Visit The Ice Hotel Sweden
Here at Visitalot, we absolutely love strange places where you can visit and enjoy a unique experience. This article is one of many that we have advising people on some of the most interesting places to travel and in this latest instalment we have the famous Ice Hotel in Sweden.
The Ice Hotel in Sweden really is the place to go if you are looking for somewhere to stay that is a little bit different to every other hotel. In fact, the Ice Hotel in Sweden is the original Ice Hotel and the ice that makes up the hotel was originally taken from the local, pristine Torne River. Alongside it being a hotel, it is also a famous art exhibition and is known for its interesting take on art and, of course, the place in which it is displayed.
Now, when we say Ice Hotel, we mean Ice Hotel. Literally every structure in the hotel is made of ice from the reception desk when you first walk in, to the chairs and tables that you will find in your room. Because of this, the hotel is a little colder than most others, but do not fear, the beds are said to be very comfy and across each bed is an animal skin or two to really keep you snug.
Really… In Sweden?
This surprising section is exactly that- surprising. Here we have collated a few facts surrounding the Ice Hotel to get you a little bit more excited about your trip to the hotel.
- We mentioned previously that the Ice Hotel also doubles up as an art gallery, and that the art on display here is not your traditional art. Well, every year the hotel has a new theme and to organize the theme, artists from across the world come and decorate the place. Whenever you go, you can always expect a new and interesting theme.
- Because of where Sweden in in the world and the way in which the sun sets (or doesn’t), during the summer the midnight sun shines for 100 days and 100 nights without stopping. It is only in the winter will you experience a normal sunset.
- Because the building is made of a mixture of snow and ice, it is called nice, the structure of the hotel is constantly being damaged by wind, snow fall and general wear and tear. Therefore, the main building is actually rebuilt every year to keep the structure safe and looking its best. Water from the Torne river is used and mixed with fresh snow to create the nice and rebuild the hotel.
- The hotel is so big that it now takes up an area around 6000m². In fact, this makes the Ice Hotel in Sweden the largest snow and ice construction in the world and as the hotel grows bigger and bigger, this number is only going to get larger. There are also other ice hotels in nearby Scandinavian countries, however, there is nothing that comes close to this one.
- Within the hotel there are many interesting features and one such feature is the bar. Most hotels have bars and it should not seem strange that the Ice Hotel has one as well. However, this bar is made entirely from ice- everything from the tables to the chairs to even the cups they serve the drinks in.
Being an Ice Hotel, some of these facts were always going to be a bit quirky. Now that we have your interest, how about we introduce you to a few of the facts surrounding the place and a few reasons to visit as well- as if there are not enough already.
Where is it and What is the Climate Like?
As mentioned before, this hotel is in Sweden. But where in Sweden? Well, the hotel is located in the Jukkasjärvi region of Sweden and to give some further context, that region is in the very north of the country and is far away from the capital Stockholm. It is also quite close to the northern border with Finland but it is still a long way from the capital Helsinki.
Getting to the Ice Hotel becomes a little more difficult because of where it is and the conditions you will need to fly in. Getting into the country is not hard as you will find a wide range of flight providers who can fly you to either Helsinki or Stockholm for a decent price. However, it is this next leg of the journey that will be the hardest. You will either need to find an internal flight to a nearby local airport- such as the ones that are in the picture above. Or, you will need to use the roads or a train service to get to the local area. You should note that both the internal flights and internal rail and road services may all be affected by the weather- therefore, definitely check ahead to see if your trip is still on.
Another thing to consider is the weather. Sweden is known for its cold temperatures and for the most part this is true. Sweden will have very long winters and for many months the temperature will be below zero- the further north you are in the country the colder and longer the winter will be. However, there is such thing as a summer in Sweden and although it is short, temperatures can reach into the thirties at most and will stay around in the mid tens on average.
What to Do and Where to Stay?
Since this article is all about the Ice Hotel, that will be the place to stay. However, what kind of rooms to they offer? What have previous customers said about the hotel? And is it really worth it?
Well, firstly, we are going to show you a few of the reviews that previous guests at the hotel have left. Many reviews mentioned the ice art that is present all around the hotel and how interesting and unique the art was- regardless of the time of year. The ice bar was another feature of the hotel that guests loved- and no wonder. People also liked the hotel part of the ice structure and guests were impressed by the size of the rooms and the warmth of the bed, despite the below freezing temperatures inside the hotel.
Alongside this, the hotel has a lovely spa where you can relax and receive a number of high quality treatments from professionals with plenty of experience. Steam rooms, plunge pools and massage tables are in abundance. However, there are also plenty of things to do nearby as we shall explain.
Jukkasjärvi church is one such attraction nearby and is less than ten minutes away by car- you could even walk there is you wanted to take in some lovely scenery- although, it may be quite cold in winter so make sure you bring a suitable coat. The church is a great example of traditional architecture and in winter is a truly picturesque site to see- one that you should definitely take a few pictures of. You might even be able to go inside and take a look, besides, there cannot be that many churches this far north.
Or maybe there can… Another highly rated attraction nearby is another church called Kiruna Pastorat and is another excellent example of early 20th century architecture in the region. This church is much larger than the above church and you will not have to go far in order to get there- the church is less than twenty minute’s drive away and there is a main road that will get you there. Inside, you can see how the Gothic Revival style of that age has made its mark with a particularly notable nouveau altar as well.
Getting away from the religious side of things, there are other attractions as well. Attractions such as the Nutti Sámi cultural and reindeer park. Here you will be able to indulge yourself in the rich history and culture of the local Swedes. This will take you all the way back to pre-Viking years and is really one of the hidden gems of the country and Scandinavia as a whole. And the reindeer park… Well, it does not need much explaining and any opportunity to meet reindeer will be a highlight for you regardless of whether you believe in Santa or not.
Overall, this experience is one that has made all the writers at Visitalot very jealous. This is something that we really implore you to visit and no matter what time of year it is, try and find the time for it.
If you loved this review then why not pop along to our Visit Europe Category? Here you will find the best weird vacations and bucket list holidays from this part of the world. Including the spooky town of Transylvania, The idilic islands of Faroe, and of course another cold country, Greenland. And if you are looking for something a little bit different to the cold and shivery Ice Hotel, click on the search bar below to let us whisk you away to somewhere warm and humid.