This small town is a cultural melting pot of Norwegian, Sami, Finnish, and Russian influences. Be sure to pack a balaclava and warm mittens, and get ready for arctic activities that are unique to the region.

The dry and clear winter climate increases the chance to experience the northern lights (more than in other coastal cities). Head out of town with a professional guide on a snowmobile, and hunt for the northern lights in the Siberian Taiga forest in the Pasvikdalen valley. The area is home to unique bird life and Norway’s densest population of brown bears.

If you are the adventurous type, a husky safari is strongly recommended.  

Kirkenes is known as the capital of the Barents Region, and the Barents Sea is one of the world's best areas for deep sea fishing. Join a RIB tour out on the open sea, and get a chance to experience an abundance of wildlife, including eagles, seals and marine birds. Catch your own lunch on a king crab safari on the frozen fjord, and indulge in a crab feast afterwards! 

Another unique experience to tick off on your bucket list is to spend a night in a hotel made of snow. Wrapped in warm expedition-style sleeping bags, you are guaranteed to have an unforgettable night at the Snowhotel Kirkenes, whether you're there with your partner or your whole family.

A stay at Gamme Northern Light Cabins is perfect if you just want a drink in an ice bar and don't wish to try spending the night in the cold. The traditional Gamme tents of the Sami people keep you warm, and include modern comforts and windows for viewing the northern lights.