Luleå city tour
Lulea has a population of around 76,000 people, but it is still one of the larger cities in Sweden. While some parts of the city are quite modern, 75% of the municipality in which Luleå lies is covered by forest. It is situated just below the Arctic Circle, making it one of the coldest habited places on Earth.
Fun Facts about Lulea
- Thanks to a phenomenon known as isostatic uplift, about two square kilometers of land are added to Lulea each year. Recently however, rising sea levels due to climate change have reduced the amount of the uplift.
- Winter lasts half the year in Lulea due to its location just below the Arctic Circle.
- The Luleå archipelago contains some 1300 islands and inlets.
- Although Lulea was originally founded in 1621 where Gammelstad is now located, it was moved during the mid-17th century to the river’s outlet.
- The water surrounding the peninsula is brackish, which is neither fresh nor salt water. It is a unique combination that supports unique wildlife.
- The vast majority of the residents speak English, making it the perfect place for North American or English tourists.
Luleå’s Main Claim to Fame
There are a couple of different things that make Luleå a popular tourist spot. The first is the city’s unique geology and topography; the archipelago itself provides plenty to explore by boat. Luleå also contains an “Old City” section that draws people from around the world. It truly takes you back to the way things were hundreds of years ago, and while some of the Old City has been restored, other parts stand as they did all of those centuries ago. It’s only a few kilometers from Luleå’s city center, and it is probably the most popular tourist spot in the entire city.
Accommodations, Restaurants, and Attractions
Whether you want to stay for a night, a weekend, or longer, there are several hotels in the area that will cater to you. For a luxurious, pampered experience, check out the Clarion Hotel Sense. It ranks number one on multiple sites, and every part of the hotel is completely beautiful. They offer a Skybar and plenty of other amenities to make you feel at home. For those on a budget, the Citysleep Hostel is a great choice. The rooms are small, but they still provide everything you need to be comfortable. The rooms here are clean and affordable, as well.
When you get hungry, Lulea offers a little bit of everything, whether you want an indulgent Scandinavian dining experience or just a quick, cheap bite on the go. Hemmagastronomi is an experience you won’t want to miss; in fact, it is a bakery, a bar, a deli, a bistro, and more all wrapped up into one. For a cheap fill-up that still tastes amazing, Fiskekyrkan, located in a warehouse at the south harbor, offers fast food, an affordable all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, and a full menu filled with Scandinavian classics and a few fusion dishes, too.
While in Lulea, don’t miss the Gammelstad Church Town (also known as Old Town) that is filled with heritage and history. You can also check out Isbanan, which is referred to as a winter paradise. Sail around the Luleå archipelago to see the sights, check out the Nederlulea Kyrka, a modern interpretation of a gothic cathedral, and hike along Hertsostigen Trail, which offers short and long hikes to suit your needs and/or abilities. You can also go snowmobiling on the sea ice or check out the Balingeberget nature reserve.