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Ny Alesund, Spitsbergen, Norway

The world’s northernmost permanent settlement is also located on Spitzbergen Island in the Svalbard Archipelago. Originally a coal mining post, it now houses fewer than 40 souls, all of whom work for one of the Arctic research facilities there. Visitors are given a map to follow should they wish to take a stroll. But watch out for the terns nesting on the ground all around, they will dive at your head to scare you off. (Carry a stick or a folded umbrella over your head—they dive at the highest point). Have your passport stamped at the most northerly post office on earth, just for fun, or mail a postcard from the top of the world.