Luleå, also called Lule, is the seat of Norrbotten County in northern Sweden. The city is located at the mouth of the Lule River, in the north—west corner of the Gulf of Bothnia. It has about 70,000 inhabitants, a technical university, and a steel mill.
When Luleå was mentioned in documents for the first time in 1327, it was located on the site of today's Gammelstad. It developed into a market place and center of a parish, which at that time included almost all Norrbotten. Due to the post-glacial land rebound, it became increasingly difficult to use the harbor and in the mid-17th century, the town relocated to where it is now, with the old town changing its name to Gammelstad. The major employers in the area are the steel industry and Facebook (which operates some data centers there). The city is located about 110 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle.
- 1 Luleå airport (LLA IATA). Both SAS and Norwegian have several flights per day scheduled from Stockholm Arlanda airport to LLA (fewer during weekends), and with a flight time of about 1 hour 10 minutes, it may be preferred over the 14-hour night train.
The airport is in Kallax (and thus is commonly called Kallax airport), and lies about 5 km from Luleå city centre, which is accessible via shuttle bus[dead link] or taxi. The shuttle bus to the center costs 50 kr each way, and it's departures are based on the flight schedule.
There are scheduled flights to Kiruna/Tromsø (Nordkalottflyg), Pajala (Nordkalottflyg), Umeå/Östersund (Nordic Regional), Gothenburg (City Airline), Sundsvall/Borlänge (Direktflyg), London (one flight every Saturday, SAS) and Riga (AirBaltic).
Luleå is connected to Stockholm by the over 100-year-old Norra Stambanan (Northern Trunk Line), which travels way into the inner parts of northern Sweden before meeting the coast again at Umeå. Thus, it can be a good price option between Luleå and the southern parts (from Sundsvall and south) of the country, but not between Luleå and some of the other larger cities (e.g. Umeå, Skelleftea) along the coastline in the northern half of the country. All along the northern coast, bus is the way to travel.
The Malmbanan railway goes to Narvik in Norway via the towns of Boden, Gällivare and Kiruna. The railway ends in Narvik and does not provide a link to the rest of the Norwegian rail network. The line was mostly intended to deliver the products of Swedish mining to Norway's northernmost ice-free port and was thus of tremendous strategical importance, but it is also an important link for passenger travel in this remote corner. It also reaches the northernmost points connected to the mainline standard gauge rail network in Europe.
- 2 Luleå Central Station (Luleå centralstation), Prästgatan 20 (Just off city centre, eastern end of Stationsgatan).
The gap in the rail network between Finland and Sweden is covered by buses, which are free with most rail passes. The journey to the Finnish border at Tornio/Haparanda takes 2½ hr, and onward to the Finnish railhead at Kemi another half hour. Note the hour difference between Sweden and Finland. Local and regional buses are run by Länstrafiken Norrbotten.
The 3 Luleå Busstation is located 200 m from the railway station.
A fast, cheap and comfortable way of getting to the different parts of the city, is by using the local bus traffic LLT. Local buses are usually 20 kr per trip. If you plan on making more than 4 trips, buy a 3-day tourist pass from the tourist office, which allows you unlimited travel on local buses for 80 kr.
At weekends you should be able to catch a night-bus from most local traffic bus stations about once every hour between 00:00 and 03:00, at a raised cost.
- TaxiKurir Luleå, ☏ . Smart phone app offers address based routing and calculates price according to them.
- 1 Luleå Archipelago. The Luleå archipelago is worth a trip and is available through tour boats during the summer. Klubbviken at the island Sandön is a pleasant stop with a nice beach.
- 2 Gammelstad (about 10 km north west of Luleå, on a former small island in the delta of the Lule River. It can be reach by local bus.), ☏ , email@example.com. Gammelstad, literally "old town", is the old church village. It is a part of the Swedish national heritage, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list and was originally the main city. At its centre is an early 15th-century stone church surrounded by 408 cottages. The town was built to house church visitors from the surrounding countryside, who lived too far away to get back home before nightfall. Due to the land rising (recovery from the last Ice Age when the land was pushed down) its harbour got unusable and a new city was established closer to where the sea is now. The church was built in 1492, the same year as Columbus arrived in America.
- 3 Norrbottens museum. The county museum with archaeological artifacts.
- 4 Norrbottens järnvägsmuseum. A railroad museum which displays Luleå's role as the southern end of the Norrbotten Megasystem around the Iron Ore Railroad.
Lulea to Narvik is, on average, 7 h 33 min for the 377 km (234 mi) distance. Narvik is the northernmost station in the Schengen Area and the northernmost standard-gauge railway station in the world. This iron Ore Line passes through forests of Sweden, the Scandinavian Mountains and the thick forests of Norrbotten and Lappland.
- 2 Luleå tekniska universitet (Luleå University of Technology, LTU) (It can be reached with buses 4, 5 and 8 in the direction of Porsön), ☏ . Established in 1971, its faculties include Engineering, Computer Science, Music, Wood Technology, Business, Mining and Space Science.
Shopping, Europe's first indoor shopping mall is in the town centre.
- 1 Max Hamburgers, Timmermansgatan 19C, 972 31 Luleå. Burger chain that has a presence all across Sweden and in some other Nordic countries. Has vegetarian and vegan items on its menu in addition to the regular burgers.
- 1 STUK, Universitetsvägen 9 (On the Campus of LTU), ☏ . A student bar run by and for LTU-students. You need a student ID or a special "guest ticket" (which can be purchased by LTU students) to get in.
- 2 The Bishop's Arms, Storgatan 15, ☏ . Part of a chain of bars, has a large collection of beers
- 1 Best Western Hotell Savoy, Storgatan 59, ☏ .
- 2 First Camp Luleå, Arcusvägen 110, ☏ . Cottages and camping, big pool area, restaurants and cafe.
- 3 City Sleep, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Clean and minimal but comfortable cheap accommodation in the centre of town. From kr 450.
- 4 Hotel Clarion Sense, Skeppsbrogatan 34, ☏ , email@example.com. Mid-range hotel with good facilities in the center of town. Excellent breakfast spread is available in-house.
- Piteå - Known for the dish "pitepalt" and the local Swedish dialect "pitemål".
- Skellefteå - A mining town renowned for its hockey team.
|Routes through Luleå|
|Sundsvall ← Piteå ←||S NE||→ Haparanda → Tornio|
|Kiruna ← Gällivare ←||NW SE||→ END|