Kirkenes Snow Hotel Norway
Kirkenes Snowhotel in Norway opened for the first time in 2006, and since then you can enjoy an unforgettable experience while visiting this magical place. Located “at the top of the world”, The Snow Hotel resides in the Arctic town of Kirkenes neighboring the Barents Sea, close to the Russian border. The hotel itself is set in idyllic surroundings, near Gabba Reindeer Park.
The Snow Hotel is rebuilt every year in a different way. Artists from all over the world come together to build this spectacular hotel from scratch. Every room is individually modeled and decorated with snow and ice sculptures.
Kirkenes Snow Hotel offers two options where you can spend your night. Of course, most of the visitors that are visiting Snow Hotel for just one night, decide to stay at Snow Hotel. But if you are staying for a couple of nights then you should stay in cozy warm cabins.
Have you ever imagined sleeping in a room made of snow and on a bed made of ice? Well, you can have this unforgettable experience at Kirkenes Snow Hotel.
The Snow Hotel has 20 rooms and every room is totally different from the other. They are all decorated with sculptures made from ice and snow, created by artists from all over the world. The rooms are five meters in diameter and they are equipped with everything needed for a comfortable nights sleep. The beds are framed with precision carved ice blocks and have comfortable mattresses with thermal insulation. Before bedtime, you will receive a special sleeping bag made for -34 degrees Celsius. No matter the temperature outside, the Snowhotel holds a stable -4 degrees Celsius.
If you are not brave enough to sleep in the Snow Hotel, you have a wonderful option to stay at one of 10 cozy warm cabins located just above the Snow Hotel. The cabins are inspired by the traditional hunting and fishing hut, “gamme”, that you find in the wilderness in the Sami areas of the Arctic. The huts are equipped with air conditioning, underfloor heating, natural tiles, an exclusive bathroom with a separate aurora wall. Each cabin has a large panoramic window from where you can observe the Northern Lights. They are so lovely, that you will want to spend a few more days at Kirkenes Snow Hotel.
There is the main restaurant called Høyloftet, serving local specialties, like freshly caught arctic charr, king crab or locally produced reindeer meat. The dishes are prepared with wild herbs which they pick themselves. They also serve homemade jelly from blackcurrant and rowan berries, and cheese from a local farmer. You can have breakfast and dinner at this beautiful restaurant.
The second place where you can warm yourself and have a delicious meal is Gabba. It’s a cozy cafe, where you can enjoy hot chocolate, and a lunch by the fireplace.
If you want to enjoy a drink at their famous Ice Bar, you can visit the place after dinner. You can enjoy the art and sample the renowned ice-cold crowberry shots, locally known as Rudolf’s Revenge. The bar is open every day for an hour after dinner.
If you are visiting Snow Hotel be sure to book at least one of the activities they offer. It sure is an unforgettable feeling to visit the husky farm and go on a dog sleigh ride through the unspoiled nature. Imagine nature covered by snow all around you while you are enjoying a ride on a frozen lake with a beautiful sunset in front of you. Magical! At Kirkenes Snow Hotel they have more than 180 huskies ready to take you for an experience you will never forget.
Another amazing activity is a snowmobile safari where you get to drive on a frozen fjord. There are two passengers on a snowmobile and the tour takes up to four hours. Remember, you need to be 18 or over and have a valid car driver’s license in order to drive the snowmobile but as a passenger, you are always welcome.
Something you should definitely book is a Northern Lights Tour. You can actually see the Northern Lights from the Snow Hotel, but we would suggest you book at least one of the tours offered by the hotel. The SnowHotel offers three exclusive tours to hunt down the magnificent aurora borealis. You can go chasing the Northern Lights on a snowmobile, on a husky tour or with the bus. The Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis is perhaps the most beautiful natural phenomenon you will ever have the opportunity to see. The Northern lights are a swirl of magic illuminating the sky in the most glorious colors.
If you are a bit more sporty and would like to walk along the beautiful nature then snowshoe walking experience is perfect for you. Snowshoes are an ancient invention which has been used by indigenous Arctic people for thousands of years. The tour with a private guide will last for about two hours with small brakes for refreshments and to take photos.
A special experience that you cant find at other Arctic destinations is the King Crab Safari. First I actually wanted to skip this excursion but had some spare time at the hotel, so I thought why shouldn’t I tried it. And I must say that this was really an unforgettable afternoon. First, we traveled with a small group to a frozen fjord on a snowmobile sled. Once we arrived we took part in the entire experience of catching the giant crab. Afterward, we were taken to a beautiful rustic restaurant by the fjord, where we tried the delicious giant crabs served the Norwegian way.
Also, dont forget to visit the astonishing Snowhotel winter park, and all its wonders. Visit and feed the friendly reindeers, pet lovely huskies, enjoy delicious lunch at Gaaba restaurant, visit the Ice Bar for a drink and last but not least, go around the Snow Hotel where you can take a look at the suites and beautiful snow paintings designed by local and international artists.
When to go
The Snow Hotel is built from a scratch every year so an exact time frame cannot be guaranteed, but the hotel usually remains open to guests from December through to April. The hotel accepts both overnight guests and visitors between 10 am – 6 pm each day during this period.
Staying in Kirkenes Snow Hotel was high on my bucket list. And I finally did get a chance to visit the hotel in January and I must say it was one of the experiences I will never forget. I would warmly recommend you to try it at least once in your life.
Kirkenes Snow Hotel is set in idyllic surroundings near Gabba Reindeer Park and offers many fun and exciting activities you simply have to try. If you have a few days, then book yourself a warm cabin and enjoy this incredible nature that surrounds the Kirkenes Snow Hotel. Don’t forget to spend a night at the magical Snow Hotel and enjoy your late night drink at the Ice Bar. During the day go snowshoe walking, ride a snowmobile or go on a husky safari tour. In the evening enjoy a delicious dinner and before bedtime don’t forget to search the sky for the chance of seeing the Northern Lights.
We would love to hear from you! You can write your comments below. Please share! Thank you for reading Checking in: Kirkenes Snow Hotel Norway!
OurWorldTravelSelfies would like to thank Kirkenes Snow Hotel for welcoming this review. The opinion is as always, our own. Photos are courtesy of Our World Travel Selfies.