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Polar City Break

Are you one of those who associate the concept of city breaks with skyscrapers, traffic noise and chaos? If so, we challenge you to try something completely different – a polar city break. In the small Arctic metropolis of Longyearbyen, you will find the best of both worlds: a wide selection of good restaurants, hotels and shopping – and magnificent nature-based experiences just a stone’s throw from the main street.

Longyearbyen, the main settlement in the Svalbard archipelago, has a population of around 2,400 who come from more than 50 different countries. These nature-loving people have tight bonds in harsh climatic conditions, with the Arctic wilderness right on their doorstep. The wilderness begins in the town centre – and it’s virtually endless!

However, the Polar Night is not the time to hike the length or breadth of Svalbard. The Polar Night, the time of the year when the sun is well below the horizon and it’s dark around the clock, is the time to enjoy, taste and see. You will be surprised by the excellent opportunities Longyearbyen offers for exploring and challenging your senses. Seal carpaccio at Huset? A vintage champagne from Funken’s wine cellar from the year you were born? Reindeer pizza at Barentz Gastropub? With some of Norway’s best restaurants, its own brewery, chocolaterie and greenhouses supplying the chefs with fresh herbs and vegetables, you have many wonderful culinary experiences to look forward to in the far north.

  1. A different kind of town
    Learn more about Longyearbyen here
  2. An Arctic culinary expedition
    Get a taste of what Longyearbyen has to offer

Want a city break with a difference? Head to Svalbard

Under the Polar City Break tab, you will find a range of experiences and activities that are perfect for those wanting to experience and get to know Longyearbyen during their visit to Svalbard. You will have plenty of time for socializing, excellent dinners and pleasant experiences in a place that is extremely different from other destinations. Although Svalbard is part of Norway, there is a lot about life in Longyearbyen that is different from the towns and cities in mainland Norway and other parts of Europe.

We encourage you to explore the distinctive features of Svalbard. Talk to the bartender, waiter or waitress about life in Longyearbyen, spend time in our wonderful library and read up on polar literature and everyday life in the Arctic or cheer on the local children on the ski slope (but please don’t photograph people without asking!). We encourage you to explore the distinctive features of Svalbard. Talk to the bartender, waiter or waitress about life in Longyearbyen, spend time in our wonderful library and read up on polar literature and everyday life in the Arctic or cheer on the local children on the ski slope (but please don’t photograph people without asking!).

  1. Welcome to Christmas in Longyearbyen
    Christmas spirit in the Polar Night
  2. Meet a local: Guro Skjelderup
    Meet the Svalbardian Guro who brought her family and moved to the Polar Night

Gain inspiration for your polar city break

Although the Polar Night has arrived and it’s dark in Longyearbyen, a wide range of activities awaits visitors, albeit just a bit more urban than during the spring and summer. We recommend visiting the Svalbard Museum! This is the place to immerse yourself in the history, wildlife and industry of Longyearbyen and the exciting exhibitions make it a fun place for children too! Gallery Svalbard is also well worth a visit. It’s situated in Nybyen (literally the “now town”), so you will get a nice walk from Longyearbyen between towering mountains. Combine your visit to the gallery with a delicious lunch at Coal Miners’ Cabins. In this interview with Olaf Storø, you can read about the local artist who is inspired by the Arctic light.

You can experience the beautiful Northern Lights here until around mid-March. However, they are perhaps most spectacular from November to January when it’s dark around the clock and it’s possible to experience the Northern Lights during the daytime as well. Join a Northern Lights excursion involving dog sledding, a wilderness evening, a snowmobile safari or snowcat. You don’t need to venture far before the artificial light disappears and you can experience the magnificent natural light in the sky.

Regardless of whether the aim of your holiday is delicious food, wonderful nature-based experiences or simply recharging your batteries, you will find the answer in Longyearbyen – the small town with the big city feel, just a stone’s throw from the North Pole.

“Kosen is Norway’s most important and representative contribution to world culture." – Author Knut Faldbakken.

  1. Concerts, festivals and events in Longyearbyen
    Check out what's on in our Polar city!
  2. Polar city attractions
    A city break is not complete without some sightseeing!

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Number of results: 60

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  1. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 82 reviews82 reviews

    Brewery visit - Svalbard bryggeri

    Longyearbyen

    Brewery Visit & beer tasting
    During the visit, you will hear about how Svalbard Brewery became a reality and how former coal miner and pilot Robert Johansen got the idea about establishing his own brewery on Svalbard. You will get to see the…

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    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    • Brewery visit
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 82 reviews82 reviews
  2. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 317 reviews317 reviews

    Lens & Perspectice - the slightly different sightseeing tour with focus on photos - Spitzbergen Adventures

    Longyearbyen

    Join us for a tour outside the box. Amazing light conditions, great motives and time. Time you can use to take your perfect picture. The target for this tour is to take you on a scenic discovery journey were photography is our main purpose. We won't…

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    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    • Handicap-friendly
    • Photo safari
    • Sightseeing and lectures

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 317 reviews317 reviews
  3. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 129 reviews129 reviews

    Express-cruise to Pyramiden - HTG

    Longyearbyen

    Russia Express to Pyramiden. Join us on a fast trip to Pyramiden, in our 46 foot Princess Riviera.

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    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    • Closed boat

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 129 reviews129 reviews
  4. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 331 reviews331 reviews

    Longyearbyen Panorama - under the midnight sun - Hurtigruten Svalbard

    Longyearbyen

    LONGYEARBYEN PANORAMA - UNDER THE MIDNIGHT SUN
    Few things in the world can match feeling the midnight sun warming your face! This tour takes you to a fantastic viewpoint over fjords and mountains, where you can marvel at the light in the middle of…

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    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    • Handicap-friendly
    • Snowcat

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 331 reviews331 reviews
  5. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 331 reviews331 reviews

    Evening cruise with electric catamaran - Hurtigruten Svalbard

    Longyearbyen

    ​​​​​​​Join us for an evening cruise with MS Bard. On this tour we will go entirely with electrically powered propulsion, meaning we will navigate in complete silence.

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    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    • Closed boat
    • Food
    • Photo safari

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 331 reviews331 reviews
  6. Share the Expert’s Knowledge on Svalbard - Rana Itinerans

    Longyearbyen

    Various topics explained in 45min by competent specialists.

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    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet
  7. North Pole Expedition Museum

    Longyearbyen

    The museum recounts the heroic efforts made by pioneers to reach the North Pole at the turn of the last century. The purpose of the museum is to impart the history and importance of the North Pole expeditions have had in the Arctic. It is a point…

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    • 1 - Suitable for all
  8. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 331 reviews331 reviews

    Wilderness safari with electric snowmobile - Hurtigruten Svalbard

    Longyearbyen

    Shh! What’s that sound? Nothing. It is just arctic silence. As you press the gas, your snowmobile silently starts moving, while it lights up the dark polar night. No sound of a roaring engine. The only thing to be heard is "the Arctic silence". The…

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 331 reviews331 reviews
  9. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 331 reviews331 reviews

    Hybrid-driven speedboat to Pyramiden - Hurtigruten Svalbard

    Longyearbyen

    Made for the future - join us today! Join Hurtigruten Svalbard and Brim Explorer on a hybrid-driven speedboat to Pyramiden. With our new vessel you can join an exciting and more environmentally friendly boat trip, to the Nordenskiöld glacier, and…

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    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    • Closed boat
    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 331 reviews331 reviews
  10. Customised Hikes and PhotoHike: The guide's choice - Rana Itinerans

    Longyearbyen

    Do you have 30kg of photo-gear? Are you travelling with children? Do you want to take it easier, slower, later or longer? Whatever the reason, we provide you with a unique experience fitting your interests and the way you want to hike, from 2 to…

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    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    • Hiking
    • Photo safari
  11. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 294 reviews294 reviews

    Snowmobile Safari to Ice Cave - Svalbard Adventures

    Longyearbyen

    We'll drive out through Adventdalen, extending eastwards from Longyearbyen and into a river landscape that takes us to Tellbreen. We take a closer look at the ice cave and the fascinating ice structures formed by water and sediments.

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    • 3 - Suitable for most without any snowmobile experience. Through some rugged terrain.

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    • Ice cave
    • Snowmobile

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 294 reviews294 reviews
  12. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 294 reviews294 reviews

    ATV Safari in The Polar Night - Svalbard Adventures

    Longyearbyen

    Darkness and minimal light pollution are typically key to witnessing the Polar ‘fireworks’ -known as Northern Lights. Join us for an ATV-safari trip where we head into the darkness and the frozen Advent Valley.

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    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    • ATV safari

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 294 reviews294 reviews
  13. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 331 reviews331 reviews

    Northern Lights hunting with electric snowmobile - Hurtigruten Svalbard

    Longyearbyen

    Shh! What’s that sound? Nothing. It is just arctic silence. As you press the gas, your snowmobile silently starts moving, while it lights up the dark polar night. No sound of a roaring engine. The only thing to be heard is "the Arctic silence". The…

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most without any snowmobile experience. Very easy and flat terrain.

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    • Snowmobile

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 331 reviews331 reviews
  14. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 151 reviews151 reviews

    Boattrip with Polargirl to Pyramiden & Nordenskiöldglacier - Polar Charter

    Longyearbyen

    Boattrip with MS Polargirl to Pyramiden & Nordenskiöld glacier. Polargirl also pays a visit to Skansbukta and the birdcliff Diabas. Sightseeing in Pyramiden around 2 hours.

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    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    • Closed boat
    • Food
    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 151 reviews151 reviews
  15. Treasure and Scavenger hunt in Longyearbyen - Rana Itinerans

    Longyearbyen

    Looking for some fun while learning about the place? These games add some challenges to your stay and can be done at any time. 

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    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    • Sightseeing and lectures
  16. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 27 reviews27 reviews

    Try FatBiking on a historic road - FatBike Spitsbergen

    Longyearbyen

    In short: Easy, Short, Beautiful scenery, History.
    On this trip we bike on “Burmaveien” an old gravel road in the mountain side towards the airport, which a long time ago was one of the most important roads of Longyearbyen.

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    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    • Biking
    • Sightseeing and lectures

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 27 reviews27 reviews
  17. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 317 reviews317 reviews

    Ice Adventure - Spitzbergen Adventures

    Longyearbyen

    Join us for a great ice adventure. It does not matter if it is the polar night and we are walking with head lights or if it is the sun winter. Ice formations and Ice caves are something of the most beautiful things which exists.

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    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    • Ice cave

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 317 reviews317 reviews
  18. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 331 reviews331 reviews

    Follow the Trappers' Footsteps - Hurtigruten Svalbard

    Longyearbyen

    Imagine life as a trapper in Svalbard: the loneliness, the challenges of a beautiful but harsh landscape.

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    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    • Hiking

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 331 reviews331 reviews
  19. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 84 reviews84 reviews

    Out with the Midnight Sun - Polar Permaculture

    Longyearbyen

    Join us for a bus ride you won't forget. This one and a-half hour drive, starting at 11 pm, will take you around Longyearbyen. This is a great way to experience the incredible phenomenon of the midnight sun.

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    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    Symbols

    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 84 reviews84 reviews
  20. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 609 reviews609 reviews

    Catching the light – Aurora Borealis with dinner - Better Moments

    Longyearbyen

    Join our hunt for the Aurora borealis on snowmobile. On the way we will stop by our Gamme to enjoy a 3-course dinner together with our guide.

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    • 2 - Suitable for most without any snowmobile experience. Very easy and flat terrain.

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    • Food
    • Snowmobile

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 609 reviews609 reviews
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