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" I love having everything in Råsunda: nature, suburban houses, large residential areas, and commercial areas. "
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" I love connecting people. "
" I'm a sun and light junkie "
" Sprinkle life with extra everything "
" Don't give in to your fears. If you do, you won't be able to talk to your heart. "
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" Watching Stockholm slowly wake up is a marvelous way to start your day. "
" Being able to easily get around Stockholm and enjoying the wonderful surroundings is just magic "
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" I love Stockholm's open spaces and all its urban nature. "
" The best thing about Stockholm nightlife is its mix of different people and styles of music. "
" I love collaborating on new ideas in a city that embraces innovation. "
" I'd rather stand on a stage than sit in front of it "
" Art is a human right. "
" I'm a friend of the night. "
" As a lover of coffee I'm in the right place. "
" Stockholm is at the heart of innovation and progress. Dive in and absorb it! "
" I get to enjoy a lot more time with my daughter than I would have been able to elsewhere. "
" Stockholm offers great work-life balance "
" I'm forever the student "
" Stockholm is a great place to be your own boss. "
" Stepping out of your comfort zone to make contacts, professionally and privately is the key to enjoying life in this incredible city. "
" It never takes long to find a lake or forest "
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" Embrace Stockholm's nature and fika. "
" Thirst for knowledge "
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20 things I wish I’d known before moving to Stockholm
Samantha Govender, a Stockholmer originally from South Africa, shares 20 things she wished she’d known before moving to Stockholm nearly nine years ago.
Have an eventful stay
Stockholm is bursting at the seams with great events. New concerts, exhibitions, festivals, shows, and guided tours every day mean that there's always something to explore.
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A diversity in great cuisine
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Sweden - known for the beautiful archipelagos
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Sweden Travel Guide
Sweden is a fascinating country with a unique nature, history and culture.
North of the Arctic Circle you find some of the most beautiful national parks, and here the Midnight Sun shines in summer, and the Northern Lights light up the night sky in the wintertime.
Stockholm , Sweden's trendsetting capital, is a beautiful mix of intact medieval architecture and elegant modern design. It is built on 14 islands, linked by bridges and ferries, so there is always water in view.
Short facts about Sweden
Sweden is a long, narrow country and the countryside in Sweden varies from rocky beaches to lush forests, beautiful lakes and idyllic farmlands with little red cottages. Sweden has achieved an excellent standard of living like the other Nordic countries. They have a mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits, and the labour force is highly skilled.
Resources like timber, hydropower, and iron are constitutes, and the economy is oriented towards foreign trade. Most of the companies are privately owned and many with a focus on engineering and communication technology. Sweden is a member of the Schengen agreement.
The people in Sweden
Swedes are formal people and, at all times, serious-minded. On many occasions, Sweden has been the conscience of the world. Swedes are proud of their country, its lakes and forest and natural beauty. A characteristic is "svårmod", melancholia which perhaps derives from the long, dark winters. This characteristic can maybe also explains the Swedish enthusiasm for parties ex. Walpurgis Night the eve of 1 May, and they love to dance and sing - no surprise that the popular music group ABBA is from Sweden.
The Sami people living in the north of Sweden are fun-loving people. The Sami's life approach to life is rational, a system based on generations of experience on a rugged, unforgiving landscape.
The Nobel Prize ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo
Every December, the prestigious Nobel Prize is presented at ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo. In Konserthuset in Stockholm, the award ceremony takes place, and there is a prize in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine and literature. Since 1969 Bank of Sweden has given an award for economic sciences. In Oslo, The Nobel Peace Prize is presented on the same day.
Alfred Nobel (1833-96) was a chemist and inventor, and he left a fortune, which is why it each year is possible to give many millions each year to the winners.
Allemansrätten - Right of Public Access
One of the unique joys of living in Sweden is allemansrätten, or the Right of Public Access. It is an unwritten right of access that permits the Swedes to hunt and fish and walk and camp for one night anywhere, provided they do no damage, do not fell live trees, or allow fires to get out of control. Over time these absolute rights have been restricted to accept the need for regulation in a civilised society. Hunting is regulated; fishing requires permits except on the coast and in the largest lakes. Camping is not allowed on obviously private land.
But the general rule is that visitors are allowed to walk across lands at a reasonable distance from houses, yards, gardens and fenced-in areas. With this right comes the responsibility to tread carefully and show consideration for landowners and others.
Famous brands from Sweden
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Climate in Sweden
The climate in Sweden is milder than you might expect because of the warm Gulf Stream. From March to May it is spring, and the summer runs from June to August. The seasons in Sweden is quite different depending on where you visit the country. The country is divided into three major regions: Götaland (south), Svealand (middle) and Norrland in the north.
Most people think of winter when they hear of Sweden. But because of the warm Gulf Stream, the climate here can be much milder than you might expect. Spring, summer, fall and winter each have their unique personalities. Spring runs from March/April to May, summer from June to August, fall from September to October/November and winter from November/December to March/February.
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The most unmissable places to visit in Sweden
Feb 7, 2022 • 7 min read
Stretching from the Arctic tundra of Lapland to the sandy beaches of Skåne, Europe’s fifth-largest country has something for every interest © Jens Ottoson / Shutterstock
From ABBA to IKEA, Pippi Longstocking to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo , the Nobel Prizes to Ingmar Bergman, Sweden has given so much to the world – and it's equally generous to travelers.
Stretching from the Arctic tundra of Lapland to the fertile farmlands and sandy beaches of Skåne, Europe’s fifth-largest country has something for every interest: captivating cities, picturesque small towns, intriguing historic sites and pristine, diverse nature within easy reach, no matter where you find yourself. Here are some of Sweden’s most unmissable destinations.
Delve into history, culture and nature in Stockholm
Few cities blend history, culture and nature as well as Stockholm . Founded around 1252, Sweden’s capital straddles 14 islands where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea. With scenic views galore, distinct neighborhoods and abundant green space, it’s a wonderful place to simply wander.
Explore the winding cobblestone streets of Gamla Stan , stroll along the waterfront boulevard Strandvägen, take a boat trip into the stunning archipelago or stop for a coffee and pastry at one of the city’s many cafés. For more focused sightseeing, Stockholm has endless attractions to keep you busy, from City Hall and the Royal Palace to top-notch museums such as Skansen , Fotografiska and Vasamuseet .
Chic bars, stunning parks and ABBA: Stockholm's neighborhoods have it all
Get to know laidback Gothenburg
Sweden’s second city in terms of size, Göteborg , as it's known locally, has a laidback west-coast vibe that sets it apart. Streetcars rattle past 17th-century canals, lively squares and the broad boulevard Kungsportsavenyn, lined with pubs and restaurants.
Along with verdant parks, diverse walking neighborhoods and great shopping and dining, Göteborg has an excellent city history museum and an art museum with an outstanding collection of paintings by Nordic artists. Ship lovers won’t want to miss Maritiman , where you can climb aboard vessels including a historic lightship, a submarine and a destroyer.
Soak up the coastal scenery in Bohuslän
Sandwiched between Göteborg and the Norwegian border, Bohuslän is an enticing mix of gorgeous coastal scenery, idyllic small towns and fascinating history.
Explore the impressive 17th-century Carlsten Fortress atop Marstrand island, ponder the mysteries of hundreds of ancient petroglyphs near Tanum, kayak the fjords around the region’s many islands, hike a coastal trail or just relax and soak up the natural beauty and lively summer atmosphere in picturesque waterfront communities, such as Smögen, Fjällbacka and Grebbestad.
Take in traditional arts and handicrafts in Dalarna
Few places have shaped Sweden's international image as much as Dalarna , a region rich in cultural history and tradition. The area around Lake Siljan is a center for folk music, dance and handicrafts, including iconic wooden Dala horses, which you can see being carved and painted by hand at factories in Nusnäs .
In Falun, Sweden’s most important copper mine, which closed in 1992 after operating for a thousand years, is now a fascinating tourist attraction with underground tours. Other highlights include the homes of artists Carl Larsson and Anders Zorn and composer Hugo Alfvén .
Get spiritual in Uppsala
Uppsala has been an important center for learning, religion, culture and power for at least 1500 years. At Gamla Uppsala , north of the city center, three large royal burial mounds attest to the site's importance in the 6th century, and its adjacent museum has fascinating exhibits about the area’s history.
In modern Uppsala, stroll along the river Fyrisån, and wander through the parks, squares and cobbled streets around the oldest university and the largest cathedral in the Nordic countries, both dating from the 15th century. Plant lovers won’t want to miss the university’s Linnaean Gardens of Uppsala , comprising a botanical garden, an orangery and a tropical greenhouse , among other attractions.
Tailor a trip to practically any interest in Lapland
Sweden’s far north, Lapland is a huge area, so where to go depends on your particular interests. Looking for majestic alpine scenery and wilderness hiking? The region has both in spades, including several national parks and one of the world’s great long-distance trails, Kungsleden .
Hoping to see the Northern Lights? Abisko National Park is particularly renowned for ideal aurora conditions, though you’ll have excellent chances all over northern Sweden in autumn and winter.
Want an unusual hotel experience? Head to the Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi or Treehotel in Harads. Want to learn about Scandinavia’s indigenous people? Jokkmokk is something of a Sámi capital, with an interesting cultural museum, Ájtte , and a vibrant annual winter market .
Hike to great heights in Höga Kusten
Between Härnösand and Örnsköldsvik, the High Coast has been rising steadily since the end of the last Ice Age, elevating the ancient shoreline as much as 286m (938ft) above the present-day coast. Hiking trails, a chairlift and a via ferrata lead to the top of Skuleberget, which has panoramic views.
Head to Skuleskogen National Park for more hiking trails showcasing the region’s fascinating geology, or explore the lovely islands just offshore, including Ulvön and Trysunda. Further south the E4 highway crosses Sweden’s longest suspension bridge; an overlook at the north end provides views of the impressive structure.
See a different side of Swedish history in Skåne
Previously a Danish county, Skåne only became a permanent part of Sweden in 1658, and the region’s unique history is evident in its distinct dialect and in the half-timbered houses of its medieval cities and towns, such as Lund and Ystad. Malmö , Sweden’s third-largest city, is an eclectic blend of history, culture and cutting-edge architecture, including the iconic Turning Torso .
Skåne also has tremendous natural beauty, from the white-sand beaches of Österlen and the jagged coastline of Kullaberg to deep forests and golden agricultural landscapes with vast skies, and its many splendid castles and palaces include Sofiero , known for its beautiful gardens.
Sweden's most beautiful beaches: from sunbathing near the Arctic Circle to lakeside lounging
Go back in time in Kalmar and shop for glass in Glasriket
An important town during the Middle Ages, Kalmar has one of Sweden’s finest Renaissance castles , as well as a county museum with thousands of astonishingly well-preserved artifacts recovered from the royal ship Kronan, sunk nearby in a 1676 battle.
To the west is Glasriket , a forested region known as the Kingdom of Crystal, that's home to more than a dozen diverse glassworks, where you can watch artisans work, shop at company stores and perhaps even try your own hand at glassblowing. The most renowned, Kosta Boda , dates from 1742.
Next door, the Kosta Boda Art Hotel has gorgeous art glass everywhere, including a stunning blue-glass bar. For a completely different style, head to Malerås , which produces unique painted and engraved art glass.
Have a medieval adventure in Gotland
A hotly contested hub of Baltic trade for centuries, Sweden’s largest island is dotted with sheep farms, fishing villages, ancient ruins, medieval churches and sea stacks ( raukar ) carved by the elements into fantastical shapes. Charming Visby , the largest town, has one of Scandinavia’s best-preserved medieval cores, a largely intact city wall and an excellent museum tracing the island’s history.
A short free ferry ride from Gotland’s northeastern tip lies stunning, windswept Fårö, beloved by director Ingmar Bergman . Off Gotland’s west coast, the island of Stora Karlsö is famous for its huge seabird colonies.
Get outside in Öland
Just a bridge away from Kalmar, the long, narrow island of Öland is a world apart in terms of landscape and nature. Southern Öland has starkly beautiful scenery, with stone walls, wildflowers, windmills and rocky pastures. In the north lie Böda Sand, a spectacular, hugely popular beach, and Trollskogen , a magical forest with pine trees twisted by the elements into fantastical shapes.
Two scenic lighthouses, Långe Erik and Långe Jan , punctuate the island’s northern and southern tips respectively. Other highlights include the impressive ruins of 17th-century Borgholms Castle and the lush park at Solliden Palace , the royal family’s summer home. Öland is also one of Sweden’s top birdwatching destinations, with several nature reserves that attract both resident and migratory species.
You might also like: The most unmissable experiences in stunning Stockholm When is the best time to visit Stockholm? The best things you can do for free (and nearly free) in Stockholm
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THE 10 BEST Sweden Visitor Centers
Visitor centers in sweden.
- Visitor Centers
- Conference & Convention Centers
- Airport Lounges
- Good for a Rainy Day
- Good for Kids
- Good for Big Groups
- Good for Couples
- Honeymoon spot
- Good for Adrenaline Seekers
- Hidden Gems
- Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.
1. Naturum Kullaberg
2. Naturum Dalarna
3. Gotlands Turistbyra
4. Naturum Laponia
5. Nora Turistbyrå
6. Ystad Visitor Center
7. Visit Hjo - Tourist Information
8. Trelleborg Turistcenter
9. Vimmerby Turistbyrå
10. Lapland Vuollerim Welcomes You
11. Vilhelmina Turistbya
12. Stockholm Info
13. Falkenberg Turistinformation
14. Gothenburg Tourist Information Centre
15. Morokulien Infocenter
16. Köpings Turistbyrå
17. Trosa Tourist Center
18. Tourist information office
19. Tranas Turistbyra
20. Simrishamns Turistcenter
21. Visit Trollhättan Vänersborg - Vänersborg Tourist Center
22. Västerviks Turistbyrå
23. Kiruna in Swedish Lapland
24. Smygehuks Turistinformation
25. Nykoping Tourist Center
26. Amals Turistbyra
27. Uddevalla Tourist Center
28. Sala Tourist Information
29. Skovde Tourist Center
30. Visit Torsby
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Home » Travel Guides » Sweden » 15 Best Things to Do in Karlstad (Sweden)
15 Best Things to Do in Karlstad (Sweden)
On the north shore of Europe’s largest freshwater lake, the city of Karlstad promises a feast for culture lovers. Some giants of Swedish art and literature have ties with Karlstad, like the painter Lars Lerin or 19th-century poet Gustaf Fröding. Go a bit further and you’ll be at Mårbacka, the childhood home of Selma Lagerlöf who was the first female Nobel Prize-winner for literature.
In the city you can explore the banks of the Klarälven and canal that links the river with Lake Vänern. There are beautiful parks like Mariebergsskogen, with fun for kids in summer and ice-skating in winter, and a line-up of museums to capture your attention for a few hours. And of course Vänern is your go-to for boat trips, bathing, fishing and exercise in breathtaking scenery around the shore.
Let’s explore the best things to do in Karlstad :
1. Sandgrund Lars Lerin
Sandsgrund, an iconic former nightspot beside the Klarälven now houses a gallery for one of Sweden’s most treasured artists.
Lars Lerin is a celebrity in Sweden, and is famed for his phenomenal watercolour landscapes, which are the star of the show here.
He has also made a name for being a restless traveller and there are watercolours, oil paintings, drawing, collages, and photographs composed in far off locations the world, from Siberia to Iran and the Antarctic.
The museum is a retrospective of Lerin’s career and has the single largest collection of his works.
2. Värmlands Museum
As the county capital, Karlstad is home to the Värmlands Musuem, which uncovers the history and culture of this corner of Sweden.
The museum has a reserve of more than 40,000 artefacts, as well as 9,000 artworks and up to a million photographs.
At the time of writing in 2017 the historical galleries were temporarily closed.
But at any rate the Cyrillushuset is the indispensible bit.
This hall from the 1920s was designed like a Chinese temple, and boasts the museum’s considerable art collection.
There are pieces by Chagall and Miró among works by Swedish artists like Lerin, Anders Zorn and Lena Cronkvist, dating from the 1700s to the present.
The museum also stages temporary shows on any number of topics: In 2017 the main exhibition was about the children’s authors Inge and Lasse Sanberg.
3. Karlstad Cathedral
Dating to 1730, Karlstad Cathedral is the seat of the Karlstad Diocese, which spreads across both Värmland and Dalsland.
The 65-metre whitewashed tower and its black spire are ever-present on the Karlstad skyline and like the facade the interior walls are completely white.
This stems from Enlightenment ideals that the church should be an expression of reason, morality and eternity.
Some of the fittings worth a closer look are the pair of angels at the old altar, carved by the respected Neoclassical sculptor Johan Tobias Sergel, oil paintings from the 18th century and the gilded pulpit from the 1790s.
4. Alsters Herrgård
A little way east of the city you can stop by the graceful lakeside home of the 19th-century poet Gustaf Fröding.
This mansion was an ancestral home, built in the 18th century, and Fröding was born here in 1860. You can tour the house and the outbuildings dotted around the extensive gardens that look out over Lake Vänern.
Inside there’s an exhibition about the long history of the house, while an art gallery in the east wing is open in the summer months.
Also in this season there’s a rich cultural programme of poetry readings, theatre, music and dance.
And from the property you’ll have easy access to hiking trails and bathing areas on the lake.
Opened in 2013, this museum tells the engrossing story of Sweden’s military organisation and development during the Cold War.
The exhibition delves into the period from 1945 to 1991, revealing the military hardware that was rolled out at this time, but also showing everyday life during momentous events like the Vietnam War and fall of the Berlin Wall.
Military historians can glimpse some proper hardware, like personnel carriers, tanks and artillery.
You can also go down in to a bomb shelter and test your aim on a shooting simulator, firing a machine gun from 1942 or a modern anti-tank gun.
On an inlet of Lake Vänern, south of the centre of Karlstad is a park that is several attractions rolled into one.
What awaits you here depends on the season.
Summer means music and children’s entertainment at the open-air stage, miniature train rides on the Conrad Höök, a themed “Troll Walk”, swimming in the lake, mini golf and more.
When the days get shorter the park becomes a winter wonderland, and an ice rink is open throughout the winter.
The lake also freezes over so people hit Mariebergsskogen for longer skating trips around this inlet.
Open all year is the Lillskogen zoo, which has ponies, potbelly pigs, goats and rabbits, which all move into cosy stables in winter.
7. Östra Bron
“East Bridge” in English, this crossing on the Klarälven is one of Karlstad’s most photographed landmarks.
At 168 metres and with 12 arches it is Sweden’s longest stone-built bridge, and replaced a succession of wooden crossings that were routinely washed away during the city’s spring floods.
The first stone was laid in 1761 and it would take another 50 years before the bridge was finished.
For the best perspective, come to the north bank of the Klarälven where you can get a shot of the bridge, the river island Gubbenholm and Karlstan Cathedral in one image.
For all of Karlstad’s waterside-side greenery, the prettiest place for a picnic in spring and summer is the Stadsträdgården.
This English-style park has a circuit of gravel paths bordered by flowerbeds and some 800 different species of trees and shrubs, all well-tended and identified by labels.
The Stadsträdgården started life as horticultural school in the 1860s, and was acquired by the city in the 1920s.
In summer there’s a adorable cafe/kiosk in a little wooden pavilion on one of the lawns.
9. Stora Torget
At Stora Torget, Karlstad has one of the largest city squares in Sweden.
This was laid out in 1865 following a fire that devastated the city.
And the reason for its size was to prevent the spread of future blazes.
On the western side of the square is the town hall, designed by the Stockholm architect Ernst Jacobsson when he was still in his 20s and in place of the former town hall destroyed in the fire.
Note the pair of eagles on the facade: These were cast at the Ludwigsberg foundry in Stockholm and weigh 900kg each.
In February the square is the finish line for a special stage of Rally Sweden, a WRC event.
10. Inner Harbour (Inre Hamn)
When it’s warm and sunny Karlstad’s quaysides and jetties are real joy.
You can idle along the rivers and canal where there’s outdoor seating for a host of cafes and restaurants.
This is particularly trendy just east of Stadsträdgården, a part of Karlstad that has witnessed a lot of development over the last decade or so.
Restaurants here even have their own jetties, and yachts are berthed right beside the outdoor tables.
A little further up, the banks of the Pråmkanalen are very pretty at Badhusparken where the canal joins the Klarälven River.
11. Lake Vänern
Europe’s largest lake is epic in every sense: Vänern is mentioned in Beowulf, and the Norse sagas recount a battle on the ice in the 6th century.
May to September the lake bustles with activity, and the choice of things to do goes on and on.
Boat trips are available, including a cruise on the Stella Polaris, which departs the inner harbour for 3.5-hour tour of the lake as you dine on fresh shrimp.
If you enjoy fishing you’re in for a treat here, as Lake Vänern abounds with salmon, and the largest lake salmon ever caught (20kg) was reeled in at this lake.
You can also skirt the lake on foot or by bike, and there are countless sandy bathing areas around the shore.
Monday to Friday, from the start of June to the end of September you can hire a bike in Karlstad without paying a penny.
During the day the Solocykeln scheme allows you to hire up to 20 bikes in one go for free, and all you need is photo ID. Thanks to its many waterways and a high volume of students, Karlstad is an easy and safe city to see by bike.
You can get out to the shore of Lake Vänern, coast along the Klarälven or shuttle from one sight or attraction to the next in the centre of the city.
Tandem bikes are also available if you’re sightseeing with someone who has reduced mobility.
Golf is a serene way to get out and appreciate the majesty of the Karlstad’s countryside and there are seven courses inside 30 minutes of Karlstad.
If you’re up for a round in spring, summer or autumn, many hotels in the city provide golf packages.
Midsummer is always a special time to be in Sweden, and you could spend it in the most unforgettable way possible playing golf in sunlight at midnight! For seasoned players, Kils Golfklubb is ranked in Sweden’s top ten courses and has an idyllic location on Lake Fryken.
Closer, Karlstad Golfklubb has three nine-hole courses.
Two of these combine to form an 18-hole loop that you need to book for, while at the other you can just show up and play when the mood strikes.
Another cultural trip into the Värmland countryside will lead you to the estate of author Selma Lagerlöf.
In 1909 she became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature and she used the money to buy back this property where she was born and grew up.
The writer of Jerusalem and Gösta Berling’s Saga turned what had been a relatively humble cottage into a rich mansion.
The house, gardens and interior are exactly as they were when she passed away, in accordance with her will.
And they shed new light on Lagerlöf, not just as an author, but as an employer and businesswoman
15. Rottneros Park
In the same neck of the woods, Rottneros Park is a fabulous sculpture park and patchwork of gardens around a manor house.
This makes a great partner for Mårbacka, as the estate was the inspiration for “Ekeby” in Lagerlöf’s Gösta Berling’s Saga.
Later, in the 1950s it was redesigned to fit the Romantic description in the novel.
The sculptures are all from the first decades of the 20th century, and adhere to the philosophy that art should interact with its environment.
There are more than 30 in all, and more than half were created by Carl Eldh, one of the most beloved sculptors of the period.
15 Best Things to Do in Karlstad (Sweden):
- Sandgrund Lars Lerin
- Värmlands Museum
- Karlstad Cathedral
- Alsters Herrgård
- Stora Torget
- Inner Harbour (Inre Hamn)
- Lake Vänern
- Rottneros Park
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Explore the beautiful Lapland region of Kiruna
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Kiruna in Swedish Lapland
Welcome to Kiruna, the beating heart of Swedish Lapland, home of the northern lights, the world-famous ICEHOTEL and the largest underground iron ore mine in the world!
Visit Kiruna is the one-stop shop for information you will need when visiting the Kiruna Lapland region. Take a look at our website where you will find information about transportation, accommodation and activities.
Kiruna is also the gateway to Abisko National Park, the world’s top rated aurora borealis destination where the Northern Lights can be seen nearly every clear night! Take a look at our sister company, Visit Abisko , to get a glimpse of all of the exciting tours and transfers on offer in the Abisko area.
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Looking for information about what accommodation there is in Kiruna? Visit our Kiruna accommodation page and find all the information you will need to make the best booking for you.