Travel and Tourist Information
ABOVE: Apartment houses near the Spitsbergen
Hotel in Longyearbyen. INSET BELOW: The Svalbard archipelago has more polar bears
is the administrative center of Svalbard, an Arctic territory governed by Norway whose largest
island--Spitsbergen--is a haven for nature lovers, Arctic researchers,
wilderness trekkers, reindeer, and polar bears.
Longyearbyen is also the world's northernmost municipality, with
a population of 1,900 and more amenities than you might expect in such a remote
location. (One of the local pubs
claims to have the world's third-largest collection of spirits.) Scientists,
tourist guides, miners, administrators, and other residents come from more than
30 countries, and though Norwegian is the official language, English is widely
In the following pages, you'll find practical information and
photos to help you plan your visit to Longyearbyen and Svalbard, a region that has been described as "an oasis in a world
Location and history
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