With temperatures ranging from -40°C in winter to +30°C in summer, Europe’s last piece of pure wilderness and the European indigenous Sami people, Swedish Lapland is the land of 8 seasons, home of the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun. From stunning saunas to invigorating dog-sled rides, Swedish Lapland has a lot on offer.
Top Attractions in Swedish Lapland
Abisko is a tiny little outpost located in the far north close to the Norwegian border, and it’s one of the best places ever to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. The clear skies at nightfall are mainly thanks to the tall mountains that surround the settlement, which obviously means a chance for spectacular late night shows ala mother nature. During the day you might want to take a hike up the Kungsleden walking trail to explore the wild and wonderful Swedish Lapland landscape. Abisko National Park is another fantastic highlight of this area and showcases Nordic wilderness at its best. You’ll also be able to spot the Kebnekaise Mountain, soaring in at 2,100 m above sea level, its Sweden’s highest mountain.
As the far north’s biggest metropolis, Kiruna is the best place to get to for anything beyond basics like food and petrol. It’s a small town with a handful of stays and inns that are centered on the small shopping street with its big brands. If you’re in the area from mid-May to mid-June you’ll see the Midnight Sun. You might not get another opportunity to see this town since it was built on ground that’s now susceptible to unsteady grounds thanks to subsidence caused by mining. The entire city is being shifted (at a slow and steady pace) towards the northwest foot of the Luossavaara Mountain.
As one of the prettiest towns in Swedish Lapland, Jokkmokk is known for its pretty wooden houses and neon signs edging the wide roads. You might mistake it for an American backwater town at first glance, but a deeper look reveals a quiet and very friendly town that carries a rich cultural heritage. This is the center of the Sami culture in Sweden so it’s one of your best shots at getting an in-depth look at the indigenous people’s history. The Cultural Museum is a great stop and includes more than enough exhibitions and over half a dozen shops selling genuine Sami handicrafts.
The most obvious reason why you’d want to get to Jukkasjärvi is for the legendary Ice Hotel and its ice bar. The sleepy village of Jukkasjärvi houses an adorable wooden church that dates back to 1607 and a frozen lake that makes for some of the best snowmobile adventures ever.