The world's northernmost sustainable destination

Experience Svalbard and Longyearbyen with a good conscience!

In Longyearbyen, the High Arctic wilderness starts in the town centre and virtually never ends. The residents of Longyearbyen are very fond of their town and, with the beautiful Svalbard nature as their backyard, they are perhaps more engaged than most in matters concerning environmental protection and sustainability. The same goes for the guests who visit us. Increasingly more tourists are demanding and choosing destinations that demonstrate responsibility and that offer genuine and authentic experiences of high quality. We want to give you information about how you can experience the archipelago – with a good conscience.

Here are our tips and advice for you as a visitor:

  • Stay longer while you are here! Your trip to Svalbard will leave an environmental footprint. That is unavoidable. Therefore, since you have made the effort to come, we wish that you stay for several days. Consequently, we wish that when you visit us that you stay for several days. Take time to truly embrace beautiful Svalbard and experience the peace and tranquillity of the magnificent nature. By booking your trip well in advance, you are contributing to greater predictability for the tourism industry.

  • As a guest, you can choose an environmentally certified tourism company. Several of the companies, including accommodation providers, have gained environmental certification in recent years. Longyearbyen is also labelled as a sustainable destination. Did you know that Visit Svalbard sponsors several environmentally certified events?

  • Travel outside the peak season! The Northern Lights Winter in Svalbard offers magical experiences. You don’t have to travel far from Longyearbyen to get away from the light pollution and see the starry sky twinkling. If you are lucky, you may see the Northern Lights dancing across the sky. Did you know that during the Polar Night it’s possible to see the Northern Lights both during the day and at night?

  • Plan some non-motorised activities. Various offers are available year-round. Imagine going kayaking during the calm of night under the Midnight Sun or enjoying the peaceful starry sky on a dog sledding trip during the Polar Night. What about going skiing on a sunny winter’s day or hiking close to town to spot fossils? We promise you that the Arctic silence will make a strong impression on you. Don’t forget to check out the trips on electric snowmobiles charged using 100% renewable energy or on a silent hybrid boat.

  • Read the Longyearbyen Community Guidelines. These guidelines are designed based on how the residents of Longyearbyen want guests to act. By the way, did you know that in Svalbard you are not allowed to pick the flowers, no matter how beautiful they are? This is to protect the vulnerable flora. The Svalbard Guidelines and the article about alien species in the Arctic also offer you good tips.

  • Go on organised activities with local activity providers when you visit Svalbard. That way professional Svalbard guides take care of your safety and you contribute to local value creation. We promise you that you will get more out of the experience and have an unforgettable Svalbard adventure!

  • Pay climate compensation for your air travel on SAS or Norwegian when you book your flights. Did you know that all visitors to Svalbard also pay NOK 150 to the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund? This amount is included in airline tickets. Resources from the fund are used to initiate projects and measures aimed at protecting Svalbard’s natural environment.

  • Buy locally made products! You can find locally made knives, chocolates, woollen garments, wooden cutting boards, soap, art and jewellery in Longyearbyen’s shops. Giving local gifts when you get home is even more enjoyable. If you don’t want to buy something new, several companies also offer rental of various equipment, which can be useful or necessary when you visit Svalbard. By renting instead of buying, you are helping to save the environment by avoiding unnecessary purchases of equipment that you perhaps only need on a single trip.

  • Choose local food. Do you know how good Svalbard reindeer, local grouse or cod from the Isfjord taste? They are all outstandingly delicious! Moreover, the Svalbard dishes convey a fascinating story about the hunting and trapping traditions of the archipelago. Ask the waiter or waitress which produce is locally sourced.

  • Visit the tourist information office for good advice about how to dress, the activity that suits you best and general advice about safety. You can book activities from our tour operators here. In the summer, you can also borrow a free town bike to use in Longyearbyen.

  • Choose activities that are close to town. There is a wide range of culture and nature-based activities in and around Longyearbyen. We practically have wildlife on our doorstep.

You can read more about Longyearbyen as a sustainable destination and how we are working to improve sustainability here.

Visit Svalbard Eco-Lighthouse

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