Sometimes, you step into a place, and you just know you want to be there, for long. It may not be the best known tourist place, but it has its own charm that grows deep on you and you fall in love with that place. Luleå is such a place for me 🙂
Luleå is the main town of Luleå municipality and the capital of Norrbotten county. It has the seventh biggest harbor in Sweden for shipping goods. It has a large steel industry. Luleå University of Technology, the famous “LTU” is Sweden’s first technology university and the northernmost university in Sweden.
Luleå typically offers the comfort and serenity of a small town, at the same time you get the amenities of a metro. There are shopping malls, every bit of urban comfort, technology and festive pulse. Its a city of contrast in terms of weather. Summers are quite sunny here, and the winter is chilly and heavy snowing is very common. It is winter during half of the year. Surprisingly, I felt more cold in Luleå than Kiruna where temperature goes to -40. This is because the weather is very windy and heavy precipitation of snow makes real feel greater in Luleå even when the temperature is higher.
Luleå archipelago consists of over 1,300 islands and islets, and though there are 36 Luleån per square km, most of this islands are deserted. People are concentrated around the main city and only around few hundreds of people live in those islands and islets. I never travelled to them, but sure I will do in future if I go back in summer. The brackish water, between fresh and salt, makes the archipelago unique. The modern town is almost walkable and you can walk to the frozen sea in 15-20 minutes from the central station.
There is a very nice antique shop in between the station and shopping street. Along with relics and artefacts, they have a nice collection of old records and movies. Best thing is you can rent them.
This small park always caught my eyes. There is a statue of a girl inside and in the winter, snowfall gave a meaningful contrast. I always wanted to take a picture of snow over the leaves and trees, and it was a perfect place for me.
Luleå was founded in 1621 around the current Gammelstad, the old town.The coat of arms of the three previous municipalities included a key, the symbol of Peter the Apostle, a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. The town has a grown IT industry and the only data centre of Facebook outside of the United States is in Luleå. The establishment known as the node pole will help turn the Luleå region into a major node for European data traffic. The Node Pole region provides stable, low-cost electricity that is 100-percent derived from renewable sources. In addition, they cite the benefits of low cooling expenses, given that the region is one of the coolest in Sweden. Sweden’s long political stability is cited as another long-term benefit of the Node Pole’s location.
Luleå houses world’s first indoor mall ” shopping” . The other two malls are Strand and Smedjan. The main shopping streets in Luleå are Storgatan and Kungsgatan. And they are easily walkable from the central station. ‘Shopping’ is built inside in the shape of a ship and has several major swedish and foreign brands like H&M, Jeans commany, Cecil, Gina tricot, Casual friday etc. But what I love most is the shoe-shopping here.
Not only shopping, Luleå is famous for Ice hockey and several festivals and games. The culture house ( kulturens hus) has a library and concerts, and art exhibitions are all hosted here. The city is also the seat for several music bands. The indoor festival called Minus 30-festivalen occurs in the kulturens hus. Luleå Hamnfestival (Luleå harbor festival) is a big summer event around the north harbor. Musikens make is another smaller summer music festival.
The frozen sea in winter is one of the most favourite location for both locals and travellers. Iceskating in frozen sea is one major winter activity.It is also a beautiful photographic location. The lighting of Norrbottensteatern can be seen here behind the port.Due to heavy snowing, I was not able to catch the details, so photos are not so brilliant here. But still you get the vibe. If you are visiting north of Swedish lapland, do not miss this cozy little city.
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