The day after we hunted the northern light in Abisko, we caught the regional train to the another city in Swedish lapland, Kiruna. The traveling time by train was just only 90 minutes. We arrived at Kiruna around 14pm. At that time, the sky was getting dark as the daily sunshine hours in November is just 5 hours. Kiruna train station is located 2.50 km from city center, but it has free shuttle bus to take us to Kiruna Bussation. The bus schedule was arranged by following departure/arrival time of the trains.
At Kiruna, we stayed at Spis hotel and hostel which is only 400 m from Kiruna Busstation. After check-in, we had sometime to visit one of the landmark of this city, Kiruna church. This church was built with Gothic Revival style between 1909 to 1902. It is the one of biggest wooden church in Sweden. We could walk from our hotel to this church, only 150 m away.
After we visited Kiruna church, we back to the hotel to take some rest. Actually, as we mentioned in previous chapter, we should spare at least 3 nights above the arctic circle in order to make sure we can see the northern light. Tonight, we stayed at Kiruna which is one of the biggest city in Swedish lapland. We had the appointment on 19pm with Kiruna Guidetur. We booked the northern light hunting with this company in advance. And, we were lucky again. Even it had slightly snow in Kiruna on that night, but, when we drove out from the city about 30 minutes, we saw the stars and clear sky. The northern lights were bold, thick and bright nearby Kiruna at that night 😛
We came back to the hotel at Cinderella time (I mean midnight) and had the sweet dream about the green belt on the sky again. The day after, we woke up quite late to had the breakfast and checked out from the hotel. We had another one landmark of Kiruna to visit before we caught the night train to Stockholm. This place is located 18 km away from city center, ICEHOTEL.
Actually, ICEHOTEL is in Jukkasjärvi and can be reached by Bus number 501 from Kiruna busstation. The timetable of the bus can be checked HERE. We caught the bus at 13.10pm at Kiruna busstation. The bus took only 35 minutes to reach the ICEHOTEL. Remember, the bus is cashless. We can buy the ticket at the boarding time by credit card and the cost of round trip ticket was 89 SEK/person (about 8.50 USD).
The bus was stopped at ICEHOTEL on-time. The highlight of this place is Ice sculptures at the art gallery what is available in winter only. The ticket to the art gallery can be purchased at reception counter. it is 295 SEK/person (about 29 USD).
At the art gallery, it has plenty of room to decor the ice sculptures from many artists. We could enjoy the miracle what the artists transform the ice to be the freezy story. In front of the art gallery, it has Icebar what has plenty choices of drink for purchasing too.
We spent more than an hour at art gallery and ICEHOTEL and enjoyed the art at below zero. Then, we went back to the bus stop in front of ICEHOTEL to catch the bus number 501 on 15.40pm to back to Kiruna busstation. The bus was arrived the destination on 16.32pm.
We walked back to the hotel to pick-up our deposited luggage and had some snack at the hotel’s bar during waiting for the shuttle bus to Kiruna railways station, the shuttle bus schedule is available HERE. Tonight, we would catch the night train to Stockholm at 18.29pm. We walked to Kiruna busstation again and caught the shuttle bus at 18.00pm to Kiruna railways station.
It was our pleasant time in the icy city and it was one of amazing chapter in the live with the charming and peaceful moment above the arctic circle. Our targets for this trip had been archieved as we successed to see the northern light and explored the scandinavian and arctic atmosphere what we never see before. This trip made us regain the energy and passion in our life to discover more and more intersting place in this world. Moving is living. 🙂
Written By : Shipy Siwarit Tiasuwattiseth