Ny-Ålesund Community Guidelines

Welcome to Ny-Ålesund – a unique, international research community

The world’s northernmost community – 78°56 N 11°56 E

Founded and owned by Kings Bay AS, Ny-Ålesund was originally established as a mining community in 1916, though from the 1960s research has been the main activity. Traces from the coal mining period are still visible to this day.

Ny-Ålesund has been the starting point for many famous polar expeditions, including Roald Amundsen’s and Umberto Nobile’s journey to the North Pole. The “Amundsen mast” is one of the many cultural heritage remains that can be observed, alongside Svalbard’s largest concentration of protected buildings.

Today, Ny-Ålesund is home to an international research community. A large number of researchers from all over the world reside here in the summer months. In the winter the numbers dwindle down to around 40 persons.

Ny-Ålesund research station hosts and facilitates long-term observations and research activities from more than twenty research institutions from around the globe, focusing on natural science. Research is the prioritized activity in Ny-Ålesund. Other activities in and around Ny-Ålesund must adapt to limit possible impact on the research activity.

Did you know?

  • We have state-of-the-art research infrastructure and research facilities
  • We have private living quarters, but all meals are eaten in the common dining hall
  • We have fibre optic internet and are always up to date on what’s new on Netflix
  • We love hiking, snowmobiling, cabin trips and kayaking
  • Supplies, fresh fruit and vegetables are shipped here by boat about eight times a year
  • The museum is free of charge and always open
  • You can buy souvenirs, stamps and postcards in the local shop, and preferred payment is by card
  • Everywhere you look you will see a glacier!

Some special considerations

The research and environmental monitoring that takes place in Ny-Ålesund calls for special considerations and behaviour from all. Sensitive instruments and measurements can be disturbed or destroyed by other types of radio emitting devices such as cell phones and other devices that use e.g. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Also, outdoor research might be disturbed if local guidelines are not followed, for example by walking on the tundra or disturbing local wildlife.

Ny-Ålesund Community Guidelines

  • Always pay attention to minimise your footprint and your overall impact on the environment
  • Ny-Ålesund is radio silent. This includes a surrounding area of 20 km, and means:
    • You must turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on all your devices to prevent disturbance on ongoing research
    • This includes mobile phones, laptops, cameras, digital wristwatches and more
    • You can only use devices when flight mode is activated
    • It is prohibited to use drones in the same area
  • Please stay on the roads and pathways only
    • Most areas are bird sanctuaries
    • Research can be disturbed or destroyed – sampling sites may not be visible
    • Fragile cultural heritage is everywhere but not necessarily visible
    • Use dedicated routes when arriving/departing
  • Do not make any attempt to touch or remove research equipment
  • The Svalbard reindeer, polar foxes and birds can be seen around town. Please do not feed, touch or disturb them by getting too close
  • Please respect the people living and working here – you are visiting our home
  • Do not enter any buildings without permission
    • You are welcome to visit the museum buildings anytime. No entrance fee!
  • Please do not go too close to the dog yard. Observe and take photos from a distance
  • Enjoy the self-guided tour following the signs that are placed throughout town
  • In line with local custom, please remove your shoes when visiting the shop
  • The only public toilet is located by the harbour office
  • Help us keep beautiful Ny-Ålesund clean. Use our garbage bins and ashtrays and leave no traces behind
  • For your own safety, do not leave the settlement without proper polar bear protection
The world’s northernmost post office. Photo: Susanne Wasa Hagen, Kings Bay AS
The world’s northernmost post office. Photo: Susanne Wasa Hagen, Kings Bay AS
Enjoy the cultural heritage – but from a distance. Photo: Susanne Wasa Hagen, Kings Bay AS
Enjoy the cultural heritage – but from a distance. Photo: Susanne Wasa Hagen, Kings Bay AS
Respect the wildlife. Photo: René Bürgi
Respect the wildlife. Photo: René Bürgi