Serving as the capital of Norrbotten County, Luleå is a charming coastal city in Swedish Lapland, around 100 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle. It’s home to an important steel industry and a large shipping harbour, as well as one of Sweden’s three tech universities.
Things to do in Luleå
In the heart of Luleå is the Norrbottens Museum, which details the 10,000-year history and multiculturalism of Norrbotten County. A highlight is the Sami section where old photographs and antique tools are on display, together with dioramas illustrating the Sami’s reindeer-herding lifestyle. If you’re travelling with kids, they’ll love the 19th-century-inspired playrooms and the nomad tent.
Just north of Luleå lies the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Gammelstad Church Town, a beautifully preserved example of a townscape that was once found throughout northern Scandinavia. It centres around the 15th-century Nederluleå Church, which is decorated with medieval frescoes and is surrounded by more than 400 wooden houses that were once used to accommodate worshippers from the surrounding countryside.
Luleå lies where the Lule River flows into Bothnia Bay, which is scattered with more than 1,000 islands that are ringed by beautiful beaches and provide a habitat for playful seals. Don’t miss a visit to Junkön to admire the Larsgrundet lighthouse or learn about life on the island at the traditionally styled Junkön Fishing Village.
Getting around Luleå
Luleå Airport is a 10-minute drive from the city centre and has seasonal flights to destinations across Europe. Intercity trains travel to and from Narvik and also head south to Stockholm and Gothenburg. Buses are the main means of getting around Luleå while the city centre is compact enough to explore on foot.