The Swedish Ice Hotel is located in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. It has over 80 rooms and is built annually using ice from the nearby Torne River. The 30,000-square-foot hotel is located 200 km north of the Arctic Circle and features an Absolut Vodka ice bar, an ice cinema, an ice chapel, ice family rooms, and ice suites. The whole structure uses 4,000 tons of ice.
In short, everything is about ice.
The hotel began in 1990, when French artist Jannot Derid held an exhibition in a cylinder-shaped igloo in the area. One night, there were no rooms available in the town, so some visitors slept in sleeping bags on top of reindeer skin, beginning the world’s first “ice hotel.”
Since the hotel melts and has to be rebuilt each year, no two years feature the same design. Every year they reshape and redesign the whole hotel, giving returning visitors a new place to return to. Last year’s theme was “the Milky Way.”
Here’s a breakdown of approximate room prices per season:
*Deluxe Suites have direct access to the sauna, although the regular suite prices include access to the sauna.
What to See and Do at the Ice Hotel
Take a Tour
The hotel has a bunch of activities:
- Guided tour (30 minutes)
- Ice sculpting (of course!)
- Snowmobile rides!
- Moose safaris on horseback (which includes a three-course meal)
- Wildlife watching
How To Get There
The Icehotel is located 200 km north of the Arctic Circle. The closest airport is in Kiruna. From airport, you can go by car, taxi, or you can book a pick up from the hotel. You can also get to hotel by train from Narvik (Norway) or Luleå (Sweden). You can also take a dog sled transfer to the airport (seriously)! Book online.
The popularity of this hotel has inspired imitators in other Arctic areas like Norway and Canada. For more information on the original, go to their home page at The Ice Hotel. If you are considering going, make sure you book well in advance, as the hotel’s increasing popularity means it is often booked up.
Book Your Trip to Jukkasjärvi: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. I never take a trip without it. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. You should too.
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Want More Information on Jukkasjärvi?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Sweden for even more planning tips!
Note: This blog post was originally published in 2008.