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How to dress in Svalbard

How to dress in Svalbard

When visiting us you need to dress accordingly

How to dress in Svalbard

When visiting Svalbard, you are in the High Arctic and you need to dress accordingly. Frostbite is one of the most common injuries in Svalbard. The weather can change very quickly at any time of the year. Strong winds make the actual temperature lower than the measured temperature. The terrain in Svalbard is uneven and rocky, and you will need waterproof and solid walking shoes/mountain boots for hikes in the mountains and the surrounding areas.

This is how you should dress in summertime

The average temperature for the summer months (mid-May to September) is 3 – 7 ˚C. You will need windproof jacket and woollen underwear, as well as mittens and a hat. In the summer, snow and ice melting leads to increased levels in rivers and streams. You will need rubber boots or mountain boots and gaiters for crossings. Remember you will need several layers of wool during the summertime too.

...and in wintertime

During the winter months (October to May), the normal temperature is -30 – -11 degrees ˚C. Bring your warmest clothes! You will need windproof outerwear, several layers of wool and/or fleece. Also remember to wear warm winter boots (with space for two pairs of woollen socks) and to keep your hands, face and head warm with warm and windproof mittens/gloves, a balaclava and a warm, windproof hat. A reflective vest can also be useful, as it gets very dark. You should bring extra warm clothes to be prepared for the extreme weather conditions.

We also recommend bringing spikes, as the road might be icy.

Good to know

When going on organised excursions, the tour operators usually include the necessary clothing and equipment. If you are unsure what to wear/bring, please ask the tour operator about what you require.

You can buy clothes and other equipment at the many sports stores in town at tax-free prices.

You should also bring indoor shoes or warm socks. It is a tradition to take off your shoes when visiting someone’s home, and when entering hotels/accommodation, shops and offices. This tradition dates to the time when coal mines were in the middle of the settlement. By taking off your outdoor shoes, you avoided dragging coal dust into the houses, hotels and shops.

Check out the weather forecast here



  1. Polar Summer
    17 May – 30 September. The Midnight Sun, beautiful colours and contrasts add an extra dimension to glaciers, majestic mountain formations and the endless Arctic tundra.
  2. Northern Lights Winter
    1 October - 28 February. In late October, the sun casts its last rays over the landscape this year, and Svalbard enters the magical and mythical Northern Lights Winter.
  3. Sunny Winter
    1 March - 16 May. As the light returns, the activity level and energy increases. All you want is to be outside, to see and explore the frozen land.
  4. Activity Planner
    Plan the perfect Svalbard experience!
  5. Safety in Svalbard
    Important information on how to be safe in Svalbard.
  6. Svalbard Guidelines
    We recommend you to read these important guidelines before coming to Svalbard.
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