Kiruna, Lapland, Sweden the northernmost city in Europe. If you are into crisp and clear night skies with a great chance to sea the northern lights and if you don’t mind the occasional snow in July, Kiruna is for you…
Some like it cold!
When I started my journey from Yxlan a little island near Stockholm in Mid-October it was warm enough to take a swim. After a spectacular one week drive to Kiruna the northernmost City of Sweden (145 km north of the Arctic Circle) the world was covered in 50 cm of dense packed snow and it was fucking freezing…
Also the Sami are around this area for about 6000 years the city itself was founded in 1900. For one reason only – iron ore extraction. During World War 2 huge amounts of iron were transported via railway to Narvik a Norwegian Harbour town and sold to Germany.
As of now 90% of European iron is extracted in Kiruna – with fatal consequences for the city itself. The ever expanding mining area is now so close to the city that a decision had to be made – either the city with its ca. 20.000 inhabitants moves or the mine closes down. So they started moving some parts in 2007 and the plan is to build a totally new city until 2033 which envisages a denser city centre with a greater focus on sustainability, green infrastructure, pedestrians and public transport rather than automobiles.
Kiruna feels a lot like the last outpost of civilisation in the wilderness. The air is crisp clear and the night sky overwhelming.
There is not to much going on in the City itself but I loved the Café Safari a really nice Coffeeshop that feels a lot like LA or Berlin, hipsterstyle …
I was really enchanted by this little town at the end of the world and will be back soon with warm wollen underwear…
Where to stay:
If you stay in Kiruna I highly recommend the nicely renovated Cabins at Camp Ripan.
The surrounding landscape includes the highest mountain of Sweden the Kebnekaise and beautiful Lake Torneträsk. One hour north of Kiruna by train or car lies the little town Abisko which is regarded as one of the best places to see Northern Lights. A short drive south is Jukkasjärvi well know for its Ice Hotel – still the original.
by train from Stockholm, by car over the E 10 or by plane to Kiruna Airport.