Tourist’s guide to Umea, student town in northern Sweden

Umeå Sweden is a young, pleasant city, known not only for its unique sights and ferry services to a neighboring country, but also for its friendly residents. Beautiful nature, a wide selection of different types of recreation, a rich sports and cultural life – all this attracts tourists, and they return to this place again.

Sweden, Umea

General information

Umeå is a small town (33.46 sq. Km) located in the north of Sweden. Lena center Västerbotten, and in 2014 – also the cultural capital of Europe. The history of this vibrant industrial town began in the middle of the 15th century, although references to the first settlers date back to 1314. Over the long period of its existence, Umea had to endure many trials. Not only that, in 1888 it burned down almost to the ground, but managed to rise from the ashes and become one of the main cultural and historical centers of Sweden.

Umea Cultural Center

Today, about 84 thousand people live here, whose average age is about 40 years. More than 30 thousand falls on students. And this is no accident, because in addition to the usual educational institutions, the city has an evening school, in which immigrants who have arrived in the country are taught the Swedish language, as well as one of the largest universities in Sweden, on the basis of which several scientific laboratories work. It was this institution, which opened in the distant 1965, and gave a great impetus to the further development of Umea.

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Crystal clear Lake Nyudalashyon
Nyudalashyon Lake

The young population and historical sites are far from the only advantage of this town. Successful is the geographical location of Umea. If you look at the map, you can see that the main pearl of northern Sweden is located on the banks of the river. Umeelven, flowing into the famous Gulf of Bothnia. And it is almost completely surrounded by cold and crystal clear lakes – Esterfierden, Nyudalashen, Greschen and others. The shores of these reservoirs are practically dotted with birch groves, for which Umea is called the “city of birches.” If we talk about the most important highlight, it is the port from which both cruise and freight ferries depart daily to the Baltic Sea.

Attractions Umea

Umeå sights are also known outside of Sweden. Consider the most interesting and significant places in the city.

Town Hall

The city hall is one of the first buildings rebuilt after the great fire. The author of the new building, erected in the Neo-Renaissance style, was the famous architect Fredrik Olaus Lindström. In the new plan of the city, the town hall took the most honorable and, perhaps, the most prominent place. Inspired by the work of Dutch masters, Lindströmon gave all buildings a certain asymmetry. As a result, most of the towers of the town hall differ significantly not only in height but also in shape. But the facade, made of red brick, came out quite strict. To match it turned out and portals processed with light sandstone.

City Hall, Umea

By the way, many decor elements were made of cast iron and other cheap materials, which were subsequently painted with oil paints. Now the city hall is a favorite vacation of not only tourists, but also local residents.

Location: Umea Center, Sweden.

Museum of Guitars (Guitars the Museum)
Guitar Museum

An equally famous attraction of Umea is Guitars the Museum, located right in the heart of the city. The ancient building, which housed a huge collection of rare instruments, was erected in the early 20th century. At one time there was a school to them. Berzelius, a rock club, cafe and music store. In the end, the building was given to the museum, which turned into one of the most placed places of Umea. In total, Guitars the Museum houses more than five hundred exclusive electric guitars, but Gibson Flying V, Fender Broadcaster, Gibson Flying V and Les Paul became the main pride. Today there are both permanent and temporary exhibitions.

  • Address: Vasagatan 18-20, 903 29 Umea, Sweden.
  • Opening hours: Mon-Sat – 12.00-18.00, Sun – day off.
  • Admission: children – free, pensioners and students – 10 €, adults – 15 €.
Westerbottens Museum
Westerbotten Museum

The story of the city of Umea would not be complete without a description of the Västerbottens Museum, a must-see destination for excursion routes. Considered the largest historical gallery in Sweden, Westerbotten was able to fully reflect the daily life of man from time immemorial to the present day. Thanks to the unique expositions, you can learn about seal hunting, sea voyages and shipbuilding, while the exhibition of arts and crafts will allow you to get a general idea of ​​the traditions of the northern peoples.

Part of the Vasterbottens is the Gammlia, an open-air museum in which in the 20s. centuries passed the oldest buildings of Umea were brought in – mills, barns, bakeries, cowsheds, houses and even the church. Nowadays, in Gammlia, like hundreds of years ago, cattle are bred, baked bread and housework. In summer, you can see unique breeds of chickens, cows, sheep, pigs, as well as native breeds of Swedish horses. Other tourist attractions include various crafts and crafts, as well as the annual Christmas market.

  • Address: Gammlia, Helena Elisabeths Vag, Umea 903 04, Sweden.
  • Opening hours: daily from 10.00 to 17.00.
  • Admission: free.

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Museum of Modern Art (Bildmuseet)

Created in 1981 by Umeå University, it is one of Sweden’s most popular destinations. In 2017, this attraction was visited by about 100 thousand tourists! The expositions of the panopticon show Swedish and European examples of architecture, visual culture and design. There is something to see for lovers of contemporary art. A variety of drawings, photographs, paintings, sculptures, video works, graffiti and multimedia installations will definitely not leave you indifferent. There are also exhibitions dedicated to the theme of domestic and world history.

At the Museum of Modern Art, Umea

All external borders are not far behind the exhibits – the Bildmuseet facade, decorated in a noble white color, is covered with randomly scattered windows, which offer a wonderful view of the river. Ur In the fall of 2013, the Museum of Paintings became the nominee for the European Prize, and a year later it received the title of Museum of the Year. Among other things, there are master classes, meetings, shows and concerts. There is a souvenir shop on site where you can buy gifts, books and postcards.

Museum of Modern Art in Umea
  • Address: 30 B Oestra Strandgatan, Umeå 903 33, Sweden.
  • Opening hours: 11.00 – 18.00.
  • Admission: free.
Sculpture Park (Umedalen Skulptur)

Umedalen Skulptur is an amazing place located on the territory of the former city hospital. He began his work as the main attraction of Umea relatively recently – in the summer of 1994. It was then that Balticgruppen together with Galleri Andersson Sandström organized the first sculpture festival.

Sculpture park

Today, more than 40 works created by the best masters of Sweden take part in it. Among them, there are often unusual and slightly incomprehensible sculptures that cut into memory and make you think about the transience of being. Entering one of the most attractive corners of Umea, Umedalen Skulptur has repeatedly won various awards and titles. So, in 2000 it was named “The Best Art Event in Sweden”, and in 2005 – “The Best Park in the Country”.

  • Address: 34 Aktrisgraend, Umea 903 64, Sweden.
  • Admission: free.

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Umea Vaasa Ferry

The Vaasa-Umea ferry, which runs through the Gulf of Bothnia, connects two northern states – Sweden and Finland. Only 4 hours – and you can walk along the sandy beaches of Vaasa, relax in the Tropiclandia water park, swim in the warm waters of the Baltic Sea and see the sights of Finland.

Vaasa Umea Ferry

At the moment, ferry trips are organized by only one company – Wasaline, but its capacity is sufficient to satisfy the desires of all vacationers. If you look at the schedule of the Vaasa Umea ferry for 2018, you can see that the ship leaves 9 times a week. Travel time is 4 hours 30 minutes.

The ferry leaves 9 times a week

Important! The frequency and duration of the ferry trip may vary depending on the time of the year, so it is better to check the information in advance in real time. You can do this on the official Wasaline website –

As for the cost of the Umea-Vaasa ferry, it depends on several factors:

This is how the cabin on the ferry
  • Seating – 38 € (adult) and 15 € (children);
  • Cabin – 50 € per person;
  • Transportation of a car up to 6 m long – 53 €;
  • Transportation of a caravan or 1 vehicle up to 9 m long – 110 €;
  • Transportation of a vehicle up to 14 m long and weighing up to 16 t – 480 €;
  • Transportation of a vehicle up to 14 m long and weighing up to 60 tons – 680 €.

Ferry tickets can be bought both on the official website and in one of the ports.

Advice! Passengers with vehicles should arrive about an hour before the ferry leaves.

Ferries depart from ports located at:

  • Terminal in Umea – Färjeterminalen, Umeå;
  • Vaasa terminal – Skeppsredaregatan 1, Hamnterminalen, FIN-65170 Vasa.
Contact Information
Ferry bar

To book ferry tickets and clarify detailed information, call:

  • 0207 716 810 – in Finland;
  • 090185200 – in Sweden.

As you can see, Umea Sweden is a green student city where you can spend your time with pleasure. Have a good trip!

Video: welcome to Umea! Aerial view of the city.

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