Longyearbyen in the Polar Night

New Year's Eve in Svalbard

Welcome to a lively and colourful celebration

Celebrate New Year's at 78 degrees north

“I often think that the night is more alive and more richly coloured than the day.” You could be forgiven for thinking that the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh had visited Svalbard during the Polar Night. If you celebrate New Year in Longyearbyen, you will discover the night sky is lit up by far more than fireworks! 

New Year is often a time for reflection, celebration and spending time with good friends and family. And this New Year’s Eve, despite the Polar Night you are invited to a lively and colourful celebration!

Travelling with a group of friends

It’s pitch-dark outside during the Polar Night in Svalbard, which stretches from November to January. Even though the sky is dark, there are many bright spots. We can start with the nightlife!

Longyearbyen has a population of just 2,400, but a nightlife worthy of a big city. Several award-winning restaurants, world-famous wine cellars and a wall full of whisky are among the highlights you can taste through during a few days in the High North.

An experience you will long remember is a night out at Huset with a tasting menu and wine package. The wine cellar contains more than 15,000 bottles, while the non-alcoholic “juice package” is also worth trying for those who would prefer that. The restaurant collaborates with hunters and trappers around the island, which means the menu consists of many locally sourced, Arctic delicacies.

Are you ready for a magical New Year’s Eve dinner with unique Nordic flavour combinations? 

Love in the north

Earlier this year, Funken Lodge made it onto an exclusive list of Norway’s most romantic hotels. We certainly understand why! Imagine sitting by the fireplace together, far away from everyday life, while enjoying a signature drink from the bar. It’s no wonder that new and old love alike flourishes here.

Treat yourself to dinner at Funktionærmessen Restaurant. You could start the evening in the legendary champagne cellar. In days gone by, this is where miners and officials of the coal mining company met to collect their monthly quota of alcohol.  Today, this beautiful venue gives visitors a wonderful start to the evening. The impressive selection of champagne offers some exciting surprises, whether you know a lot about champagne or have only recently discovered the precious drops.

If you would prefer a more informal experience, beer tasting at Svalbard Brewery is a perfect afternoon activity. The brewery has a fascinating history of vitality, determination and hard work before finally succeeding. A bit like a marriage, maybe?

Experience, experience, experience

There is plenty of good food to enjoy but to really work up an appetite we recommend spending the daytime exploring Longyearbyen and taking part in memorable experiences in the surrounding area. The Polar Night can offer some truly unique experiences.

Imagine heading down into the pitch darkness of an ice cave. There is no wind, it’s utterly dark and completely silent. Turn on your headlamp and admire the crystal-clear ice that was formed thousands of years ago. Warm up with a hot cup of coffee or blackcurrant toddy before emerging from the cave and heading out under the starry sky.

Another advantage of visiting Svalbard during the Polar Night is the possibility of experiencing the Northern lights – by day or night. The daytime Northern Lights (also known as dayside aurora) often have slightly more diffuse red tones than the Northern Lights you can see in the evening and at night, which are often greener. Seeing the Northern Lights in Svalbard is an amazing experience, and you can even see it from your hotel.

Tax-free, peace and quiet

As goods in Svalbard are exempt from VAT, you will find some decent bargains in Longyearbyen. The shops focus on products of high quality, so you will gain enjoyment from what you buy here for many years to come. Maybe you do next year’s Christmas present shopping while you are here!

The most important thing you will take with you on your return from Svalbard to your everyday life is the calm, peaceful and nice atmosphere.

During your time in the north, you will have time for good conversations, time to enjoy good food and company and time for evening strolls around town. When you stop and look up, you can admire the light – from the colourful houses, the Northern Lights or the New Year fireworks!

Welcome to a New Year celebration at 78° N!

Visit Svalbard Eco-Lighthouse

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