Northern Lights above Sukkertoppen in Longyearbyen

A year in Svalbard

"What's the best time to visit Svalbard?" 
This is one of our most frequently asked questions as locals of Svalbard, and almost impossible to answer in a short and sweet way! Every season, every month - even almost every week, has its own charm and variation throughout the year. The best season for you to visit depends on your interests, and what activities you want to experience. We hope that you've gained a little bit of inspiration for planning your next visit to Svalbard with this article. Check out all the available activities for your preferred period in our booking calendar here!

  1. Northern Lights above Lompensenteret and Longyearbyen
    The Northern Lights may dance above Longyearbyen.
  2. Dog sled in pink light and winter landscape
    Svalbard’s landscapes are covered in a fantastic array of blues with nuances of pink and purple. In short, a fantastically magic and soft light.


A favourite time of year for many photographers, and the high season for northern lights in Svalbard with a range of different northern lights experiences for you to choose from! You can join the comfortable and warm snowcat to head out into Adventdalen, or perhaps a silent electrical snowmobile trip into the Polar Night?

If you woud like to experience the Northern Lights but you’re a person who likes to go to bed early, this is the time for you. If you're lucky and the conditions allow it, you might experience the beautiful lights in the middle of the day! Remember to always keep an eye on the sky.


The month of the eternal blue sky. Many of Svalbard’s locals consider this to be their favourite time of year, and that’s not without reason! After the dark season has been going strong for four months the sun is finally on its way back.

While waiting for the sun to pop up from the horizon, Svalbard’s landscapes are covered in a fantastic array of blues with nuances of pink and purple. In short, a fantastically magic and soft light. This time of year is perfect for dog sledding trips through the twilight accompanied by the Arctic silence and the sound of the happy sled dogs’ paws treading through the snow.

  1. Snowmobile in winter landscape
    The sun is finally back after four months of darkness!
  2. Skier in winter landscape
    The sun will now stay up until the end of August


Finally, the sun’s rays will once more light up Longyearbyen after the dark season! The town and its locals almost seems like they’re waking up from a long hibernation after the calm and cosy dark season has passed. Everyone is looking forward to heading out into Svalbard’s wilderness and to experiencing the beautiful landscapes in the sunlight once more!

What could be better than heading on a guided snowmobile trip to the wild east coast of Svalbard? Should you want to really experience Svalbard as the locals do, then an organised guided overnight stay at a wilderness cabin is highly recommended, using a snowmobile, dog sled, or perhaps skis as your means of transport.


You’d do well to find a place with more ideal conditions for a proper Norwegian Easter holiday than Svalbard in April. With snow-covered mountains and the returning midnight sun it’s hard to go to bed when there’s no end to what you can experience through the course of a “never-ending” day. A guided evening skiing trip to Trollsteinen should be on every skier’s “bucket list” as it’s a perfect and easily accessible ski touring trip close to Longyearbyen.

If you’ve gotten enough sunshine for the day then you may be able to take a break in an ice cave within a glacier on the way back. Time is not of the essence as the sun won’t set until August, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the day before calling it a night.

  1. Boat guest by the sea ice
    The wildlife is returning to the archipelago.
  2. People in the main street of Longyearbyen
    Both the town and the nature are bustling with life.


After many winter months of mostly just seeing chubby Svalbard reindeer and curious arctic foxes, Svalbard’s wildlife returns in full force in May as summer approaches! The migratory birds start to arrive, walruses can once more be seen snoozing on sheets of ice in the fjords, while a curious seal may pop up from the water and observe you before swimming on.

This is the time to hit the fjords! The great Isfjorden can be experienced on day trips with some of the larger boats where you’ll have a lot of space to make yourself comfortable, or perhaps on board a smaller and faster vessel like a RIB boat if you’d like to get closer to nature and the sea.


June is Svalbard’s spring month, and we recommend getting out to enjoy the sun in Longyearbyen’s vicinity at this time of year. Whether it’s a coffee or a drink with your friends in the sun at a café or restaurant in Longyearbyen, or a calm walk down to the shore of Adventfjorden with a view towards Hiorthfjellet.

As June sets in the eider duck colony in Longyearbyen also starts to establish itself for the summer right next to the dog yard of Svalbard Villmarkssenter, offering a bustling and lively view of wildlife close to town. In between the dog yards, the ducks are safe and protected from the hungry Arctic fox who’s always on the lookout for some eggs during the nesting period. In the tourist information office you can borrow a city bike for free, and it’s a perfect way to get about town and over to the colony to enjoy your lunch that you’ve bought in town.

  1. Whalrus on the beach
    Say hello to the swimming giants!
  2. Kayakers in front of a glacier
    An icy adventure like no other.


If you’re looking to experience and observe our swimming giants, then this is your month! You can join a guided walrus or whale safari, or to be sure, why not go for both?

If you’re lucky you may be able to observe one or several of the species of whale that venture into Svalbard’s fjords. You may come across the whole spectrum from the small and cute belugas to what is perhaps the biggest animal to ever have lived on earth – the giant blue whale. Keep your binoculars close by!


The air temperature is still nice and warm (Svalbard warm that is), which is ideal for both guided hikes and kayaking trips. You’ll find suitable hikes for all difficulty gradings, with and without an accompanying dog for motivation – and some hikes even include fossil hunts in glacial moraines!

The kayaking trips are well suited for all levels of experience from beginner to kayaking fanatics, and can vary from being close to town to paddling in front of mighty glacial fronts or multi day paddling expeditions in Svalbard’s wilderness. If doing one or the other isn’t enough for you, then we recommend combining both activities in one trip!

  1. RIB boat out fishing
    The sea's buffet is ready!
  2. People at a festival concert
    Every venue in town is filled with warm blues tones


The sunsets are back again together with the short and sweet autumn. The autumn in Svalbard isn’t long – but all the more golden in it’s colourful display and intensity! Around this time, locals go into high gear in their gathering and trapping of food in Svalbard’s wilderness such as gathering mushrooms, hunting reindeer and going sea fishing.

Join the local rhythm of life by coming along out on the fjord on a guided fishing trip and see if you’ll be lucky enough to get a good catch! Should you be so lucky then you can get your catch ready and served to you later the same evening for dinner, or you can try some of the other local tastes that Longyearbyen’s many restaurants can offer.


October marks the beginning of the dark season, and the landscapes in Svalbard are once more painted blue as the sun starts to make its way down below the horizon where it will stay until February.

What better way is there to embrace the Svalbard blues than joining a weekend filled with warm blues tones from the festival Dark Season Blue? Should you rather be interested in an experience for your taste buds rather than for your ears, then there’s something for every taste at the world’s northernmost culinary festival at the start of the month – Taste Svalbard!

  1. Person on a mountain top with a view of Longyearbyen in moonlight
    There's an abundance of activities close to town, perfect for your Polar City Break.
  2. People walking down a Christmas street
    The Christmas atmosphere is all around.


The ideal time for a Polar City Break! Longyearbyen is brimming with intimate activities that are best enjoyed together with friends, family, or your significant other. Shopping is also not a bad idea as everything in Svalbard is tax free. Maybe you’ll be able to finish up your Christmas shopping before December?

It's highly recommended to have a look at the locally produced wares that are available, and to follow up your shopping with a visit in some of Longyearbyen's museums and galleries followed by some nice relaxing wellness in town. What about going for a swim in the icy cold fjord followed by a nice and hot sauna? There are otherwise many other activities being offered close to town in this period, and you can really get to experience a lot in just a single day!


What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than by experiencing Svalbard’s Polar Night in the shine of Longyearbyen’s Christmas street, the great wide starry sky and perhaps some northern lights? Celebrate Christmas in Svalbard, and take part in the local Christmas traditions. In the start of December there’s an annual Christmas fair in both Longyearbyen Kulturhus and the artist’s centre in Nybyen, where we can guarantee that the Christmas spirit will start to sink in.

And don’t forget to catch the sight as the town’s Christmas tree being lit up in the town centre or the delivery of wish lists to the Santa living in Mine 2B! On Christmas eve there’s a Christmas service in Svalbard Church, followed by tasty and festive meals at the local restaurants in town.

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