Svalbard Shopping Tips by Saagar Top 5 Page for this destination
Svalbard Shopping: 15 reviews and 17 photos
Svalbard Arctic Sport
This shop specializes in high quality mountain/hiking/climbing/kayaking/ expedition/extreme sports gear, but will also supply anyone who walks in for a raincoat or mittens for cold hands...
The shop is linked to the Skandinavisk Høyfjellsutstyrs shop in Tromsø and Hemsedal. The emphasis is leaning toward heavy-duty gear on Svalbard.
The prices are about 10% off the mainland due to the tax-free status of Svalbard, but it remains a pricey shop.
What to buy: For fairly dry Arctic conditions like on Svalbard I am ready to recommend some Norwegian and Swedish brands anoraks, pants and the like made from cotton-polyester 65/35% mix textiles. I will refrain from naming them... The pure plastic stuff is uncomfortable and stiff in the dry winter cold.
You can stock up on your Arctic clothing and gear here if you come empty-handed, but perhaps call or e-mail first to ensure they have what you need.
They also rent rifles for polar bear protection at NOK 100/day.
What to pay: This is a pricy store on the mainland, but at Svalbard you get 24% off.
Address: Longyearbyen, "city centre"
Other Contact: fax 79023295
Theme: Sporting Goods
What to buy: I described in another tip (in packing; "Maps for Svalbard") how to get hold of maps for Svalbard; what follows here is a mere summary of what i wrote there:
* The online shop Kartbutikken.no , website:
* The Norwegian Polar Institute at Tromsø.
* The Museum Shop at Svalbard Museum, Longyearbyen.
* Norli and Tanum bookstores in Oslo, plus, more accidentally, other bookshops around Norway. They will order for you if you know what you want.
* Souvenir and outfitters stores in Longyearbyen.
If you want to plan ahead of time, use www.kartbutikken.no; if you want to buy on-site, my best bet is the Museum Shop.
Beware of touristy, illustrated maps, they are not really worth it. See my tourist trap tip on this topic.
What to pay: See price list at kartbutikken.no
Directions: My best bet is to use www.kartbutikken.no (see Svalbard page below) where you get the price listing and all details.
A birch bark container I use for chocolate
Apart from one gift shop in the Busen complex in Longyearbyen, the best place to get excellent birch bark containers and other beautiful pieces of useful arts is directly from the carvers in Barentsburg. Barentsburg is the Russian/Ukrainan settlement some kilometeres out of Longyearbyen on the south side of Isfjorden.
Mine workers make these items in their spare time or bring them from the mainland.
What to buy: Beautifully carved small containers made from birch bark.
What to pay: Depends on the quality of the bark and crafting done, inlays etc. The pictured one is a luxury item inlaid with Baltic amber, close to NOK 600,-
Directions: Barentsburg individuals may approach you, or ask around.
Theme: Local Craft
I am a bit hesitant to categorise this as a department store, but it is close. This is the only place for decent grocery shopping in Svalbard, but they also stock a variety of household goods and have a liquor store and sports goods store as part of their operation.
Open: Mon-Fri 10-20, Sat 10-18, Sun 15-18.
What to buy: Daily groceries and trekking food.
Directions: Across from Lompen Senteret downtown Longyearbyen.
Theme: Department Store
The Northpole is in here!
Nordpolet is a derivation of "pol" (e.g. north pole) and "monopoly" (in this case: Norwegian Liquor Monopoly stores), this being the Svalbard name of the liquor store. A play of words hinting at its northern location.
Not hit by much in terms of taxes you will find Continental prices on your favourite bottle of wine here. They do a roaring trade, and many bring back the tax-free quota and more upon departure from Svalbard.
Just remember your flight arrives at the international terminal back on the mainland and you will have to pass through customs...
Nordpolet is open Mon-Fri 10-18 and Sat 10-15.
What to buy: They do have some good brands of beer worth the price, and some very good wines (Piedmote reds, upmarket Rioja's etc.).
What to pay: A good Barbaresco for NOK 100 is a killing - for a mainlander.
Address: Nordpolet, Svalbardbutikken, Longyearbyen.
Theme: Food and Drink
What to buy: Svalbard is an extra-territorial area, so that regular tax laws etc. are not in function, thus foods, clothing and other goods are cheaper here than on the mainland (the 24% VAT off, but long-distance freight added). The only hitch is that there are customs inspections on your return to Norway... So, check the rules.
What to pay: 24-25% off.
Imports untouched by mainland protectionist quotas and permit regulations (various meat, alcohol).
Cheaper sports clothing here
Sport 1 Svalbard is part of the Paulsen imperium of activities on Svalbard, and serves as a discount sports clothing store. The shop is known as "Paulsen".You will find cheaper sports clothing here than in the other sports goods stores on the island and certainly on the mainland. The range of goods is, however, limited, and you will not find much in terms of sports goods apart from clothing.
Open Mon-Fri 10-18, Sat 10-14.
What to buy: Good deals when I visited were sturdy Fjellraven trousers for half the mainland price.
Address: Lompen-Senterest, longyearbyen
Theme: Sporting Goods
Not purely children's clothing, but that's what has most value for visitors here. They do have some sweaters and things, too, among curtains and bedding.
Open weekdays 10-18, Sat 10-14.
Why the rabies-like name for this shop? I do not know... For rabid children?
What to buy: If the weather gets adverse or you wanted to gear up your children anyway, this is the place in Longyearbyen.
What to pay: OK prices
Address: RaBi'sBua, PB 385, 9170 Longyearbyen
Directions: On the pedestrian street.
Theme: Children's Clothes
Post office entrance
Post office at Longyearbyen.
Open Mon-Fri 09:30-17, Sat 10-15
What to buy: First and last days covers (some with cruel spelling errors, courtesy the Norwegian Post), nice stamps, good historical stuff for stamp collectors.
Especially the last day's covers from various Arctic outposts are interesting.
Nice stationary and postcards, too, among more mundane postal office items.
Address: Post office on the main pedestrian drag
Men's shop in here...
This shop, linked to the one across the corridor has an emphaisis on "manly" activities. This is the place to accessorize your snowmobile with gun racks, hunting knives, get your fat signal side arm, polar bear defense rifle, bona fide hunting rifles and shotguns and what not in that direction.
The shop has also the only real selection of touring/XC skis in Longyearbyen, with a small but sensible range of equipment for track and off track skis, bindings and ski boots.
A separate part of the shop has a wide selections of shoes and boots, best in Longyearbyen. A clothing/equipment section has nearly everything from the Bergans company, good backpacks, clothing etc.
What to buy: Gun rent (mauser) is NOK 100/day plus NOK 1000 deposit.
Outdoors clothing, skis, hiking boots.
What to pay: 25% off mainland prices.
Address: Lompen Senteret, Longyearbyen
Theme: Sporting Goods
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