Swedish Lapland's Guide to


On a warm Friday evening in summer, you get off the Inland Railway in the mining town Gällivare. Dundret, the mountain in town, still looks inviting in the lingering sunlight. You’ve given yourself 36 hours to do something exciting in a place you’ve never visited before. The only thing you’ve done in preparation is booked accommodation. But what are you doing in Gällivare, now that you’re here?

Evening: The Inland Railway stops at the beautiful railway station, a classic wooden building in Gällivare. Right across the road from the railway station is the Grand Hotel Lapland, and a bit further up the road, in the residential area, is Gällivare Bed & Breakfast. A few blocks into town, across the road from the ice and event arena Isborgen, there’s Scandic Hotel. You’ve booked accommodation and a late dinner at Grand Hotel this evening. You check in and then enjoy a dinner in peace and quiet.

Then, before turning in for the evening, you take a walk through town.

Across the railway line and the Vassara River, past the very peculiar castle Fjällnäs slott. Then back past the open-air museum where there’s an ancient windmill preserved – as if you don’t have enough Don Quixote projects already – before you pass Kunskapshuset, a building with award-winning and exciting architecture, and then your bed calls.

Morning: You allow yourself to sleep in, resisting temptations such as the hotel gym and a morning walk, and head straight to the huge hotel breakfast.

You’re allowed to bring a bike on the Inland Railway, and this is when your gravel bike will come in handy. At reception you buy a sandwich and something to drink to go before you leave. The path to the top of Dundret, if you choose the so-called ‘femman-vägen’, is amazingly steep. If you want to visit the top of the mountain without going up a Strava section, there’s a chairlift that runs several days a week for hikers, trail runners and lovers of life. On the way back to Gällivare you pass the district Repisvaara, a part of Gällivare that’s completely new, built because of the urban relocation that Gällivare Malmberget is undergoing as the mine underneath the mining community is expanding.

Here there’s also an entrance to the Dundret facility and the stadium Hellnerstadion. The stadium is named after cross-country skier and entrepreneur Marcus Hellner, one of many successful Swedish cross-country skiers growing up along these tracks.

About Gällivare

Gällivare is a small Arctic town 100 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. The winter season begins as early as November and lasts as long as until May. Winter in Gällivare is long and glorious, with great opportunities to see the northern lights. In the summer, the midnight sun invites to adventures day and night for a whole month.

Gällivare has one foot in the mountain world and the other one in the countryside. In Gällivare you’ll find the World Heritage Site Laponia, which includes national parks Sarek, Padjelanta, Stora Sjöfallet and Muddus, as well as parts of Sjaunja and Stubba nature reserves.

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

Curious about living in Gällivare?

Check out gallivare.se

Gällivare is home to the micro-brewery Black Nails Brewery...
...who also run the restaurant Fat Tony's.

Afternoon: In town you find lunch at the sushi bar Wasabi. After that, you pack up your bike and decide to take it easy. If you weren’t on a bike you could have hiked the Navvy Road, taken a mining tour or just strolled around town. Near Gällivare there are adventure camps such as Aurora Lake Lapland in Tjautjas, Aurora Hut on Dundret and Skogshotell in Koskullskulle, where you can take a digital detox among other things.

But this afternoon you opt for another kind of well-being at the hotel spa with a roof terrace and a pool. Then you get changed and head out on the streets. A double espresso at Alla Tiders Café – despite its name this is more a place to finish the evening, with live music and late orders – will restore your caffeine levels. A quick google later, you see that there’s another sushi restaurant, Menu, across the road. Nearby there’s the micro-brewery Black Nails Brewery, which also runs the restaurant Fat Tony’s. You walk over there.

Laponia, 1920 1080, håkan, naturum
Naturum Laponia Visitor Centre is the portal to four national parks, two nature reserves and nine Sámi communities. You can learn more about all this, but above all, information about you how you can explore the 9,400 km2 World Heritage Area on your own.

Evening: A cold Dry Rabbit from Black Nails sound like a nice start to the evening, and it turns out to be true. Black Nails Brewery is truly small scale, and of course it would have been fun to try a stout made using coarse-ground coffee from Lemmelkaffe, but they’ve run out this evening. The beer is served in small glasses (runners) so you can try several different options. You have a burger, ‘Texas Vacay’, for starter, then a pizza, ‘Skeletor’, for dinner.

When you leave Fat Tony’s someone has turned up the lights at Alla Tiders Café, but you resist the temptation – you have an early train in the morning. Once you’re back at Grand Lapland you can’t resist a last order on the sun terrace, though. After all, there’s the midnight light to enjoy here above the Arctic Circle.

Packing up: After an early breakfast, you get back on the train. If you were to come back, or had stayed a bit longer, a trip to World Heritage Laponia, to Naturum at Stora Sjöfallet – designed by architect Gert Wingårdh – would have been in order. There are also nice places to stay at STF Saltoluokta and Stora Sjöfallet Mountain Lodge. When the train leaves Dundret behind you’ve got time to think that in winter the tracks and slopes on Dundret would work wonders for your ambitions as a skier. Besides, they say the tacos at Taps& Dundret are exceedingly tasty.

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  • Mentions



Laponia is unique in so many ways. A place of universal worth both in terms of its culture and of its nature. Looking back at its history, this Sámi World Heritage holds a story for all eight seasons of the future.

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.

Gourmet hiking

Fried Arctic char and boiled potatoes, in all their simplicity. It has been a long time since I ate so well and such uncomplicated food. Yet, the delicious taste is also associated with a very simple truth: Hunger is the best spice.

From joik to Airijoki

Telling a great story has always been important. In fact, some claim that homo sapiens thrived as species due to their skills in gossiping. From jojk to Airijoki, from stories to songs, this place is known for a good vibe.

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.


Our home, Swedish Lapland, has been formed by the Ice Age, the seasons and the reindeer. And we, too, have lived our lives in the shadow of the forces of nature.

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.

Coffee made by lemmings

Markus and Rolf were given the mission to bless the world with dark-roast, coarsely ground coffee. Surely, you’ve heard the story about the northern lemmings bringing coffee beans home from Africa, floating home with the Gulf Stream to roast the beans with their body heat, in the Swedish mountains? No? Well, here it is.

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.

Out of reception

Places still exist where there's no point asking for the password for the wifi. Places where you leave your mobile behind to spend some quality time with others – or perhaps with yourself. The Sámi eco-lodge Geunja and the camp in Tjuonajokk are two of Swedish Lapland's finest places.

Anything but wilderness

On a headland called Viedásnjárgga in Stora Sjöfallet National Park lies Naturum Laponia. It's a place that tells a story of mountains on the other side of the lake and how reindeer find their way here year after year. It tells part of the story why this place was awarded the title World Heritage.

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.

Swim, bike, run

Competitors from all around the world gather under the midnight sun to participate in the world's most northernmost triathlon with ironman distances; Laponia Triathlon 67N°.

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 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.

An unbeatable

Small-scale, hosting and proximity to nature. Curiosity, knowledge and learning. During her visit to Geunja the Sámi Eco Lodge in the mountain landscape surrounding Ammarnäs, Maria lived in complete harmony with nature. Something happened there, and an inner journey commenced.

The King of all trails

The King's Trail runs through Sweden's most beautiful mountain scenery and provides more than 400 kilometres' worth of hiking adventure for the first-time hiker as well as the truly experienced mountain veteran. It is one of the world's most famous hiking trails, and the stage between Abisko and Nikkaluokta is the most-travelled trail in all of Sweden.

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 higher land

The Sámi call it Badjelánnda – the higher land. It's Sweden’s largest national park, right next to the Norwegian border and a part of World Heritage Laponia. A favourite location for those who want to be on their own for a bit. It's the beginning of autumn when Håkan Stenlund sets his sights on Consul Persson's cabin. A lonesome trek back.

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.

Panoramic view over Rapadalen from summit of Skierfe, Sarek National Park, Lapland, Sweden.

The national parks

National parks are areas featuring a certain type of landscape, protected to preserve their natural condition. It's about creating opportunities to experience nature. Swedish Lapland has the most, the oldest and the largest national parks in Sweden.

Hit the slopes

Being outdoors is a natural part of the arctic lifestyle, and during winter – skiing is the way to go. Pro or beginner, Swedish Lapland offers it all. You just need to find your flavour among our resorts. Here is our top five for downhill skiing like a champ!


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.

To the top of Nieras

The road to Ritsem through World Heritage Laponia is probably one of the most beautiful roads in Sweden. It is also an easy way to get straight to a high-mountain environment with fantastic opportunities for ski touring. The mountain Nieras at Stora Sjöfallet is an amazing and easily accessible ski touring gem.

The travels of a Solar Egg

The sauna Solar Egg was created by Riksbyggen together with artist duo Bigert & Bergström and installed in Kiruna. Since then, the sauna has become a global success and taken on a tour around the world.

The master’s

Kristoffer Turdell from Gällivare is a champion of Freeride World Tour, the World Championship of Extreme skiing. His scene may be all the mountains in the world, but there's still one particular run on his mind. Down Duolbagorni in Swedish Lapland.

The mountain flora

Are you curious about what kind of plants that grow in the harsh mountain climate? Ever wondered what that cute, white flower is called that you passed several times on your hike? Göran Wallin gives you a quick guide to the flora of the Swedish Lapland mountains.

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.

Skating under the northern lights

The Dutch filmmaker Marco Lubbers had a dream: To go speedskating under the northern lights. And he also wanted to make a film about it. For that, he travelled to Swedish Lapland.

Trail running the King’s trail

The most common way to experience King’s Trail (Kungsleden) is walking or skiing in a comfortable pace. But there are other ways – come along on an up-tempo journey through the scenic mountains of Swedish Lapland when Krissy, Luke and Fredrik takes on the challenge of spending a week running along this famous trail.