Best Things to do in Kirkenes

10 min read

Kirkenes offers epic adventures above the Arctic circle! Located in the far northeast in Northern Norway, Kirkenes has a range of memorable experiences to offer. This small town is the ultimate spot for anyone whose main goal is to explore the real Arctic.

Chase the Northern Lights

With 200 Aurora Borealis nights per year, you will have plenty of chances to catch the Green Lady dancing in the night. Get away from the city and the light pollution and make sure you have enough time in Kirkenes to wait out the bad weather – a dark, clear sky is what you want. The Northern Lights season in Norway approximately lasts from about mid September to mid March. Read more about setting the Northern Lights in Norway. Read more about Northern Lights Holiday Packages in Norway.

Dog Sledding

Go for a relaxing dog sledding adventure during daytime and take in the beautiful landscape as your new fluffy friends whisk you away through the snow. Choose an evening departure for a chance to spot the Northern Lights dancing in the sky above you. When Lady Aurora makes her appearance the dog sledding adventure becomes even more memorable.

In Kirkenes the four legged husky adventures are available all seasons. In summer the sled will be replaced by a wagon and the eager dogs will pull you through the green and lush forest surroundings. Read more about dog sledding in Kirkenes. Read more about dog sledding in Kirkenes.

Snowmobiling in the Pasvik Valley

Ready to catch the Arctic wind? Explore the wilderness of Kirkenes and drive your own snowmobile in the beautiful Pasvik Valley. In Kirkenes you can go for a long snowmobile for four hours deep in the valley by Pasvik river and the Russian border. Enjoy a comfortable ride through the beautiful forest landscape. Read more about amazing snowmobile tours in Norway. Read more about amazing snowmobiling tours in Norway.

King Crab Fishing

Go fishing for monsters and feast like a king! The red king crab is a massive creature that can get up to two metres (about 6,5 feet!) from leg to leg. Each leg is bigger than a lobster and full of delicious, juicy crab meat. Venture out to the fjord ice on a snowmobile sled, and pull the crab pots on land through a hole in the ice – this is truly taking the concept of a fresh meal to the next level! During summer you can go out on a speedy rib adventure and pull the crab pots into the boat. Back on land you’ll be served a proper king crab meal – the freshest crab you’ll ever come across.

Snowhotel Kirkenes – a magical hotel made of snow and ice

Up for a cool adventure? Snowhotel Kirkenes – a hotel completely made of snow and ice – keeps open all year. During summer you can walk from the green lush nature into a magical winter kingdom and see stunning ice art light up in different colours. For the full icy experience you can spend the night on a block of ice tucked into a warm and cosy thermal sleeping bag, resting on a soft and warm reindeer skin.

For the rest of your stay you can stay warm and comfortable in one of the wooden cabins – imitations of the authentic Sami Gamme cabins and complete with modern amenities.

While staying here you’ll have the top Kirkenes highlights available tight at your doorstep. Daily dog sledding, snowmobile and king crab tours that start right right nearby. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included in your stay – ending with a splendid 3 course meal based on a local menu. Any spare moments can be spent visiting the happy dogs at the husky yard or feeding the reindeer. Read more about the ice hotels in Norway.

Andersgrotta WW2 Bomb Shelter

Located in the centre of Kirkenes, the Andersgrotta Bomb Shelter served as a refuge asylum for civilians during World War II. There were more than 300 air attacks in Kirkenes during this time making this cave an important piece of history in the area. In Andresgrotta you can watch a film based on old records and new recordings and learn more about what it was like in Kirkenes during the war.

The Borderland Museum

Learn the history of the region as a border area and meeting place. Take a look at the exhibitions connected to industrial construction, war history and the daily life and history of people living in this area. Pop by the museum shop or have a bite to eat the the café. Outside you will find benches, a playground and an exciting labyrinth to explore in summer.

The Soviet Liberation Monument

In memory of the Red Army who liberated Kirkenes in 1944 this is a historical landmark worth a visit. During World War II Kirkenes was one of the most bombed areas, with over 300 air attacks. Kirknes was liberated by the Red Army in October 1944 where only 13 houses remained in the town. The memorial was erected in honour of the brave Soviet soldiers that liberated Kirkenes.

Pasvik Nature Reserve

Learn all about the special nature, wildlife, culture and history of the Pasvik Valley. At this centre you can take a closer look at exhibitions presenting the primal forest in the national park and the characteristics birds and animal species that live her.

Bordering Finland in the West and Russia in the east. Pasvik Valley has the biggest brown bear population in Norway. Therefore the brown bear has been given a prominent place in the exhibition. The centre is surrounded by a beautiful botanical garden and natural trails and also offers accommodation – single and double ensuites.

A Summer Adventure in Kirkenes

If you don’t want to brave the Arctic cold weather a summer adventure might be more up your alley. Enjoy the endless summer nights with the midnight sun hanging in the sky at all hours.

Visit the snow hotel and experience the winter magic in the middle of summer! Go on a rib safari and fish for king crab or go dog sledding on wheels.

King Oscar II Chapel: About an hour drive outside Kirkenes, you will find King Oscar II Chapel. This beautiful stone church by Grense Jakobselv was built in 1869 by the Russian border to defend the Norwegian bank of the river.


Kirkenes is the last stop on the Hurtigruten coastal route. An epic journey along the Norwegian coast filled with culture, adventures and Northern Lights experiences is the perfect warm up for a thrilling Arctic holiday in the Barents capital.

Why travel with Norwegian Travel?

Norwegian Travel is a premium brand aiming to offer high-quality experience-based tourism in selected unique destinations in Norway. From the fjords to the mountains. From the sandy beaches to the rough cliffs. From urban buzz to the massive stillness of the old mountains. We wish to inspire people to explore the treasures to be found in Norway. At our destinations you can explore amazing nature, good food and exciting activities all year round.

  • Full refund 7 day cancellation
    (NB! Does not apply for expedition cruises)

  • Wide range of unique experiences
  • Quick, safe and easy online booking
Need help?