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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. 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 - 335 reviews335 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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    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    Symbols

    • Closed boat
    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 335 reviews335 reviews
  2. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 303 reviews303 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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    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    Symbols

    • ATV safari

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 303 reviews303 reviews
  3. 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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    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    • Biking
    • Sightseeing and lectures

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 27 reviews27 reviews
  4. Share the Expert’s Knowledge on Svalbard - Rana Itinerans

    Longyearbyen

    Various topics explained in 45min by competent specialists.

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    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet
  5. 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
  6. 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…

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    Symbols

    • Food
    • Hiking
    • Sightseeing and lectures

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

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

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 335 reviews335 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 - 335 reviews335 reviews
  8. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 137 reviews137 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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    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    • Closed boat

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 137 reviews137 reviews
  9. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 59 reviews59 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 - 59 reviews59 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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    • Hiking
    • Photo safari
  11. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 46 reviews46 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…

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    Grading

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

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    • Hiking

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 46 reviews46 reviews
  12. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 320 reviews320 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 - 320 reviews320 reviews
  13. 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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    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    Symbols

    • Hiking
    • Photo safari
  14. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 335 reviews335 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

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Food
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 335 reviews335 reviews
  15. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 335 reviews335 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.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Closed boat
    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 335 reviews335 reviews
  16. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 253 reviews253 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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    Grading

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

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    Symbols

    • Environmentally-friendly company
    • Hiking

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 253 reviews253 reviews
  17. 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…

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

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    Symbols

    • Hiking
    • Photo safari
  18. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 66 reviews66 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 - 66 reviews66 reviews
  19. 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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    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

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    Symbols

    • Brewery visit
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

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

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 569 reviews569 reviews

    Hiking Lindholmhøgda - 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 - 569 reviews569 reviews
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