Longyearbyen Community Guidelines

Tips and tricks to get around!

Welcome to Longyearbyen, the northernmost town in the world.

Although we locals live ordinary lives up here, you will soon see that this place is quite extraordinary. It takes years of experience to really understand it. You are visiting for a short period – let our knowledge guide you. We encourage you to do as the locals: respect wildlife, nature and each other!

Although our town may appear a bit rough Longyearbyen is renowned for its friendliness and comfort. Many locals are bitten by the “Arctic Bug” and refuse to move southwards. “I only planned to be here for one year, but I’ve been here for many years now,” is something you hear daily.

Those looking from the outside often see our everyday as extraordinary, but this is our life. 2100 people from all over the world live together in a small town surrounded by raw Arctic nature. Polar bears are never far away, so we carry a weapon every time we go outside the settlement.

We really hope you enjoy your stay with us! Please turn the page to read our community guidelines which will help you better understand our town. See www.visitsvalbard.com for more information and activity booking.

Our tips for you:

  • Always go on organized tours when leaving the settlement. A local guide will take care of your safety and make your adventure even better. The center of Longyearbyen is also best experienced with a local guide who can tell you all the amazing stories.
  • Our local drinking water is excellent, you can drink it from the tap!
  • Longyearbyen Church is open 24/7, you are welcome to visit any time but please respect services.
  • Svalbard is exempt from VAT, all goods are tax-free, pay in Norwegian Kroner or by credit card.

Longyearbyen Community Guidelines

Stay safe and get the best experience of our little Arctic community:

  • For your own safety, do not leave town without polar bear protection
  • Chat with locals but ask before photographing, and please respect privacy and do not take pictures of children at kindergardens or school
  • Enjoy a walk through town, but please walk on the left side of the road if there are no sidewalks
  • The Svalbard reindeer, grouse and birds can be seen around town. Enjoy our wildlife at a safe distance, remember that birds and other animals are not to be disturbed
  • Dogs in the dog yards are a common sight in Longyearbyen, please do not feed, touch or disturb them by getting too close them for photographs
  • We have many beautiful flowers, enjoy the sight but do not pick them
  • Help us respect our history, please leave old cultural remains alone. Law protects all traces of humans from before 1946
  • You are welcome to photograph parked snowmobiles, but please do not touch them
  • The use of drones is prohibited in Longyearbyen less than 5 km from Longyearbyen airport
  • Help us keep beautiful Svalbard clean. Use our garbage bins and leave no traces behind
  • Shop locally! You are welcome to buy our locally made products, but we do not have a tradition for bargaining
  • If at all possible, use toilets for human waste. Please do not leave sanitary items in nature.