Kiruna - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Kiruna


Sweden's northernmost city and home to around 20,000 people, Kiruna is located in the Lappland province and has gained recognition as the closest city to Jukkasjärvi, the location of the world-famous Icehotel which is perched on the edge of the Torne River and attracts thousands of tourists from across the world each year. Kiruna is also famed for its Neo Gothic-style church which was built in 1912 and is one of Sweden's largest wooden buildings, even voted the country's best looking church. What was once a sleepy mining town has now become a bustling hive of activity during the winter months when Kiruna hosts the annual Snow Festival, and although the city's population has not grown dramatically over the last few decades, it still sees throngs of travellers and tourists passing through each year to enjoy the festivities of the Snow Festival, which include an ice sculpture contest, the annual summer Kiruna Festival and, of course, the famous Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi.

Information & Facts

Swedish is the main language, with Lapp being spoken by the Sami population in the north. Most Swedes speak and understand English. Many also speak German and French.

The Swedish monetary unit is the Kronor/Krona or Crown (SEK), which is divided into 100 öre. Banks exchange money during business hours from Monday to Friday. At other times money can be changed at airports, ferry terminals, post offices and Forex exchange offices, which are open daily. There are numerous ATMs throughout the country, most of which accept MasterCard and Visa. Travellers cheques and most major credit cards are widely accepted for payment throughout Sweden.

GMT +1 (GMT +2 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).

Located 124 miles (200 km) inside the Arctic Circle and 7.5 miles (12 km) from Kiruna Airport, the amazing Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi was first opened in 1990. The hotel is built anew each year, usually around mid-November, when ice is collected from the Torne River and moulded into magnificent bricks, sculptures, ice furniture and even a bar with ice glasses! It may be made of ice, but this hotel is a warm welcome to those visiting for a night. Guests can curl up in soft, warm reindeer hide blankets in one of the many themed rooms, sip on an ice-cold glass of schnapps in the bar, or dine on anything from whitefish roe and venison to cloudberries and arctic raspberries in the Icehotel restaurant. Guests also have the option of booking a warm room as well, should the novelty of sleeping on a bed of ice wear off and the Icehotel is also open to day visitors throughout the winter season.

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