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Longyearbyen - Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈlɔŋjiːrbyːən] - is the largest settlement and the administration centre of Svalbard. Longyearbyen is located on the shore of Adventfjorden, a bay of Isfjorden, on the west coast of Spitsbergen. Divided between Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund is a population of approximately 2 504 people (as of 23rd August 2022) and we have around 50 different nationalities, with a Norwegian majority.


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Known as Longyear City until 1926, the town was established by and named after John Munro Longyear whose Arctic Coal Company started coal mining operations in 1906. Operations were taken over by Store Norske Spitsbergen Kullkompani in 1916 wich still conducts mining.

The town was almost completely destroyed by the German Marine Kriegsmarine on 8 August 1943, but was rebuilt after the second world war. Traditionally, Longyearbyen was a Company but from the early 1990 the town has seen a large increase in tourism, Research and education.

This has seen the arrival of institutions such as the University in Svalbard (UNIS), the Global Seed Vault and Svalbard Satelite Station. Svalbard Airport, Longyear have flight connections to Oslo and Tromsø on the mainland of Norway. In addition to being rich in both sports activities and cultural life, the elected officials of Longyearbyen Lokalstyre is responsible for the infrastructure, community and spacial planning as well as kindergarden and schools.



Interested in a hike for a panorama view of Longyearbyen?

Read more and book your hike to Platåfjellet now.