List of countries
Travel in Europe
Travel in Africa
Travel in Asia
Travel in Europe :
Travel in France
Travel in Belgium
Travel in Finland
Travel in Germany
Travel in Asia :
Travel in America :
Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in longyearbyen
Free Travel guide Ooaj.com A free travel guide for holidays. Hotels in longyearbyen, Bed and Breakfast!
Longyearbyen, pronounced "LUNG-yer-bin", is the largest settlement on Svalbard.
Longyearbyen is named after American entrepreneur John Munro Longyear (1860-1922), who as head of the Arctic Coal Company founded the town and the neighboring coal mine, the first one on Svalbard. Mining is still big business here, with the roadsides and mountainsides littered with mines and their equipment, but tourism is catching up fast. With nearly 2000 inhabitants, the town is the de facto "capital" of the islands, featuring the airport, a school, a shopping center, hotels, restaurants and more.
Longyearbyen lies at the southern side of Adventfjorden, stretched out along the Longyearelva River. The center of town lies near the coast on the east side of the river, with the district of Skjæringa across the river, the district of Nybyen 2 km to the south and the airport 3 km to the west. Adventdalen, the valley housing Longyearbyen's only currently operational mine (#7), stretches out to the east.
Be sure to pick up the free Longyearbyen 78° North pamphlet (available at the airport and most lodges), which has a detailed map of the city and listings of all its facilities.
Longyearbyen Svalbard Airport (LYR) is the largest airport in Svalbard. It fields a daily SAS flight to Tromsø all year around, and there are additional flights as well as twice-weekly services direct to Oslo in the summer high season. Chartered planes occasionally connect elsewhere in the islands as well, including bases up north for starting your trek to the North Pole.
The airport has a cafeteria/gift/tax-free shop but no other services. Shuttle buses timed to flight departures and arrivals connect the airport to all hotels and guesthouses for a flat 40 kr per person.
Longyearbyen's port is accessible only in the summer when the pack ice recedes. For dates, see the port website (http://www.portlongyear.no/arrivals.htm). There are once-weekly boats to Tromso and regular (near-daily) cruises visit Barentsburg in the summer.
There is no public transportation aside from the airport shuttle bus. Walking is a viable option, although rather tedious if you need to move around outside the center. Alternatively, you can try your luck hitchhiking, or rent a bike from Basecamp Spitsbergen. Taxi (tel. +47-7902-1305) and car rental are also available.
Sights in town are rather limited, and most visitors come here for the activities around instead (see Do).
A wide variety of activities including hiking, dog-sledding, kayaking and snowmobile safaris and even coal mining and more are offered by Svalbard's many tour companies. The largest operators are Spitsbergen Travel (http://www.spitsbergentravel.no) and Svalbard Wildlife Service (http://www.wildlife.no) (SWS). Prices are high — figure on 500 kr for a half-day activity, 1000 kr for a full day — but so are standards.
If you have multiple days to spare then your options really open up: how about a week-long snow scooter trip (21,500 kr) or 11 days by boat around all of Spitsbergen (from €2580)? For the ultimate Arctic experience, you can even arrange to join a trip to the North Pole.
Svalbard's shopping is concentrated in and around the two-story Lompensenteret shopping mall. Beware the limited opening hours: most shops are only open 11-18 weekdays, 11-14 Saturday and closed Sunday.
Eating out in Longyearbyen is expensive, with the simplest sit-down meals costing over 70 kr (equivalent to $11 US).
The only remotely budget option is self-catering.
Svalbard's tax-free status makes alcohol a lot cheaper than on the mainland.
Staying in anything other than a tent is outrageously expensive. Rates given here are for the summer peak season, they are generally around 20-50% lower in the October-May off season.
A number of guesthouses and homestays offer basic accommodation. Read the small print carefully, as you're often charged extra for breakfast, linens, towels and perhaps even use of the bathtub!
Sparebank1 in the post office building has an ATM and currency exchange facilities.