urban area in Luleå Municipality, Sweden

Luleå, also called Lule, is the seat of Norrbotten County in northern Sweden. The city lies 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.

Understand edit

Luleå city centre
Luleå cathedral

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 centre 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 harbour, 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 centres there). The city is located about 110 km south of the Arctic Circle.

Tourist office edit

Get in edit

By plane edit

  • 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), about 5 km from Luleå city centre, which is accessible by shuttle bus[dead link] or taxi. The shuttle bus to the centre costs 50 kr each way, and it's departures are based on the flight schedule.

There are scheduled flights from Kiruna and Tromsø (Nordkalottflyg), Pajala (Nordkalottflyg), Umeå and Östersund (Nordic Regional), Gothenburg (City Airline), Sundsvall and Borlänge (Direktflyg), London (one flight every Saturday, SAS) and Riga (AirBaltic).

By train edit

Map of Malmbanan

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 along the coastline in the northern half of the country, such as Umeå and Skelleftea). All along the northern coast, bus is the way to travel.

Vy has a few sleeper trains scheduled each night between Luleå and Stockholm, about a 14-hr ride; consider paying extra for a bed while booking.

The Malmbanan railway leads from Narvik in Norway to Luleå via the towns of Kiruna, Gällivare and Boden. The railway is not connected 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.

There are also regional trains from Haparanda, at the border with Finland via Kalix and Boden.

  • 2 Luleå Central Station (Luleå centralstation), Prästgatan 20 (Just off city centre, eastern end of Stationsgatan).    

By bus edit

Tapanis Buss has a line going from Stockholm to Tornio, Finland, with a stop in Luleå. Ticket from Stockholm are 870 kr, from Tornio 200 kr.

As there was no passenger rail traffic to Haparanda (at the Finnish border) 1992–2021, the gap got 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 Kemi (with trains all year) another half an hour. Note the timezone difference between Sweden and Finland. Local and regional buses are run by Länstrafiken Norrbotten.

3 Luleå Busstation lies 200 m from the railway station.

By car edit

Luleå is on E4 between southern Sweden and Tornio in Finland and on E10 from Narvik in Norway via Kiruna and Gällivare to Luleå.

Get around edit

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 an hour between 00:00 and 03:00, at a raised cost.

By taxi edit

See edit

The Gammelstad church
  • 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 reached by local bus.), +46 920-45 70 10, . Gammelstad, literally "old town", is the old parish village. It is a part of the Swedish national heritage, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list and was originally the site of Luleå. 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) its harbour got unusable and a new city was established closer to where the sea is now. The church was built in 1492, the year when Columbus arrived in America.
  • 3 Norrbottens museum. The county museum with archaeological artefacts.    
  • 4 Norrbottens järnvägsmuseum, . A railroad museum, which displays Luleå's role as the southern end of the Norrbotten Megasystem around the Iron Ore Railroad.  

Do edit

Luleå Train Station

Lulea to Narvik is, on average, 7 h 33 min for the 377 km (234 mi) distance. Narvik is 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.

Learn edit

  • 3 Luleå tekniska universitet (Luleå University of Technology, LTU) (reachable by buses 4, 5 and 8 in the direction of Porsön), +46 920 49-10-00. Established in 1971, its faculties include Engineering, Computer Science, Music, Wood Technology, Business, Mining and Space Science.    

Buy edit

  • 1 Shopping, Storgatan 51 (in the centre.), +46 770332200. M–F 10:00–18:00 Sa 10:00–16:00 Su 12:00–16:00. Sweden's (by some definitions Europe's or the world's) first indoor shopping mall. Inaugurated in 1955, but multiple refurbishments since then.
  • 2 Smedjan, Storgatan 36 (next to the bus hub.), +46 104709826. M–F 10:00–19:00 Sa 10:00–16:00 Su 12:00–16:00.

Eat edit

  • 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.
  • 2 Iraj Kyrkbyn (Iraj Pizzeria), Lulevägen 1, Gammelstad (Is in Gammelstad Church town. Bus Route 9, walking distance from route 1 and 2), +46 92076000. 10:30 - 20:00. Great place to eat if you are visiting the church town. SEK100.

Drink edit

  • 1 STUK, Universitetsvägen 9 (On the Campus of LTU), +46 920 690-92. 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, +46 920 27-40-30. Part of a chain of bars, has a large collection of beers

Sleep edit

Go next edit

  • Piteå — Known for the dish "pitepalt" and the local Swedish dialect pitemål.
  • Skellefteå — A mining town renowned for its hockey team.
Routes through Luleå
SundsvallPiteå  S   NE  HaparandaTornio
KirunaGällivare  NW   SE  END

This city travel guide to Luleå is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.