Capital of Västerbotten County, Umeå is a youthful college town with short summers and long, cold winters. Lovingly called Ume by the locals, it is a significant educational and economic city of the country. Titled the European Capital of Culture in 2014, the region attracts Northern Lights seekers due to it being conveniently located just 400km below the Arctic Circle.
The origin of this town traces back to 1622 and was home to the indigenous Sami people. Umeå’s long and enticing history is wonderfully depicted in the multiple museums all over the city. A parish city till the late 16th century, development started due to the efforts of the Swedish king Gustav II Adolphus. The city was completely destroyed by a huge fire in 1888 and was completely rebuilt in the upcoming years.
With an intellectual air, Umeå is decidedly a young city with vibrant feelings. Home to approximately 32,000 students, there is a marked bounce in everyday simple life.
A cultural capital of northern Sweden, with a wonderful blend of nature at a stone’s throw, the city has a very specific entrepreneurial, innovative spirit. Umeå rose to prominence as the former residence of Stieg Larsson, author of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and hosting the country’s greatest museum collection of vintage guitars. Don’t forget to visit Väven, an eclectic architectural delight, home to multiple museums, an eminent library, a cinema and several restaurants and cafés. It’s abstract, birch-inspired aesthetic inspires creativity in you and events from concerts to vintage fashion markets are organized all year round here. Considered a booming cultural centre, Väven is a must visit.
A nature lover’s paradise, the city provides mountains and deep forest on its doorstep to all its visitors. Located a mere 15 km from the sea, there are numerous natural adventures to embark on. You can enjoy a trek of 42 km by hiking the Tavelsjöleden trail all the while discovering caves and other beautiful natural highlights. Have delightful strolls at Grössjön Nature Reserve with your friends and family and you can watch birds from the observation tower.
Try to time your trip according to the Sami Week, which takes annually in March. This vibrant celebration of Sweden’s indigenous population guarantees a lovely and informative time, with events including a Sami summit as well as a range of activities centring on art, music, culture and language.