The Norwegian archipelago Svalbard is located only 1350 km from the North Pole and offers lots of experiences; everything from Aurora Borealis – the magical northern lights to dog sleds and polar bears. Take an expedition cruise or a day trip from Longyarbyen to hike among glaciers, the strange Pyramid, a deserted Russian mining community.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION ABOUT TRAVELING IN SVALBARD
Weather and best time to travel
You can travel to Svalbard all year round, but the weather is very changeable depending on the season. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Spitsbergen and other archipelagos can have a surprisingly mild climate with clear seasonal changes. Svalbard has an Arctic climate where during the winter months it has minus degrees all the way down to -17 ° C and the summer months reach up to + 10 ° C.
Each season offers completely different experiences. The best time of year to see the northern lights is between October and the beginning of March and the greatest chance to experience the peculiar phenomenon of Aurora Borealis is in the evening and at night between 20.00 and 02.00.
The polar night when the sun is never reaching over the horizon lasts from mid-November to the end of January. In return, the midnight sun in Longyearbyen shines from mid-April to the end of August. Many people think of midnight sun and summer, but in Svalbard it is still winter during the first weeks of midnight sun. The mildest weather on Svalbard is during the summer months of June, July and August.
Our recommendations on when it is best to travel to Svalbard are based on how the climate has been last year. The weather in Svalbard can be very changeable and unpredictable and therefore our recommendations are only indicative.
conditions NOTE! The visa rules can be changed at short notice, so We recommend that you check the current conditions at the country’s embassy or on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website. The following information may change.
Svalbard (Norway) is visa-free for Swedish citizens. If you plan to visit the Russian mining village of Barentsburg – Pyramid, no visa is required either.
In Svalbard, Norwegian kroner (NOK) is used, in exceptional cases you can pay in euros in some places. You can withdraw money at the airport and inside Longyearbyen. Y
In Svalbard you do not travel around on your own, but it is required that you have a guide with you when you go outside Longyearbyen itself. The rifle the guide has with him is mainly to scare any approaching polar bears, but do not let this deter you from booking a day trip – absolutely fantastic experiences await you!
On the expedition cruises from Svalbard you get close to the unique wildlife, experience the impressive fjords with impressive glaciers, historic villages such as Nya Ålesund and the abandoned Russian mining village Pyramiden etc.
• With Longyearbyen as a base you can explore glaciers, the wonderful nature, see the northern lights and the absolutely amazing wildlife from kayaking or boating, hiking and riding.
In Svalbard, tips are appreciated but not expected and then basically only in restaurants. More information on tips can be found in Lonely Planet’s guidebooks.