Welcome to Kiruna, Sweden!
Perched on Sweden’s northernmost border, Kiruna is a sleepy town located on the Arctic Circle. Established in 1900, the young town has prospered due to the discovery of an iron ore deposit beneath it. It has become an important mining town, not only in the country but around the world. Aside from its mining tradition, worldwide locals can explore the fascinating culture shaped by the indigenous population, while also enjoying the diverse natural beauty it has to offer. From the dancing lights of the Aurora during the snow-filled winter to the summertime thaw revealing the picturesque landscape, Kiruna has a variety of things to experience, off the beaten track.
Visit One of the Most Popular of Kiruna’s Attractions
As soon as you land at Kiruna Airport, you’ll begin to hear about the city’s mining. Here, the underground iron ore mine is the most modern and the largest of its kind in the world. Visitors are welcome to tour around the subterranean mine to learn about the history of the industry and how a whole town has been built around it. The informative tour guide will take you to the depths of 540 meters below ground level and talk you through the history and the future of iron ore mining. Stories of whole sections of Kiruna being moved several times due to safety concerns caused by the mine highlights the importance of the mining industry and how they were even prepared to move to a small town.
Worldwide Local Tip: Watch rocket launches from the Esrange Space Center in the city. The research facility launches different types of objects such as sounding rockets and stratospheric balloons. Check their website for launch schedules!
Experience the Native Culture
Visit SapmiLIFE to experience the local indigenous culture of the Sami people, native to the Kiruna region, and sample the lifestyle of the semi-nomadic tribe. The tours are intimate and provide a great insight into the simple life of the indigenous people, from listening to the locally-spoken Sami language to tasting the produce of the land. Hear tales about the culture over the crackling fire as you sip freshly brewed coffee. The number of guests are limited to keep the experience personal, so head to their website to book in advance.
Worldwide Local Tip: For a cool trip walk through the icy hallways of the Icehotel, where even in summer, the Kiruna weather is below freezing. You can see frozen sculptures designed and created by ice artists from all around the world. Visit during the weekdays to avoid overly huge crowds and be sure to plan your transportation, as the buses are infrequent and taxis are expensive.
Meet a Reindeer at Nutti Sami Siida
The reindeer have been crucial to the local life in the Arctic Circle, living through harsh conditions and have provided resources for the people. The Nutti Sami Siida is the best place for an exclusive view of life as a reindeer herder and hundreds of reindeer. May is the month of Miessemannu, which translates to the month of the reindeer calf in Sami, you can see the process of birthing calves and watch them take their first breath of air in the dense forests of Sapmi. Their method of reindeer husbandry has been passed on from generations, implying the traditional Sami way of herding reindeer.
Worldwide Local Tip: If you are visiting during the winter to watch the spectacle of the Aurora, why not watch it in a hot tub under the night sky. Kiruna’s Máttaráhkká Northern Lights Lodge provides breathtaking front row seats while you relax on the warmth of the rooftop hot tub.
Enjoy Your Visit!
A quaint and charming town with an industrious underbelly, Kiruna is surrounded by the idyllic natural landscape but has an underground working society. Regardless of the season, worldwide locals can enjoy Kiruna’s beauty from the snow covers of winter or the perpetual sunshine of summer.