"Arctic hub" Gällivare by Sjalen

Gällivare Travel Guide: 33 reviews and 82 photos

As you hop off the train or arrive from the airport, Gällivare town centre is perhaps not the most inspiring place in Sweden, with modern houses and empty shopping centres, but forget about that as it's not the reason for coming here! This is a hub in several aspects, making it a very exciting place. The area has been populated by reindeer herding Samis for ages, and being close to Finland, you also hear a lot of Finnish being spoken by people from border villages. Finally, you have the new "settlers" from further south in Sweden, who came here with the opening of the mines and the arrival of the railway in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. All in all, this makes Gällivare feel a bit like an American goldmining place or something and you constantly listen to different accents around you, which these days also include other European languages as the town is popular with English tourists looking for an Arctic Circle experience in winter, and with Dutch and others travelling on the famous Inland Railway (ending here) in summer.

You come here for the spectacular scenery. The town itself has no high mountain ranges such as for instance outside Kiruna, but just south of its centre is the peak of Mount Dundret and driving just a few kilometres south of it along the inland road, you soon find yourself in Muddus National Park. If you want a more highland type national park, driving to the more desolate Stora Sjöfallet National Park in the south west of the municipality is another adventure but then you need a car and might still find yourself in a boat if you want to venture further into the wilderness. Come here to experience a different pace to life and a place where everyone talks to you and tells you interesting things. :)


Pros and Cons
  • Pros:fantastically scenic countryside, adventurous feeling, friendly, good public transport
  • Cons:boring town centre
  • In a nutshell:Railways and reindeer
  • Last visit to Gällivare: Dec 2006
  • Intro Updated Jan 4, 2007
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Reviews (27)

Comments (2)

  • Spader's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2007 at 2:32 PM

    Oh! Me thinks you should come to Svalbard for the vinter and the blues festival i november You like!:-)))

  • Jan 6, 2007 at 7:53 AM

    Wow! What a fabulous place Charlotta! And there was me complaining of the cold in Rostock! LOL! Your snowy photos are just brilliant, looks like kiddo was enjoying herself too! :))


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