Things to do in
Longyearbyen

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Top sights in Longyearbyen

Our most recommended things to do in Longyearbyen

Longyearbyen: Cruise to Billefjorden & Nordenskiöld Glacier

1. Longyearbyen: Cruise to Billefjorden & Nordenskiöld Glacier

Take a cruise to Nordenskiöld Glacier on an eco-friendly catamaran trip, with lunch included. During the trip, your knowledgeable onboard guides will share the history of the area with you, and point out sites of interest and any wildlife they may spot along the way. See the highlights and listen to expert commentary as you speed across Isfjord towards the ghost town. Once you have entered the Billefjord, scenic highlights will be seen from the ship, including the picturesque Skansbukta, the ghost town of Pyramiden, and the towering mountains carved by prehistoric glaciers. With the hybrid electric capacity of the ship, you will be able to sail in complete silence in glacial areas, or if there are wildlife sightings. At the Nordenskiöld Glacier, you can listen to the ice as it pops and crackles in the water, before heading back towards Longyearbyen. Along the way, learn about wildlife beneath the surface, and feel free to ask the onboard guide team any questions you might have.

Longyearbyen: Wilderness Evening Experience with Dinner

2. Longyearbyen: Wilderness Evening Experience with Dinner

Your Arctic adventure begins with pickup from Longyearbyen and travels out into the Advent Valley to Camp Barentz, in the midst of the tundra. Upon arrival, meet your friendly guide and listen to a brief safety induction about the camp before heading inside the cozy log cabin where an open fire creates the most blissful atmosphere. Enjoy a delicious welcome drink, then settle in for story time as you listen to your hosts share unique tales and anecdotes about life in the Arctic. Learn about the discoverer of Svalbard, Willem Barentz, then watch an informative and interesting presentation about the King of the Arctic, the polar bear. Throughout the evening, the smells of a traditional reindeer and root vegetable soup will fill the cabin as its cooked over an open fire. When it’s ready, tuck into this hearty dish and don’t be afraid to ask for second servings! Beer, wine, and soft drinks are also served, as well as a delicious chocolate dessert and bonfire coffee. At the end of the evening, the bus takes you back to civilization, bursting with new knowledge and a full belly.

Longyearbyen: Northern Lights Hunt by Snowcat

3. Longyearbyen: Northern Lights Hunt by Snowcat

This northern lights hunt by snowcat is the perfect way to get off the beaten track and look for the aurora in comfort, as your guide drives you over the frozen, snow-covered tundra. Tracked vehicles, such as the specially built snowcat, can visit areas that are otherwise only accessible by snowmobile, dogsled, or skis. The snowcat will pick you up at the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen, conveniently located in central Longyearbyen. After a quick safety briefing from the guide, your adventure begins as the snowcat makes its way straight out of town, away from the light pollution from the street lights and houses, and into the Advent Valley. Did you know that between mid November and January, you can catch the northern lights at any time of day? Svalbard is the only place in the world you can easily visit to experience the Polar Night, when the day is as dark as night. This means amazing chances for aurora viewings, no matter what the time. Before and after this period, the sky is lighter, but the long night still offers exceptional chances for catching the northernmost northern lights. Your guide will look for the best viewing locations and make stops to tell you about the area, the aurora, and why Svalbard is an important base for researching the northern lights. Feel free to ask questions about the northern lights, or Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, and Svalbard. Hot drinks and biscuits will be served during the tour. At the end of the tour, the snowcat will turn back to Longyearbyen, where you will be dropped off at the Polar Hotel.

Longyearbyen: Northern Lights Evening with Dinner

4. Longyearbyen: Northern Lights Evening with Dinner

This tour combines a delicious rustic dinner with knowledgeable local hosts, an informative presentation on the aurora borealis and an excellent location for spotting the lights for yourself. This tour begins with a bus transfer from the hotel, taking you out into the Advent Valley to Camp Barentz, which is literally located at the end of the road. Your host for the evening will meet you at the bus, rifle over their shoulder, and provide a quick safety briefing before you head to the cabin. A shot of akevitt will be offered to warm you up as you enter, and the crackling open fire place will ensure you are comfortable in no time. The evening will begin with a little introduction to Svalbard and the discovery of the archipelago in 1596 by Willem Barentz, the namesake of the camp. One of the cabins here is actually a replica of the cabin he and his crew built on Novaya Zemlaya when they got stuck in the ice there after visiting Svalbard. Beer, wine and soft drinks will be served, and you may start to notice a delicious aroma in the cabin, coming from the pot bubbling over the open fire. This pot contains Bidos, a traditional Sami soup consisting of reindeer and root vegetables. The hosts will serve this at your table—and feel free to ask for seconds! A presentation about the northern lights will follow, including how they are formed and why, as well as local information on research that has taken place in this area. During the evening the hosts will be keeping an eye on the night sky, so don't be surprised if the evening is disrupted by a call to head outside and enjoy the show. A delicious chocolate brownie will be served for dessert, together with campfire coffee. The bus will arrive to collect you at about 9:30 PM, at which point you will return to civilization full of delicious food, interesting facts, and incredible local stories.

Longyearbyen: Northern Lights Hunt by Electric Snowmobile

5. Longyearbyen: Northern Lights Hunt by Electric Snowmobile

Venture out into the darkness on a 3-hour snowmobile exploration from Longyearbyen. Leave civilization behind and follow the light from your snowmobile to see the path ahead. In complete silence, speed through the wilderness on the first electric snowmobile tours in Scandinavia. An environmentally friendly way to explore, the batteries are charged by wind and solar power. Witness the nuances in the polar night, and sense the mystical darkness suddenly change as the glow of the aurora borealis is revealed. Begin your tour with pickup from your hotel and drive to the Expedition Center, where you'll receive a full introduction to the tour. Here, in the modern briefing rooms, see a snowmobile and understand how to drive it, while also receiving information on where the tour will take you and what to expect. After this, kit yourself out in a warm snowmobile suit, boots, mittens, balaclava, and helmet, and off you go! Head out into the wilderness with your guide on the touring snowmobiles, which can be booked for 1 or 2 people. After a short drive, the guide will make a stop to check how the participants are doing and to share a Svalbard story or two. Watch the starlight and moonlight glitter in the snow, or make patterns in the clouds, then continue on your snowmobiles as your guide scours the skies for nature's own fireworks. Biscuits and hot drinks will be shared during the tour. The tour concludes with drop-off back at your hotel.

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What people are saying about Longyearbyen

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 112 reviews

A real adventure to drive a snowmobile through the wilderness. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate, there was a snowstorm that evening. We made a fire in a small hut, ate marshmallow and had hot drinks. Our guide Christin was great, she told us a lot about Svalbard and about her encounters with polar bears. It was just fascinating to listen to her. We were only 3 people who took part in the excursion, so we were even allowed to sit in the driver's cabin of the snow groomer.

The tour was beautiful. Even if we couldn't see any Northern Lights that evening, which the two guides had already announced before the start of the journey to give the guests the opportunity to rebook. We still did the tour along with 6 other guests. She was very interesting and funny. The two guides did a really great job.

It was awesome! The guide was really great. He told us so many exciting things. The ride in the Pisten Bully was also great. Unfortunately, we only saw the northern lights very faintly. But it was still unique !!

A well organized and interesting tour. The boat trip is comfortable and the Pyramiden experience was well worth the effort.

Great guide, great experience and even saw some Northern Lights