Good to know
Svalbard means ‘the cold coasts’ in old Scandinavian. In winter, temperatures in Longyearbyen regularly drop below -20, so it is vital to dress appropriately. We recommend 2-3 layers of warm woollen clothing to keep you warm out in the wilderness. On snowmobile and dogsledding trips, you will be provided with additional thermal clothing as appropriate for the activity. You can also purchase or hire this equipment locally. It is important to use the warmest possible boots. During the summer, we recommend clothing appropriate for an autumn hike in the Norwegian mountains, so wool and fleece with a windproof outer layer. A lot of the terrain on Svalbard is rocky and uneven, so we recommend solid shoes and hiking boots. In summer, large amounts of snow and ice melt, which leads to rivers and streams as well as large areas of wetland, so waterproof hiking shoes are best. Windproof jackets and pants, warm headwear and mittens are recommended at all times and always keep some extra warm layers available in case of a change in the weather. On Svalbard, we have a tradition of taking off our shoes when entering homes, hotels and other accommodation providers, offices and shops.
Unfortunately, there are accidents each year involving visitors to Svalbard who venture into the wilderness on their own. For their safety and to ensure the best possible experience, visitors should only leave Longyearbyen town in organised tours. All tours that we offer are led by local professional guides. Due to the possibility of polar bear encounter, these guides will always carry firearm protection when leaving the town. This generally consists of a high calibre rifle or handgun, as well as a flare gun to scare away any bears. The guides receive extensive training and regular practice with their weapons. We recommend booking your activities in advance to avoid disappointment – we can arrange this all for you!
The Norwegian Krone is used throughout Svalbard. Svalbard is not subject to customs and VAT regulations, so many goods are cheaper here compared to the Norwegian mainland. Other items, such as fruit, vegetables and milk, may be substantially more expensive due to high freight costs. In Longyearbyen, you’ll find both large and small shops selling anything from groceries to sports and leisure equipment, clothing, gifts and souvenirs. There is a wide range of services and shops in Longyearbyen, but please note that there is no bank or ATM in Longyearbyen. The easiest means of payment is credit cards, common credit cards are accepted at all hotels and shops.
Svalbard is connected to the telephone network on the mainland by a fibre optic cable. This ensures good coverage in Longyearbyen, but outside Longyearbyen, it can be difficult to find a signal. High speed internet is available in Longyearbyen. Guests of the Funken Lodge and the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen have complimentary WIFI.
Would you like to know more about Svalbard or receive a proposal for your stay here?
Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org