Prior to 1926 when the borders were cemented, Norway and Russia jointly occupied the region encompassing Kirkenes, as both countries were keen to exploit the iron ore deposits discovered in 1906. The cost of transporting the iron ore from the remote location eventfully became too costly and the mines were closed in 1996. Today Kirkenes, on the northern tip of Norway, is generally the final destination for cruise lines taking holiday-makers on a Norwegian fjord adventure.

Cruise liners conveniently dock in Kirkenes Harbour.

Sights to See

The famed Grenseland Museum comprehensively covers the history of the region, features Sami art exhibitions and examines the story of the indigenous Sami people. Also consider taking a land expedition to the Russian border, around 15 kilometres away or checking out the Gabba Reindeer Safari Park. Fishing enthusiasts will enjoy an angling expedition for both salt and fresh water fish.

What's for Lunch

Put aside images of Santa's sleigh and consider enjoying reinsdyrsteik or reindeer steak.

If you see only one thing...

If travelling in the right season, savour the experience of the aurora borealis or the northern lights.

Local speak

Say thank you with takk and wish them a good night by saying god natt.


The Russian border station features several souvenir shops that may spark your interest.