Longyearbyen is one of the world's northernmost settlements, lying within the Arctic Circle on the island of Spitsbergen, and is the capital of the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.
Winters here are cold and long, but summer days are long and light, especially at the height of summer when the midnight sun shines. Once the main industry, mining is still important, but industries such as tourism are expanding due to prolific wildlife and great adventure opportunities.
Longyearbyen has around 2,000 inhabitants, spread around the valley leading up from Advent Fjord. Houses are sturdy and all built off the ground due to the depth of snow that falls during winter; this is when the roads disappear and all transport is done on skidoos. For the visitor there is a very interesting museum about Svalbard, and some good restaurants and bars.
PLEASE NOTE it is not permitted to leave the town limits by foot without a loaded weapon due to the potential dangers from polar bears.
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Map of Longyearbyen
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