Kirkenes Snow Hotel
At a Glance
As well as the Snowhotel, there are also cosy cabins to sleep in here, so ideal for a two or three night stay
Close to the remote Northerly town of Kirkenes
Don't miss the chance to fish for and eat King Crabs, introduced to the Barents sea by the Soviets, there are now thousands of them!
Fun and friendly young staff offer an informal welcome for all
Northerly location means there's a great chance to see the Northern Lights during the winter months
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
As construction of the hotel is subject to the whims of Mother Nature, an exact time frame cannot be guaranteed, but the Hotel usually remains open to guests from December through to April when the hotel closes to allow the thaw back into the Lake. The hotel accepts both overnight guests and visitors between 10am - 6pm each day during this period.
To start planning your holiday to Kirkenes Snow Hotel
Kirkenes is a remote town in the northernmost part of Norway. The Snowhotel is rebuilt every year and every room is individually modelled and decorated with snow and ice sculptures. Warm accommodation and a range of fun activities are also on offer.
A visit to Kirkenes is a very special experience: here you really feel like you are at the frontier of Europe! Just outside the isolated town of Kirkenes, surrounded by Arctic tundra, is the Kirkenes Snowhotel.
Rebuilt from blocks of ice from the neighbouring lake every November since 2006, the Snow Hotel is different every year.
Here you can experience sleeping in a room made of snow, on a bed of ice! There might not be under-floor heating, but snow is a very good insulator, when it is minus thirty degrees outside it will still be relatively warm inside the Snowhotel, a stable minus five degrees celsius.
Every room in Kirkenes Snowhotel is different. The rooms are five metres in diameter, and although the beds are framed by ice blocks and they do have comfortable mattresses with thermal insulation on top. You sleep inside a sleeping bag especially made for sub-zero camping. The rooms have curtains instead of doors, so air can circulate and the rooms do not melt. Each room is decorated with sculptures made from ice and snow, created by artists from China no less!
The Snowhotel has 20 snow rooms and three new and well appointed cabins for guests who would rather stay in warm accommodation. The cabins have en-suite facilities. They are located above the snowhotel and each has a large floor to ceiling window ideal for Northern Lights viewing.
Uniquely designed with a new theme each year, master ice sculptors create carvings drawing inspiration from Norweigan and Sami folklore, fauna and fairytales in the walls of this double bedroom.
Inspired by the traditional hunting and fishing huts found in the wilderness of Lapland, these cabins blend in with their surroundings and benefit from a panoramic window to look for the Northern Lights from the comfort of your cabin.
The Snowhotel has a cosy and welcoming restaurant serving local specialities, like freshly caught arctic charr or king crab or locally produced reindeer meat.
There are a range of activities on offer based at the Snowhotel. These tend to take place as regular, scheduled small group tours, but it is also possible to arrange private excursions in advance. There is a husky farm on site, as well as snowmobiles, so dogsled or skidoo safaris are very popular. Something you can do here that you don't tend to find at other Arctic destinations is the King Crab Safari - travel to a frozen fjord, drill into the ice, then fish out huge crabs, which will then be served to you at a traditional Norwegian lakeside house!
James Ferguson (Staff)
A stay at Kirkenes is a lot of fun, and it's an interesting and out of the way spot. Obviously in a location this remote you should not expect 5 star luxury, but the welcome here is friendly and the location stunningly remote. There is a daily programme of activities: husky safaris and snowmobile adventures are particularly good as the Snowhotel has its own husky farm and snowmobile fleet. I recommend the King Crab Safari - this is something peculiar to the region: you can snowmobile across the frozen river, open a hole in the ice, and fish out delicious, and enormous crabs before retreating to a lakeside lodge and enjoying a feast!
Husky Sledding Excursion at the Snow Hotel
Enjoy dog sledding under the Arctic sky & mush your own team of 8 dogs under the full guidance and instruction of a professional sled guide. Journey through the peaceful wilderness, on a trip combining pine forests, open tundra and high mountains.
Snowmobile & Ice Fishing Adventure
An exhilarating ice fishing adventure on snowmobile to a remote frozen mountain lake. Your guide will lead the way through the Arctic wilderness over the hills until you reach your destination and admire the views over the Lyngen Alps while you fish.
Snowshoeing through Northern Norway
Snowshoeing is the perfect way to discover the breathtaking Arctic scenery of Northern Norway. Make your way through snow-covered forests as you keep your eyes peeled for the resident wildlife and take in the stunning views across the Lyngen Fjord.
Location & directions
The Snowhotel is located just outside the harbour town of Kirkenes.