Since Svalbard is a territory of Norway and also home to the country's largest administrative center in Longyearbyen, you will find that these frequently asked questions typically have the same answers as those of the rest of Norway, however we have included some information more specific to the Spitsbergen Archipelago here.
Do I need a visa to travel to Svalbard?
If you are traveling from North America, Europe, or Australia & New Zealand, a visa is not required for entry into Norway/ Svalbard. However, if you are traveling from another country, you should check your country's state department for more information on travel requirements.
Is tipping customary in Svalbard?
Tipping isn't a big part of the culture in Norway, but if you would like to leave some spare change on restaurant/ cafe bills as a gratuity for good service it is certainly appreciated. It is always up to the individual if they choose to tip.
What is the internet access like in Svalbard?
Perhaps surprisingly, Svalbard has pretty high speed wireless internet access in the developed parts of the archipelago, and you can connect via hotspots and cyber cafes in the town centers. As you get further away from civilization in the polar waters, the signal is usually lost.
Can I use my cell phone while in Svalbard?
As long as you activate global roaming with your service carrier before leaving home, you should have pretty strong coverage in the developed and settled parts of Svalbard. Of course, when you are in the more remote areas and cruising on open ocean, you should not count on having any service at all, sometimes for days at a time.
Do I need a power adapter/ converter?
Svalbard has the same electric grid as the rest of Norway and most of Europe - 220-240V electricity with Type F sockets. You will need either a Type C or Type E/F power converter and a step-down transformer for devices that can only handle 110V electricity.
What are the toilets like in Svalbard?
Toilets on cruise ships and throughout the cities and towns in Svalbard are standard flushing toilets.
Approximately what will it cost for (prices in USD):
Cup of coffee - $4.00
Beer - $7.00
Basic lunch - $12.00
Dinner - $24.00
Can I drink the water in Svalbard?
It is considered safe to drink the water in Svalbard and all of Norway unless someone tells you otherwise.
What is the most common way of paying for things in Svalbard?
While traveling through Svalbard, make sure to have enough cash on hand to pay for things from small stores and vendors that do not accept credit cards. In the towns and cities, it's easy enough to find ATMs, but many of the sites are more remote in the Spitsbergen archipelago, and having several krones
on hand is helpful.
Should I purchase travel insurance for my trip?
We always recommend purchasing travel insurance, just in case. Here's more information
on one of our affiliates.