Things to do in Svalbard (Norway)

things to do in svalbard Featured

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Lies in the Arctic Ocean, Svalbard is an archipelago somewhere around the North Pole and continental Norway. It has a number of polar bears than the population of humans. It is a paradise for outdoor activities in Svalbard and adventure sports. It houses over 3000 polar bears and 2000 people.

With its frozen land, jugged mountain ranges, blue glaciers, and unexplored wilderness of the Arctic, Svalbard landmarks have always intrigued the tourists. The archipelago of Svalbard is often associated with Polar bear expeditions, its biggest island of Spitsbergen, and significant scientific research in the North Pole. So plan your trip to explore the true and raw Arctic winter and experience the serene beauty in the best places to see in Svalbard.

With its rich wildlife, majestic mountains, extensive glaciers, sea ice, scientific value, and amazing mining history, there is no lack of best things to do in Svalbard. Be sure to feel the thrill of arctic adventure in the true wilderness 100km from The North Pole. Here is the list of best tourist attraction in Svalbard for an experience in High Arctic that will be remembered for a lifetime.


Things to do in Svalbard

dog sledding in Lapland Finland

1. Enjoy the Dog Sledge Ride

Every place, which usually remains under the snow, has become a mode of transport where sleds or small carts are pulled by dogs. There are several arrangements made in this island to ride dog sleds to attract tourism and to add more thrill to the rides. 

You can also drive your sled to enjoy the ride to the fullest. You can also participate in adventure activities like skiing, hiking, snowmobiling, horse riding in summer, along with kayaking. This another fun activity and one of the best things to do in Svalbard. It takes tourists to various places like kayaks or boats to visit several tourist attractions like fjords.

Polar bear in Svalbard Norway
via Wikimedia Commons | AWeith

2. Spotting Polar Bear

There is nothing more spine chilling and exciting than spotting polar bears in the Svalbard islands. In this snow-capped archipelago, the polar bear is the main wildlife attraction. May to September is the best time to see this creature.

You will be taken to certain places where there are high chances to see a polar bear in its natural habitat, i.e., while catching fishes from sea or moving. You can also capture these animals in your camera. You can even spot a mother with a cub if you are in luck. The polar bear is a natural asset here. However, it is better to carry some sticks or arms to shoo them away when needed.

3. Scavenge some fossils

There are certain places and islands in this archipelago, which have fossils dating back to prehistoric ages. Sometimes collecting small fossil is a great treasure in life, or even seeing marine creatures’ fossils of ancient time is an experience you cannot resist in Svalbard. You can also sail to Deltanese in kayaks or boats for this activity.


4. Catch the breathtaking glimpse of Northern Light

Watching the amazing Northern Lights is truly a unique experience something you shouldn’t miss and must be on your bucket list of things to do in Svalbard.  If you visit somewhere around the polar region and leave it without catching northern lights in the polar night, it is not fair.

You can even stay in some camps near Svalbard Longyearbyen administrative center, where you can have some delicious food and catch the serene views of the light show by nature in polar nights. Tourists get there in snowmobile in the summertime to catch the midnight sun either.

North Pole exhibition museum
via Flickr | Bernt Rostad

5. Explore the Art Gallery and Museums

You can visit some amazing art galleries and museums at Longyearbyen in Svalbard. Get there to learn more about the island group in more detail.

The Svalbard Museum is the main museum. It has a treasure of information in the form of objects, articles, and models related to present natural resources and history of the landmark. It was well known as a place for whale hunting centuries ago. You can learn about the same, though.

On the other side, you can also visit the North Pole Expedition Museum. Check out the collection of antique books and art collections in the Art Gallery, as well. Also, taste the locally produced wine in the local brewery here.

Longyearbyen Svalbard
via Wikimedia Commons | Banja-Frans Mulder

6. Sightseeing in Longyearbyen

Longyearbyen may not be a large town, but it is stretched over a distance. Therefore, you must be ready for a hike to go for Svalbard sightseeing to cover the whole town. There are also some cheaper hostels located only 30 minutes of walk from the center of the town. You can also book a guided tour in a taxi with a guide if you are not that interested in hiking and want to learn more of its surroundings as well.

Trust us; you can have a great experience like no other. You can get so much more if you walk around the town. You can learn so much about local life in Svalbard and Longyearbyen that no guide or guidebook would ever tell. You can also capture city walk on Longyearbyen if you are deeply into photography. The bus tour is amazing.

Isfjord Radio Station Svalbard
via Wikimedia Commons | Bjoertvedt

7. Isfjord Radio Station

If Longyearbyen seems to be too remote to you, hop on your boat and visit Isfjord Radio Station. You might also catch a glimpse of seals, walrus, and puffins en-route. You will also enjoy some lunch at the station. You can also have an overnight stay at the station and hope for a polar bear to pass by.

8. Horse Riding

Dreaming to explore an exotic destination like Svalbard on horseback? You can do even that in the summer. There are just 5 horses on the island, and you can enjoy the ride to capture the stunning surroundings closely.

boat riding in svalbard norway
via Wikimedia Commons | Andrew Shiva / Wikipedia

9. Boating

Ice on the sea starts melting during the summer, making it a great opportunity for boat trips. They run just in summer months, i.e., from May to August. You can sail through many places across Svalbard, according to how much time and money you can spend. You can also witness some wildlife creatures like whales, walruses, and various species of birds.

skiing norway
via Wikimedia Commons | James Heilman

10. Skiing

Norwegians’ a love affair with skiing is well known. Therefore, it is understood that there are so many skiers across Svalbard. It is a great experience to help you witness the wild nature of skis. Be careful of polar bears, and keep all the protection equipment handy.

Check out these activities in Svalbard


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