Wooden Steps


Some 50m south of Svalbard Kirke stand five weathered wooden steps, all alone, and a sign, 'Sykhustrappa' (Hospital Stairs). This is all that remains of Longyearbyen's first hospital and the steps have a special significance for the town's residents. Traditionally, the Sunfest that dispels the winter darkness begins once the first of the sun's rays touches the forehead of someone standing on the top step.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Longyearbyen attractions

1. Svalbard Kirke

0.03 MILES

The wooden Svalbard Kirke was first built in the 1920s but later rebuilt after being destroyed in the German invasion of WWII. It's a largely modern…

2. Wild Photo Gallery

0.38 MILES

This gallery of stunning Svalbard photos by Ole Jørgen Liodden and Roy Mangersnes is small but filled with utterly unforgettable images. A book that…

3. Graveyard

0.39 MILES

Southwest of the town centre lies a haunting little graveyard with simple white, wooden crosses. It dates from the early 20th century and includes the…

4. Svalbard Museum

0.56 MILES

Museum is the wrong word for this impressive exhibition space. Themes on display include life on the edge formerly led by whalers, trappers, seal and…

5. Svalbard Bryggeri


Having opened for business in 2015, Svalbard's very own brewery makes the very quaffable Spitsbergen IPA, Spitsbergen Pilsener and Spitsbergen Pale Ale –…

6. North Pole Expedition Museum

0.61 MILES

This fascinating private museum houses a stunning collection of artefacts, original newspapers and other documents relating to the history of polar…

7. Kunstnersenteret

1.04 MILES

Attached to the Galleri Svalbard is the Kunstnersenteret, which serves as a workshop for local artists, with many of the works on sale.

8. Galleri Svalbard

1.04 MILES

Galleri Svalbard features the Svalbard-themed works of renowned Norwegian artist Kåre Tveter (1922–2012), so pure and cold they make you shiver, as well…