6 Best Sights in Svalbard, Norway

Gruve 3

Fodor's choice
Opening in 1971, this coal mine was abandoned in 1996 with all the old equipment still in place, making Gruve 3 the ideal place to learn more about the history of coal mining in Svalbard. Tours last three hours and venture deep into the main tunnel. You'll also get the chance to wear authentic uniforms, including overalls, helmets, headlamps, and gloves. No need to drive, as tours pick you up at your hotel.

Galleri Svalbard

If the weather is frosty, head to this popular gallery. One of Norway's most admired artists, Kåre Tveter, donated 40 illustrations to this collection. The "Arctic Light Over Svalbard" slide show is an eye-opening look at what makes this area special. Centuries-old maps and books fill an adjacent exhibition room, and copies of many can be purchased in the unique gift shop.

Vei 100, Longyearbyen, 9170, Norway
Sights Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. Oct.–Feb., Mar.–Sept.: daily 11–5; Oct.–Feb., Tues.–Sat. 1–5, Sun. 11–3

Kunsthall Svalbard

This gallery focusing on contemporary art is part of the Northern Norwegian Art Museum based in Tromsø and offers interesting changing exhibits.

Recommended Fodor's Video

North Pole Expedition Museum

This museum presents the history of expeditions to the North Pole that started from Svalbard, namely the story of three airships: America (1906–09), Norge (1926), and Italia (1928). It also documents the search-and-rescue expeditions that caused Roald Amundsen and others to lose their lives. Kids love the models ships, airplanes, and airships on display and may pester you to get one of their own in the museum shop.

Longyearbyen, 9171, Norway
Sights Details
Rate Includes: NKr 100, Closed Oct.--Jan.

Svalbard Kirke

In addition to being used for services, the only church on Svalbard also serves as a cozy place to relax with a cup of coffee or tea at any point during your visit. Completely destroyed during World War II, this new church was a symbol of the city's rebirth, and the baptismal font was a gift to the town by Norwegian King Haakon VII. The candlesticks on the altar are the only thing that remains from the original church, built by architect Hans Magnus.

Svalbard Museum

This museum portrays Svalbard's 400-year history from the discovery of the archipelago onward, including 17th-century whaling, the life of Norwegian trappers, and the relatively recent coal mining in Longyearbyen and the surrounding area. It's a great introduction to the archipelago, especially when you combine it with local tours and excursions.

Vei 231--1, Longyearbyen, 9170, Norway
Sights Details
Rate Includes: NKr 90