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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Number of results: 59

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  1. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

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

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 322 reviews322 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 - 322 reviews322 reviews
  3. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 386 reviews386 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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    • Handicap-friendly
    • Snowcat

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 386 reviews386 reviews
  4. 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…

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

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

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 386 reviews386 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 - 386 reviews386 reviews
  6. 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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    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    • Dog sledding
    • Environmentally-friendly company

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

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

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 375 reviews375 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…

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    Grading

    • 3 - Average physical fitness

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    • Biking

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 375 reviews375 reviews
  8. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 607 reviews607 reviews

    Lindholmhøgda Hiking - Poli Arctici

    Longyearbyen

    The hike starts from the dog yard just outside of Longyearbyen. From there, we ascend the hill and follow the ridge for ~1.5 hours to an elevation of 457 meters.

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    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    Symbols

    • Hiking

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 607 reviews607 reviews
  9. 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
  10. Northern Light chase with pro photo guide & instructions - See & Explore

    Longyearbyen

    This is a tour where photography and photography knowledge are our main focus. Our guide is a professional photographer, and one of his specialties is night and northern lights shots.

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    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    Symbols

    • Hiking
    • Photo safari
  11. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 86 reviews86 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 - 86 reviews86 reviews
  12. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 76 reviews76 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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    Grading

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

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    • Mine visit

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 76 reviews76 reviews
  13. Arctic fox - Wildlife photo tour around Longyearbyen - See & Explore

    Longyearbyen

    We bring you out to the local wildlife in and around Longyearbyen. At this tour, is limited up to 8 persons. Our primary focus, on this tour, is the Arctic fox, Svalbard rock ptarmigan, Svalbard Reindeer, Little auk and to find the good views for…

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    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    Symbols

    • Hiking
    • Photo safari
  14. 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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    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    Symbols

    • Hiking
    • Photo safari
  15. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 386 reviews386 reviews

    Longyearbyen Panorama - under the midnight sun - Hurtigruten Svalbard

    Longyearbyen

    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 the night.

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    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    Symbols

    • Handicap-friendly
    • Snowcat

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 386 reviews386 reviews
  16. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 330 reviews330 reviews

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

    Longyearbyen

    This is the tour for those who want to experience something unique and extraordinary. We are combining snow mobile driving with good food and a sauna experience in a wood-heated sauna out in the arctic nature.

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    Grading

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

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    Symbols

    • Food
    • Snowmobile
    • Wellness

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 330 reviews330 reviews
  17. 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…

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    Symbols

    • Hiking
    • Photo safari
  18. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 330 reviews330 reviews

    Sleigh ride by snowmobile - Spitzbergen Adventures

    Longyearbyen

    Join us for a cozy sleigh ride towed by a snowmobile. This is the tour for you who does not want to drive a snowmobile and rather would like to enjoy the surroundings. You take place on our comfortable sleigh with bus seats and just enjoy the ride.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Handicap-friendly
    • Snowmobile

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

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

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 645 reviews645 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.

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    Symbols

    • Food
    • Snowmobile

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 645 reviews645 reviews
  20. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 138 reviews138 reviews

    Fjordcruise towards the Nordenskiöld Glacier & Pyramiden - HTG

    Longyearbyen

    Write a new entry in your travel diary, as you join us on The World’s Northernmost Fjord-cruise. Length of trip is approximately 11 hrs, and a warm lunch is included.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Closed boat
    • Food
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 138 reviews138 reviews
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