Luleå, Sweden is the center of the eponymous commune, as well as the northernmost and largest Norrbotten County (occupies 22% of the entire country). The compact port city in the fjord of the Gulf of Bothnia of the Baltic Sea captivates the hearts of tourists with its natural beauties, rich cultural heritage, unrivaled attractions and the opportunity to photograph the magical northern lights.
On a note! The territory of Sweden is divided into 21 flax (an analogue of the province) and 290 communes (communities, municipalities).
The city of Lulea is located at the mouth of the Lule Elv River, only two hundred kilometers from the Arctic Circle. Here you have every chance to make friends with representatives of the indigenous population of Swedish Lapland and explore the placer islands of the Luleå archipelago, offering a lot of interesting options for active all-weather recreation.
Good to know! The city of Lulea is called the gateway of Swedish Lapland. In winter, the water expanses surrounding it turn into ice, and locals and visitors alike go skiing and skating or dog sledding.
The first settlement in this area was laid in the 13th century, and the city status was assigned to it in 1621. After 28 years, due to the retreat of the sea, Lulea “moved” ten kilometers southeast. The population who refused to leave their homes remained in the same place. So the village of Gammelstad appeared, which exists to this day (but about it a little later).
The population of modern Lulea is more than 70 thousand people. The city has a high development of pulp and lumber production, shipbuilding and ferrous metallurgy, and the city port plays an important role in the life of Sweden and neighboring countries. In the 70s of the 20th century, a steel mill was opened in Lulea. Then the famous Technological University appeared, offering a wide range of study programs: from business and economics to energy engineering. Guests of the city at the university are invited to participate in special programs and scientific experiments.
Lulea is always happy for tourists, so there are a lot of hotels, guest houses and campsites in the city. In addition, local residents rent rooms, apartments and houses. As for the movement around the city, due to its modest size and insignificant distance between the main attractions, most visitors prefer hiking or cycling, which can be rented. The bus network in Lulea is convenient and economical, as are taxi services with comfortable cars and invariably punctual drivers.
Without exception, tourists bring a lot of photos from Lulea, because there is something to admire. There are a lot of attractions in the city – in 2-3 days you can get around them all, giving each one due attention. Stop by the Norrbottens museum, stroll along the Namnlosa gatan promenade, organize a picnic in the Storforsen nature reserve and an excursion to the Nordpoolen water park.
On a note! Connoisseurs of theatrical art are welcomed at the local theater, while music and dance lovers can plunge into Lileo’s nightlife and visit clubs or discos.
When exploring the sights of Sweden and Lulea, be sure to check out Gammelstad. This village consists of just over four hundred tiny cottages and an ancient church, an exceptional example of a miraculously preserved traditional Scandinavian compound.
Gammelstad is a “church town”. One of the many extensive parish centers that existed previously in Sweden. Parishioners from the villages located in the okrug came here, and since they had to travel long distances, they could not visit the church and return home right there. Therefore, around the temples were built houses for visitors. Gradually, church towns became venues and shopping centers. Among the most famous visitors of Gammelstad, the Swedish naturalist and medic Karl Linnae was noticed.
Industrialization almost did not touch Gammelstad, but the railway that appeared significantly facilitated the conditions of winter isolation, and the spread of cars affected the number of stables. Nevertheless, the village managed to maintain historical integrity, based on wooden houses painted with red paint, and the church, which is crowned with the coat of arms of the archbishop who opened it at the end of the 15th century.
Inside the temple is decorated with an altar depicting the story of the Passion of Christ. It was built in Antwerp around the 16th century for incredible money at that time – 900 silver marks. In 1971, an organ was installed in the church.
Walking along the streets of Gammelstad, you will see the chapel, the residence of the mayor, many souvenir shops. In the forge, you will be offered to forge a horseshoe with your own hands and purchase rare forged products, and in the store with goods from Lapland – to become the owner of items of national clothing, jewelry and goodies.
Another outstanding attraction of Luleå is the Cathedral, the main church of the most server diocese of Sweden. Towering in the center, it occupies the place where at first there was a wooden church, destroyed in 1790, and then the church of St. Gustav. The latter burned down in the fire of 1887.
Lulea domkyrka is a neo-Gothic brick building. Originally it was a church, but in the year of the creation of the diocese of Lulea (1904), it gained the status of a cathedral.
At the beginning of the last century, Gothic carvings adorning the interior of the cathedral were replaced with Art Nouveau decor due to excessive gloom. After 50 years, the architect Bertil Franklin, who led the church renovation, added elements of red and yellow colors to make the decoration more vibrant and cheerful.
Once you visit Lulea in the winter, you will change your attitude towards this time of the year, if you did not love him before. Residents of northern Sweden know how to have fun when the city bay is covered with a thick ice layer. It is simply cleaned from snow with tractors and turned into a gigantic rink, on which you can skate or sled. The skating rink in the city center is the best pastime for children and adults, where joyful laughter does not cease during the day, and in the evening you can enjoy nature, breathing in the frosty air.
Good to know! After seeing all the sights, explore the assortment of local shops and malls. From Lulea you can bring clothes and shoes, car accessories and original souvenirs, pastries and wine.
The choice of housing in the city is large and varied. Family hotels located in close proximity to the center of Lulea are in demand among tourists. A double room in a 4-star hotel will cost travelers 90-100 €. A room with similar conditions in a three-star hotel costs 70-80 €.
Good to know! Most hotels have restaurants and bars, business centers and gyms. The staff is usually multilingual.
The cost of renting apartments varies greatly depending on their location, size and level of comfort. The minimum price for a night in the summer is 100 € for two. In addition, there are campsites on the coast for travelers.
In Lulea, where there are many restaurants and cafes, bars and pizzerias, it is difficult to stay hungry. Do not deprive yourself of the pleasure of tasting national dishes of fresh fish and seafood, as well as dumplings, pork sausages and desserts with the addition of local jam. The rates are as follows:
- Dine in an inexpensive restaurant – 8 € per one;
- a three-course check in an average restaurant – 48 € for two;
- snack in fast food – 6 € per person.
All prices on the page are for July 2018.
Weather and climate
The city of Lulea is located in a subarctic zone, subject to strong marine influence, so the local weather conditions can be called the most severe in Sweden. Summer is fleeting, sunny days can be literally counted on the fingers. The warmest month is July, the average temperature is + 15 ° C, often the sky is covered with clouds, but long rains for this area are rare.
In winter, the weather in Lulea often changes. The coldest month is January, the average temperature is -12 ° C, but this indicator sometimes drops significantly. But in the city, from which only a couple of hundred kilometers to the Arctic Circle, you can admire the stunningly beautiful northern lights. It is rightfully considered one of the attractions of Lulea itself and the whole of Sweden. They say that it is best to observe this phenomenon in the vicinity of the village of Jukkasjärvi, in the commune of Kiruna of the same Lena.
How to get to Lulea
Getting to Lulea is easy, especially if you get to Stockholm first. SAS and Norwegian flights depart from here to Lulea. Please note that there are fewer flights on Saturday and Sunday. The flight from Stockholm to Lulea takes just over 60 minutes. The destination airport is five kilometers from the center. Since public transport runs regularly between the airport and the surrounding area of the city, there will be no difficulties with moving.
An alternative to flying is SJ’s night train journey. After 14 hours, you will find yourself in Lulea, Sweden will meet you with picturesque landscapes at any time of the year, clean air, the opportunity to relax from the bustle of cities and make many amazing discoveries.