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Kiruna (pronounced key-rune-ah) in Norrbotten county, Norrland, is the northernmost and one of the most unusual towns in Sweden. With its 18,000 inhabitants, it is the largest town in Swedish Lapland.


Kiruna houses the largest underground mine (iron ore) in the world, and is also known for the satellite/space projects, the Sami culture, the long winters, its modern town planning, its beautiful church and town hall, the Icehotel, and the easy access to the wilderness and adventure of northern Lapland, including Sweden's highest mountain, Kebnekaise.

At N67°49'48'' latitude, Kiruna is located about 145 km north of the Arctic Circle, making it possible to experience the midnight sun and polar night there. This means that the sun will shine 24 hours a day between roughly the last week of May until the middle of July. The opposite happens in the winter -- from the first week of December until the second week of January, Kiruna has zero hours of sunlight per day. However, this doesn't mean that it's completely dark; when the night is the longest, there is daylight/twilight for around one hour during midday.

The Kiruna Municipality includes several small villages and settlements scattered around a rather large wilderness area approximately the size of Slovenia. The biggest and most visited include: Jukkasjärvi, Abisko, Karesuando and Vittangi.

Get in[edit]

By Plane[edit]

SAS [19] has direct flights to Kiruna (also via Umeå) from Stockholm's Arlanda airport. Students and youths (under the age of 26) in particular can find cheap tickets with SAS. Barents AirLink (Nordkalottflyg) [20] has flights from Luleå.

The small airport is located a few kilometers outside the city centre. There is an airport bus waiting for every flight from Stockholm-Arlanda. In the evening or on weekends a taxi (should be pre-ordered, otherwise very long waiting time) or pre-ordered coach is pretty much the only way to get anywhere (or hitchhiking), but that can be very expensive. Another option is to walk 1.2 km from the airport until you reach the E10 highway or to Tuolluvaaravägen, and take a local bus from that stop. It runs many times during weekdays, a few times in the weekends [21].

By Train[edit]

SJ [22] operates two daily night trains, from Göteborg and Stockholm continuing north along the eastern parts of Sweden passing cities like Uppsala, Gävle and Boden where sometimes a change of trains are required to get to Kiruna (otherwise you'll end up in Luleå). The travel time from Stockholm is about 17 hours. Some trains continue to Narvik.

Two types of sleeping cars are available: liggvagn with six seats/beds in each compartment, and the slightly more expensive sovvagn with 2-3 (softer) beds. Cheapskates might try out sittvagn, but 17 hours in a seat is not a pleasant experience. An onboard restaurant serves dinner and breakfast; it also doubles as a bar during the evening. Prices, However, are high. Bringing your own food is allowed, but consuming alcohol is not (although the enforcement is quite lax).

Since 2013, the train station in Kiruna has moved 2km away from the city centre. Walking is possible, but not recommended. There is a free shuttlebus for every departure and arrival, and the bus starts at Kiruna bus station in the city centre.

By Bus[edit]

It is possible to take long distance buses between cities in Norrbotten County, such as Luleå, Gällivare, Jokkmokk, Haparanda, etc. [23]

By Car[edit]

It is by all means possible to rent a car and drive to Kiruna, but keep in mind that it is very far away from all other major cities, the roads are quite narrow, and a little bit too often not in a good shape. Speed limits are low and speeding tickets high. This is not totally without reason, due to weather conditions and the frequency of wildlife such as hares, reindeer and moose on the road, which can make the trip a little bit more interesting than bargained for.

The hazards of driving a car in the north during the winter, when a car breakdown in the middle of nowhere actually can be life-threatening due to the cold, should not be underestimated. The cellphone coverage can be quite sparse so warm blankets, extra clothes etc. should always be stored in the car during winter for emergencies. The road distances from Kiruna are: Gällivare(closest city) 115km, Luleå 344Km, Umeå 600Km, Stockholm 1240Km

Get around[edit]

  • Kiruna Taxi, 0980-12020, [1].  edit
  • Kiruna buses (Lanstrafiken Norbotten), 20771-100 110, [2].  edit

See[edit][add listing]

Kiruna kyrkan (Kiruna Church) .
At the Esrange rocket-facility

In Kiruna City[edit]

  • Kiruna Kyrka (The church), [3]. Open daily 9:00-17.45 in summer, 10:00-15:30 winter time. Kiruna Kyrka is a is one of Sweden's largest wooden buildings, and is famous for its special tent-like structure. It was built 1907-1912 by architect Gustaf Wickman, and was voted Sweden's best looking church and the foremost Swedish pre-1950 construction. Free entry..  edit
  • Stadshuset (The City Hall). Open daily. Stadshuset is another landmark of Kiruna. It houses the local government and often hosts various exhibitions. It also has a small but quite well-regarded art collection of famous old Swedish artists. Free entry.  edit
  • Hjalmar Lundbohmsgården. Hjalmar Lundbohm was the first manager for the mining company LKAB -- that is the reason why the city of Kiruna was built in the first place. This museum located in his old office and home, is dedicated to the early days of Kiruna, the startup of LKAB, and the building of the Kiruna-Narvik railroad.  edit


  • Jukkasjärvi Kyrka [24] Open daily, free entry. One of Sweden's oldest intact wooden buildings, its oldest part dates back to 1607. The church is famous for its altar painting and exquisite handcrafted organ.
  • Icehotel During winters this is the world famous and original Icehotel. During the day from 10am to 6pm it functions as a museum, and everyone can visit this very special and magical place and see the ice and snow sculptures first hand. After 6pm it is only open for the guests that actually will spend a night in one of the many snow rooms.

In 2017, the Icehotel for the first time opened in the summer in a permanently kept cold building structure. You can stay overnight in the cold Icehotel rooms or in nearby warm cottages.

Do[edit][add listing]

There are many things to do around the Kiruna area if you like outdoor activities and wilderness adventures. Many companies offer the same or very similar packages, here a list of popular and common activities can be found, sorted by season. There are also some other activities available. You should be aware that pollution of the wilderness (and the city) is illegal in Sweden. So be sure to not leave trash behind you in the fells, etc. It also keeps the environment in its best condition.

All year[edit]

  • The nearby space-facility Esrange offers guided tours.
  • Take a tour to the mine - Infomine
  • Cinema
  • Dancing
  • Bowling
  • Gym
  • Swimming
  • Wilderness Safaris
  • Eat


  • Nordic light tours. Alternatively to the paid tours, a short walk into the forest away from the city is enough to observe auroras without light pollution.
  • Snow mobile excursions
  • Dog sled tour
  • Cross country skiing
  • Downhill skiing at Luossabacken, the city's old abandoned mine. The slope is 30 minutes walking from the center, and local buses drop you 5 minutes away from it. Skiing is mostly free except for one of the lifts, and the ski equipment rent is 200 SEK per day.
  • Ice-fishing


  • Hiking
  • River rafting
  • Kayaking
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hunting
  • Gold digging
  • Waterpark

Special Events[edit]

There are certain dates when special things happen in Kiruna:

  • the snowfestival (Snöfestivalen)
  • Arctic Light Film Festival (commonly: Filmfestivalen)
  • the winter market
  • the Kiruna festival (Kirunafestivalen)
  • the summer market in Jukkasjärvi
  • the autumn market

Eat[edit][add listing]

Don't miss any of the local specialities consisting of various forms of reindeer meat that can be found in almost any foodplace -- there is everything from simple reindeer kebab and sandwiches with reindeer meat to luxurious reindeer dishes at the fanciest restaurants. Also salmon, moose, other fish and animals "from the wild" can be seen as specialities.

  • Arctic Thai, Förareg 18, Kiruna, Sweden (Under the Hotel Arctic Eden), [4]. A restaurant that serves burgers and Thai food. If you are in Kiruna on a Sunday, this is one of the few places that is likely to be open.  edit
  • Sibylla, Vänortsgatan 2, Kiruna, Sweden, 098080013, [5]. This is a typical fast food place found all around Sweden, but due to it's location, it has a local addition of Reindeer meat on the menu. <100 kr.  edit
  • Empes Hamburgerkung, Mommagatan 2, 981 31 Kiruna, Sweden, [6]. Hamburger and fast food takeaway, place to get a tasty bite late in the evening.  edit
  • Thai kitchen, Vänortsgatan 8, 981 32 Kiruna, Sweden. Really nice Thai food, open for lunch and dinner.  edit
  • Camp Ripan, Campingvägen 5, 981 35 Kiruna, Sweden, [7]. Moose köttbullar and the Arctic char were delicious. Also nice to get indoors after hunting for Northern Lights  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

As a gateway to northern Sweden, Kiruna offers many opportunities for a good night's sleep, despite its small size.


  • Camp Alta - Self catering cottages, Sauna, Hot tub, Activities [25]
  • Camp Ripan - Cabins, Caravan parking, Restaurant, Activities [26]
  • Kiruna Vandrarhem, [8]. A hotel located in central Kiruna From 250 SEK/night.  edit
  • Yellowhouse, [9]. From 170 SEK/night.  edit


  • Järnvägshotellet, [11]. Prices from 745 SEK/night.  edit
  • Hotell Samegården, [12]. Hotel and Sami museum.  edit
  • Hotell Vinterpalatset, [13]. Has sauna, restaurant, free WiFi.  edit
  • 68 degrees bed & breakfast, [14]. Sleep: from 850 SEK/night..  edit


  • ICEHOTEL (Ishotellet), Marknadsvägen 63 (In Jukkasjärvi, take bus #501 or drive on E10, then road 875), +46(0)980-66800 (), [15]. Ever wanted to sleep in a hotel made of ice? Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, 32km east from Kiruna, was first with the concept and is world famous. Ordinary rooms are also avalible year round. Prices for ice rooms starts at 2150 SEK/night. 'Warm' rooms are cheaper, from 1450 SEK/night.  edit
  • Hotell Rallaren, [16]. Offers sauna, massage, outdoor hot tub. Has restaurant and bar. WiFi included.  edit
  • Scandic Ferrum, [17]. The largest hotel in town.  edit
  • Hotel Bishops Arms, Föreningsgatan 6, 981 31 Kiruna (Reception is in the pub), +46 980-155 00 (), [18]. Hotel over the Bishops Arms pub in central Kiruna.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • ICA supermarket - at the corner of "Föreningsgatan" and "Seger Svanbergsgatan", open Mon-Fri till 7pm, Sat-Sun till 2pm
  • Coop supermarket - at the corner of "Hjalmar Lundbohmsvägen" and "Trädgårdsgatan", open Mon-Sun till 10pm
  • Also, several gas stations have long opening hours


Okay, lets face it, the night-life in Kiruna is hardly award-winning in any way. This is a rather small city and does not offer great variety. The crowds going out are most often the same people from time to time, and the chances are quite high that most locals going out already know each other, if not as friends then at least by name and/or rumor. This is both a blessing and a curse, depending on circumstances. People tend to drink quite heavily and most would never talk to strangers, but some would love to -- don't give up! However, this does not mean that going out in Kiruna is not fun. Sure after a few times it starts to feel a bit repetitive (which might not always be bad), but going out a night or two can often be quite fun; just don't expect too much, take it as it is, ignore things that bother you and enjoy the night!

The most popular place is currently the nightclub at Hotel Ferrum, mostly at room 208, which usually has an age restriction of 18. Royal (formerly known as Arran) is for the younger crowd and thus often a little bit noisier. From time to time they have 30++ nights also. The two central bars, Landströms and Bishops Arms, can offer less crowds and a good enough environment for a beer or two after a long day. Friday and Saturday are the main days for going out, but Wednesdays ("little Saturday") can sometimes get lively as well.

Get out[edit]

In the mountainous areas to the west of Kiruna are several national parks, e.g. Abisko. The railway to the port town of Narvik in Norway offers excellent views year-round.

  • Space – Virgin Galactic has plans to build a Spaceport here, offering sub-orbital flights.
  • Nikkaluokta – Nice drive down to Nikkaluokta. Along the way, you may see some moose. When you reach the very end of the road there is a little cafe that serves lunch and some nice sandwiches like smoked salmon or reindeer.

Routes through Kiruna
NarvikAbisko  W noframe E  GällivareLuleå

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