Snow Hotel Kirkenes
2-night minimum in cabins
Cross Country Skiing tour
Sledding / Tubing
Snowmobiling to King Crab cages
King Crab Fishing
Shang Hai Restaurant
Ate at the hotel
King Crab Dining Experience
Deer Sausage Huts
The Infamous Snowhotel
One of the questions asked by Fora travel agency when they asked me to apply is "What is one of the coolest hotels you have ever stayed at?". My answer could not have been jotted down quicker. Typically while traveling, I try not to be in my hotel room as I want to be outside exploring. At the Snowhotel, that is no exception! The room is kept at a constant temperature of -4 degrees! But this is a bucket list adventure, and they outfit you with everything you need for a cozy night in the arctic.
Now venturing to the best part of Kirkenes, it's a winter wonderland because it is located in the heart of the Arctic Circle. Staying in the infamous "Snowhotel" is more than what you could ever picture. The architects take months to sculpt the different rooms, the ice bar is the coolest. The hotel fully equips you with sleeping bags, wool socks, pillows, and a face mask. The only part of my face showing is my eyes and it's cold as s***! Who would have thought I would get the best sleep of my life on a block of ice?
The hotel has so many activities to do around the property and two meal huts. Our itinerary consists of dog sledding, cross-country skiing, sledding, and eating the infamous reindeer sausage. Within the hotel, they have an Ice Bar where the majority of the drinks come in ice-sculpted cups that you can throw at the wall afterward. If you can't tell, this place is a piece of art. There are even lobbies and hangout rooms all made out of ice. This hands down is my favorite hotel.
Beyond the mesmerizing Snowhotel, Kirkenes is far away from artificial light and offers an opportunity to see The Northern Lights. They are a natural phenomenon and cannot be guaranteed. You can choose between safari by bus, snowmobile and dog sled. Best viewing potential is December through February. It is wild seeing ribbons of green, pink, and purple dance across the sky with your own eyes. I will be completely honest, my Canon camera captures the most insane pictures compared to what you are seeing with your own eyes. Totally worth it though!
The last activity, which is exhilarating, is riding snowmobiles at "night time" to capture king crabs. As you may or may not know, the sun is never out in winter which leaves lots of room for exploration. It constantly feels like sunrise but it's 6 pm in the evening when we are setting off to capture our king crab. The snowmobile tour lasts for an hour until we come up on our traps with 10 king crabs. After attaching them to our rigs, we ride to our Norwegian huts to crack some claws and sip some wine. Highly recommend ending your trip with this fun experience if you get the chance.