The city is today a vibrant Arctic metropol with a population of 2100 people from over 40 nations. The society is characterized by active people, living in tough conditions in the wilderness of the High Arctic.
Over 100 years of mining has given the city a rough, industrial appearance. Tourism, research / teaching and mining are the main activities today, together with community support. Among other things, there are university center, school, 3 kindergartens, sportarenas, church and cultural center.
It is pitch dark at Svalbard in 4 months through what is called ”the polar night”, while summer is marked by months of ”the nightsun” when the sun is high in the sky 24 hours a day. This leaves its mark on Longyearbyen, where activities and daily life are happily governed by the season.
In the bright period, people are much outdoors, while the city in the dark season gets its own pulse, where locals and guests get extra social. They often meet on festivals, concerts, sporting events, etc. - or over a good meal in one of the many great restaurants!
Life at 78 degrees north is something else, but also filled with completely ordinary weekdays for those who live here. For all who visit us they experience our everyday life as something extraordinary. Polar bears are never far away, ergo weapons is a necessity. The climate is harsh and unpredictable, while the alternating light / darkness is perceived differently from perso n to person.
We welcome you to Longyearbyen - and hope you find yourself comfortable as a guest here with us!