Our most recommended things to do in Longyearbyen

Longyearbyen: Historic Coal Mine Tour at Gruve 3

1. Longyearbyen: Historic Coal Mine Tour at Gruve 3

Start with pickup at the hotels and guesthouses in town before a short drive to the outside facility of Mine Number 3. On the way there, you will pass the world-renowned Global Seed Vault where over 1 million seeds from around the world are stored. The first seed bank on Svalbard was opened in Mine no. 3 in 1984. This is where the ideas to build the Global Seed Vault on Svalbard started — by storing seeds in the permafrost with no need for electricity.  Enter the facility and explore maps over Longyearbyen and Svalbard. Enjoy a historic coal mine and listen to the stories and anecdotes of what was the last mine in town where thin-seam production was applied. Expect in-depth information about the town’s history and why some men decided to settle here some 100 years ago. A model of the mine is used to illustrate how the coal was extracted using thin-seam techniques. Walk through the workshops and see machines and equipment that was left behind when the mine was shut down in 1996. Put on a miner’s overall and crawl through a replica of a mining shaft and get a feeling of how a miner spent his days. Towards the end of the tour, discover the mine itself by walking 300 meters in and entering two different side tunnels.

From Longyearbyen: Pyramiden Private Photo Tour w/ Transfer

2. From Longyearbyen: Pyramiden Private Photo Tour w/ Transfer

Get picked up at your hotel or vessel of choice. Travel from Longyearbyen by ship. Upon arrival in Pyramiden, be greeted by your own private photo-exploring guide who will then take you on the guided tour. Pyramiden was founded by Sweden in 1910 and sold to the Soviet Union in 1927. It lies at the foot of the Billefjorden on the island of Spitsbergen and is named after the pyramid-shaped mountain with the same name adjacent to the town. In 1998, the settlement lost its last remaining inhabitant, thus rendering it a ghost town. This is a marvelous place to capture Soviet architecture and a Northern settlement fixed in time!

Longyearbyen: Private Guided Walking Tour

3. Longyearbyen: Private Guided Walking Tour

Longyearbyen was founded in 1907 by its namesake, mining company owner John Munro Longyear, and is to this day operational, the northernmost settlement in the world with more than a thousand inhabitants. The northern location has led to several unique laws, one of which renders it impossible to be buried there, as the permafrost doesn't allow for the bodies being reclaimed by the earth. A truly spectacular place to visit!

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What people are saying about Longyearbyen

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 189 reviews

Such a cool experience. The guide shared quite a bit of info on life as a miner and it was very interesting. What made this even better is the view from outside of the mine (when there is sun light).

Really opened my eyes as to how hard the cola miners jobs were . I have a new benchmark for toughness as a result

Very informative. Very good guide. It is very interesting and we dive into the heart of the Svalbard mountain.

Really interesting and a very engaged guide with a lot of knowledge and good stories as well

Very interesting visit with guide who gives many explanations