History and culture
The city is multi-cultural. Sápmi, the region traditionally inhabited by the Sámi people, stretches through the municipality and reindeer husbandry is thriving in the region. Kiruna has three native languages: Swedish, Sámi and Meänkieli (Tornedalen Finnish).
Kiruna is one of the largest municipalities in the world, half the size of the Netherlands. Kiruna was founded in 1900 due to the iron ore mine which is now the largest underground iron ore mine in the world. A large amount of iron ore is found underneath the centre of Kiruna and therefore the town must be relocated. The new townhall opened in 2018 and in 2022 the new centre of Kiruna was officially opened.
Sweden's Space City
Kiruna is also Sweden's space city. Besides Luleå University of Technology and our space research and education, Kiruna hosts the Swedish Institute of Space Physics, the ESA Salmijärvi Satellite Station, EISCAT (European Incoherent Scatter Radar) Scientific Association, and the ESRANGE Space Center.
Dress warm – winter in Kiruna
The average temperature in Kiruna in February is between -20 and – 6 degrees. In the middle of February there is about 8 hours of daylight in Kiruna, hence it will dawn early in the afternoon.
Remember to bring warm shoes, gloves, and something to cover your head. If you have ski trousers or snow pants, we recommend you to bring them. Think layer by layer when dressing, it will keep you warm. It could be wise to bring some indoor shoes that you can use during meetings.
From Kiruna airport: Flygtaxi Tel: +46 8-120 920 00
Taxi in Kiruna: Sverigetaxi Tel: +46 980-12020
Bus in Kiruna: Line 501 passes Space Campus. Get off at bus stop IRF E10
What to do in Kiruna
Ice Hotel – enjoy the ice sculptures and the hotel made of ice harvested from the Torne River.
LKAB iron-ore mine – the world’s largest underground iron-ore mine. The iron-ore is mined 1 365 meters below the surface, the Visitor Centre is 540 meters down.
Nutti Sámi Siida – Sámi open-air museum
Northern Lights – for free, turn your head upwards!
Dog sledding – there are many dog sledding entrepreneurs in Kiruna, google and find the dogs that can give you a thrilling ride!
Sweden’s highest mountain, Kebnekaise – you can actually see Kebnekaise from Kiruna city center. All you need is a clear sky and to turn your head to the far west.
Kiruna church – once voted Sweden’s most beautiful building. You find it at Finngatan 1, in the central part of the city center.
Jukkasjärvi church – in the small village of Jukkasjärvi just outside Kiruna, you find this beautiful wooden church with a spectacular altarpiece, painted by artist Bror Hjort. The church was built in the 1800th century, its organ is decorated by the Sámi artist Lars-Levi Sunna.