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The Sami are and will continue to be an inalienable part of Swedish Lapland. Their customs for culture, cooking and keeping reindeer very much affect those living here today - one example being the traditional Sami dish Souvas, made from smoked reindeer meat (served in many of the local restaurants). Here in Lapland, visitors get the chance to learn about and understand the history, life, and culture of the native Sami people. Winter is a wonderful time for all those who love snow and winter sports. There is a countless number of slopes and tracks for ski trips. It is not surprising that the Swedish skiing masters, with Ingemar Stenmark and Anja Pärson in the forefront, come from Lapland’s Tärnaby. A snowmobile safari for a few days will get you out into the wild. If you want a more natural feeling, you might prefer a ride with a dog sled over vast expanses of snow, all under the colourful cascades of the northern lights. They are clearly visible in the polar night, the time of year when the sun does not reach over the horizon. Here, snow and ice are the building materials for the irresistible Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi which is built anew each year. One night there will etch Swedish Lapland forever into you memory. The northern cold here is more comfortable than the chill in southern Sweden, because humidity levels are incomparably lower here. However, remember to dress in layers before going out on snowy trips. The summer is exquisitely beautiful and perfect for hikes along the mountain trails. Fishing on a lake or along the mighty rivers is a unique experience and joy when your catch writhes in your arms. If you, on the other hand, want to test your bravery, white-water rafting is a good option. At this time of the year, it never really gets dark since the midnight sun shines around the clock. Try a helicopter tour for a fantastic view of the area. Lapland is an area full of culture, where the World Heritage site Gammelstaden (Old Town) in Luleå holds a unique position. The churches in Jukkasjärvi and in Kiruna are impressively beautiful and you should not miss the Silver Museum in Arjeplog. Attending a sauna here is a tradition to be observed. You will also get several opportunities to buy mementos and visit local craftsmen who, through their work, preserve old culture, not least the Sami culture. It's not all about the past here in Lapland - visit the Esrange Space Center, which sends research rockets to space and - eventually - might just become the starting point of human expeditions.
Lapland is Sweden’s northernmost region which provides a steady stream of adventurous pursuits all year round. The main attraction is Lapland’s unique and magnificent unspoiled wilderness which brings in visitors not only from Sweden, but from the whole world. If you ever look out over Rapa Valley in Sarek’s National Park or visit the World Heritage site of Laponia, you'll instantly know why this corner of the world enjoys a reputation of being exceptionally stunning.
Here you will find a wide range of traditional Lapland flavours where fish and game, especially reindeer, play a central role. The common dish Souvas, smoked reindeer meat, should preferably be enjoyed in the Sami flat bread gáhkko together with lingon berries. Add to this dishes of bear, mountain trout, grouse, fine whitefish roe from Kalix with morels and arctic raspberries to compliment the meal. End with locally made chocolate or a piece of coffee cheese. In this diverse culinary kingdom, you are guaranteed an unparalleled food experience.
When in Lapland you can´t miss a traditional Swedish fika (coffee served with cake). In Lapland coffee is often boiled in a kettle over open fire, which is referred to as "kokkaffe". While the coffee gets boiled (which takes its time) the locals enjoy each others' company and pleasant conversation. Outdoor excursions are offered, where travellers get the chance to experience the traditional way of boiling coffee over open fire. There are also quite a few cosy coffee shops where one can relax and recharge their batteries before further exploring beautiful Lapland.
The minor cities in Swedish Lapland have relatively quiet nightlife but there are some bars and nightclubs which are often found at the hotels or in the biggest cities. During the last couple of years some interesting microbreweries have appeared in Lapland so why not give the local produce a taste? The nightlife is also quite special during summer in the northern part of Sweden due to the midnight sun, when it remains light all through the night. Most daytime activities like playing golf, paddling, swimming and horseback riding are commonly done at night during this period - so don't miss your chance to experience these in the small hours of the morning, even if only for bragging rights.
The Sami do not only have a distinctive food culture, but also a longstanding tradition of music, handicrafts and woodwork. The exquisitely made tin thread embroideries are unique to Swedish Lapland and are available in a variety of designs. Reindeer occupy a central position in folk art and serve as material for many fine items made of reindeer skin and reindeer horns. In addition to reindeer, many beautiful items are made out of wood. If you are looking for well-stocked department stores with all the necessities you need for your trip in one place, you’ll find these in Lapland as well.
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