When should I travel to Svalbard?
It all depends on what you want to experience, and which excursions you want to go on:
Do you want to experience the polar night, or the aurora borealis? In that case, November to February is the best time. Each year more visitors come to explore the polar night, or to celebrate Christmas and New Year's in the Arctic.
Does a longer snowmobile or dogsledding trip excite you? Visit us from mid-February to May, when our longer trips are running. The shorter snowmobile trips run from November/DEcember, as soon as there is enough snow.
Do you want to see the midnight sun, and enjoy boat trips, kayakking or hiking? In that case, you should visit in summer, from May to September.
How long should I stay?
We recomend 2-3 days as a minimum. This will give you the chance to take part in some of the exciting activities.
Where and when can I see polar bears on Svalbard?
Polar bears are wild animals, and they are protected by law. This means that there are no polar bear safaris or similar available on Svalbard. The greatest chance of seeing a polar bear would be on a longer cruise around Svalbard, taking you to the North and East of Spitsbergen during the summer (July and August). Polar bears are generally found in areas of sea ice, where they can hunt their favourite prey, the ring seal.
Polar bears are not commonly seen close to Longyearbyen, and they are seldom seen on our day trips. They are however occasionally seen on, for example, our snowmobile safari to the east coast, or the summer boat trips to Pyramiden during the beginning of the season, when there is still some sea ice.
How many polar bears are found in the Svalbard area?
Approximately 3500 according to the Norwegian Polar Institute
Where can I go without worrying about the polar bear danger?
The safe area is defined as the built up town area, outside of this, and on the surrounding mountains, weapons should be carried at all times.
When should I come to see the northern lights from Svalbard?
The best chance of seeing the aurora is during the polar night, when it is dark both day and night. However, it is possible to see the northern lights as long as it is dark at night, from October to mid-March.
When is it polar night and midnight sun on Svalbard?
The polar night is from October 26 to February 16, and the midnight sun is between April 19 and August 23.
How far in advance should I book my activities and excursions?
We recommend that you book your activities as soon as possible after your travel arrangements are confirmed, in order to prevent disapointment. Activities can be booked up until the day before. They can be booked on our websites, at the hotel receptions and from the Spitsbergen Travel offices at Polarsenteret in Longyearbyen.
Which activities do you recomment, and do you have a suggested program?
We recommend that youuse our activity calendar to see which activities are available during your visit. Some activities are not available every day.
Find our activity calendar here.
Should we make restaurant bookings prior to arrival?
This depends a lot on the season. Some periods and especially weekends can be busy, particularly if there is a special arrangement going on, like the Ski Marathon, Polarjazz festival or Blues festival. If you are travelling with a larger group, then it may be wise to book in advance.
Information on our dining options is available here.
How far can I drive by car on Svalbard?
There are approximately 46km of road on Svalbard, including all of the minor roads around the residential areas. Driving a car off road is strictly prohibited.
How can we see the Global Seed Vault on Svalbard?
Entrance to the seed vault is prohibited, however you can see the outer parts on the way to or from the airport, or by joining a sightseeing trip.
Do I have to take off my shoes in all of the buildings on Svalbard?
No, not in every single one. It is mostly the public buildings like offices, hotels, museums and galleries which request that you remove your shoes. Most shops and bars do not require you to take off your shoes.
We take no responsibility for changes or incorrect information.