Svalbard Travel Guide

Where to Eat

Try the local exotic specialties of seal and reindeer cooked in different ways to appeal to you gastronomic preferences.  Restaurants are available only in Longyearbyen and eating away from this center of civilization is mostly provided by camping facilities. You will likely eat in these restaurants upon arrival to Svalbard and before catching the flight home. In between those, you’re better off eating in the camps and on to adventure. Like everything else in Svalbard, and Norway for that matter, everything is expensive, and food is no exemption. A nice option, and in tune to the adventure theme, would be to cook for yourself. Bring in supplies and cook at the camp. Preparing food, however, especially in a Spartan camp may take so much of your time away from the real adventure. Here’s a list of eating options in Svalbard.

1) Kroa

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This is good for travelers who look for a nice Norwegian meal and a few good drinks. The architecture is reminiscent of Russian elements, with Lenin’s bust on the background. The ambiance is great, service is cheerful, and it gets the chatty and party mode on Friday nights. The place is not good for those eating on a budget as the bill could really get high. Starters, like the cured seal costs USD13 and the arctic char costs USD17. Main courses start at USD33.

Address: Sentrum, Longyearbyen

2) Huset

This highly-regarded restaurant serves a variety of delectable Norwegian food. You have to take an order of at least one of these: reindeer specialty for USD82, whale in pepper sauce for USD27 and seal stew for USD25. There are pizzas, too, and Huset’s signature hamburger med alt with prices starting at USD15. It is worth noting that it maintains a cellar with over 20,000 bottles. That’s a lot even for non-Arctic standards.

Address: Longyearbyen

3) Brasseri Nansen

This is a restaurant in the Radisson SAS Polar and is a swell place to eat and drink. Price starts at USD16.50

Address: Sentrum, Longyearbyen

4) Funktionaermessen Restaurant

Another excellent hotel restaurant, Funktionaermessen is located inside Spitsbergen Hotel. Price starts at USD25.

Address: Sentrum, Longyearbyen

5) Fruene Kaffe Og Vinbar

Get your hot dose of coffee from this warm café. They serve baguettes, pizza and snacks with the black aromatic brew. Price starts at USD12.

Address: Sentrum Lompensenteret, Longyearbyen

Where to Stay

Hotels are located in Longyearbyen, except for the lone hotel in Barentsburg and another in Ny-Alesund. Listed herein are three hotels, one guesthouse and one camping accommodation. Like in the dining options, you only stay in hotels upon arrival and prior to departure. Unless you are in Svalbard for purposes other than adventure, you’d be staying mostly with your camping operators in the “heat” of things.

1) Spitsbergen Guesthouse

This 2-star hotel will bring you close to the mountains. The hotel has facilities for tour assistance, laundry service, and Wi-Fi access. The guestrooms are comfortable, with bathroom-sharing arrangements. There is a lobby with television and lounging area. The hotel is close to the University Centre in Svalbard. Price per person per night is USD160.

Address: Nybyen, Longyearbyen

2) Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen

This 4-star hotel is located near the University Centre and has a bar and a restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are additional facilities, such as, sauna, meeting rooms, library, café, and high-speed Wi-Fi access. Well-appointed rooms have full-featured baths, satellite TV, minibars, and view windows. Price starts at USD340 with complimentary breakfast.

Address: Road 500, Postboks 554, Longyearbyen

3) Basecamp Fangstmannshotellet

This 2.5-star hotel has 16 guestrooms with city and mountain views. The airport and Svalbard’s Univerty Centre are close by. Complimentary buffet breakfast is provided. Amenities include wireless internet access in public areas, gift shop, newsstand, library, and tour assistance. Price starts at USD353.

Address: Postboks 316, Longyearbyen

4) Longyearbyen Camping

Stay in the camps and experience arctic nature up-close every second of your stay in Svalbard. It is also the cheapest accommodation available in this icy land. The use of the campsite per person per day costs from USD17 to USD25. Rental of tent, sleeping bags, and other equipment is allowed and ranges in cost from USD2 to USD8 per day, depending on the type of equipment.

Address: Near the airport, Longyearbyen

5) Guesthouse 102

This guesthouse has 31 rooms, including 4 dormitory-type large rooms with sink. There are also single and double rooms for more private accommodations. Several bathrooms with shower are available on this 2-floor guesthouse. Common TV rooms and kitchen facilities are provided. The guesthouse is authorized to sell wine, beer, and cognac. Bicycles are available for rent. Laundry facilities and internet can be accessed, too. Complimentary breakfast is included in the price of USD53 to USD148.

Address: Nyben, Longyearbyen 9171

If you think of embarking on a journey to wildlife on frozen ground, marine life on frosty waters, flora on sodden tundra, aurora display on polar nights, there’s nowhere else you’ll find a more appropriate setting than the icescapes of Svalbard. Respond to that northern pull and visit this place that has the most northerly landmarks – the northernmost post office and university, church and museums and the farthest north civilian settlement in the universe. Come to think of it, Svalvard is virtually on top of the world!

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