Things to do in Svalbard (Norway)

A group of islands that stand between the Norwegian Sea, Greenland Sea, Barents Sea, and the Arctic Ocean, Svalbard has been under Norwegian rule since as early as 1920. The settlements found here are the northernmost spots on Earth that are permanently inhabited.

Their location is further to the north than any of the settlements in Alaska while only a few of the Arctic Islands in Canada can claim to lie any further. The permanent population of the islands does not even reach a count of 3000 and is primarily concentrated in the major settlements of Barentsburg and Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen.

Visitors who travel to Norway Svalbard come here mostly for the experience of an Arctic nature that is at its most potent and rawest state. Apart from the craggy mountains and untouched glaciers, the islands are also home to a fantastic collection of wildlife such as walruses, seals, whales, polar foxes, reindeer, caribou, and polar bears.

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Quick information and Svalbard travel tips

Do you need a visa for Norway?

Norway is part of the Schengen area and citizens of EU group of countries can freely enter this Baltic state while citizens of USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia can enter the country just with their passports and stay for 90 days.

You can check our guide on how to get a Schengen visa and as well to see if you’re eligible to enter the country with just your passports or if you’ll need to apply for a visa prior entry – read it here.

Where to book your flights to Oslo?

Check our handy-dandy guide on how to find the cheapest flights around the world – read it here.

Do you need insurance?

Remember this: anything can happen! Read our take on why you need travel insurance and how it can save you money when things go unplanned – read it here.

Experiences and top things to do in Oslo

What can you do in Oslo for free?

There are attractions in Oslo that are free of charge and these are the following:

  • Witness the changing of the guards at the Royal Palace
  • Churches in Oslo are free to visit
  • Most museums are for free during Thursdays
  • Some of the famous landmarks in Oslo are for free, too! Here are a few examples:
    • The Parliament House
    • Akershus Castle & Fortress
    • Norwegian National Ballet & OperaHouse
    • Parliament House (Stortinget)
    • ÆreslundenCemetery

Can you see the northern lights in Oslo?

Since Oslo is located in the south of Norway, the chances of you seeing a Northern Light is quite slim. That said, it is not impossible! If you really want to see this famous phenomenon, it is best if you travel to Northern Norway famous for this like Svalbard.

What is there to do in Oslo in 2 days?

You can see most of the attractions listed in this post in 2 days. Since you’re visiting for a short time, it is best adviced to stay just in Oslo. Of course, you can also do tours that will take you to most of the top things see in Oslo. Here are a few examples:

What is there to do in Oslo in winter?

If you don’t mind the cold, there are a lot of outdoor activities you can partake, here are a few examples:

  • Go skiing at Oslo Ski Center
  • Go Ice Skating at FrognerIce Skating Rink
  • Enjoy sledding in some of Oslo’s neighborhoods

One day in Oslo What should I do?

If you have a budget, it is suggested to take a tour to really make use of your time spent in Oslo! This walking tour might be for you.

What should I wear in Oslo in winter?

First of all, make sure to get good quality winter jacket and travel shoes when you visit Oslo in winter. Other than that, check out our winter packing list for more information regarding how to dress properly for the cold.

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