6 not-to-miss things in Luleå in the winter
Ice-lined bays, Northern Lights, beautiful trails, world heritage sites, dog teams and snowmobiles – with its sure-to-snow winters it is no wonder that Luleå is a popular winter city! Pack your outdoor-trousers and an extra warm hat and read our tips on things to do in a snowy Luleå!
1. Day trip to Jopikgården
Do you want to experience the Luleå archipelago in the winter? No problem – there are several ice-roads ploughed clear every year. Pack hot drinks and food bags and go on a great day trip! The ice-roads can manage without any problem, whether you go by foot, on a fat bike or even by car! Do not miss the pearl of the archipelago: Jopikgården on Hindersön, which is a popular outing destination. Discover the island’s history and visit the mine or perhaps the Sailing Boat Museum. Afterwards you can relax and enjoy good, locally produced food and drink in the restaurant!
Here you can read more about the ice-roads that are open just now. The weight tolerance of the ice roads is always checked regularly.
2. Gammelstad kyrkstad och Friluftsmuséet Hägnan
Just outside Luleå city centre is the world heritage site Gammelstads Kyrkstad – one of Luleå’s most visited attractions! From the 17th century the town was developed into a church town when church cabins were built to offer accommodation to the far-travelling parishioners who would otherwise have difficulty getting to the church service and home again on the same day. In the centre is a beautiful medieval stone church dating from the 1400s, surrounded by 405 unique cottages and 552 rooms.
Book a guided tour at the Gammelstad Visitor Center and explore the amazing history of the city with environments and buildings listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Be sure to also visit the Hägnan open-air museum while you are in the neighbourhood! The museum organises many activities for its visitors all year round. In addition to the café and shop you can visit the slöjdsammelsurium (literally: the handicraft hotchpotch), Christmas market and fire parties during the winter!
3. Experience life aboard a real icebreaker!
Did you think there were only cruises in the Luleå archipelago in the summer? Think again! Book an exclusive guided icebreaker trip on the tugboat Viscaria and take part in the crew’s everyday life. Included in the package are of course delicacies from the Norrbotten cuisine, an “icebreaker sandwich”, hot drinks and sea-buckthorn bubbly. During the three-hour trip you can do everything from being on deck and feeling the icebreaker’s power to swimming amongst the ice floes in the bay of Bottenviken! (You can of course borrow a survival suit.)
4. Winter walk with waffles
The island of Gråsjälören is a pleasant 20 minute walk over the ice from Södra hamn. Have a look and see if the flag is hoisted in front of the cabins – then it is open for business: waffles, grilled sausages, coffee and more! It is also fine if you want to bring your own food and barbecue sausages. If your fingers and toes start to get a bit cold, you can always enter the warm shelter and warm up before it’s time to head home. If you want to stay a little closer to town, a popular option is to stroll from port to port and see Luleå from the ice. In the evening there is a nice view of the city skyline! Out here, far from the city’s light, it is also easier to see the Northern Lights. Sit down in the snow and wonder at the beautiful starry sky!
5. Book a guided snowmobile tour or go dog sledding
If you like speed, adrenaline and getting closer to nature, a guided tour on a snowmobile or by dog sled is not a bad start! Norrbotten is full of beautiful snowmobile trails that lead you into the forest or across the archipelago’s islands. Whether you want to feel the scooter’s powerful engine vibrate beneath you or watch happy huskies’ frenetic running and play in front of the sled, you’ll be guaranteed a fantastic nature-experience! Bothnia SledDog Adventures has over 20 years of experience organising tours with a dog team. Book a complete package or customise your own experience!
6. Luleå on skates and skis
With its nice winters, it’s no wonder that so many Luleå locals have such a penchant for skiing and skating! Pack your long-distance skis in the car and drive to Ormberget, a large open-air area just outside Luleå, with ski tracks suitable for everyday skiers as well as those who want tougher challenges. If downhill skiing is desired, Måttsundsbacken is a better option, with two lifts and three slopes. For those who want to cross the ice on ice skates, there is an ice rink every year from Norra Hamn around Gültzauudden to Södra Hamn and further out to the island Gråsjälören.