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Svalbard Accommodation & Hotels (Ultimate Guide + Top Tips)

Svalbard Accommodation & Hotels (Ultimate Guide + Top Tips)

Becky Lima-Matthews image

Considering how remote this far corner of the Arctic is, there are a surprisingly good choice of accommodation and hotels in Svalbard. In this guide we will explore all Svalbard accommodation and hotel options including Longyearbyen, Barentsburg and Pyramiden.

Whether you come to join a Secret Atlas Expedition Micro Cruise during the summer months, or a winter Arctic getaway, you’ll need a place to stay. Here’s our our top recommendations for accommodation and hotels in Svalbard:

How do I travel to Svalbard?

Svalbard is an archipelago in northern Norway, situated roughly between the mainland and the North Pole. It’s an incredible destination for Arctic adventures, home to 2,000 glaciers, remote polar wilderness, and an abundance of wildlife, including polar bears, whales, walruses, and many species of birds. The group of islands is relatively small, with a population of around 2,100.

Due to its size and remote location, accommodation options on Svalbard are limited. Rooms also get booked up months in advance, especially during the summer season between June and August.

There are daily flights to Svalbard from Oslo (approximately 3 hours) or Tromsø (approximately 1.5 hours), and you can choose to fly with either Norwegian Air or SAS. Shuttle buses are available from the airport to central Longyearbyen, which is located around three miles away, and it’s essentially the only public transport in this remote part of the world.

To find out how to get to Svalbard from your country please check our How To Get To Svalbard Guide.

What types of accommodation are available on Svalbard?

The gateway to Svalbard is Longyearbyen on the island of Spitsbergen, which is the northernmost town on Earth. Most of the places to stay on Svalbard are located there. Basing yourself in Longyearbyen is a great way to explore the archipelago, and it’s where all of Secret Atlas Expedition Micro Cruises to Svalbard set off from.

There are a few options in other settlements, including Barentsburg, Pyramiden, and at Isfjord Radio. But keep in mind that getting around Svalbard is very challenging without booking a guided tour.

As it was mentioned, Svalbard is small with limited capacity, and therefore accommodations get booked up months in advance, especially during the peak of the summer season between June and August.

This is also the best time of the year to visit for wildlife watching and photography opportunities, with 24-hour daylight until the end of August. Although capacity is limited, there is still a fair amount of variety of accommodation to be found in this small area. From larger hotels to cozy guesthouses, budget options, holiday apartments, and even camping. Here’s our guide to the best hotels and accommodations on Svalbard.

Svalbard hotels and top tips for booking

Hotels make up the majority of accommodation options for tourists on Svalbard. But before we get into where you can stay on your trip, here are a few tips to help with your planning:

  • Book accommodation well in advance, ideally at the same time as booking your tour
  • June-August is the peak season, with the busiest period being either early June when all local accommodation is booked up due to the Spitsbergen Marathon or at the end of August during Longyearbyen Pride
  • Major booking sites including Booking.com or AirBnB list accommodation and offer the best booking options

Is accommodation on Svalbard expensive?

Staying on Svalbard is typically expensive, partly due to the limited options available. However, it’s also because there is a relatively high cost of living in the region, especially with a lot goods having to be importet.

Prices tend to remain consistent throughout the year, so it’s something to keep in mind even if you’re visiting outside of the June-August summer season. It is possible to find budget-friendly options, especially if you book well in advance.

These options may include guesthouses or even camping if you’re up for it. Ultimately, a trip to Svalbard offers the adventure of a lifetime, so whether you’re seeking a night or two of luxury beneath the polar skies or a warm and cozy place to rest your feet after exploring, you should be able to find something that suits both your needs and budget.

What does accommodation on Svalbard cost?

Hotels are the most expensive type of accommodation on Svalbard, with a double room in larger, four-star hotels or boutiques costing between £170 and £300 per night. Smaller, three-star hotels offer rooms for around £125 per night, including breakfast. If you’re looking to save money, you can find rooms in guesthouses for around £60 to £70 per night. Self-catering accommodations, including Airbnb, are a good option for small groups, and you can find them starting from £80 to £150, accommodating up to 6 people.

Hotels in Longyearbyen 

Longyearbyen is where most of the hotels in the area are located. If you’re looking for comfort and convenience, the following ones are some of the best hotels on Svalbard. They’re all located in or within easy reach of the centre of Longyearbyen, close to restaurants, shops and museums. 

Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen

The Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen is a four star hotel overlooking stunning Arctic scenery in a prime, central Longyearbyen location. A stay here is chance to book rooms with a view, get cosy by the fire and unwind in hot tub under the stars or in a sauna after spending the day exploring.

Restaurant Nansen serves fusion dishes with Nordic ingredients such as pumpkin and pak choi and reindeer shank. And despite the plush interiors, the dress code is casual, you can wander in straight from a hike. The hotel also has an on-site bar, Barentz Gastropub where you can grab a drink and pizza.

Price: from £190 per night for a standard room

Radisson Blu Longyearbyen Website

Radisson Blu Hotel in Longyearbyen Lounge

Basecamp Hotel

If you’re looking for something more rustic and authentic, this is a great place to stay. Basecamp Hotel is a small, 16 room hotel in central Longyearbyen with recycled interiors inspired by Arctic trapper’s huts. This is a place to go if you want more of a cabin escape a place to unplug as well as unwind (although there is free WiFi). 

For a small hotel, the room options are pretty decent. There are single rooms, twin rooms, triple rooms (with bunk beds), a family room and even two suites available. All rooms at Basecamp Hotel are equipped with private bathrooms.

Price: from £283 per night for a double/twin room

Basecamp Hotel Website

Basecamp Hotel in Longyearbyen / Accommodation on Svalbard

Svalbard Hotel: Polfareren

Discover a charming boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Longyearbyen, the vibrant hub of Svalbard’s unique allure. Inspired by the intrepid spirit of Eivind Astrup (1871-1895), a pioneering Norwegian explorer, our hotel came to life on February 1, 2016. Drawing inspiration from Astrup’s enduring legacy, we’ve infused our design with keywords like “rustic,” “timeless,” and “robust” to pay homage to the youngest recipient of the Order of St. Olav.

This establishment exudes a cozy, rustic ambiance, perfectly in tune with the distinct character of this Arctic wonderland. Immerse yourself in an unforgettable experience, where the staff pride themselves on delivering exceptional service and culinary delights to elevate your stay.

Step into the welcoming lounge, where a treasure trove of polar literature awaits in our carefully curated library. The bar offers a delightful selection of refreshments to enhance your relaxation and create the perfect atmosphere for socializing or quiet reflection at the end of your day.

The Polfareren Website

Svalbard hotels and accomodation

Svalbard Hotel: The Vault

The 35 room boutique hotel only opened in 2018, and is therefore the newest one in Longyearbyen. Like most hotels, it caters more for couples/sharers with only two single rooms, the rest are all doubles. The minimalist architecture (and the hotel’s name) is inspired by the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, where seeds from around the world are preserved deep in the permafrost.

Fortunately, temperatures are much warmer in the hotel. It offers a comfortable and inviting place to thaw out after a day in the polar wilderness. The hotel is in the centre of town and close to all amenities, and if you fancy dining in, the on-site restaurant Nuga serves Japanese food. 

Price: from £267 per night for a double/twin room

The Vault Website

Svalbard Hotell The Vault Longyearbyen

Funken Lodge

Boutique hotel, Funken Lodge is located in Haugen with beautiful views over Longyearbyen and the nearby glaciers. It’s definitely on the high-end of the hotel spectrum, with plush interiors and more amenities than other Svalbard hotels a champagne bar and luxury gym for example.

Price: from £286 per night for a standard double/twin room

Funken Lodge Website

Funken Lodge Hotel Longyearbyen / Accommodation on Svalbard

Mary Ann’s Polarrigg, Spitsbergen

This former coal miners’ barracks is the quirkiest hotel on Svalbard. The welcome sign looks like it was plucked from a Tim Burton film and the interior is decorated with old mining items. There´s even an old mining bus, which can be spotted in the outside area of the hotel. Although it’s surrounded by beautiful, snowy landscapes, Mary-Ann’s Polarrigg is only a short walk (approx 10 mins) away from the centre of Longyearbyen. 

It’s a very cosy place to stay, with reading nooks (and a range of books to choose from), a bar and restaurant, beautiful mountain views from the deck and a laundry service, if needed. Conveniently, you could even send a postcard directly from the hotel reception. With a lot of single bed rooms, it is considered to be one of the best hotels on Svalbard for solo travellers. Standard twin rooms come with shared bathrooms, although there is an option to have a private one when booking a bigger sized double room. The hotel also has a spa and sauna, but they’re currently closed for a refurbishment.

Price: from £122 per night for a single room / £170 per night for a standard twin room

Mary Ann´s Polarrigg Website

Mary Ann´s Polarrigg Longyearbyen Welcome Sign / Accommodation on Svalbard

Guest Houses in Longyearbyen

Guest houses are a cheaper option when staying on Svalbard, and great for travellers on a budget who prefer to spend money on adventures than a place to stay. They’re often located around a 20 minute walk from the town centre, and like some Bed & Breakfast or guesthouses elsewhere – they have shared bathrooms. Staying in a guesthouse is also a great option if you’re looking for a social atmosphere with communal areas, while still seeking a quieter and more comfortable environment than a hostel. 

Coal Miners’ Cabins

Like Mary-Ann’s Polarigg, this guesthouse is another former miners’ barracks, situated in Nybyen, about a mile from the centre of Longyearbyen. It’s a beautiful, contemporary place to stay with cosy, modern interiors, stunning surroundings and 75 rooms including singles as well as doubles. 

With 27 economy twin rooms and a self service kitchen, Miners’ Cabins is a decent budget option if you want to keep costs down. Most of the rooms have shared bathrooms on each corridor, there is free WiFi, a lounge, and laundry facilities. 

Price: from £161 per night for an economy single or a twin room

Coal Miner´s Cabins Website

Coal Miners Cabins in Longyearbyen / Accommodation on Svalbard

Gjestehuset  102 

Also based in Nybyen, Gjestehuset 102 is technically a hostel aimed at travellers on a budget. It has mixed 4-person dormitories as well as standard single and twin rooms with shared bathroom and a kitchenette. The interiors are minimal, but there is free Wifi, a buffet breakfast and even a small desk in each room, if you want to write up your travel blogs or diaries.

Price: from £151 per night for a standard twin room

Gjestehuset 102 Website

Gjestehuset 102 in Longyearbyen / Accommodation on Svalbard

Hagen Pensjonat

Strangely, there is no reception at Haugen Pensjonat, which is about a 10 minute walk from the centre of town. Instead there is a self-service approach to checking in: On arrival you’ll find your name and room number on a board and room key in the door! There should be staff around to meet you at some point, and it´s always possible to contact them by phone or email. 

Instructions on the room numbers as well as the bathroom and kitchen locations can be found on the guesthouse’s charmingly old-school website. Staying here is a self-catering option, although they will direct you to the nearby Funken Lodge if you want a breakfast buffet. It’s a pretty basic, but pleasant and affordable place to stay in Svalbard. It offers standard single, double, three person rooms and one small studio apartment with a private bathroom, kitchen and even a washing machine and tumble dryer.

Price: from £104 per person, per night 

Hagen Pensjonat Website

Haugen Pensjonat Guesthouse Longyearbyen Exterior

Private Svalbard accommodation and apartment rentals 

There is a limited number of private apartment rentals, including Airbnb´s available on Svalabrd. These are ideal for small groups, families, or self catering stays.

Svalbard Hotell Lodge

The main alternative to hotels or guest houses in the region is the Svalbard Hotell Lodge. It offers ten apartments as part of Polfareren Hotell and is also an eco-lighthouse.

Each one or two bedroom apartment comes with a kitchen, lounge, bathroom and washing machine. It’s worth noting that the Lodge is in the same building as Svalbard Pub, so keep that in mind if you’re booking a stay over the weekend as it can get noisier then. 

Price: from £581 per night for a 4-6 person lodge

Svalbard Hotell Lodge Website

Svalbard Hotell Longyearbyen Back of the building / Accommodation on Svalbard

Airbnb

You can find a range of rooms, apartments or even cabins in and around Longyearbyen available to book on AirbnbDepending on your budget, group size and needs, the following are some of the best places to stay:

Entire home, hosted by Kine

This house in Longyearbyen is optimal for bigger groups. It can accommodate up to six guests, has scenic mountain views, cosy bedrooms, a dedicated workspace, a kitchen and a washing machine as well as a dryer. 

Price: from £297 per night 

Rental unit in Longyearbyen, hosted by Linn

This cosy apartment accomodates two guests and is located right in the centre of Longyearbyen, only 5 minutes from restaurants, bars and shops. It offers free parking on the premises for a rental a car and a washing machine.

Price: from £134 per night 

Private cabin hosted by Juliana

This one-bedroom cabin in Nybyen has more of a modern style. It’s all about mountain views and getting away from screens – no TV or WiFi. It offers a kitchen, washing machine and a small patio.

Price: from £161 per night 

Budget accommodation on Svalbard 

As it was mentioned before, finding budget accommodation on Svalbard can be a challenge. But it’s not impossible, you just have to know where to look. 

Guesthouse Rysskyi Dom 

If you’re happy with a basic hostel setup, Rysskyi Dom is a good choice.  According to the website, it offers “no frills and terrific value for money”. It accommodates up to 16 people at a time, split up into a mixed dorm, a twin bed  and one room for four perfect if you’re travelling in small groups. Despite its self-proclaimed lack of frills, rooms do include bed linen, a towel and free wifi.

Price: from £60 per person, per night 

Guesthouse Rysskyi Dom Website

Russkiy Dom Guesthouse Longyearbyen Aerial View

Longyearbyen Camping

Not for the faint hearted or ill-prepared, but if you’re truly up for an Arctic adventure, you can try camping. Longyearbyen Camping is the most northerly campsite in the world, where you’ll sleep surrounded by the polar wilderness.

Although the site is located 2.5 miles outside of Longyearbyen, it´s not considered wild camping. There are decent onsite facilities, including a communal kitchen and a bathroom.  You don´t have to worry about lugging your camping gear all the way to Svalbard as there are tents, sleeping bags and insulation mats available to hire.

Apart from Arctic temperatures, another risk you have to keep in mind is that polar bears live all over Svalbard and therefore also in the areas around Longyearbyen. For protection, the campsite has installed an electric fence as well as guard dogs patrolling the coast.

Price: from £13 per person, per night 

Longyearbyen Camping Website

Longyearbyen Camping

Accommodation on Svalbard outside of Longyearbyen

Staying on Svalbard outside of Longyearbyen requires even more forward-planning. Your options are pretty much limited to a single hotel in each location (apart from Barentsburg which has two). But, if you do make it further afield, all of these destinations are well worth exploring. 

Isfjord Radio Hotel

Situated on the west coast of Spitsbergen, Isfjord Radio Hotel is perfect if you’re craving an Arctic escape. As the name suggests, the remote hotel is an old radio station from the 1930s. During the winter season, you’ll arrive by dog sled or snowmobile, and if you visit during summer, you’ll get there by taking a boat safari across the Arctic ocean. The hotel is situated about 55 miles from Longyearbyen and surrounded by pristine Arctic wilderness. Due to its remote location, you can only explore the surrounding areas accompanied by a guide for polar bear protection. The hotel is on the premium end and part of the Basecamp Hotel chain but definitely still offers a one-of-kind experience. Transport via snowmobile or boat is included in the price.

Price: from £200 per person, per night

Isfjord Radio Hotel Website

Isfjord Radio Hotel Longyearvbyen with Boat

Barentsburg Hotels

Barentsburg is the second-largest settlement on Svalbard, located approximately 30 miles west of Longyearbyen. It’s a Russian coal mining town and has a small population of around 450. Aside from coal mining, Barentsburg’s economy is boosted by tourism. Visitors come to explore the unique mix of Soviet architecture, see colorful murals, taste Russian cuisine (and vodka), observe reindeer and view the Lenin Monument.

Barentsburg Hotel

This hotel is the larger of the two in Barentsburg, with a total of 46 rooms, including 5 suites and 41 comfortable double rooms, of which half of them offer picturesque sea views. Each floor features a dedicated dry room to store your gear, whether you’re visiting in winter or summer. Aditionally, the hotel enhances your stay with its amenities, including a restaurant, bar, and a sauna. Breakfast is inluded in the price.

Price: from £141 for a double/twin room

Barentsburg Hotel Website

Hotel Barentsburg Exterior

Hostel Pomor

The other place to stay in Barentsburg is Hostel Pomor. The decor makes it look like as if it was frozen in time, somewhere in the early 90s. It features decent amenities, such as a shared kitchen as well as bathrooms and free Wifi. They even offer tour bookings and bike hire for the guests.

Price: from £67 per person, per night

Hostel Pomor Website

Hostel Pomor in Barentsburg Interior / Accommodation on Svalbard

Pyramiden Hotels

Pyramiden is Svalbard’s eeriest destination. It’s an abandoned Soviet coal mining settlement in Billefjorden, taking its name from the nearby pyramid-shaped mountain, and is located approximately 31 miles northeast of Longyearbyen. Thanks to the preservation by the icy Arctic air, the town has earned the title of “one of the world’s most fascinating ghost towns” from National Geographic. Although hardly anyone has lived there since 1998, visitors come to explore this town frozen in time.

Hotel Pyramiden

The only place to stay here is Hotel Pyramiden, which is also home to its only inhabitants. It has been open since 2013 and offers 43 rooms. However, please note that there is no WiFi or mobile reception available here. Hotel Pyramiden describes itself as an Arctic time machine, with an authentic Soviet atmosphere, so let’s go with that. The restaurant serves Russian food and drinks to help you warm up after a day of exploring in the cold.

Price: from £135 per person, per night

Hotel Pyramiden Website

Hotel Pyramiden Svalbard

If you are looking to explore Svalbard don’t forget to check out our Expedition Micro Cruises or Photo Tours with just 12 guests.

Looking for some. interesting things to do in Longyearbyen? Check out our Longyearbyen Travel Guide.

Explore Svalbard On An Expedition Micro Cruise With 12 Guests

Guest Stories

People are at the heart of everything we do here at Secret Atlas, and our guests' experience is top of our list.

We've put together a video for our guests to share their experiences with you, or you can read guests' stories below.