How To Get To Svalbard
Considering how far north and remote Svalbard is, it is relatively easy to reach from anywhere in the world.
It is significantly less expensive to fly to the Arctic in Svalbard than it is to reach the same northern latitudes in Canada or Greenland where flight prices are notoriously expensive.
There are two ways to get to Svalbard, either by plane or ship.
The easiest way to get to Svalbard is to fly from mainland Norway to Longyearbyen on Svalbard’s largest island, Spitsbergen.
The airport at Longyearbyen is served by daily flights from either Oslo or Tromso in mainland Norway. SAS and Norwegian airways both run regular services.
The flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen takes 3 hours. A significantly shorter time than traveling by ship.
When you land at Longyearbyen you will step off your plane at the world’s northernmost domestic airport.
During the summer months flights can get incredibly busy so early booking is essential to secure your preferred dates. We advise you to book your flights at the time of booking your cruise.
The other way to travel to Svalbard is by ship on an expedition cruise. There are no regular ferry services to Svalbard from mainland Norway.
Expedition cruises to Svalbard depart from northern Norway, Iceland or Scotland and often sail via Bear Island which is located between mainland Norway and Svalbard.
The downside of sailing to Svalbard is that you spend more of your cruise time crossing the notoriously agitated Barents Sea and less time exploring.
The advantage of flying to Svalbard and joining a cruise in Longyearbyen is that you are immediately expedition cruising without any long sea days.
All Secret Atlas Expedition Micro Cruises to explore Svalbard depart and return to Longyearbyen.
Svalbard Travel Tips
- Always book in advance as flights have limited spaces during the summer months.
- Use Skyscanner to help find you the best price and connections.
- Consider a stop over in either Tromso or Oslo on your way to Svalbard to enjoy some extra time in Norway.
Arriving In Svalbard
Often flights arrive or depart in the middle of the night. During the summer months there is 24 hours of daylight so this is certainly quite surreal.
If you have joined a Secret Atlas expedition cruise in Svalbard it is likely a transfer is included from the airport to your hotel. A member of the Secret Atlas team will meet you at the arrival hall of the airport.
If you would like more information on where to stay and places to eat please check out our Longyearbyen guide.
Taxis and buses at Longyearbyen airport
If you do not have a pre-booked transfer then taxis and a shuttle bus are available at the airport to take you into Longyearbyen.
How to get to Longyearbyen from Longyearbyen Airport
Longyearbyen is situated only 5km from Longyearbyen airport.
The best way to get from Longyearbyen airport to Longyearbyen town is to take a taxi or the hotel shuttle bus.
The taxi service in Longyearbyen is available 24 hours a day.
A taxi transfer from the airport to Longyearbyen costs around 150 – 200 NOK and takes between 5 and 10 minutes.
- Longyearbyen Taxi, phone (+47) 79 02 13 75
- Svalbard Buss and Taxi, phone (+47) 79 02 13 05
There is a hotel shuttle bus service which connects the airport to the local hotels. This takes longer than a private transfer but is the most cost effective way of reaching the town.
When you leave the airport you will see the blue bus parked outside. Tell the driver which hotel you would like to go to. You can pay for the fare on the bus.
How to Travel Around Svalbard
As Svalbard has very few roads (only 40km to be exact), the best way to travel around Svalbard during the summer months is on an expedition cruise. This will allow you to see and experience many places that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Secret Atlas offers Expedition Micro Cruises and Photo Tours to explore Svalbard that take just 12 guests per voyage. You can find out more about them here.
How to Get to Svalbard from Norway
To reach Svalbard from Norway you need to fly from either Oslo or Tromso on mainland Norway to Longyearbyen in Svalbard.
The flight from Oslo to Longyearbeyn takes around 3 hours.
The flight from Tromso to Longyearbyen takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
For those wishing to experience northern Norway as part of their journey, consider a stop over in Tromso before flying to Svalbard.
We recommend using Skyscanner to find the best price and connections.
How to Get to Svalbard from the UK
To get to Svalbard from the UK you need to fly to Oslo in Norway and take a connecting flight to Svalbard.
Sometimes due to flight scheduling you will need to do an overnight stop in Oslo.
Oslo is a great city to explore and we recommend a visit to the Fram museum to get some inspiration before your trip to the Arctic.
How to Get to Svalbard from Europe
To get to Svalbard from the Europe you need to fly to Oslo in Norway and take a connecting flight to Svalbard.
Oslo is well connected to most northern European cities by daily flights.
From Germany there are over 20 direct flights per day from Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich by SAS and Lufthansa.
From France there are 15 direct flights per day from Air France, Norwegian and SAS.
How to Get to Svalbard from the rest of the world
To get to Svalbard from worldwide destinations you first need to fly to Oslo in Norway and then take a connecting flight to Svalbard.
Oslo is well connected internationally with direct flights and non-direct flights via other European capitals.
How to get to Svalbard FAQ’s
How much does it cost to fly to Svalbard?
The cost of a flight from Oslo to Svalbard varies depending on the season and how many months in advance you book. You can expect to pay between 200 – 500 euros for a return flight between Oslo and Longyearbyen.
We always recommend booking flights in advance to secure the best price.
Do I need a visa to enter Svalbard?
You do not need a visa to enter Svalbard but to get to Svalbard you have to enter Norway. You will need the correct visa to enter Norway.
How Long does it take to fly to Svalbard?
The flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen in Svalbard takes around 3 hours.
The flight from Tromso to Longyearbyen in Svalbard takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
How many airports does Svalbard have?
Svalbard has 2 airports located at Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund, although it is only possible to enter Svalbard via Longyearbyen.
The airport at Ny-Ålesund is privately owned by King’s Bay and there is only a private flight connecting Ny-Ålesund to Longyearbyen a few times a week.