Svalbard The Norwegian Archipelago Is Visa Free

Grace Higgins | April 2nd, 2020

Svalbard is the Norwegian archipelago if you translate the name of the place it is called “cold edge.” Which makes a lot of sense as it is very cold and at the edge of the world. It is famous as it is one of the only places in the world that is entirely visa-free. Situated between the Greenland Sea, the Barents Sea, and the Arctic Ocean the little islands that make up Svalbard have an extremely small population. Simply due to the insane weather conditions, one has to deal with if living in Svalbard, the area is barely inhabited.

www.economist.com

Norway, however, wants people to live in Svalbard and keep a footing in these lands. Therefore anyone can come and live there and work, without needing a visa. The only way someone can get deported from Svalbard is a violation of laws and regulations or by not having the means to support themselves. There are five little settlements across the main island known as Spitsbergen. Longyearbyen is the capital of the region and that is where most people reside, there is also a Russian settlement known as Barentsburg.

Even though Norway is part of the Schengen Area in Europe, Svalbard is not and remains a neutral territory. But you can only get into Svalbard by traveling through Norway so technically you would still require a Schengen Area visa to make it to the territory. Though if you hold a European Union passport than this point does not matter.

A funny fact about Svalbard is that weather conditions are so brutal, there is not a single tree growing on the island. The only vegetation you will find is moss and the occasional arctic flower. Polar bears are a real threat on the island when visiting Svalbard, tourists are told not to leave the settlements. And if they did decide to go walking around the snow then you should carry a rifle to defend yourself against the bears.

Despite the small population, the island celebrates four festivals, mostly to celebrate the changing of the polar nights. The Sunfest Week is for celebrating the end of the polar night, and then you also have several jazz festivals such as the Polar Jazz or the Dark Season Blues. Extreme tourism is one of the ways the economy of Svalbard survives.

Next Article
  • The Incredible Invention Of The Stethoscope

    In 1816 the invention of the stethoscope in the Hospital Necker in Paris was hailed as a new age of medical invention that would bring forth improved diagnosis for all patients. Created by Rene Laennec he went through a long and painstaking process of matching all the sounds he would hear during his assessment of...

    Read More
  • Ronald McNair The Astronaut Who Dreamed Big

    Ronald McNair was one of the astronauts that were tragically killed when the Challenger spaceship exploded on Tuesday, January 28, 1986. It was a tragedy of the NASA space program that will never be forgotten. McNair though battled his way through life, always dreaming big and was always exceeding the boundaries he found in front...

    Read More
  • The Woman Crowned King Of Poland

    In 1384, Jadwiga of Poland who was just 10 years old at the time was crowned King of Poland. One thing though was the daughter of Louis I of Hungary and Elizabeth of Bosnia. So why was she not crowned Queen of Poland? Well, that is a whole story of political disputes and royal family...

    Read More
  • The History Of The Burned House Horizon

    During the archaeology of Neolithic Europe, researchers discovered an area of Europe where it appears there was a widespread phenomenon of intentionally burning settlements. This section of land is known as the burned house horizon. No one knows why this a tradition but it was widespread and was a long-lasting tradition around now Southeastern and...

    Read More
  • Myrtle The Story Of The Four-Legged Girl

    Mrs. Josephine Myrtle Bicknell died just one week away from her sixtieth birthday and she was buried not far from her home in Cleburne, Texas in 1928. It was a strange burial because her husband along with other close family members watched the grave filled with a thick layer of cement. They then waited for...

    Read More