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Pyramiden

Pyramiden

Take a step back in time

Pyramiden

One of the world’s most fascinating ghost towns, according to National Geographic
At first glance it looks like an idyllic settlement with urban architecture consisting of apartment buildings made of brick or wood. But there is one thing missing: inhabitants.

Pyramiden was founded by Sweden in 1910 and sold to the Soviet Union in 1927. In the 1980s, the mining community had a population of more than 1,000. It is named after the pyramid-shaped mountain of the same name nearby. Pyramiden is now mostly visited by seagulls, polar foxes and, not infrequently, polar bears. Tourists visit too – by boat in the summertime and by snowmobile in the wintertime – to experience this surreal place.  

The Russian state-owned mining company Trust Arktikugol closed the mine in Pyramiden on 1 April 1998 after 53 years of continuous operation. The falling price of coal, the difficulty and cost of extracting coal from the mountain and the Russian air disaster at Operafjellet which claimed 141 lives all contributed to the decision.

Visiting Pyramiden is like stepping into a time machine. The architecture and buildings are so well preserved that many visitors feel like they are ‘Back in the USSR’. When the mine was closed and the settlement was abandoned, it seems like everyone left in a hurry. Cups were left on the tables, newspaper clippings on the walls and skis in the corridors. The beautiful indoor swimming pool and painstakingly made cultural centre both feature Soviet era architecture and bear witness to the settlement’s golden days. Pyramiden was a good place to live with a family-friendly community and facilities such as a petrol station, greenhouse and cowshed, school, kindergarten, hotel and restaurant. Most of the buildings remain just as they were left. At the top of the main street, a statue of Lenin watches over the abandoned town and the beautiful Nordenkiöld glacier. The statue is surrounded by grass imported from Siberia.

The ghost town at the foot of the Billefjord is now home to eight people, who work at the hotel and as tourist guides in the summer. During the dark winter months, the population is halved to four who have the task of maintaining the buildings and checking the power generators. It’s possible to stay at the very authentic Pyramiden Hotel, which has a fascinating history in the walls, delicious borsch on the table, locally brewed beer from Barentsburg on tap and smiling people to welcome you. Remember to bring cash (NOK), as they don't take credit card payments. 

The abandoned mining settlement is ‘one of 10 ghost towns in the world you need to visit’, according to National Geographic. There is no doubt about that!

Wanna visit Pyramiden? This is how you get there.
And do you want to stay overnight? Check out Pyramiden Hotel and Pier Hostel.

Number of results:

Number of results: 20

  1. Longyearbyen


    Surrounded by high, rugged mountains and the enormous Nordenskiöld glacier, lies the abandoned Russian town Pyramiden. It is beautifully located in Billefjorden, north of Isfjorden. On this trip, we will spend two whole days in this breath-taking...

  2. Longyearbyen

    Have you ever been to the USSR? Welcome to our Arctic time machine and experience real Soviet atmosphere far in the north – in the ghost town Pyramiden.

    The ambiance of this ghost settlement makes an unusual and strong impression on any...

  3. Longyearbyen

    Join us for an exciting and speedy open boat fjord safari to the Russian ghost town Pyramiden and the mighty Nordenskiöld glacier. Pyramiden was once one of the largest settlements on Svalbard, with about 1000 inhabitants. It was a good place to...

  4. Longyearbyen

    Amazing mountains, glacier landscape, cultural heritage and animal life is some of the things that are waiting us. Welcome!

  5. Longyearbyen

    Join a small, exclusive group of guests on a closed rib boat to the Russian ghost town Pyramiden and the mighty Nordenskiöld glacier.

  6. Longyearbyen

    Write a new entry in your travel diary, as you join us on The World’s Northernmost Fjord-cruise.
    Length of trip is approximately 11 hrs, and a warm lunch is included.
    Welcome aboard in our 20th Anniversary season.

  7. Longyearbyen

    This is a 2-day trip where we are spending the night at the hotel in Pyramiden.
    Join us for an extraordinary trip. See all of it, beautiful nature, icecovered fjords, hugh glaciers as well as we take a dive into russian history. To be in Pyramiden...

  8. Longyearbyen

    High Arctic, Svalbard, Spitsbergen island... Located midway between continental Norway and North Pole, Svalbard is a dream of explorers. The nature is wild and grandiose, everything is in its superlative! You will live  once-in-a-lifetime adventure...

  9. Longyearbyen

    Have you ever been to the USSR? Welcome to our Arctic time machine and experience real Soviet atmosphere far in the north – in the ghost town Pyramiden.

  10. Longyearbyen

    From Longyearbyen, the voyage takes you through the majestic Billefjorden, and onwards to Pyramiden. During this scenic trip, the guide on board the boat will guide you through the surroundings, and enlighten you about Pyramiden -  so that when we...

  11. Longyearbyen

    Sightseeing tour with Arctic Explorer AS, Longyearbyen - Barentsburg - Longyearbyen - Pyramiden - Longyearbyen, for travelers who enjoy comfort, effectiveness and experience.

  12. Longyearbyen

    Have you ever been to the USSR? Welcome to our Arctic time machine and experience real Soviet atmosphere far in the north – in the ghost town Pyramiden.

  13. * Pyramiden

    Pyramiden hotel is newly-refurbished since 2014 and seasonally open from March to October - with half or full board. Located near spectacular Glacier Camp vis-a-vis next to the impressive ice front of Nordenskiöld glacier. Has 24 Twin rooms,...

  14. Longyearbyen

    Boattrip with MS Polargirl to Pyramiden & Nordenskiöld glacier. Polargirl also pays a visit to Skansbukta and the birdcliff Diabas. Sightseeing in Pyramiden around 2 hours.

  15. Longyearbyen

    Incredible snowscooter trip to Pyramiden, the abandoned Russian settlement. Amazing sights into the heart of the Svalbard wilderness.

  16. Longyearbyen

    Write a new entry in your travel diary - with a chance to experience natures own spectacular light show.
    Length of trip is approximately 8 hrs, and a warm lunch is included.
    Welcome aboard in our 20th Anniversary season.

  17. Longyearbyen

    Remote, mysterious, grandiose, wild and extreme, Spitsbergen is a land forged by ice, wind and sea. Gigantic glaciers descend from the summits of majestic multi-colored mountains in the cold waters of austere Greenland sea, abundant with ice.

  18. Longyearbyen

    Skansbukta, Nordenskiöld glacier and the ghost town Pyramiden. Join us on M/V Strønstad on a sailing from Longyearbyen to Billefjord. Learn more about the history of the famous Swedish house, before we visit one of the treasures of Spitsbergen;...

  19. Longyearbyen

    Russia Express to Pyramiden
    Write a new entry in your travel diary.
    Join us on a fast trip to Pyramiden, in our 46 foot Princess Riviera.

  20. Longyearbyen

    We guarantee a small group, maximium of 6 scooters and 9 participants. Join us on snowmobile through some of the most spectacular Arctic scenery that Svalbard has to offer, to the impressive Russian settlement of Pyramiden and the imposing...

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