Joakim Höggren, Ice roads in Luleå Joakim Höggren, Ice roads in Luleå

A brief history
Luleå was founded in 1621 around the medieval church in Gammelstad. Due to land elevation, in 1649 the town was moved to its present location nearly 6 miles towards the sea. The river, the sea, the forest and the mining industry are the elements that have historically shaped the city.
In 1856, Luleå became seat of Norrbotten County while the mining ore line opened in 1888. The iron industry arrived in the 1940’s, which led to a rapid development and a high population increase. The last official census in 2017 counted 76,000 inhabitants. Luleå is currently Sweden’s 28th largest city.

Remarkable facts about Luleå 

  • World Heritage. The Church Town of Gammelstad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996, comprises 424 wooden houses, huddled around a medieval stone church and it is the Old Town of Luleå.
  • Archipelago. The Luleå archipelago comprises over 1,300 islands accessible all year round. Throughout the summer a daily ferry service is available, while in winter the islands can be reached by walking, ski/skating or driving. At the beginning of every year, 25 km of ice roads lead out to some of the most important spots. 
  • Attractive university. The Luleå University of Technology (LTU) is home to students, teachers and researchers from all over Sweden, as well as internationals. The university is a leading research institution in the fields of information and communication technology, metallurgy, mining as well as energy and renewable technologies.  
  • Business sector. The business community is diverse. A broad service sector, steel and engineering industries, a growing trade, tourism and new creative industries such as film production, digital design and social media — like the Facebook Data Center — are the economic drivers of the city.

How to get here
By plane.  The airplane is the easiest way to reach Luleå: there are daily national flights connecting Stockholm Arlanda to Luleå Airport, which is quite close to the city centre. Other connections are from/to Göteborg, Pajala (Sweden) and Tromsö (Norway).
By train. Every day, there is a night train that leaves Stockholm Central at around 18 and arrives at Luleå Central at 6 o'clock in the morning. The train station is very close to the city centre.
By bus. Luleå is provided with a bus station: the connections are run by Länstrafiken Norrbotten. Main destinations: from/to Piteå (50min); Boden (40/50min); Jokkmokk (1h 30min); Haparanda (2h 30min); Skellefteå (3h); Umeå (4h). 
There is also a good local public transportation network run by LLT (main connections from/to Gammelstad and Sunderby).

Local websites |

Our residency hosts and info about the programs
KKV Luleå >>
Norrbottens museum >>
Anders Alm, Gammelstad during winter
Anders Alm, Gammelstad during winter
Joakim Höggren, Luleå in summer time
Joakim Höggren, Luleå in summer time
Luleå, Midnight sun
Luleå, Midnight sun