Swedish Lapland's Guide to


On an afternoon in July, Inlandsbanan – the Inland Line – rolls into Arvidsjaur. This is an area known for its military and cultural history. In winter, the town fills up with car testers and winter lovers, which means it’s never far to the next restaurant or pub. You have 24 hours to do something exciting. So: what to do in Arvidsjaur, now that you’re here?

Afternoon: After checking in at Hotel Laponia you wash down the travel dust in the Lobby Bar. There’s something familiar and special about this hotel; it’s like you recognise it somehow. For a while you’re convinced it’s one of Ralph Erskine’s creations – he has, after all, designed many exciting buildings in Sweden, but after googling it, it turns out the Danish architect Ole Helweg is the creator. Helweg is best known for designing Gyllene Ratten, one of Sweden’s first motels, and somewhere you read that he also worked with Erskine. You have time for a visit to the comfortable pool and sauna area before the evening begins.

Evening: Alternative 1. You’ve chosen to stay in Arvidsjaur on a Friday afternoon, because you haven’t had enough train adventures yet. This time, it’s a steam train. The steam train is run by the Arvidsjaur Railway Association and departs on certain days, Fridays and Saturdays at 17:15, during summer. The trip goes from Arvidsjaur to Slagnäs, and back. It’s an amazing train adventure where you stop at one of the nicest beaches in Norrbotten. (During the 2022 season, however, there will be no steam engine trips.) Drinks and snacks are served on the train, and once it has turned around in Slagnäs it makes a stop at a fantastic beach that can only be reached on foot, by boat or by steam engine. This is a place for barbecuing sausages and going swimming in the summer night.

Evening: Alternative 2. After pool and sauna, you walk to the centre of Arvidsjaur. The main street, Route 95, is what most visitors remember from Arvidsjaur as a town. It features shops, tourist office and restaurants. In fact, Arvidsjaur is one of Sweden’s most “bar-abundant” towns. Even the hamburger joint Sibylla on the main square serves beer. This is due to the number of foreign workers during the winter months, when the municipalities Arvidsjaur, Arjeplog and Sorsele turn into a melting pot for the world’s car testing industry. Direct flights crowded with test drivers and engineers from mainland Europe land in Arvidsjaur several days a week. Instead of dinner at the hotel – reindeer topside did sound tempting – in Laponia’s restaurant hut down by lake Nyborgstjärn, you choose a pizza from the wood-fired oven at Teckan. Not the best view, admittedly, but a pizza from Teckan is a safe bet.

About Arvidsjaur

Arvidsjaur is a beautiful small town of 4,500 people in the middle of Swedish Lapland with direct connections to several German airports in winter. Arvidsjaur hosts world-class snowmobiling, driving on ice and cross country skiing, as well as Sweden’s best arctic char fishing. With an abundance of great nature activities and hiking in summer. This charming town is just the right place to relax and be yourself.

Have a chat with the local tourist information for more insights. visitarvidsjaur.se

Curious about living in Arvidsjaur?

Check out info for new residents. flyttatillarvidsjaur.se

Morning: You wake up alert. Before breakfast you have time to run a couple of kilometres along Hälsans Stig (The Health Trail) past lake Tvättjärn where Camp Gielas is located, and then on to Nyborgstjärn where there’s an outdoor gym by the beach, just next to Laponia’s hut. If you think that’s too easy, you can cut across and use the trails that begin at the sports area called Rymmarstadion and enjoy the view from Lillberget mountain. Then there’s breakfast waiting, before you walk any further.

Daytime: Lappstaden behind the OK petrol station – with Starbucks – was under threat once. Politicians and the Transport Administration wanted to build a road straight through this church town. Luckily, Karin Stenberg understood that resistance was needed and today some 30 Sami huts and some 50 sheds are preserved at this heritage site. The Sami Karin Stenberg is someone you’ll meet a bit later today, in the form of a painting at the open-air museum café. She was a fascinating woman who not only saved the church town in Arvidsjaur, but she was also involved in the creation of Same Ätnam – which today is the basis for the Sami crafts foundation Sámi Duodji – the Sami education centre, the foundation Samefolket and Ájtte, the Swedish Mountain and Sami Museum. Then you arrive at the open-air museum Hembygsgården.

This was, in fact, where the town Arvidsjaur was first located. Town relocation is a well-known phenomenon in Norrbotten: Luleå moved already back in the 17th century and these days Kiruna and Gällivare are both in the middle of a move. The old Arvidsjaur moved too, in the beginning of the 20th century. Luckily, the open-air museum Hembygsgården with all its coffee and cakes and local products for sale is still here on site. Several walks begin in this area too, for example a history hike and a trip around lake Prästtjärn with its flora and fauna, rich bird life and even a Swedish sport-fishing record for brook trout.

Packing up: Once you’re back on the Inland Line you realise that with a rental car, or your own car, you would have been able to visit places such as the breath-taking forest pool Grodkällan, mountains Vittjåkk and Akkanålke, or perhaps even Jan-Svensamössan. Perhaps it would have been worth it to check out the Hat and Toy Museum in Glommersträsk, or the folklore museum Hängengården in the same village.

But as it is, you make yourself comfortable. Soon there’s a stop at the Navvy Museum in the village Moskosel, and after that, the train will cross the rapids Hundforsen, part of the rapids known as Trollforsarna. Unless the train meets a car, of course. It’s one of the few combi bridges still in use in Sweden.

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Railway travel

Take the train! The call becomes all the more familiar. We choose train travel for many reasons; for the environment, of course, but also for the sake of the person within us. On the train we get the chance to sit for a while and do nothing more than admire the view falling away outside the window like a long row of beautiful new dominoes. As summer is here, it’s time for you to embark on your own journey in northern Sweden.

In sauna veritas

Sauna, or bastu in Swedish, is something as natural to people in the north as the midnight sun and the northern lights. It used to be something of a prerequisite for life in the Arctic, and now it is a rich part of the culture itself. Sauna is the essence of life up here.

When to see the northern lights in Swedish Lapland

Shimmery and magical. The dance of the northern lights is a spectacular sight that we frequently enjoy in Swedish Lapland. Viewing the Aurora Borealis is both a jaw-dropping and mystical experience. But when is the best time to see the northern lights in Swedish Lapland?

The Arctic light

You might think that in the Arctic, we have darkness or daylight. In the winter, the sun never rises above the horizon, and in the summer, the sun never sets. But in fact, we have light all year round. Just different kinds of light. Some darker, some brighter, and some very colourful.

Photograph the northern lights

So you've gone to Swedish Lapland, Sweden's Arctic destination, to experience the magical northern lights. Here are seven tips on how to get some good pictures of the beautiful light phenomenon to take back home.

Shooting autumn colours

Many think autumn is the most beautiful time of year in Swedish Lapland. It's as if Earth itself grants a generous firework display of colour before the winter sleep settles over the Arctic landscape. And it's easy to capture the show with a camera on standby. These are five simple tips for capturing autumn in a photo.


When the sun never sets, and the kids are on summer holiday. When holidays are waiting around the corner and meadows explode with wood cranesbill. That's when long lines of cars queue up to get out of the cities. It's time to go find tranquillity with friends and family in summer houses and holidays homes, away from the hustle and bustle. It's time to celebrate the most important holiday of the summer. It's midsummer.

Stories told with names

Many towns, mountains, rivers in Swedish Lapland bear the names given to them by the Sámi people, usually describing their characteristics. When reading a map of Swedish Lapland, knowing the meaning of some Sámi words adds another, fascinating dimension to the landscape.

The not-so-big five

Scouting out the 'Big Five' on the African savannah is the big dream of many. They include leopard, lion, elephant, rhino and African buffalo and is a group of large, majestic and fairly dangerous animals. Here in the Arctic part of Sweden, we don't have animals the size of an elephant or with the speed of a leopard, but we have a fair few animals that are pretty cool in their own way. Below we have listed five animals that are both unique and fascinating, definitely worth putting on a list of must-see animals.

The midnight light

If it's your first time visiting Swedish Lapland during the summer, you'll notice that it never gets dark. You have entered the world of the midnight sun, and if you're not used to it, it's an extraordinary experience. But beware, it might affect your sleep quality.

The forest is yours

Is it really true that anyone can walk around the forests and beaches of Swedish Lapland? Pick berries and pitch a tent anywhere? Yup, that's exactly what it's like in the democratic forest.

Outdoor fika

That Swedes have their fika (coffee and a snack), and that they drink lots of coffee, are well-known facts. But what's the thing about having it outdoors? What's the deal with coffee boiled over an open fire?

A road trip for the hungry

A road trip is simply a way of discovering things you've never seen before. If you give yourself the chance, you might also come across flavours you've never experienced before.

The chef and
the reindeer herder

Mathias Dahlgren won the world chef championship, Bocuse d'Or, already back in 1997, and today, he's one of Sweden’s most famous chefs. His previous restaurant Matsalen, at Grand Hôtel in Stockholm, was named one of the 25 best restaurants in the world. These days Mathias and his chefs also do catering. And sometimes they come to Swedish Lapland.

The taste of
Swedish Lapland

When you visit Swedish Lapland, you will notice that our food culture is closely intertwined with our lifestyle. There is a strong tradition that testifies to how we have lived from what nature has generously provided us with for many millennia. Join us on a guided tour of our natural resources, taking the shortest possible route to the plate.

The way we eat

When in Swedish Lapland, exploring the nature of the Arctic, chasing the northern lights or just soaking up the sun 24/7, make sure you don’t miss out on the food. Some of the food we eat might sound a bit strange, but we highly recommend you try and get a taste of Swedish Lapland.

The hiking guide

Hiking can be an amazing experience, but it can also turn into a real challenge. Spending time in the mountains means you have to be able to rely on yourself, your knowledge and your choices. We've put together some good advice below to make sure you have an amazing – and safe – mountain experience.


Snow is something more than frozen water to the Sámi people. It's a way of expressing the foundation of their existence – the migration of the reindeer. To a skier, snow is also more than snow. It's the way you experience life.

The eight seasons

In Swedish Lapland, nature plays an intrinsic role in our life and work, and the people here are highly sensitive to the small details of the changing seasons. Therefore, it seems only natural that the Sámi people describe eight seasons instead of four.


It is December and the landscape is covered in a white blanket; trees are heavy with snow and the roads are white. The dense mid-winter darkness creates a blue light during a few hours, and windows are lit up by advent stars and candlesticks. Christmas is here.