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Svalbard Travel Answers

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 11, 2016
What animals are common on Svalbard  (3 Answers)

I would like to know what four-legged animals are common on Svalbard. It is research for a book I am writing.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 08, 2016
transportation within Svalbard  (3 Answers)


I'm thinking about going to Svalbard in December 2016 (8-15 december).
The "issue" is that I can't really find any ways for transport from Longyearbyen airport to Barentsburg.
Could someone give me some sites for transport by : car, boat, snow scooter, bus, train, ...
I have a drivers' license.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 15, 2015
where is platabergat  (4 Answers)

where is platabergat and how far from the capital

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 19, 2015
January Tours and Sightseeing in Svalbard  (1 Answer)

I plan to visit Longyearben in the middle of Jan 2016; is there any activities or tours around mid Jan or is it too dark for any tours? Vijay

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 18, 2015
Job in Longyearbyen  (5 Answers)

I was born and raised in Russia, in a city that called "Norilsk", which is one of the northern cities in the world, also my profession is a stope mining.
I speak Russian fluently, and I know I little bit English. Currently I'm 48, but I'm a very healthy and strong man. I have a daughter.
I would like to know, is it possible for me to find a job in Svalbard, particularly in Longyearbyen?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 27, 2015
Svalbard in January  (2 Answers)

I found out about Svalbard right after I've booked my trip to Norway.
It will be from the 4th to the 22nd of january.
It is worthed to go in Longyearbyen at that time of the year?
Will I be able to go on snowmobile excursion?

I 'm really interested of going in Artic, but I still want to be able to live some fabulous experience.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 29, 2015
Please Informe me regarding the Issue  (2 Answers)

Can i get help from you regarding information about Svalbard Norway my business college want to come from Bangladesh to Svalbard Norway but i was little confusion about visa i saw the Svalbard official website about the visa there no visa requirement but Norway is Schengen Area so if they come from Bangladesh they need visa or not? and if they transit on the Tromsø Airport the need the visa or they can fly without visa and also need to know they will face any problem to return there home country?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 09, 2014
job in Longyearbyen  (2 Answers)

I need a job in Longyearbyen (Svalbard) throughout the year

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 29, 2014
Is there any traveler in Longyearbyen 05-08 of July 2014 - looking for trip company

Do you plan any trips at that days on your own? Like hiking, kayaking etc.
I look for a privat trip I could join to. I'm a positive individual tough man, so you won't have any problem with me. I'm not a moody person.
You can contact me via e-mail: [email]

I hope someone reads these posts :-)

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 15, 2014
seeking for a job  (4 Answers)

is that easy to find a job(better full time job:) in Longyearbyen?i am a girl.i suppose to stay there for one year.can i get a job of coffee shops or restaurant/hotel?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 09, 2014
Reccomandations for 2 days in February.  (7 Answers)

Hello, last night over a bottle of wine we simply had the crazy idea of instantly booking a 2 day trip to Svalbard as we had a trip planned to Norway for the month of February. The offers by SAS were an absolute stunner as we managed to find a flight from Oslo with SAS for less than 80 EUR.

Is there any activity there during winter time? Any recommendations of things to do?
A lot of the tips I have seen about Svalbard are given for trips in the warmer months of the year, however we are excited to experience very little light (as I understood - in February the little amount of light will be of dark blueish color)

Last but not least, are Northern Lights common in February up there? Or are we too far away?

Kindest regards and have a GREAT NEW YEAR 2014,

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 16, 2013
Svalbard in Feb 2014  (5 Answers)

My daughter and I are coming to Svalbard in Feb 2014 for a week. Looking for some basic accommodation. Happy to pay. Any assistance gratefully appreciated

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 15, 2013
Student visiting March 2015. Pricing of Travel and Accomodation/Avaliable sightseeing oppertunities?  (1 Answer)

Hey. I am a student who lives in Glasgow in Scotland, and would be very much interested in viewing the March 2015 Solar eclipse for Svalbard, the only place the eclipse is visable as a full solar eclipse.

I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice on how expensive travel and accomodation might be (bearing in mind, I'll be going for the cheapest possible)?

Also (knowing very little about this myself) would there be any chance of viewing other amazing sights while visiting, such as wildlife or northern lights? Sorry if I come off as foolish.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 25, 2013
Looking for transport to Hornsund!

Hello! I am going to visit Polish Scientific Polar Station on the Hornsund fiord. I am looking desperately for transport from Longyearbyen to the Station. I am considering stay on the end of March/beginning of April. Does anybody konow whether in that time any transport to station is possible, and if so how much will it cost? Mabey there are local transport companies/travel agencies? I will be rally grateful for any help or tips!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 28, 2011
Welly's or Walking  (1 Answer)

Off on a Hurtigruten cruise this weekend to Svalbard on the MS Fram, 29 July.
Packing space is limited due to our domestic travel, so should we take rubber boots (wellingtons) or water-proof walking boots?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 07, 2011
Svalvard trip Jan. 2012  (3 Answers)

Me and my husband are planning our anniversary trip in Spitsbergen. We're from Mexico and want this to be the trip of a lifetime.

We'd like to know what is the best travel agency in Spitsbergen, one that can really give us out of this world activities that can make our trip memorable.

We want to experience the real Spitsbergen, get as many activities and adventures as we can.

Any suggestions on who to contact?? Also, any suggestions on things we MUST do while we're there?

We've looked into activities and dont know how to pick the best ones! We've both tried snowmobiling and dog sledding in Canada (Yukon Territory), so that would not be something new. However, I've read about snowmobile trips that take you out of town, but there are so many to choose from! Which area would be the best to visit?

And a very important many nights would you recommend for us there?? We're planning to go to Norway first and then Spitsbergen.

We are so excited about this trip, but so nervous of missing out on special activities there.

Overall, we just want this trip to be as magical as possible!

I'd love all the help we could get.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 03, 2011
When is the best time to visit Svalbard  (4 Answers)

Ok, summer and winter are both interesting to visit Svalbard, from what I have read so far.
Now, I like taking photos, and do some excursions to see different things, so I think for me it's better to go when there is at least some light.
Let's say I want to go on excursions to:
- see polar bears
- see the large ice glaciers in the sea
- dog sledding
- take some nice pictures in good light conditions (so nice weather :-)
Maybe I'm just looking to really 'see' Svalbard at it's best.
When do I go ?

Thanks !

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 19, 2010
northern lights  (5 Answers)

hello i am going to visit Longyearbyen for a week in febr and i would love to see the northern lights, who can help me with info about moon phases, all info is welcome also about astronomy, thank you :)

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 04, 2010
A week in Svalbard  (20 Answers)

I know there is a lot of information on activities on this forum, but my fear is that with a week to spend there (Late September) we will have a lot of down time. Activities I have selected are ATV Safari to either Adventdalen or Bjørndalen, Rubber Boat trip to Fuglefjella and Hiorthamn, Glacier Hike (Larsbreen glacier), Kayaking to Adventfjord and dinning in the wilds. Now as I understand it there is very little in the town itself (longyearbyen), and with most activities I have chosen being most half or just over half days, is there much to do with the other half of the day. No doubt I will be fairly warn out after such activities as Kayaking but I still don’t want to waste what time I have.
Things I have found suggested by people are the museum and Svalbard Gallery.
So my questions are:
1. from the sounds of the activities I have listed would I be doubling up on anything (there are a lot of similar things about)
2. What is there to do other than the activities
3. As only half the week is full can I book things when I arrive to fill the time that will be different from what I already have?

Any suggestions would be gratefully received as its getting near and im worried about missing out as this is somewhere I will probably only get to visit once.

Thanks in advance!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 02, 2010
svalbard transportation  (2 Answers)

Is it possible to travel to Svalbard by train? I will be in Flekkefjord and am interested in traveling north...Not necessarily Svalbard, but I would like to travel North, this time...

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 07, 2010
Best tour/cruise companies?  (3 Answers)

My husband and I would like to travel to Svalbard in August. We would like to cruise in order to see polar bears and other wildlife. We have traveled with Lindblad before and had a fantastic experience. They have tours to Svalbard but I'd like to learn about other good companies as well. Can anyone recommend a few tour companies that are reputable and experienced in wildlife/ecotourism?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 18, 2010
Svalbard Tours  (2 Answers)


I'm going to be in Svalbard just after Easter, which I gather is peak tourist season up there. Flights and hotel are booked :)

However...will I need to book tours (such as a snowmobile trip to Barentsburg) in advance, or will I be able to sort all this out on arrival? I've had conflicting advice here.

Also - can anyone recommend any tour companies? Seems to be a huge amount to choose from.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 12, 2010
Two questions  (7 Answers)

I have two questions :

(1) what is the cheapest way to fly to Svalbard ? Is SAS the only airline that flies there ?

(2) what are the chances of seeing a polar bear there in July ? Have they migrated to some hard-to-reach place by then, or is it easy to go on a tour that will assure me of seeing some ?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 07, 2009
two days in Svalvard  (2 Answers)

I, we will stay in Svalvard 21th and 22th of august, what one day tour recomended to us??

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 13, 2009
Svalbard in the beginning of August  (2 Answers)

Hej alla på Svalbard!

I'm seriously thinking ;-) about visiting Svalbard for few days in the beginning of August.

It's quite easy to get in (for me, from Stockholm), and as I see there is even a choice of mid-expensive hostels present (Guesthouse 102 & Spitsbergen Guesthouse) - about 330 NOK/night.

However, what disturbs me most is that almost all kind of organized activities present at official tourist website are outrageously and furiously expensive, from 500NOK for few hours hike to 1500 NOK for a boat trip around the corner.

From other point of view, it would be stupid to come so far away to such exotic nature and spend all the time inside of a village, which is not so different (as I heard) from other Norwegian villages.

So, here comes THE QUESTION:
is it possible to do some nice day-trips around Longyearbyen by yourself, without tourist agency???

I bought a book about Svalbard which I thought should help me - "SPITSBERGEN: Svalbard, Franz Josef Land, Jan Mayen (Bradt Travel Guide Spitsbergen)"
It's a nice book with very thick chapters about history of Svalbard, about nature in general, about other places of archipelago which are almost impossible to reach, but when it comes to explaining immediate surrounding and suggesting some trekking routes - absolutely nothing inside!
No wonder, because the book is written by an owner of a travel agency, and everywhere you just between the lines - pay money to agencies, don't go alone.
Even very thin section about Svalbard in LonelyPlanet Norway was more useful: they recommended to walk to Mine #3 on Burma rd., Platåberget, Nordenskiöldsfjellet, Longyearbreen and so on.

I know of cause about polar bears danger, but still: renting a gun for protection is only about 100kr, which is much cheaper than hiking offers from agencies.

Another things which makes me crazy about the agencies - in description of many activities it's written: "do not require any physical demand, totally suitable for everyone" - which often means: walk for 45 minutes to a nearest hill, two hours of stories from a guide and walk back.
I'm not eager to pay 500 NOK for this kind of "arctic experience". But I can understand - Svalbard is such an expensive place, so only rich pensioners can afford to come, and then activities needs to be suited for their abilities.

I pre-selected some more-or-less realistic activities for myself:
1) Boat trip to Barentsburg and the Esmark glacier, 1400 NOK

2) Sarkofagen - Hiking trip in glacier landscape, 590 NOK

3) Hiortfjellet - an arctic challenge, 1100 NOK

4) Kayak tour on Adventfjorden, 890 NOK

Are they nice? Maybe they are, but it's very expensive for me to buy all of them.
Which one is recommended to skip and go around on my own?

Another question: my flight back to Oslo is going to depart at 04:50 in the morning. How to get to the airport at this time? Or can I come to the airport about midnight, and stay there until departure? Is the airport open in the night?

Thanks for reading this long request.
I would be very grateful for any advises!

Sincerely, Andriy
PS: sorry for being so sceptical about tourist agencies...

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 19, 2009
I need all the information I can get on Svalbard  (5 Answers)

Hello everyone,

I'm looking at coming to Svalbard (Longyearbyen) for about two weeks. What I would like to know is how I can rent the small colorful terraced cabins I see pictures of (small houses clustered together). Also, I am looking to moving there permanently. I've read so many different things and would just like to get to know some of the local residents, start making friends. Even if you lived there or vacation there, any info would be good to know.

So far, I have gathered:

1. It's expensive

2. And you cannot live there in old age, you would have to move off the island (is this true?)

3. Employment issues (can I move there and find a job? What is my job is writing?) I read that you would have to be full time employed.

4. How hard is it to open up your own business there? And how much am I looking at roughly for rent.

5. I have been trying to find the Longyearbyen Chamber of Commerce (you know so I can find out demographics such as the different types of business and how many there are. Example: bar, laundromat, grocery stores, post office

6. Vehicles (so far, I've seen few from Google Earth pictures) and seen most of snow mobiles.

7. Most importantly, is there internet and cable? Which company provides this service. What kind of cable service - digital?

8. Are you allow to buy land if you live there and how hard would it be to buy a house or even rent one? If yes on buying land, what are the prices I'm looking at.

9. Emergency medical services such as hospitals?

10. There is no crime rate.

11. Clothing stores or department stores (I have read that Longyearbyen has one).

12. Is there any days when it will be warm enough for just jeans and a tee shirt?

***Thank you so much for everyone's help. It is expensive to go there, so I want to make sure I have researched everything before I do. I've ran across so many people wanting to move there. I know some of my questions are very ignorant, but that's why I'm posting, so I can understand what living there will be like.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 29, 2009
Cruises in Svalbard  (1 Answer)

I am looking for experiences with people cruising around Svalbard on the 9-day Polar Star Cruise or the 5-day Nordstjernen cruise. Please tell me if this was worthwhile and if there were kids on the ships. This is in the August timeframe. Thank you.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · March 30, 2008
The reply to the question "Svalbard Arctic Sport/Skandinavisk Høyfjellsutstyr"  (2 Answers)

I cannot find the website of Svalbard Arctic Sport/Skandinavisk Høyfjellsutstyr. .
Svalbard Arctic Sport/Skandinavisk Høyfjellsutstyr lies in Longyearbyen (city centre) according to this page

Svalbard Arctic Sport/Skandinavisk Høyfjellsutstyr lies in the rectangle on the right side of the Longyear Elva (river) at this map
Regards Jesper

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · March 22, 2008
Svalbard in December  (1 Answer)

I am currently planning a short visit to Svalbard in December. I understand that it is the dark period but may I know if there are any activities that can still be done then? Thank you!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · March 02, 2008
Information on clothings to be brought to Longyearbyen  (1 Answer)


Many thanks for the nice website and the details therein. I will be comming to Longyearbyen in May I wish to know as to what are the clothes that will be required to be brought there to protect myself from the severe cold there and whether these are available on rent as I am from a place where I will never require this once I leave Svalbard. Please inform I will be thankful.
Mr. Vijay

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