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. Learn more about Longyearbyen here
  2. 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. Christmas spirit in the Polar Night
  2. 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. Check out what's on in our Polar city!
  2. A city break is not complete without some sightseeing!

Refine search

Refine Your Search Further:

Facility

Number of results:

Number of results: 57

, currently showing 1 to 20.

  1. 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. 

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Sightseeing and lectures
  2. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 278 reviews278 reviews

    Seed to summit: Hike to Blomsterdalen and the Seed Vault - Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions

    Longyearbyen

    Join us for an exciting historical hike from the days of coal mining to The Global Seed Vault on Svalbard.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 3 - Demands average physical fitness. Not suitable if you have limited mobility (uneven and partly steep terrain).

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Environmentally-friendly company
    • Hiking

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 278 reviews278 reviews
  3. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 656 reviews656 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.

    Facilities

    Grading

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

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Food
    • Snowmobile

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 656 reviews656 reviews
  4. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 163 reviews163 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.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Closed boat
    • Food
    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 163 reviews163 reviews
  5. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 340 reviews340 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.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • ATV safari
    • Environmentally-friendly company

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 340 reviews340 reviews
  6. Arctic fox - Exclusive wildlife & nature photo exploring, with your own personal photo guide - See & Explore

    Longyearbyen

    An exclusive full day tour for ONLY 1-ONE person. See & Explore bring only YOU out for a wildlife exploring. We are based in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. We offers you a perfect and genuine wildlife experience from our Arctic environment and we are…

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Hiking
    • Photo safari
  7. Gallery Storø

    Longyearbyen

    The blue light The Svalbard nature offers unique sceneries. These mighty impressions can only be captured - and reflected through genuine art.

    Painter Olaf Storø lives permanently in Longyearbyen and stays here most of the year. He visited…

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all
  8. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 278 reviews278 reviews

    Hiorthamn: Nature hike to a historical mining settlement - Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions

    Longyearbyen

    Join us for an exciting adventure, out of town to an old historical mining settlement. If we are lucky, and the night is clear, we can see nature's own magical lights: The northern lights.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Environmentally-friendly company
    • Hiking

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 278 reviews278 reviews
  9. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 398 reviews398 reviews

    Sightseeing summer with electrical bike - Hurtigruten Svalbard

    Longyearbyen

    Combine comfort and efficiency on our electric bike tour, which enables you to see a range of Longyearbyen’s sights while getting close to nature. The birdlife is at its best during the summer months, and silently moving through the wilderness with…

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 3 - Average physical fitness

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Biking

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 398 reviews398 reviews
  10. Arctic sauna – Shared Sauna - SvalBad

    Longyearbyen

    Take a time-out and find inner peace at SvalBad, our floating, wood burning sauna. Here you can enjoy the view of Hiorthfjellet or, if you’re lucky, see the northern lights during the polar nights. If it gets too warm in the sauna, you can take a…

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Wellness
  11. Gallery Svalbard

    Longyearbyen

    The Gallery and Longyearbyen Arts & Crafts Centre is in the same building, situated in Nybyen. Galleri Svalbard houses both permanent collections and temporary exhibitions, amongst them the Kåre Tveter collection and the Svalbard collection. The…

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all
  12. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 330 reviews330 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…

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Handicap-friendly
    • Photo safari
    • Sightseeing and lectures

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 330 reviews330 reviews
  13. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 89 reviews89 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…

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Brewery visit
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 89 reviews89 reviews
  14. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 163 reviews163 reviews

    Boattrip with Polargirl to Barentsburg & Esmarkglacier - Polar Charter

    Longyearbyen

    A boattrip with MS Polargirl to Barentsburg and the Esmarkglacier.
    The trip will first go to the glacier before sailing to Barentsburg, where one will go ashore.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Closed boat
    • Food
    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 163 reviews163 reviews
  15. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 89 reviews89 reviews

    Husky Slider - Dog Sledding Tour - Svalbard Villmarkssenter

    Longyearbyen

    Variable weather, northern lights, crystal-clear skies full of stars, moonlight or sunshine both day and night; these are variations only the Arctic can give. Experience Svalbard by dog sledding.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Dog sledding

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 89 reviews89 reviews
  16. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 398 reviews398 reviews

    Hybrid-driven speedboat to Barentsburg - Hurtigruten Svalbard

    Longyearbyen

    Hurtigruten Svalbard launches a hybrid-driven speedboat to roam the Arctic waters. With our new vessel you can join an exciting and more environmentally friendly boat trip to the exciting Russian settlement of Barentsburg.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Closed boat
    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 398 reviews398 reviews
  17. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 89 reviews89 reviews

    Dogsledding on wheels - Svalbard Villmarkssenter

    Longyearbyen

    Some drive guided tours by taxi or bus, why not try dog sledding on wheels?

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Dog sledding

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 89 reviews89 reviews
  18. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 398 reviews398 reviews

    Wilderness safari with electric snowmobile - Hurtigruten Svalbard

    Longyearbyen

    This is the snowmobile trip for the ones who want to experience Longyearbyen's local vicinity at its best. On electric snowmobiles, we take you out into the beautiful valley “Adventdalen”. 

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 398 reviews398 reviews
  19. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 79 reviews79 reviews

    Coal Mine 3 Visit - Gruve 3 AS

    Longyearbyen

    Longyearbyen would most likely not exist if it wasn’t for the mining industry. Come visit Mine 3 and learn about our town’s fundamental mining history.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all (see more info in description)

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Mine visit

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 79 reviews79 reviews
  20. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 340 reviews340 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.

    Facilities

    Grading

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

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Environmentally-friendly company
    • Ice cave
    • Snowmobile

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 340 reviews340 reviews
Visit Svalbard Eco-Lighthouse

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss