Martin Smedsén ©


Nestled in the Arctic north, Kiruna is not only the most northerly city in Sweden, but is the jump off point for the world renowned, and original, Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi.

145 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, Kiruna is perfectly situated for a Sweden Northern Lights holiday and serves as a popular hub for aurora spotters.

On an industrial level, the region is rich in Iron ore deposits which are mined in the area and exported across Europe.

The area within which the city sits has a long history with the indigenous Sami people which dates back more than 6,000 years.

The Basics

Location: 67°51′N 020°13′E
Population: 18,148
Area: 16.5 km2
Time Zone: UTC +1 (+2 in the summer)

Getting There

Getting to Kiruna couldn’t be easier with the region’s main airport and regular flights. If you can’t get one direst then there are plenty of connections through Stockholm.


Kiruna has a Sub-Arctic climate with short, cool summers and long, cold winters. Although the city is slightly warmer than the surrounding wilderness, snow can cover the region from late September to May.

February is usually the coldest month with an average −17.4°C whilst July in the summer hits 12°C.


Kiruna is 530 m above sea level, with the Torne River to the north and the Kalix River to the south. The city is near lake Luossajärvi that flows in the Torne river.

The region that Kiruna sits in is very sparsely populated and is surrounded by the Scandinavian mountains.

Approximately 15 km to the east of the city is Jukkasjärvi, on the Torne River, which is the home of the world famous Ice Hotel.

Plants and Animals

The land north of is partly barren and partly birch forest up to the Norwegian and Finnish borders. The lower-lying east is dominated by boreal forest, stretching into Finland and Russia.

The region is rich in wildlife with elk and reindeer roaming the area.

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