The ideal route through Swedish Lapland: Northern Lights & Nature

Discover the enchanting beauty of Swedish Lapland, where vast forests and glistening lakes come together. This pristine wilderness offers a unique travel experience, from admiring the Northern Lights to exploring picturesque villages. In the winter months, visitors are enchanted by the magic of snowy landscapes, perfect for adventurous activities such as husky safaris and snowmobile tours. Relax under the Northern Lights in cozy wooden lodges and taste local delicacies such as smoked salmon and reindeer meat. Escape the crowds and embrace the tranquility of Swedish Lapland, an unforgettable destination for nature lovers and adventurers.

We visited Swedish Lapland in November, and traveled to Lulea, Kiruna and Harads in 9 days.

Itinerary Swedish Lapland

Reisroute Zweden


Discover Kiruna, the northernmost town in Sweden, steeped in Scandinavian charm and natural beauty. Located above the Arctic Circle, Kiruna not only offers an excellent chance to witness the Northern Lights but also houses the famous Icehotel and the fascinating LKAB mine. Explore the picturesque surroundings with activities such as husky safaris and snowmobile tours. Whether you’re enjoying the local cuisine, discovering the rich culture of the Sami people, or exploring the breathtaking landscapes, Kiruna offers an unforgettable Arctic experience.

A stay of at least 3 to 4 days is recommended to embrace the unique sights and experiences in the region. Whether you’re fascinated by the Northern Lights, want to experience local activities like husky safaris and snowmobile tours, or want to explore the breathtaking nature around Kiruna, there’s plenty to discover. For a deeper immersion in nature and the opportunity to experience the unpredictable beauty of the Northern Lights, a longer stay is recommended.

Zweden - Riksgransen
Zweden - husky tocht
Zweden - husky tocht


Discover Luleå, a charming city on the Gulf of Bothnia in Swedish Lapland. With its rich history and modern amenities, Luleå offers a unique blend of culture and natural beauty. Explore the historic Gammelstad Church Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or enjoy activities like ice sailing on the frozen sea. Luleå is known for its icy adventures and is the ideal base for experiencing the Northern Lights. From cultural attractions to breathtaking landscapes, Luleå promises an unforgettable Scandinavian experience.

The ideal length of stay in Luleå depends on your travel plans, interests, and the activities you want to undertake. As a general guideline, it is often recommended to spend at least 2 to 3 days in Luleå to explore the city and its immediate surroundings.

Zweden - Gammelstad
Zweden - Gammelstad


Discover the enchanting Harads, a picturesque village in Swedish Lapland, known for the unique Treehotel. The Treehotel offers guests an unparalleled experience by staying in architecturally striking treehouses, high among the trees. Each treehouse is a work of art in itself, with contemporary design and panoramic views of the enchanting nature. From the mirrored designs of the Mirrorcube to the playful Bird’s Nest, Treehotel offers an unforgettable stay amidst the Swedish wilderness. Escape the daily routine and embrace the magic of an overnight stay in this extraordinary accommodation.

Here you can read everything about this special overnight stay in Swedish Lapland.

Zweden - Treehotel
Zweden - Treehotel

Transportation during this itinerary

In Swedish Lapland, there are various transportation options, depending on your departure point and specific destination. For a quick trip, the airplane is ideal, with airports in cities like Luleå, Kiruna, and the nearby Rovaniemi in Finland. We flew from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport – via Frankfurt and Stockholm – to Lulea Airport with Lufthansa.

Trains crisscross Sweden and offer scenic routes to cities like Kiruna and Luleå. Check for current information on schedules and availability. Buses connect Lapland with other parts of Sweden and neighboring countries, while in the winter months, snowmobiles and dog sledding are unique modes of transportation.

Car rental is a popular option for more flexibility, with well-maintained roads for exploring at your own pace. Especially with the many long distances in Swedish Lapland, we recommend renting your own car. That way you can best discover the surroundings and beautiful nature. Consider your travel plans and choose the mode of transportation that best suits you.


Overnight stays during this itinerary

During our first day in Swedish Lapland, we stayed in the Elite Stadhotellet Lulea. This is a four-star hotel located in the center of Lulea. When you step out of the hotel, you are directly in the city’s shopping street. We stayed in a standard double room; a spacious room with a double bed and a view of the park in front of the door. The overnight stay included a good breakfast in a huge classic ballroom, which is really the eye-catcher of the hotel. An ideal hotel for a few days in Lulea!

During our visit to Kiruna, we stayed at Camp Ripan. A four-star hotel on the outskirts of Kiruna. In this hotel you stay in your own chalet with its own entrance. The hotel has its own restaurant serving local dishes and a good breakfast. Camp Ripan also has the Aurora Spa, which has been voted the Best Unique Experience Spa in Europe. We didn’t find the chalet itself very special, but the location, the good restaurant, and the unique spa make this a great choice. What we also find very important is that the hotel is certified as an environmentally friendly hotel!

We also stayed one night in the unique and very special Treehotel. A hotel with seven different treehouses in the forests of Harads. A highlight of our trip! Are you curious about how we experienced this unique experience? Read all about our experiences at the Treehotel.

Zweden - Treehotel
Zweden - Elite Stadshotellet
Zweden - Camp Ripan

How much time do you need for this route?

We took 9 days for this route including the flights. We had enough time at all destinations and did not have to skip any sights. Below you will find an overview of the number of days we stayed at each location:

  • Day 1 – 6: Kiruna
  • Day 6 – 8: Lulea
  • Day 8 – 9: Treehotel

Do you have time to stay longer in Swedish Lapland? Then you could consider spending more time in Kiruna and possibly going skiing for a few days. You could also consider adding Jokkmokk to the route. Jokkmokk is known for its Sami market and cultural events. Here you can learn more about the traditional crafts and lifestyle of the Sami people.

It is also possible, for example, to continue to Norwegian or Finnish Lapland. In short, plenty of options to further expand this ideal travel route.