11 tips for autumn experiences in Kiruna

In the middle of July we thank the midnight sun for the bright summer days. In August, the darkness begins to creep in, the temperature drops and with the blink of an eye autumn is here and our grand destination is adorned by the beautiful colours of the autumn leaves. Autumn up here is truly a colour spectacle, especially when the northern lights makes its entrance and illuminates the sky. Here are our eleven best tips on activities during the autumn here in Kiruna in Swedish Lapland.

1. Meeting with Huskies
During the autumn we have not yet received any snow, but you can still take part in tours with huskies. Join in and see how the sled dogs are trained for the upcoming winter season, look around the kennel or go on a hike with the wonderful company of eager huskies. These tours last until the snow arrives and the carts are replaced with sleds.

2. Aurora excursions
As soon as the end of August, the Northern Lights can be seen during clear skies. Autumn is a perfect period for anyone interested in photography – not just for the Aurora but also for the stars and the Milky Way! It is quite often clear nights in autumn and it is very dark as the snow has not started to fall yet. Join a guided tour, ride the cable car up to the famous Aurora Sky Station in Abisko or go out on your own. You can find more information about the Northern Lights here.

norrsken höst Kiruna Lappland

ICEHOTEL Vildmarkscamp, foto: Thomas Jönsson

A hotel of snow and ice in autumn? Yep, ICEHOTEL 365 is open year-round. By bus you can easily reach Jukkasjärvi, 18 km from Kiruna, where beautiful art suites of snow and ice are waiting to be admired by you. Have a drink in the ice bar, settle down in an ice chair and just chill. If you want to know more about the hotel’s history, you can take part in a guided tour which is included in the entrance fee. If you want to be just a little bit cooler than others, we recommend trying ice sculpting.

4. On horseback in the mountains
Experience the vibrant colours of autumn in a natural and sustainable way. The Sámi company Ofelaš Icelandic horses & Guide service takes you on horseback trips to the mountains with beautiful views of the Kebnekaise massif, among other things. In October you can go on a ride through the mountainous primeval forest and may see both Northern Lights and moose.


5. Experience nature through the camera
If you are here during autumn you will certainly want to remember it, and sometimes our memory needs a bit of help. Then it is good to bring some beautiful pictures with you back home. In Kiruna and the surrounding area there are many professional photographers who will gladly take you on a photo tour and share their best tips. Do you want to photograph animals, landscapes, Northern Lights? Then there is a tour for you.

6. Autumn hiking
Really. To hike in autumn. Is there anything better? Mosquito-free, beautiful colours and crisp fresh air, yes the reasons for hiking in autumn are many. Spend an hour, a whole day or why not several days – just pack your tent or do some cabin hopping! This period is short so be sure to enjoy it. There are of course guided tours for those who do not want to go out on their own. The magical hike to Troll Lake is one of many gems to discover up here.

Vandring höst Kiruna Lappland

7. Sámi culture experiences
When you visit Kiruna we recommend getting to know the Sámi culture. Of course, you should meet the reindeer at Sámi Siida Márkanbáiki in Jukkasjärvi and Ofelaš Icelandic Horses & Guide service offers the food and culture enthusiasts an insight into Sámi food tradition and you get the chance to cook traditional Sámi food yourself. If you are curious about our other Sámi entrepreneurs, you can take a look here.

8. Berries and mushrooms
Being outside and just listening to the sounds of nature as you pick up a yummy blueberry or lingonberry – that’s quality of life. In the forest there is no stress, only you and your berries, or mushrooms if you prefer. However, we recommend actually getting out into the forest and not picking the berries along the roadside. Also pay attention to picking the right kind of berries and mushrooms! We can warmly suggest a tour that guides you in nature’s pantry.

Blåbär Kiruna Lappland

9. A city in transformation
A reoccurring topic when talking about Kiruna is of course the ongoing urban transformation. Join a guided tour and take a look at the latest news and look back at what was. You can also take a trip to LKAB’s Visitor Center in the world’s largest underground iron ore mine, where you will find out more about the mining that forms the city’s relocation.

10. Aurora Spa
We don’t want you to be completely exhausted by all your adventures here in Kiruna so how about a little relaxation at the incredibly cozy Aurora Spa at Camp Ripan to recover some energy. Warm up in one of the three saunas, scrub with birch leaves and iron ore pellets, float around the pool and philosophize about life. Everything is locally produced. The treatments, which are based on old Swedish, Sámi and Torne Valley Finnish medicinal traditions, you perform on yourself at your own pace.


11. Views from above by helicopter
A memory of a lifetime is definitely to go sightseeing by helicopter together with Kallax Flyg. How about flying right next to Kebnekaise’s glacier peak or viewing the city of Kiruna from above – beautifully situated in the midst of the vast countryside? Talk about getting a different perspective!

As a final tip, we want to remind you to be present in the moment. When you sit in the woods, outside the tent, the fire crackles, the northern lights dances, the wind howling or whatever you do and wherever you are – enjoy the experiences. Put away your phone, computer and discard any thoughts of work or must do’s. Be here and now! It’s so worth it! But if you want to pick up the phone for a second to share your experiences with others, don’t forget to tag us #kirunalapland.