Kiruna – month by month
Do you want to visit Kiruna but do not know when? Want to experience midnight sun or polar night? Do you want to climb Sweden’s highest mountain or go down below the ground? Are you curious about the local spring winter or do you want to experience a colorful autumn? Dog sledding in winter or hiking in the summer? Here you will find a short guide to the months in Kiruna, as a little help on in your planning.
This is a wonderful month when we welcome the sun back after its absence during the Polar night. The daylight increases steadily from about 40 minutes in early January to almost 6 hours at the end of January. The temperature is usually around -20 degrees. However, it is not uncommon with temperatures around -30, especially depending on where in the municipality you are. If you’re dressed properly for your arctic adventure, you’ll be able to handle January without any problems. All winter activities are in full swing and you have lots of exciting excursions to choose from!
The Snow Festival
Ski premiere month! At the end of February, the ski resorts will open in Abisko, Björkliden and Riksgränsen for the season. Pack the skis and head to the slopes, lovely off-piste skiing awaits you. Nikkaluokta Sarri also opens for the season. Daylight around 6 – 9.5 hours. The average temperature is about -15 degrees. But as always in winter, it may be much colder around the municipality, such as Jukkasjärvi and Nikkaluokta. In February, the very popular Jokkmokks market in Jokkmokk also takes place. Far from Kiruna, you might think? Do not worry – Kiruna Buss AB arranges transportation! All winter activities are available in February.
Abisko Ice climbing Festival
Kiruna winter market
Now Kebnekaise Mountain Station and all the mountain huts open. The beginning of spring winter when the locals goes out to spend time with loved ones in their cottages, mountains, arks, and really anywhere outdoors. The snowmobiling starts for real when the weather has gotten a bit milder in March. We go out for ice-fishing and build our sun-pits while enjoying the spring sun and birds singing. This is also a perfect period for skiing in all its forms – cross country skiing, heliski, downhill skiing, etc. Daylight from 10 – 13.5 hours. Temperatures around -10 inside Kiruna. March is also a great month for exploring the northern lights, as temperatures are a little bit nicer than in January and February. In March, all winter activities are still running.
Now the daylight begins to take over and it is time to say goodbye to the northern lights. With a daylight from 14 hours in early April to about 18 hours at the end of April, there are no good chances for northern lights any more. Temperatures around -5 degrees. This is also the time when the Icehotel, which is being rebuilt every year, melts back to the Torne river. Be sure to follow the unique guided tour through the melting hotel. Of course you can still visit the year-round open ICEHOTEL 365. The spring sun shines upon us while we lie on a reindeer skin in the middle of the ice with an ice-fishing rod at the ready. Winter activities are ongoing as long as there is enough snow left, usually until mid April. During Easter, which is an incredibly important weekend for the locals, you should prepare yourself for a deserted city center. Instead we recommend going to the mountains and participate in the Easter celebrations there!
Extreme Sports Gathering
Keb Classic vinter
The midnight sun appears. Daylight at the beginning of May is 18 hours. At the end of May, the sun does not go down below the horizon and we’ll enjoy sunlight around the clock so do not forget the sleep mask and sunscreen! Temperatures can vary greatly from about 5 degrees to 20 degrees. Kebnekaise Mountain Station and the mountain huts have now closed. Nikkaluokta Sarri also closes for the season after the first week of May. The snow melts and makes room for greenery, but there is still plenty of snow left in the mountains, and in Riksgränsen for those who still want to ski. A unique experience that can only be experienced during May is the guided tour “Miessemánnu“. We also have a list of 10 tips for those who want to visit Kiruna in May.
NM – Scandinavian Big mountain Championships
Riksgränsen Banked Slalom
Summer is here! But do not be surprised if there is a snow day or two in June, it is normal. Temperature around 10 degrees. The mosquitoes and insects come to life. The summer season officially starts in the middle of the month and most facilities open their doors. At the end of the month it is the start of the hiking season. During the Midsummer weekend, you can experience traditional celebrations in Kiruna with surroundings. Aurora Sky Station has opened and offers exclusive midnight sun dinners with spectacular views from Nuolja Mountain. Tours to LKAB’s Visitor Center are now offered every day throughout the summer. Then there are of course a lot of exciting summer activities to enjoy!
Peak season during the summer, don’t forget to buy some mosquito repellent! July, together with August, is also the best time for climbing Sweden’s highest mountain Kebnekaise. An excellent month for hiking and camping under the midnight sun. Daylight midnight sun – 20 hours. Temperature around 15 degrees. Make a roadtrip through the eastern municipality and discover the villages in the forest landscape. From the middle of the month it will also be time to look for the very tasty cloudberries. For those who want to go fishing there are thousands of lakes and six rivers to choose from! You can also participate in several exciting summer activities.
Swedish Alpine Ultra
Dansklacken på Dosan
By the end of August when the nights start to dark, the northern lights are again visible in Kiruna and you begin to notice a change of color in nature. August is a great month for trailrunning, maybe you want to run Kungsleden from cabin to cabin? We go out into the forests and collect some of nature’s delicacies like blueberries. Temperatures around 15 degrees. Daylight from 19 to 15 hours. As in July and June, summer activities are available.
Kebnekaise Mountain Station and the mountain huts close for the season at the end of September. Nature has exploded in tones of red, yellow and orange. This is the perfect time for those who want to hike without the company of mosquitoes! The northern lights season has started for real and there are many excursions you can participate in. For the first time it is now possible to visit popular Aurora Sky Station in September. No snow? No problem! You can still follow on tours with Huskies and learn how they are trained for the winter season. Daylight from 15 – 11 hours. Temperatures around 5 degrees. The weather is usually really comfortable and it’s an amazing month (we pretend that autumn of 2017 didn’t happen!).
Daylight from 11 to 7 hours. It is now that we usually see the first snow, but it isn’t until the end of October as it comes to stay. Days get shorter and darker. It’s getting colder and frosty outside. This is a great month to absorb a little culture, perhaps a guided city tour with information about the ongoing city transformation. Take a walk through the city center and look at some of Kiruna’s unique artworks and buildings, finishing off with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate at one of our cozy cafés. Fishing is still possible at the beginning of the month and at the end it is not uncommon for cross-country skiing. Northern lights excursions are popular in October and new for 2018 is “The Great Aurora Chase“, which is only available in October and November.
Kiruna Book Festival
Premiere for skiing in Luossavaarabacken, the central ski slope in Kiruna. Cross-country skiing is also available. By the end of November we have received more snow and it is possible that some winter activities have started. The darkness becomes more prominent for every passing day and the daylight decreases from 7 to 3 hours. In addition to the northern lights, November also offers beautiful sky colors around sunset. Temperatures around -10.
Arctic Light Film Festival
It is Christmas again! In the middle of the month, classic ICEHOTEL opens for the season. The polar night arrives, which means that the sun does not rise above the horizon. However, it is not completely dark during this time since the moonlight is reflected in the snow. During the day it’s more like a dusk light. The colors can be really cool in the sky, for example extreme pink is not uncommon. The period around Christmas and New Year there are a lot of visitors here, so be sure to book your accommodation and activities ahead of time. Temperatures around -15. Pack some vitamin D, maybe?
Note! Kiruna has a subarctic climate, which means that temperatures and weather can vary a lot. See the above mentioned degrees as hints only. By daylight means from when the sun rises until it sets.
Still unsure? Contact the Tourist Center and you will get help, tips and a local to juggle ideas with!