The town Kirkenes in Norway is right at the border to Russia and Finland and there are many possibilities for arctic activities.

Kirkenes is located by the fjord Bøkfjord which is a sidearm of the large Varangerfjord and is the capital of the Barents Region in northern Norway.

Most tourists come to Kirkenes to explore the amazing nature. The best way to experience nature is through the many adventure activities provided by local tour operator experts.  

What about snowmobiling, dogsledding, hiking, climbing, kayaking, biking, skiing and bird watching, to mention a few. By doing these fantastic adventures, you also have the best way to experience the local civilization and people.

Nearby, in Varanger, it is possible to see rare birds like puffins, guillemots, and sea eagles.

Climate and weather in Kirkenes

In Kirkenes, you can see the Northern Lights from late August to late March and in summer, the Midnight sun from 17 May to 21 July.

The climate in Kirkenes is dry, with low precipitation all year. This makes Kirkenes a perfect spot for Northern Lights observations. The average temperature in January is  -13 ° C, and there is a snow guarantee from Nov/Dec to April. The summer is short and beautiful and lasts from June to September. In autumn, Kirkenes is lovely with many different colours.

See also: Northern Lights in Norway


What to do in Kirkenes

Depending on the season you visit Kirkenes, we can recommend activities like snowmobiling, dog sledging, hiking, climbing, kayaking, biking, skiing and bird watching. Here you also have the best way to experience the local civilization and people like the Sami people and culture. 


Stay at a very special snow hotel 

Every year a hotel is built from scratch, Kirkenes Snow Hotel, which is open between December and April. Even though the temperature inside is minus four degrees Celsius, the beds are warm and comfortable with reindeer hide.

Many local tour operators also arrange tours to see the amazing northern lights in the Winter.

More about Kirkenes

Kirkenes is dominated by the deserted installations of the Sydvaranger Iron Ore Company, but the region is also a centre for farming, fishing, forestry and reindeer husbandry.

Under World War ll, Kirkenes was damaged by the Germans and was one of the most bombed centres in Europe. The town was liberated by the Russians in 1944. You can visit the subterranean tunnels used to shelter residents during the war.

Kirkenes is also known as the end station for the famous ferry company Hurtigruten, which sails from Bergen to Kirkenes along the Norwegian fjords and coastline. You are here only 15 km from the Russian border. The border is 196 kilometres long, and Storskog is the official border crossing point. 

The airport in the municipality is located in Høybuktmoen and is only 12 km from Kirkenes. 


Getting there

Find routes to this destination.

  • Lattitude: 69.726919
  • Longitude: 30.045043