everyone who desires to visit Svalbard must come to Longyearbyen...

    more
  • The Nordic Gene Bank - blondes only???

    No, this is a real gene bank preserving plant material from the Nordic countries inside Mine No. 3, sealed and locked in a special shaft. This is the bank of gene samples/seeds of all cultivated crops, stored in the stable -3 degree permafrost climate. Mine No. 3 trips take you to the door of this very important but unpretentious bank.... There is...

    more
  • seals are seen often in the fjords of...

    At many places you may watch seals or birds and most of them will not even go away, when cruiseships will pass by them. Maybe they will glide from their icebergs into the water in the very last moment, when the ship has approached them already with a distance of 10 meters or less.

    more
  • Liljehoekfjord

    Watch out for animals - maybe you are lucky and may see some polar-bears - but most probably NOT - as I never saw a single polar-bear during all of my 10 cruises to Svalbard / Spitzbergen.Mostly they stay away from the villages during summer, just in winter they will be searching for food also at the villages.

    more
  • In Magdalena Bay

    These steep mountains gave Svalbard also the name SpitzbergenThe Glaciers are always in the move and might loose some ice, while you are watching. The small Icebergs inside the salt-water are not melting right away, because the salt-water is also below 0 degrees Celsius but it is not freezing at that point because of the salt.

    more
  • Magdalena Bay

    All cruises will take you to Magdalena-bayAnd when you are lucky, you will have a great weather like here on these pics, that were all taken on a special day in 1978. Still it is freezing cold, even in the brightest sunshine in june and july and I may recommend to bring several pullovers and jackets that you may take off easily, when it is getting...

    more
  • Esmarkbreen Glacier

    About 2 - 3 hours north of Longyearbyen - across the Isfjorden - you come across the Esmarkbreen Glacier.I know that actually "breen" means glacier, so I just introduced the Esmark glacier glacier, but in the literature (if you find any), you will see it written like this.Beautiful blue ice and structures - nature at its best!

    more
  • Barentsburg

    Now if you think that Longyearbyen is boring, then do not even think about going to Barentsburg....Barentsburg is the only remaining Russian settlement on Svalbard and about 600 people (mostly Russians and Ukrainians) live and work here. It is a mining town with nothing much to see - still I found it very interesting, because it is more Soviet than...

    more
  • Longyearbyen

    Longyearbyen is the capital of Svalbard and also its biggest settlement. There are about 2000 inhabitants. Main source of income is/was coal mining with the tourism getting stronger and stronger.There is not too much that you can do in Longyearbyen: a church, a museum, some hotels and a little shopping, that is about it. But Longyearbyen is the...

    more
  • Glacier calving

    On a day cruise out of Longyearbyen you may visit several glacier fronts calving into the sea. With a bit of luck and patience you may be able to see huge chunks of ice falling off and into the sea with a thundering sound and flood waves. One of the easiest visits is to Esmarkbreen glacier, which can be done as an extension of a Barentsburg visit...

    more
  • Polar drift ice

    The Svalbard archipelago is situated within the polar pack and drift ice area. The maximum extent of the drift ice during winter is as far south as Bear Island, but the warm Gulf Current leads Atlantic and North Sea water northwards and keeps a tongue of open water up along the western coast. Still, access to harbours of Ny Ålesund, and Svea and...

    more
  • Arctic culinary treats

    The Arctic can offer some real culinary treats. But vegetables? Hardly.But try whatever arctic food you can stomach. On the fishy side there is the local arctic char prepared in a variety of ways, and there is also salomon to be had. Ensure that it is wild salomon from the mainland or the locally caught hump-backed Russian variety of Pacific...

    more
  • Watch the trash!

    There is an amazing amount of gear and seemingly trashed, rusty and unused facilities lying around Longyearbyen. It is all part of the preservation of Longyearbyen's history as a mining town. Like it or not, it's there. And do not try to remove any of it.What you can do is to take a better look at it all, and see if you can make sense of all the...

    more
  • The cost of "Things to Do"

    This information may be useful for your planning and budgeting. I have collected some of the best prices found among the tour operators in Longyearbyen from web sites and what we were offered while there:Ice Grotto tour: NOK 590Dog-sled tour 3-4 hrs: NOK 980 Dog-sled tour 8-12 hrs: NOK 1600 upNorthern lights evening: NOK 690 upPolaraften evening:...

    more
  • Ice grotto visits

    This is a must-do-thing in Longyearbyen. it takes only three-four hours (maybe more, check variations in offers) and at NOK 590 it's good value for money.A weasel or dog sled takes you to the Longyear Glacier above Longyearbyen (other glaciers, too), and you enter the glacier from the surface into a maze of meltwater tunnels deep down in the...

    more

Svalbard Hotels

See all 5 Hotels in Svalbard

Top Svalbard Hotels

Longyearbyen Hotels
87 Reviews - 176 Photos
Barentsburg Hotels
18 Reviews - 52 Photos

Instant Answers: Svalbard

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

30 travelers online now

Comments

Svalbard Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Svalbard things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Svalbard sightseeing.
Map of Svalbard