Pyramiden

Pyramiden

A living museum

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Pyramiden

A living museum

At a distance one can see buildings, streets, industrial structures and signs of mining industry in the nearby mountain. Just what one would expect to see when someone tells you that you’re looking at a mining town. But one thing is missing: residents.

Pyramiden’s history

During the 80s there lived over 1000 people in the mining town of Pyramiden, a town founded by Sweden in 1910 and later sold to the Soviet Union in 1927. The place got its name from the pyramid-shaped mountain towering over it. Today it’s mostly visited by seabirds, Arctic foxes, and possibly the occasional polar bear. It’s also visited by travellers who come either by boat in the summertime or by snowmobile during winter to see this surreal place for themselves.

The Russian state-owned mining company Trust Arktikugol closed down Pyramiden’s mining operations in April 1998 after having been in continuous activity for 53 years. Dwindling coal prices, difficulties with coal extraction from the mountain, and the catastrophic Russian plane crash at Operafjellet where 141 people lost their lives, all contributed towards the discontinuation of the mining operations. But in 2013, the town started to come alive again with the re-opening of Hotell Tulipan, now known as Pyramiden Hotel, which is open in parts of the year for guests who want to spend a night in Pyramiden.

In the present time, Pyramiden is in many ways like a living museum one can experience and explore through organised guided trips.
All the buildings, mining infrastructure, architecture and historical remains catch your eye when walking through town, making it easy to daydream yourself away in trying to imagine how it must have been like to walk through Pyramiden when it was still an active mining community. The town’s residents moved out once the mining operations ceased, and as indicated by the remains it must have been a hurried move at that. Throughout the town you’ll still find cups left on tables, newspaper cuttings on the walls, and skiing equipment left in the hallways. The grandiose swimming pool and cultural palace, both featuring Soviet architecture, bear witness to a past heyday very much in contrast to the present time in Pyramiden.

The town was developed according to Soviet ideas of an ideal society. There was a petrol station, greenhouse and farm, school, kindergarten, hotel, restaurant, pretty much “all the facilities” one could need. Most of the buildings are still standing as they were when the residents left. Still remaining in the centre of Pyramiden is the bust of Lenin who keeps a watchful eye over the town, with a view towards the beautiful glacier Nordenskiöldbreen in the far distance to the east. Around him, you can still find growing grass that was once imported all the way from Siberia.

About Pyramiden

This «ghost town» as it’s often called is situated in the innermost part of Billefjorden and is inhabited by staff from the Russian state-owned mining company Trust Arktikugol and their tourism division Arctic Travel Company Grumant. Some of them maintain the buildings and facilities throughout the year, even during the dark season! You’ll otherwise also find “the locals” at the hotel, in the small café in the cultural palace, or in the hotel restaurant, where they’re at the ready to give you a warm Russian welcome to a good meal or a good night’s sleep. There are also guides at the hotel with polar bear protection equipment who can show you around Pyramiden and its surrounding natural landscape while ensuring your safety in the field.
You’ll find information about Pyramiden Hotel here.

You’ll find information about how to travel to Pyramiden here.

Important information for tour operators, local residents in Svalbard and visitors to Svalbard
There have been cases of people breaking and entering into houses in Pyramiden, as well as cabins around Barentsburg,  Pyramiden and Coles Bay. Please respect private property – do not enter cabins or houses that are not open to the public. Such cases will be reported to the Governor of Svalbard.

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Number of results: 16

  1. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 5 reviews5 reviews

    2-days summer trip to Pyramiden - Grumant Arctic Travel Co.

    * Pyramiden

    Experience Pyramiden in summertime in two days!

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Bed accomodation
    • Expedition
    • Open boat
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 5 reviews5 reviews
  2. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 399 reviews399 reviews

    Hybrid-driven speedboat to Pyramiden - Hurtigruten Svalbard

    Longyearbyen

    Join Hurtigruten Svalbard on a hybrid-driven speedboat to Pyramiden. With our new vessel you can join an exciting and more environmentally friendly boat trip, to the Nordenskiöld glacier, and the fascinating town of Pyramiden.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Closed boat
    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 399 reviews399 reviews
  3. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 140 reviews140 reviews

    Fjordcruise towards the Nordenskiöld Glacier & Pyramiden - HTG

    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.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Closed boat
    • Food
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 140 reviews140 reviews
  4. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 5 reviews5 reviews

    Arctic Time Machine (express), 2-days snowmobile tour to Pyramiden - Grumant Arctic Travel Co.

    Longyearbyen

    Complete your Arctic adventure with a visit to a legendary place far to the north — Pyramiden. Just within 2 days, you will time travel past glaciers and dive into the atmosphere of the Soviet era.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 5 - Previous snowmobile experience is recommended. Long day trip through some rugged terrain.

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Bed accomodation
    • Food
    • Snowmobile
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 5 reviews5 reviews
  5. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 340 reviews340 reviews

    Fjord Safari to Pyramiden and Nordenskiöld Glacier - Svalbard Adventures

    Longyearbyen

    Join us on an exclusive trip in a closed RIB boat to the Russian ghost town Pyramiden and the mighty Nordenskiöld glacier.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Closed boat
    • Environmentally-friendly company
    • Food
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 340 reviews340 reviews
  6. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 5 reviews5 reviews

    Svalbard Stories, 5 day snowmobile tour - Grumant Arctic Travel Co.

    Longyearbyen

    A 5-day Arctic adventure in Svalbard free of worries! No need to plan your trip, as we have already done it for you! Combine the joy of freedom while snowmobiling across the island while thinking about the stories of Arctic discoveries in the past.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 5 - Previous snowmobile experience is recommended. Longer day trips through some rugged terrain.

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Bed accomodation
    • Expedition
    • Food
    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Snowmobile

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 5 reviews5 reviews
  7. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 163 reviews163 reviews

    Boattrip with Polargirl to Pyramiden & Nordenskiöldglacier - Polar Charter

    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.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 1 - Suitable for all

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Closed boat
    • Food
    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 163 reviews163 reviews
  8. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 627 reviews627 reviews

    Speedboat to Pyramiden and Nordenskiöld Glacier - Poli Arctici

    Longyearbyen

    Experience the stunning coastline of Billefjord, Skansbukta’s famous castle-like peaks, and the abandoned Russian mining settlement, Pyramiden —all in one day!

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 2 - Suitable for most

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Food
    • Open boat

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 627 reviews627 reviews
  9. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 330 reviews330 reviews

    2 days snowmobile trip to Pyramiden - Spitzbergen Adventures

    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…

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 5 - Previous snowmobile experience is recommended. Long day trip through some rugged terrain.

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Bed accomodation
    • Food
    • Snowmobile
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 330 reviews330 reviews
  10. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 5 reviews5 reviews

    Glimpse of Svalbard, 4 day snowmobile tour - Grumant Arctic Travel Co.

    Longyearbyen

    All the highlights of Svalbard in a 4 day-long trip all around Isfjorden! It is a perfect tour for those who have no time to waste. It gives you an insight into Svalbard in winter: in only 4 days, you will travel across the island and visit the…

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 5 - Previous snowmobile experience is recommended. Long day trips through some rugged terrain.

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Bed accomodation
    • Expedition
    • Food
    • Sightseeing and lectures
    • Snowmobile

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 5 reviews5 reviews
  11. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 340 reviews340 reviews

    RIB Safari to Pyramiden and Nordenskiöld Glacier - Svalbard Adventures

    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…

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 3 - Average physical fitness

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Environmentally-friendly company
    • Food
    • Open boat
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 340 reviews340 reviews
  12. Svalbard photo expedition - See & Explore

    Longyearbyen

    Our photo workshops and tours in Svalbard are focused on nature and wildlife photography. On traditional tours, there may not always be enough time to stop and dwell on a good motif, but that is exactly what we do!

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 5 - Previous snowmobile experience is recommended. Long day trip through some rugged terrain.

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Bed accomodation
    • Expedition
    • Food
    • Photo safari
    • Snowmobile
  13. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 5 reviews5 reviews

    NEXT TO THE NORTH POLE - Grumant Arctic Travel Co.

    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!

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 5 - Previous snowmobile experience is recommended. Long day trip through some rugged terrain.

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Bed accomodation
    • Expedition
    • Food
    • Snowmobile
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 5 reviews5 reviews
  14. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 278 reviews278 reviews

    Billefjorden Kayak expedition 5 days: Pyramiden and Nordenskiold Glacier - Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions

    Longyearbyen

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

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 4 - Above average physical fitness

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Closed boat
    • Environmentally-friendly company
    • Food
    • Kayak
    • Tent accomodation

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 278 reviews278 reviews
  15. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 5 reviews5 reviews

    Hunt for Arctic Adventure, 7 days - Grumant Arctic Travel Co.

    Longyearbyen

    Come and get the real and fully-fledged Adventure-week on Svalbard, the land of the midnight sun! On the trip you will visit 3 towns where each is different and has its own story.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 3 - Average physical fitness

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Bed accomodation
    • Dog sledding
    • Expedition
    • Food
    • Hiking
    • Kayak
    • Open boat
    • Sightseeing and lectures

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 5 reviews5 reviews
  16. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 5 reviews5 reviews

    Arctic Time Machine, snowmobile tour to Pyramiden, 3 days - Grumant Arctic Travel Co.

    * Pyramiden

    A total 3-day immersion into the most extraordinary region of Svalbard — Pyramiden and its surroundings. You will go by snowmobile past the magnificent Nordenskiöld glacier to reach "the Arctic time machine" and open-air museum, Pyramiden.

    Facilities

    Grading

    • 5 - Previous snowmobile experience is recommended. Long day trip through some rugged terrain.

    Facilities

    Symbols

    • Bed accomodation
    • Expedition
    • Food
    • Snowmobile
    • Toilet

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 5 reviews5 reviews
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