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Kirkenes

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Finnmark : Kirkenes
Revision as of 19:08, 7 August 2009 by 83.109.224.220 (Talk)

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Kirkenes is a city in the Finnmark region of Norway. The municipal tourist information[1] is at the public library downtown.

Get in

By Road

Kirkenes is at the very end of the all-through-Norway (and half of Europe) highway E6. You can also enter by road from northern Finland (via Rovaniemi about 7 hours), and northwestern Russia (via Murmansk about 3 hours + border formalities). If you want to come from southern Norway by car, cutting through Sweden and Finland is actually faster. Long distance buses [2], with connections to most of Norway. Buses to Finland (summer only): [3]

By Sea

Kirkenes is the northern turnaround port (Bergen being the southern) of the Coastal Express [4], arguably the most beautiful sea voyage of the planet, covering most of the Norwegian coast in 5-6 days.

By Air

Due to its distance from the rest of the civilized world, most people choose to arrive and depart by plane, at Høybuktmoen airport[5] (IATA: KKN) some 15 km outside town. Daily flights to Oslo, Tromsø and others by Norwegian [6], SAS[7] and Wideroe [8]. Also flights to Russia and Germany (summer only). Most flights have a bus to town waiting outside[9]. A taxi will set you back some NOK 300. On certain occasions it is considerably cheaper to fly into Ivalo in Finland, some 240 km away.

By Train

Although there is a railroad here, it is for ore only. Real adventurous spirits should be aware that you can connect to the russian network in the border town of Nikel, travelling as far as Moscow, Vladivostok, Ulan Bator and Beijing.

Get around

Local buses [10].

See

  • The midnight sun in summer
  • The Aurora Borealis
  • The Russian border, including the three-borders-mark, where also Finland joins in.
  • The Grenselandmuseet, a museum that includes a fine exhibition of woodcuts by the Sami artist Jon Savio as well as much on the history and lifestyle of the far north of Norway.

Do

Fishing, both salt and fresh water, including salmon. Hiking.

Buy

Eat

  • Sollia, By the Russian border, some 10 km from town, [11]. Summer only. Closed Mondays.

Drink

Try Ritz or Ofelas.

Sleep

Budget

There is a camping site between the airport and town, up the hill after the bridge as you drive towards town. Also rents cabins. Summer only. Tel (+47) 78 99 80 28.

Mid-range

  • Sollia, By the Russian border, some 10 km from town, [12].
  • Barents Frokosthotell, [13]. From NOK 675.
  • Wessel Hotell, Dr Wessels gate 3, -47 78998600 (, fax: +47 78998601), [14].
  • Kirkenes Overnatting, (1 km from town center), [15]. Apartment from NOK 500 a night.
  • Overnatting Liv Mikkelbrog, Kronprinsensgate 21, Kirkenes (Down the hill from the old Rica Hotel), 0047 9203 7762 (). Private rooms.

Splurge

  • Rica Arctic Hotel, Kongens gate 1, +47 78995900 (fax: +47 78991159), [16]. From NOK 1300.
  • Rica Hotel Kirkenes, Pasvikveien 63, +47 78991491 (fax: +47 78991356).
  • Thon Hotel, [17]. Due to open in 2010.
  • Kirkenes Snow Hotel, [18]. For the dark and cold months only

Cope

  • If you plan on crossing the border into Russia, you will probably need a visa. In theory, this should be obtainable at the Russian Consulate in Kirkenes, but you might find it worthwhile to pay any local travel agency a little extra for the job.
  • If you are heading for Finland, and feel that you need some euros, there is an ATM at the DnB bank that will hand them over.

Get out

  • Go up the Pasvik valley for quite a change of fauna. Here you find the last bit of the enormous Russian Taiga, a pine forest that stretches all the way to Siberia. At the southern end of the valley (105 km of paved road, 15 km of dirt, then 1h15m walking) is the Tri-Border Mark, where Norway, Russia and Finland meets. Heavy fines for trespassing into Russia!
  • At Grense Jakobselv, the open Barents Sea washes a beautiful sandy shore. Never gets above 8 celsius, though! You can also peek at the "King Oscar II" church.
  • The highest peak around is "Øretoppen", at 466 metres. It is a 2 hour hike along a marked path from Ropelv, where buses go. Magnificent views in a landscape of large stones spread upon the hills.


Routes through Kirkenes
' ← END ←  N noframe S  TanaNarvik
' ← END ←  N noframe S  Border crossing - RussiaMurmanskSt. Petersburg


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