6 summer excursions you must go on in Luleå
Luleå might be known as a winter city, but with its stunning location on the coast of Bottenvik, every spring the city turns into a lively archipelago town with a vibrant outdoor dining scene, fantastic sights and bright nights. Here you can read more about not to miss activities!
1. Take the turbo boat to Bottenvik’s archipelago
You cannot visit Luleå in the summertime without taking a turbo boat to the beautiful bay of Bottenvik! With no fewer than 1312 islands, islets and skerries there is a lot to choose from. Sandön is a really popular and pretty archipelago island to visit. You must not miss Klubbviken Havsbad here, which has a highly-visited restaurant, a very nice beach, miniature golf and many other activities.
A repeat success every season is the shrimp cruise on the M/S Laponia. Combine the best of both worlds and enjoy exquisite culinary delights with a nice drink while Luleå’s beautiful archipelago passes gently by outside. Entertainment, singing and music are also popular features of the three-hour trip.
Visit the wonderful Klubbviken Havsbad when you travel to popular Sandön. Photo: Per Pettersson
Klubbviken-Sandön is a perfect getaway for the day. Photo: Per Pettersson
Remember to pack swimwear when you go to Klubbviken! Photo: Per Pettersson
Arrive at the port at least 15 minutes before departure. Photo: Laponia rederi
Experience Luleå’s beautiful archipelago from the dinner table. Photo: Laponia rederi
Enjoy the vast blue expanses in Bottenviken. Photo: Laponia Laponia rederi
2. Lazy days on Luleå’s beaches
Given that Luleå is at the top of the list of sunny cities year after year, it is an absolute must to bring swimwear when you visit the town! When the sun is shining, a nice, lazy day on the beach is simply the only thing to do. Bring your whole family, friends or maybe just a good book and choose from among Luleå’s many beaches. Most of the beaches can easily be reached by bus or rental car. Do you want to go bathing but need a car? No problem! In Luleå’s northern part you will find Gültzaudden, a beach within walking distance from the middle of town.
Stroll along the sand dunes on the beach. Have a dip and let the water cool your toes. Photo: Helena Holm
What is summer without fun and games on the beach here at Storsand? Photo: Helena Holm
Don’t forget your Frisbee or racket! Likskär beach. Photo: Helena Holm
Lovely, long days at Tjuvholmsundet! Photo: Helena Holm
With so many hours of sunshine, a dip or two is called for at Niporna beach. Photo: Helena Holm
3. Rent a fatbike, kayak or have a go on a paddleboard!
Don’t let swamps, sand or stones be a hindrance – with a fat bike you can get across most terrain without any problem! With its extra wide tires this bike model has taken Luleå by storm. Luleå’s stunning archipelago is ideal for kayaking and paddleboarding. So, head to Ouroboros to rent fatbikes, kayaks and paddleboards. And if you like, you can even book a guided tour here!
With their chunky wheels, fatbikes are the perfect way to explore Luleå, regardless of the terrain! Photograph: Peter Rydström
Explore the archipelago and enjoy the wonderful waters and stunning views! Photograph: Graeme Richardson
Test your balance on a paddleboard! Photograph: Harald Born
4. Gammelstad Kyrkstad and the Hägnan open-air museum
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 summer there is an open-air area with everything from a variety of hikes for children to Midsummer celebrations. The museum’s farmhouse is also filled with many different animals that are always popular with the children. Perfect for a day trip!
Stroll around the world heritage of Gammelstad Kyrkstad. Why not book a guided tour? Photo: Susanne Lindholm
The church in Gammelstad Kyrkstad dates from the 1400s. Photo: Susanne Lindholm
The Hägnan open-air museum offers a traditional Midsummer celebration! Photo: Susanne Lindholm
Pack a picnic basket and spend the day outside the city at Hägnan’s open-air area. Photo: Susanne Lindholm
At the Hägnan open-air museum there is a farmhouse with many different animals. Popular with the kids! Photo: Susanne Lindholm
5. Come closer to nature in Bälingeberg Nature Reserve
If you don’t want to leave Luleå without getting into the woods, Bälingeberg’s nature reserve is really ideal for those who want easy but worthwhile hiking. It’s also a well-known and used destination for the Luleå locals. There are plenty of nice resting places along the hiking trails and it is even possible to cook at a few specific spots. From the top of the mountain you have a nice view of both Bälingeträsk and Luleälven. Enjoy unspoilt nature and tranquillity, only approx. 2 miles outside the centre of Luleå.
The Bälingeberg Nature Reserve offers easy hiking and is a popular excursion destination for Luleå locals! Photo: Helena Holm
6. Awaken your inner racer
Even Luleå’s promise of sun is sometimes affected by some summer rain and cloudy weather. So when the weather does not allow outdoor activities, the Alcatraz Event Center is the perfect alternative! Here you can challenge your family, friends or colleagues at paintballing, arcade games, bowling, laser games, boules, billiards and much more! Why not go all in and have a friendly Swedish tri- or pentathlon match? There are also concert venues and recurring events and concerts. Alcatraz is about 4-5 km outside the city centre and you can get here by foot, by bike, by car or by bus.
Challenge your family and friends on go-karts! Photo: Daniel Holmgren
Alcatraz has a wide range of activities. If you have difficulty choosing games you can always go for fun family tri- or pentathlon matches! Photo: Daniel Holmgren
Laser vest and gun at the ready and into the maze you go! Photo: Daniel Holmgren
Visiting Luleå? Book your hotel here!
More tips about what to do in Luleå:
Winter activities and attractions in Luleå
Visit Luleå’s best restaurants and bars