Located 434 miles (700 kilometers) north of Stockholm, the university town of Umeå is the hub for outdoor activities in northern Sweden. Umeå is one of the fastest growing cities in Sweden with over 110,000 residents and is one of two European Capitals of Culture in 2014.
Founded in 1622 by King Gustav II Adolf, Umeå was largely destroyed by fire in 1888. Upon rebuilding, thousands of birch trees were planted to prevent future fires from spreading. The birch population has been maintained and has earned the city the nickname of Björkarnas stad, or "town of silver birches".
In additional to world-class outdoor activities, Umeå features an annual jazz festival, the Norrland Opera, annual film and music festivals and several notable museums. You'll find many eateries, clubs and bars in this popular travel destination.
Umedalen Sculpture Park
The Umedalen Sculpture Park is one of Europe's foremost sculpture parks, having featured the works of over 150 Swedish and international artists. This beautiful gallery focuses on contemporary art and showcases a unique collection of modern sculptures. Eight exhibitions are scheduled from September to May, while summer months feature a massive outdoor art display.
In addition to the finest sculptures, the park also features a wide range of graphic prints.
The Tavelsjöleden trail
The Tavelsjöleden trail is a 39-kilometer adventure that features Umeå's breathtaking geological treasures: caves, heaths with pine trees, valleys, lakes and bogs. At the end of the trail, you'll climb one of the highest mountains in the Umeå area and take in the fascinating view of the Tavelsjö community. You'll find your way with ease as all trails are clearly marked with plenty of rest areas along the way.
The Elk House
Found just to west of Umeå is Älgens hus, or the Elk House). The museum is a complete educational experience and is great for kids and adults alike. The attraction features live elk, up close and personal. Displays include pictures of elk, giant antlers, rock carvings and other interesting finds.
You'll learn about elk habitat, what they eat and see how they survive Sweden’s rugged landscape. Best of all, you'll get to meet these amazingly gentle giants and their young in a comfortable enclosed environment.
Holmön Nature Reserve
Holmön Nature Reserve is comprised of a serene set of islands just off the coast of Umeå. Enjoy sandy beaches, spruce and birch forests and bird watching. The best way to discover the reserve is by bicycle that you can rent locally.
Find out about flights to Umeå on SAS today.
What's up in Umeå
Indoor and outdoor exhibitions of international contemporary art.
Spend a night in prison
Don't worry - they will let you out in the morning.
King of the forest
Tame elks at the Elk House. See the gigantic beast up close.
Stora Fjäderäggs Lighthouse
Tel. +46 70 69 17 220
On the island Stora Fjäderägg, you'll find this gem among hostels. Newly renovated, but still very basic. No indoor plumbing and you'll have to wash yourself in the sea. Get there from Holmön by sailing on a replica of a 17th century sloop. Book at least a day ahead. /Björn, pilot
Rex Bar & Grill
Tel. +46 90 126 050
Located in one of Umeå's most beautiful stone buildings, the Old Town Hall. The food is good, with regional specialities and an impressive winelist. Besides the restaurant, Rex is a popular nightclub among the folks in Umeå. /Anna-Karin
Cykel & Mopedhandlaren
Tel. +46 90 140 170
The best way to get around town is by bike. Rent one from Cykel & Mopedhandlaren. The town is not that big and you can reach sights outside town as well. /Berit