Kirkenes, Norway

Introduction to Kirkenes, Norway

Situated in far north-eastern Norway, the small town of Kirkenes is sandwiched between the Russian and Finnish borders and surrounded by the stunning scenery of Finnmark County. While there are a few attractions to discover within the town; most stop here to embark on adventures into the Arctic wilderness in the winter, or to explore nearby fjords in search of seabirds in the summer. 

Kirkenes, the capital of the Barents region, is the gateway to the spectacular wonders and unforgettable experiences of Norway’s Arctic northeast region. Situated in the heart of Finnmark County, with the borders of Russia and Finland within easy reach, this small town is the ideal starting point for exploring the surrounding Arctic wilderness.

In the winter, dog sledding and snowmobiling adventures are not to be missed, presenting views of the unspoilt, snow-capped landscapes; while there are also chances to go ice fishing or encounter huge King Crabs on a fjord safari. The famous Kirkenes Snowhotel – built from scratch every year using local ice and snow – is one of the most famous attractions and not to be missed between December and April.

In the summer there’s much to see too, with the breathtaking scenery of nearby fjords awaiting discovery; as well as rugged islands such as Hornøya which are home to various species of nesting birds including puffins, guillemots, sea eagles and more.

Those who choose to stay in Kirkenes can encounter a number of attractions within the town. The Andersgrotta air-raid shelter is well worth a visit, offering an insight into Kirkenes’ World War Two tales; as well as the Mothers in War monument and the Bear Sculptures outside the Russian Consulate. Not to be missed is the fascinating Border Museum, which explores the region’s historic links with Russia; while you could even follow signs – which are written in both Norwegian and Russian – to visit the border itself.

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