Silhouettes of mountain peaks in the midnight sun

The midnight sun in Svalbard

Have you heard this classic Northern Norwegian description of summer?

“The best day of the year, that’s summer!”

This humorous and slightly satirical summary is often accompanied by a sigh while looking at a long term weather forecast which seems to not have any indication of a single day where the sun might be seen between the clouds.
Meanwhile, it is funnily enough also a surprisingly good description of perhaps the best part of a Northern Norwegian summer, the midnight sun!

With the midnight sun never dipping below the horizon, the distinction between day and night becomes a blur. As it shines all through the summer, the whole season starts to feel almost like one single and very long day!
In mainland Norway, the midnight sun generally starts to shine towards the end of winter, while in Svalbard it already starts shining well ahead of winter’s end and continues to do so for longer during summer than on the mainland.
From the Sunny Winter in April to the Polar Summer in August you’ll find the midnight sun shining over Svalbard.
And if you believe the humorous summary of a Northern Norwegian summer, you could then assume that the best day of the year is longer in Svalbard than anywhere in mainland Norway!

  1. The colourful houses called "Spisshusene" in Longyearbyen illuminated by the midnight sun
    See "Spisshusene", the well-known colourful houses in Longyearbyen under the midnight sun
  2. Silhouettes of buildings in Longyearbyen with the midnight sun's glow in the background
    Midnight sun adventures are not far away in Longyearbyen during the Polar Summer

What is the midnight sun really?

Midnight sun is the designation for the phenomenon where the sun stays above the horizon the entire day. This is a phenomenon which occurs both to the north of the northern polar circle and to the south of the southern polar circle. It occurs in Longyearbyen in Svalbard from April 19th until August 23rd.

The midnight sun by itself is a fantastic experience in itself, though it’s not just the light in itself that makes its return such a big event every year. What makes this fantastic phenomenon into a magical one is rather the way it adds to and makes it possible to experience Svalbard in the sunshine all day round!

  1. A person paddling a kayak through the reflection of the midnight sun's light on a fjord
    Enjoy the midnight sun with sustainability in mind

Cozy evenings to no end

There’s no doubt that a cozy evening at a with a view or outdoor seating in the sun at one of Svalbard’s many restaurants is popular both among locals and visitors. Longyearbyen alone can in fact boast over 15 different restaurant, pubs and bars, with several of these offering fantastic views allowing you to enjoy Svalbard’s nature without having to run away from your dinner.

As evening approaches the midnight sun starts to drift to a lower point in the sky, which then shines with an almost golden light across the landscape and a faint glow on some days with exceptional weather. This is an ideal time to head out on adventures you won’t soon forget, and together with a guide you can enjoy the evening sun while on a mountain hike, on a late-night snowmobile trip, in a kayak on the fjord, or perhaps on a guided boat trip. If you’d like to take your time and enjoy the evening at your own pace, then it’s also possible to hire a private guide from one of Svalbard’s local activity providers to make sure that you enjoy the evening safely in the wilderness outside of Longyearbyen.

  1. A person on a mountain with a snow-covered landscape in the background
    Experience Svalbard's Sunny Winter season under the midnight sun
  2. Two persons holding glasses while sitting at a restaurant table
    Enjoy a nice dinner under the late night lights

Arctic midnight silence

If you won’t be able to go to sleep because of the light, going for a stroll in the night light in Longyearbyen’s empty streets is both a truly serene and peculiar experience worth exploring before trying to go to bed again. On nights with exceptionally nice weather it’s almost impossible to go to bed again after you’ve gotten a taste of the midnight Arctic silence and light!

Curious about what experiences that are waiting for you underneath the midnight sun in Svalbard? Have a look at our activity planner to learn more!
Or have you perhaps already booked your next visit to Svalbard during the midnight sun season? Check out our booking calendar to see if there may be available spots on an organised midnight sun activity!

  1. A boat sailing on a calm fjord with the midnight sun shining above a mountain range in the background
    How about joining a boat trip to enjoy the evening light?
  2. A Svalbard reindeer with the midnight sun reflected in a fjord in the background
    Maybe you're lucky enough to get to see a wild Svalbard reindeer on a midnight sun stroll in Longyearbyen
Visit Svalbard Eco-Lighthouse

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