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24 tips for what to do in Svalbard

Remember everyone must bring a passport!

Here you will find tips for most "to do" things in Longyearbyen on Svalbard and the surrounding areas. I have also included links to most of the people who offer information, activities and tours. In addition, some current events that are fixed, but spread throughout the year.

Svalbard also has a number of fantastic restaurants with flavors you want to come back to. The same applies to the people who arrange the conditions for you to have a great stay, good luck!

Things to do in Longyearbyen

Visit Svalbard - information

Photo: Adrian Nielsen

If you need more information, Visit Svalbard is a knowledge center. They know most about everything, so sette is both a place to learn and a place to visit. If you stay at the Polfareren hotel, it is about 20 meters to walk across the road, i.e. the furthest up the "main street" itself.

1 Svalbard museum

Svalbard's 400-year history as well as the factors that make life possible on the archipelago. You will get an introduction to the close relationship between sea and land, nature and cultural history. The exhibition is also family-friendly, with several small activities suitable for children.

In today's museum's exhibition in the Research Park, unique objects from various periods in the archipelago's history are displayed. There, the public can see the hat found in Barentz's winter camp from 1596-97 on Novaya Zemlya, knitted stockings from a whaler's grave in the 17th century and a Russian Orthodox cross set up on Breibogen in the 18th century. This is still only a small part of the museum's total collection of objects. Link to Svalbard museum

2 Svalbard Church

Svalbard Church is a beautiful church building that can be good to visit. Siv Limstrand is the new vicar in Svalbard - the first female vicar in Svalbard. She has been a street priest in Vår Frue church in Trondheim.

The Svalbard community is incredibly lucky to have her, say people who know her. Link to Svalbard Church.

0 Galleri Svalbard - sorry, but this is permanently closed.

If you search for Galleri Svalbard, it is unfortunately closed, but there are some rumors that it will reopen in the center - I will update when I know more.

3 New Gallery - Nordover

But there is a new gallery in the center - Nordover

Click on the link above and get a little of what is happening there.

At the time of writing, Kåre Tveters' permanent exhibition with well-known Svalbard motifs is included and marks 100 years since his birth.

I definitely recommend a visit here. You can find the gallery at the north end of the Coop building

Unfortunately, I myself did not manage to visit this gallery during the opening hours, but I did catch a small concert in their premises during Polar Jazz, which is held every year in the first week of February.

is a tiny taste.

You can otherwise read more about the Polar Jazzevents here

4 Svalbard Brewery

Here you can get a tour and hear how Svalbard Brewery became a reality, how former miner and aviator Robert Johansen got the idea for his own brewery on Svalbard and what patience it would take to be realised.

You can get a tour of the brewery, learn about the brewing process and taste five types of beer that are brewed on 2,000-year-old arctic ice water from the Bogerbreen. Link to Brewery visit and tasting !

5 Mine 3

These days, from the end of January until 18 March 2023, it is Popup Norge that has occupied the mine and presents top chefs and their menus every week. (see below on event)

Popup Norway in Mine 3 on Svalbard (c) Ingar Næss

Otherwise, you can book a tour and be presented with the mine's history.

Then you join Store Norske Spitsbergen Kullkompani and there on a walk through Longyearbyen's rich mining history, while you touch and feel the everyday life of a "mining bus" in Mine 3. Experience the coal-black history of mining on Svalbard.

You can be picked up at the hotel, as the miners were picked up in the past. On the way to the mine, you will hear a bit about the most important local sights before being met by a guide at Mine 3.

Mine 3 is located on the mountainside above the airport in Longyearbyen. On the way to the mine entrance, we pass the global seed vault. Here we arrive at the facility with a great view of the Adventfjorden. It has been 20 years since the miners lay on the ground and extracted the black gold from the mountain. What was it like to work in the mines on Svalbard? Here you can experience the everyday life of a miner. We equip you with a helmet and headlamp, and take you on a cultural-historical walk deep into the mountains. The guide offers stories about life in Longyearbyen, how the mining bus lived and what society was like in the past. Link to tour operator

Out on a trip on land and water

6 Svalbard Huskies

Become part of the family, and experience and make many new four-legged friends. With sledges or wheels under you and dogs in front, you can experience great trips into Svalbard's wonderful nature.

Svalbard Husky (c) Ingar Næss

Svalbard Husky is a small family-owned business that consists of around 100 dogs. They specialize in short and long expedition trips, with full focus on the entire dog experience.

Here it's about getting a taste of dog sledding and what it's like to be a dog sled. The guides are trained and certified with experience within the dog environment. Although it is the driving itself that is the focus when you visit this place, the most important thing is the dogs you will meet. Here you quickly get to know the dogs and each one of them looks forward to greeting you. The dogs are social and welcoming, easy to get to know whether you are a dog person or a bit skeptical. Either way, they are super eager to get out for a walk.

Dog racing Svalbard (c) Ingar Næss

I had a wonderful experience together with both the dogs and the people. Remember these dogs are wonderfully kind, I and the owners guarantee you that you have absolutely nothing to be afraid of. Follow the guide's tips and advice and you will have a fantastic experience. If you read the main article, we you meet one of my friends' first meeting with a dog, which turned out to be a wonderful "fall in love". Here isa link to the main article . here you will also see a small video from the trip. Here is a link to Svalbard Husky Recommended.

7 Winter experiences with Snowmobiles and dog sleds.

Did you know that over 60% of Svalbard is covered in ice? No matter where you travel in Svalbard, it will be difficult to avoid seeing a glacier. But what does it really look like inside these glaciers? There are many different trips -here you can read a bit about my experiences in February 2023.

Otherwise, you should contact Svalbard Adventures , both for snowmobiles and when planning your boat trips in winter.

7b Northern Lights Adventure

The Northern Lights winter in Svalbard stretches from October to February, but it is also said that you can be lucky right up until mid-March. However, like everything else in nature, you get no guarantees for anything.

In Svalbard, the northern lights are very special when they appear, and you can experience them both night and day in the dark. The green light that dances over the Arctic archipelago and creates a magical atmosphere in the polar night. The best experience is to get away from the buildings and street lights, to a place of total darkness. You don't have to drive far out of Longyearbyen to get this.

8 Better Moments is another tour operator that also has options.

You can also read about my pleasant boating experiences in the summer season - click here This was actually a great experience both to see the ice floes "calve" and all the bird life.

Svalbard (c) Ingar Næss

We also had the pleasure of experiencing a walrus safari in the middle of the night with Better Moments tour organizer in the summer - This was a wonderful trip that is recommended. Check with the tour operator when they have these tours. click here

0 The Pyramid

I was here in the summer of 2020 and had a wonderful historical experience. Read more about my experience and history - here

Press release: The Russian state-owned company Trust Arcticugol is excluded from the Svalbard Tourism Council

Press release from Svalbard Tourism Council and Visit Svalbard AS Longyearbyen 12 October 2022 Against the background of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the violations of international law and human rights this entails, the board of Svalbard Tourism Council has decided to exclude the Russian state-owned company Trust Arcticugol from the association.

Pyramiden Svalbard (c) Ingar Næss

We take the trip to the abandoned Russian mining community Pyramiden, which was formerly the largest settlement on Svalbard with approximately 1,500 inhabitants. At the end of the 90s, the town was vacated, and now it remains as a ghost town deep in the Billefjord. All the buildings and many technical installations are still standing. It is not difficult to imagine the place bustling with activity. In the Pyramid, there will be an opportunity to look around.

Pyramiden Svalbard (c) Ingar Næss

You will be served both when you use a snowmobile and a boat.

With a scooter, you drive through areas where there can be a lot of seals, which can increase the chance of catching a glimpse of the fabled polar bear.

9 The Magdalenefjord

The Magdalenefjord is a 10 km long and 5 km wide fjord in the far northwest of Spitsbergen, Svalbard. It cuts into Albert I Land from the west, 60 km north of Ny-Ålesund.

The fjord sides are made up of the Reusch peninsula in the north and the Hoel peninsula in the south, which are partly covered in snow. The fjord sides rise relatively steeply to an altitude of 6-700 metres. In the north, Sørgattet starts towards Reuschhalvøya and Danskøya. The area is located in Northwest Spitsbergen National Park. The fjord is very picturesque. As early as 1839, the La Recherche expedition was here and the artists on board painted and drew from the Magdalene Fjord. It is among the most visited tourist destinations for cruise traffic in this part of Svalbard. Each year, approx. 20,000 people the old Dutch and English whaling pits at Gravneset in the middle of the fjord's south coast, just east of Gullybukta.

Link 1 Here you unfortunately have to search for yourself as I have no direct link.

Food at the top of the gourmet class!

10 Mine warehouse restaurant

Svalbard is nature, darkness, snowmobiles, dog sledding, food experiences and entertainment on a conveyor belt. Then we must not forget all the nice people who make the wonderful food and the moon that gives us that little something extra!

Mine warehouse restaurant Svalbard (c) Ingar Næss

Mining stockpile.

Gruvelager has been voted the city's best restaurant and now I can't wait to taste the menu. Maybe they are still at the top. Let me tell you right away that I still feel the wonderful flavors.

Feel free to read my experience of this great restaurant - click here

Recommended for Mine storage - click here

11 The polar explorer restaurant (and hotel)

Polfareren hotel, a food mecca!

When you get here and choose a place to stay, you can make it easy to check in at the Polfareren hotel. The advantage is that you then stay in a hotel with a fantastic menu.

The restaurant has been recognized several times for its food and expectations are high, but they manage to surpass Gruvelagert. I can't wait, again! I recommend that you read my entire presentation of the menu of food and wines -click here

The polar explorer restaurant Svalbard (c) Ingar Næss

Let's just get one thing out of the way right away, they are two completely different premises, that's all. This should only be about the food. Now I have decided to go a little extra in detail on this presentation.

The polar explorer restaurant Svalbard (c) Ingar Næss

The menu is based on seasonal produce and they say that the team has drawn inspiration from Norwegian and local produce. The chefs are good at modern techniques to give us both a pleasant, but not least an exciting dining experience. Regardless of the season, the short-traveled ingredients and home-produced food are the key to the good taste experience. The kitchen team works closely with local fishermen and harvest seaweed, kelp and mushrooms from the beautiful Svalbard landscape. The serving staff are two girls in their twenties, who both love the Norwegian climate and not least the nature of Svalbard.

Recommendreading the entire article here if you haven't already.

Click for more information about Svalbard Hotell if you choose to stay in the hotel the restaurant is.

Events in Longyearbyen throughout the year - here for 2023

12 Only 2023 - PopUp Norway from the end of January to 18 March

13 Polarjazz Festival 3 - 6 February

Lots of great artists and concerts - remember to book your tickets early - it was sold out at several events this year (2023)

14 Arctic Chamber Music Festival 23 - 26 February 15 Solfestuka 3 - 11 March

16 Svalbard Ski Marathon 17 Spitsbergen Marathon 4 June 18 Longyearbyen Pride 19 - 21 August 19 Isfjord Radio Music Festival 1 - 3 September 20 Longyearbyen Literature Festival 2 - 9 September 21 Oktoberfest 1 October 22 Taste Svalbard 4 - 8 October 23 Dark Season Blues 27 - 30 October 24 Christmas in Longyearbyen



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