Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel: How to Visit Alta’s Ice Hotel (2024)

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After visiting the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, I have officially visited every ice hotel in Scandinavia. So, how does this ice hotel in Norway measure up?

Are you planning your trip to Alta, Norway last minute?

If youʻre booking your trip to Alta last minute, we have you covered. Below are some of the top tours, hotels, and more!

🇳🇴  Top experiences and tours in Alta, Norway:

  1. Dog-sledding at a family-owned husky farm (my top pick!)
  2. Small-group northern lights tour (another winter favorite)
  3. Guided snowmobile trip on Finnmarksvidda (adventure tour)

🛌  Top places to stay in Alta, Norway:

  1. Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel (reviewed below—Alta’s only ice hotel!)
  2. Alta Wilderness Lodge (year-round option at Sorrisniva)
  3. Holmen Husky Lodge (cozy place w/ pups and dog-sledding!)

🚗  Looking for the best way to get around Alta? Click here to check rental car rates for Norway!

Below, I share my thoughts on visiting the Sorrisniva Ice Hotel, including a bit of its history, what to expect, and how to book a trip (or a stay!) there.

At the end, I also answer some frequently asked questions about the Alta igloo hotel and whether or not I think you should book a stay there.

Visiting the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel - what to know (and more!)
Visiting the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel – what to know (and more!)

Please let me know in the comments if I have missed anything regarding this famous ice hotel in Alta! Thanks!

About Sorrisniva (the World’s Northernmost Igloo Hotel)

Sorrisniva is Norway’s oldest ice hotel. While the igloo hotel dates back to 2000, its operations began in 1989 when it began offering snowmobile safaris to adventurous visitors to the Northern Norwegian city.

In 1992, they added a Lavvu restaurant, and the rest is history!

Each year, different artists (including many local artists who have been with the igloo hotel since its opening) carve masterpieces into the ice and snow, creating something different than the previous year and years past.

Outside the Alta ice hotel
Outside the Alta ice hotel

The Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel is open from December 20 until April 7 for overnight guests, and even if you are not staying there, you can still purchase a ticket (or a guided tour) and visit on your own from 12pm-8pm daily.

While the igloo hotel is dependent on snow and ice, Sorrisniva opened an Arctic Wilderness Lodge that is open year-round and is just perfect for an escape any time of the year.

Sorrisniva Ice Hotel in Alta
Sorrisniva Ice Hotel in Alta

Along with the several accommodation options available at Sorrisniva, there are many activities available. You can see details about them below. There is also a wedding chapel, and it is a popular place to get married!

My Impressions of the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel

When I visited the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, I kept my expectations low as I have had some disappointing runs with ice hotels in the Nordics recently (most notably, the Arctic SnowHotel in Rovaniemi, Finland).

What I walked into at Sorrisniva was beyond my expectations. This was, hands down, the best ice hotel I have ever visited. It was all about the design work inside. The artists hired at Sorrisniva were sensational!

Names of the artists were proudly displayed throughout
Names of the artists were proudly displayed throughout

Each igloo suite had its own theme, and they were elaborate and beautiful. There were Sami-themed rooms, rooms inspired by the Arctic, and even one that was Aladdin-inspired.

Another thing that was rather unique about Sorrisniva compared to Jukkasjarvi, for example, is that it felt a little less commercial and far cozier. The same goes for the Tromso Ice Domes.

Cozy fire inside Sorrisniva's lobby
Cozy fire inside Sorrisniva’s lobby

Apart from the ice hotel itself, Sorrisniva’s main lodge was made from wood and felt very welcoming and warm. Everything about the place seemed to be centered on the comfort and enjoyment of the guests.

If you are looking to stay in an ice hotel in Norway, or even one in Scandinavia, Sorrisniva would, hands-down, be my top pick.

How to Stay at Sorrisniva Hotel

Norway’s Sorrisniva Ice Hotel has a few lodging options! And you can stay there year-round; just keep in mind that the ice hotel is not an option during the summer months as it melts away with the season, unlike the one in Kirkenes.

Beautiful work at Sorrisniva Ice Hotel
Beautiful work at Sorrisniva Ice Hotel

Below are your two options for how to stay at the Sorrisniva Hotel in Alta, Norway.

Igloo Hotel

The Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel brings in artists from around the world (including locals) to create unique themes that change year after year. The hotel is large and takes 250 tons of ice (sourced from Sierravann) to build.

The snow at the igloo hotel comes from the Alta River, which runs through the property merely a few meters from the hotel itself!

Igloo suite at Sorrisniva
Igloo suite at Sorrisniva

Naturally, the hotel is not open year-round and only in the winter snow season. It is open from December 20 until April 7 and from 12pm until 8pm daily.

The Aladdin-themed igloo suite
The Aladdin-themed igloo suite

At the ice hotel, you will find 3 different types of rooms: the Igloo suite, the Igloo room, and the Igloo family room. Each of the suites is built with a theme and a variety of colors.

❄️ PRO TIP: If you want to stay at Sorrisniva, the ‘igloo suites’ are the ones that are themed. The ‘igloo rooms’ are very basic, with no artwork and simply a bed in a room made of ice and snow. Please know this before you book!

The standard rooms are basic.

  • Igloo Suite: artistic, spacious suites; prices from 5500 NOK (about $515)
  • Igloo room: subtle design but smaller and more basic; prices from 3500 NOK (about $325)
  • Igloo family room: can sleep up to 3 adults and 3 children; prices start from 5000 NOK (about $470)

>> Click here to Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel rates and availability

Arctic Wilderness Lodge at Sorrisniva (Year-Round Option!)

A year-round accommodation option for those visiting Alta is the Arctic Wilderness Lodge at Sorrisniva. This 24-room lodge is built along the beautiful Alta River and offers a panoramic lounge and a fine-dining restaurant called Maku.

Sorrisniva Arctic Wilderness Lodge via
Sorrisniva Arctic Wilderness Lodge via

The 24 rooms include 17 river rooms, 5 river suites, and 2 dual-room premium suites. They all offer floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing an easier way to connect with nature right out of the doorstep!

You can enjoy the Arctic Wilderness Lodge at any time of the year, not just in the summer months.

>> Click here to check Arctic Wilderness Lodge rates and availability

How to Visit Sorrisniva (Without Staying Overnight)

You have a couple of options for visiting the Sorrisniva Ice Hotel outside of staying there overnight: a guided tour or a self-guided tour.

I chose the self-guided option as it gave me plenty of time inside to take photos and admire the artwork inside. Both options require you to get to the hotel on your own physically.

Sorrisniva Tour #1 (Guided)

If you want to book a guided tour of the igloo hotel, you can visit Sorrisniva’s website.

They will walk you through the entire complex and tell you about each piece of artwork while also explaining the engineering of Sorrisniva and how it gets built every year (with a new heme).

Inside of Sorrisniva
Inside of Sorrisniva

This price also includes a drink from the ice bar, and you will have time to wander around on your own for photos.

Entrance tickets are 550 NOK for adults and 290 NOK for kids (as of February 2024).

Sorrisniva Tour #2 (Self-Guided)

The second option you have is to book a day to visit the hotel on your own and explore without a guide.

Outside of Sorrisniva
Outside of Sorrisniva

This is what I did. You merely pick the date you want to book through Sorrisniva’s website and show up during the opening hours from 12pm-8pm.

Once you arrive at the hotel, they will give you a sticker to put on, and then you are free to explore the ice hotel at your own pace!

Sticker for entrance
Sticker for entrance

Entrance tickets for a self-guided tour of Sorrisniva are 300 NOK for adults and 75 NOK for kids as of February 2024.

On your ticket, you can also choose if you want a drink or not. I opted for a non-alcoholic drink with mine. If you’d like to include an alcoholic drink, it is 135 NOK extra.

Having my drink made at the ice bar
Having my drink made at the ice bar

A non-alcoholic drink is 100 NOK extra.

Ice Bar at Sorrisniva

Do note that the ice bar inside the ice hotel is not open from 12pm-8pm. You will find it open during the following times daily:

  • 1pm-2pm
  • 4pm-5pm
  • 6pm-7pm
Sorrisniva Ice Bar
Sorrisniva Ice Bar
My drink at the Sorrisniva Ice Bar
My drink at the Sorrisniva Ice Bar

Plan your trip accordingly if you purchase a drink!

Restaurants at Sorrisniva

You will find two restaurants at the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel: Maku Restaurant and Lavvu Restaurant.

Lavvu was opened in 1992 in a building that was inspired by a Sami tent, while Maku was opened along with the Arctic Wilderness Lodge later on.

Outside of Lavvu Restaurant
Outside of Lavvu Restaurant

Both offer a unique culinary experience at the hotel, sourcing ingredients locally from the Norwegian Sea and Alta River (with berries and vegetables sourced from local farms or hand-picked in the forest).

Activities at Sorrisniva

Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel offers an array of activities, meaning that you can stay there without ever leaving and have a memorable day each morning you wake up.

Here are some of the activities and experiences offered at Sorrisniva:

  • Ice Sculpting
  • Helicopter Experiences
  • Northern Lights Safari
  • King Crab Safari
  • Snowmobiling
  • Reindeer and Sami Cultural Experiences
  • Dog-Sledding
  • Electric Biking
  • Spa
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hiking
  • Riverboating Adventure

How to Get to Sorrisniva from Alta

The Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel is around 11 kilometers (7 miles) from the city center in Alta.

You have a few ways to get out there: having an arranged pick-up from the hotel, taking a taxi, or renting a car. I visited with my rental car, which made it far easier than any of the other options.

Road to Sorrisniva in winter
Road to Sorrisniva in winter

Arranging a pick-up by the hotel is only an option if you book an overnight stay there or an activity that requires a pick-up in the city (not all experiences offer pick-up).

Best Time to Visit Sorrisniva

Well, it depends. If you’re 100% looking to visit the ice hotel, you need to visit when it is standing from December 20 until April 7 (check each year to ensure the dates stand).

Sorrisniva Ice Hotel in winter
Sorrisniva Ice Hotel in winter

But, if you’re visiting outside of this time, I highly encourage staying at the Arctic Wilderness Lodge or simply booking an activity with them and hearing more about the hotel.

Should you visit the Sorrisniva Ice Hotel?

Absolutely! This is honestly the best ice hotel in Scandinavia (in my opinion) and I think if you have a rental car and the time, you should book a tour there.

If your budget permits, on the other hand, I think it is worth booking one of the igloo suites and staying there for a night (or two).

Do you have any questions about visiting the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel? Let me know in the comments!

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Are you looking to visit the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel in Alta, Norway? This post talks about the famous ice hotel in Alta, including how to visit (and useful tips!). | Things to do in Alta | Sorrisniva ice hotel | Norway ice hotel | Alta ice hotel | Where to stay in Alta, Norway | Norwegian ice hotel | Ice hotel in Norway | Ice hotel in Alta

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