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!

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  1. Svalbard Museum

    Longyearbyen

    Svalbard Museum is a museum of natural and cultural history. Our ambition is to provide broad and comprehensive knowledge of history and nature in the Arctic.

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    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    • Environmentally-friendly company
  2. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 320 reviews320 reviews

    S.M.A.B / Sauna, Meal & Arctic Breeze Summer edition - Spitzbergen Adventures

    Longyearbyen

    With this trip you will combine several very unique pleasures into one activity. Each of those things is already very special up here in Svalbard, but combining those into one experience has not been done before. We have set up a camp close to town…

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    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    • Food
    • Handicap-friendly
    • Wellness

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 320 reviews320 reviews
  3. 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.

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    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    • Dog sledding
    • Environmentally-friendly company

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

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

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 307 reviews307 reviews

    ATV Safari - Svalbard Adventures

    Longyearbyen

    We drive our ATVs into a classic Svalbard landscape in the Adventdalen, a valley shaped by glaciers and surrounded by mountains and interesting cultural monuments. Often, we see both Svalbard reindeers and Arctic foxes on this.

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    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    • ATV safari

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 307 reviews307 reviews
  5. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 307 reviews307 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 - 307 reviews307 reviews
  6. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 254 reviews254 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.

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

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    • Environmentally-friendly company
    • Hiking

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 254 reviews254 reviews
  7. 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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    • 1 - Suitable for all
  8. 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…

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    • 1 - Suitable for all
  9. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 68 reviews68 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.

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

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    • Mine visit

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 68 reviews68 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…

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    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    • Wellness
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    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 629 reviews629 reviews

    Ny-Ålesund - The northernmost town in the world - Better Moments

    Longyearbyen

    Join us on a trip to Ny-Ålesund, a former mining town and gateway to the Arctic. This was the starting point for famous explorers’ race to the North pole. Roald Amundsen, known as the first person, to reach both to the South- and North pole, used…

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    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    • Closed boat
    • Food
    • Handicap-friendly
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 629 reviews629 reviews
  12. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 338 reviews338 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 - 338 reviews338 reviews
  13. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 161 reviews161 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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    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    • Closed boat
    • Food
    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 161 reviews161 reviews
  14. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 320 reviews320 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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    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    • Food
    • Hiking
    • Sightseeing and lectures

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 320 reviews320 reviews
  15. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 338 reviews338 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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    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    • Closed boat
    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 338 reviews338 reviews
  16. Arctic fox - wildlife & nature photo exploring, with max 3 participants - See & Explore

    Longyearbyen

    See & Explore are based in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. On this daytime, and limited tour, up to 3 persons, will we offer you a perfect and genuine wildlife experience from our Arctic environment and we are only using the close areas, in and around…

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    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    • Hiking
    • Photo safari
  17. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

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

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 254 reviews254 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.

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    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    • Environmentally-friendly company
    • Hiking

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 254 reviews254 reviews
  19. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 84 reviews84 reviews

    Sightseeing in the Polar Night - Polar Permaculture

    Longyearbyen

    In a comfortable minibus we will take you out to experience the Arctic nature with the best view and hopefully see the Northern Lights dancing in the sky. We pick you up at your accommodation and on the tour you will be served some local food and…

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    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

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

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 320 reviews320 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 - 320 reviews320 reviews
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