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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 - 151 reviews151 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.

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    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    Symbols

    • Closed boat
    • Food
    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 151 reviews151 reviews
  2. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 317 reviews317 reviews

    Bjørndalen walk with BBQ -Experience for everyone - Spitzbergen Adventures

    Longyearbyen

    Bjørndalen is a place which offers you several characteristics from Svalbard in one location. The surroundings offer both impressive mountains, fjord and wildlife. You will find everything in one valley. You can spend hours in this valley and keep…

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    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    Symbols

    • Food
    • Hiking
    • Sightseeing and lectures

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

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

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 317 reviews317 reviews

    Spotlight - Get the most scenic points in front of your lens - 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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    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    Symbols

    • Hiking
    • Photo safari

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 317 reviews317 reviews
  4. Svalbard Brewery

    Longyearbyen

    Svalbard Brewery was established in 2011 and served it's first beers to locals and visitors in August 2015.

    Svalbard Brewery, established in 2011, brewed its first beer in August 2015. Six years of efforts to change the law from 1928, which…

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    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all
  5. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 58 reviews58 reviews

    Trapper's Dinner - Basecamp Spitsbergen

    Longyearbyen

    Embark on a genuine trapper’s evening in the Arctic countryside. Enjoy a 2-course meal and learn about the lives and traditions in Svalbard. Visit the replica of a traditional trapper’s station, which is also the home of our 90 husky dogs.

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    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    • Environmentally-friendly company
    • Food
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 58 reviews58 reviews
  6. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 295 reviews295 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

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    • ATV safari

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 295 reviews295 reviews
  7. Longyearbyen City Walk with Arctic Meal - Rana Itinerans

    Longyearbyen

    Longyearbyen from fundation to nowadays: How to live in a remote and inhospitable place. A 2h30 entertaining stroll around Longyearbyen with arctic meal.

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    Grading

    • 1 - suitable for all

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    Symbols

    • Food
    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet
  8. 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…

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    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all
  9. 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…

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    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
  10. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 331 reviews331 reviews

    Hybrid-driven speedboat to Barentsburg - Hurtigruten Svalbard

    Longyearbyen

    Hurtigruten Svalbard and Brim Explorer 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.

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    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    Symbols

    • Closed boat
    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

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

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 331 reviews331 reviews

    Longyearbyen Panorama - a magical sunset - Hurtigruten svalbard

    Longyearbyen

    Bring the family along on a fantastic snowcat tour to enjoy the view of Longyearbyen as the sun sets over the pointy mountains on the other side of Isfjorden.

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    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    Symbols

    • Handicap-friendly
    • Snowcat

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

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

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 331 reviews331 reviews

    Wilderness evening - Hurtigruten Svalbard

    Longyearbyen

    Experience the magic of being in the Arctic wilderness! Join a wilderness evening at Camp Barentz, a very special experience which you really should experience during your stay in Longyearbyen.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    Symbols

    • Food
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

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

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 295 reviews295 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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    Grading

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

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    Symbols

    • Ice cave
    • Snowmobile

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 295 reviews295 reviews
  14. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 88 reviews88 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

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    Symbols

    • Dog sledding
    • Environmentally-friendly company

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 88 reviews88 reviews
  15. 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…

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Handicap-friendly
    • Photo safari
    • Sightseeing and lectures

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

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

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 84 reviews84 reviews

    Hunting the Northern Lights - a comfortable bus ride into the polar-night - Polar Permaculture

    Longyearbyen

    Get a chance to see the Northern Lights on our comfortable bus with a drink and some peanuts by your side! Together with our equipment and tour guide, you will hunt for the Northern Lights on our bus as well as learn a bit about the sky above…

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

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

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 331 reviews331 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

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    Symbols

    • Biking

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

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

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 44 reviews44 reviews

    Fossil hunting - Spitsbergen Outdoor Activities

    Longyearbyen

    An easy hike takes us up on the moraines in front of the Longyear glacier. The fossil location is a very senic place next to blue ice in between high spectacular mountains.You will see 60 million years old plant fossils from the time with dinosaurs…

    Facilities

    Grading

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

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    Symbols

    • Hiking

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 44 reviews44 reviews
  19. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 317 reviews317 reviews

    The exclusive Northern Light chase - Spitzbergen Adventures

    Longyearbyen

    Come with us to chase the northern light. We pick you up from your hotel and will get into a comfortable minibus.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Handicap-friendly
    • Sightseeing and lectures

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

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

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 84 reviews84 reviews

    Taste of Svalbard - Polar Permaculture

    Longyearbyen

    For the first time in a long time heals the Svalbard! Join us on a tour of Longyearbyen where you get an insight into the food and beverage traditions here in the north, as well as hear stories about what has been eaten and drunk in Svalbard through…

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Food
    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 84 reviews84 reviews
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