As temperatures drop and the aurora borealis prances overhead, a new Icehotel took shape in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, 200km (125 miles) north of the Arctic Circle in Swedish Lapland every November. And then, as temperatures rise again in the spring, the Icehotel melts back into Torne River, from which its ice was used to build the hotel. The Icehotel is much more than just a place to stay while it lasts. It’s a outstanding wintry art gallery of themed chambers carved in ice by artists from all around the world. Each art suite is typical and lasts only that year’s winter season.
Icehotel 33 opened at December 16, making the 33rd yearly incarnation of this curiously concept, with 12 different themed art suites created by 24 artists from 10 countries, along with 24 more simpler ice rooms, a function hall and a domain hall with 40 ice columns. Stay over guests get free enrollment to the whole hotel during the day; but if you don’t want to stay overnight, don’t worry, you can buy the admission ticket to see the ice art as a day visitor.
You can still see some ice art and feeling a night in the cold even if you’re traveling to Sweden during the warmer months. In addition to the yearly reclaimed contexture – Icehotel Winter, which is open from December through April – there’s a year-round facility called Icehotel 365. They uses the solar energy to keep their ice rooms frozen all year long. In here, you’ll find 18 ice suites and the Experience Room, which presents the story of Icehotel and maintains some of the ice art created in previous years.
Jukkasjärvi is a bautiful village of about 900 people in residence just east of Kiruna, the largest town in Swedish Lapland. It’s very quick and really easy to go to Icehotel from Kiruna Airport by taxi or rent a car – but if you’re visiting in winter, we suggest the atmospheric travels by dogsled, a trip that takes 90 minutes and which provided by the hotel.
Sweden’s far north side is one of the best places in the world if you want to see the aurora borealis (northern lights). If you’re arriving some time between the fall and winter, there are several outdoor activities to spend your time, as you wait for the night skies to light up with supernatural color, which are ice fishing, dogsledding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing or bake your hand at ice sculpting. Then in summer, the precious midnight sun illuminates Arctic Sweden, with long days for fishing, hiking, camping, white-water rafting or simply enjoying a good meal over a warming campfire. So many guided activities can be booked directly through Icehotel. Don’t miss your chance to experience the 10-step Jukkasjärvi sauna tradition, which includes relaxation in a traditional sauna, a dip in the icy Torne River, a roll in the snow, and a swamp in a heated outdoor bathtub.
Jukkasjärvi is also a fabulous place to learn about the civilization of Scandinavia’s Indigenous people, the reindeer-herding Sámi. Nutti Sámi Siida is a Sámi-owned local tourism business in Jukkasjärvi that proposes a various of cultural and outdoor activities.