Along the Vassara River and the railway lies the "Lapp quarters" which is where the nomadic Sami's (known as Lapps for a good while in Swedish history until this was considered incredibly rude) settled when they needed to stay in the Gällivare area for a while. The Swedish ruling classes did not want the Samis to stick to their ancient nature...more
Some 45 kilometres south of Gällivare on the main Jokkmokk road is the hydropower village of Porjus. Its main sight is the Hydropower exhibition by the great dam in the Lule River. Hydropower is a debated way to get Swedish electricity and many are opposed to it wrecking the scenic landscape and Sami paths to the coast for their reindeer. Whatever...more
Down by the Vassara River is the Gällivare Heritage park, showing you some of the oldest houses in town which have been gathered here. You will find an old school, the oldest shop and a Sami camp as well as a homestead and the barracks that the English constructors up here lived in. Finally, Sweden's northernmost windmill has been moved here from a...more
When mining took off in Malmberget, the new miners had to live somewhere so a shanty town type of arrangement was built up there and you can see a copy of it today. Summertime, there are all sorts of activities and reenactments but I quite liked visiting in winter when it was really spooky in the snow.more
Dundret means "the thunder" in Swedish and is a Swedish version of what in Sami language is called Tuoddar and means "low fell" but some people say that the Samis too called it thunder mountain. In any case, it has always been a bit special to Sami people as its two peaks stand on their own in the forest here at Gällivare. The peak is less than 900...more
In the old Central school in the town centre you will find the small but interesting local museum on two floors. There is a section on Sami culture and hunting as well as focus on the settlers who came to try to make a living up here, often staying a whole family in a tiny cottage and working the mires to get hay for their cattle. Then a bit on the...more
This being Gällivare, the Chinese restaurant also has to diversify and serve pizzas, but at least they do their own Chinese food reasonably well and this place is popular both at lunch and in the evenings. They also don't seem to mind if people walk in with snowy ski boots.
Favorite Dish: Fish in sweet and sour sauce.
Gällivare is not the hub of Swedish nightlife but the Grand Hotel Lapland has its Vassara Pub which is nice for a beer amongst friends. There is also an adjacent nightclub weekends. A good thing about this place is that since it is in a hotel, you find a mix of locals and tourists and everyone feels welcome. The Björnfällan restaurant on Mount...more
There is three places to go in Gällivare, The Kilkenny Inn, Vassara Pub and Björnfällan. My favourite is Kilkenny.Kilkenny is an Irish pub, well, not really but they try to be, and they often have live music as well as dance music.So if you want to dance all night long, go to Kilkenny. If you just want a beer and hang out, go to Kilkenny. No dress...more
1 Reviews and Opinions
Gällivare is along the "Malmbanan" iron ore railway which runs between Luleå on the Baltic Sea coast, and Narvik on the Norwegian coast. This means railways up here are a tradition since navvies sacrificed their lives to create the line that would send Swedish iron ore across the world. There has been night trains to Gällivare (and on to...more
There are several handicraft shops but this is one of my favourites and in a central location, even if there are others with more Sami things. Here you will still find (expensive) Sami carved knives, silver jewellery and different reindeer art as well as more general handicraft such as textiles.
What to buy: Silver jewellery.
What to pay: Anything from SEK 250 and upwards. The most expensive Sami knives are around SEK 8000 but start at 3000...
In winter, you will see people transporting their snowmobiles between different tracks and their garages with special snowmobile trailers all over town...
If you feel like walking downhill from the Dundret hotel complex in winter (hey, you might want a waffle at the ski slope cafe or something, seeing as Dundret is closed...), just be aware that even though the walking path is signposted as a walking path, this makes no difference to the children (and their parents!) of the childrens' slope. They just use it as their "spare slope" from time to time. Watch out and hope that they do too and that they are somewhat experienced!
Luggage and bags:
A backpack is recommended.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you go in wintertime, bring warm clothes. It can get very cold.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: In summertime, bring mosquito repellent. I recommend 'Mygga' but it doesn't work for everyone, so just try different brands until you find something that works for you.
I have never been here but it has to be mentioned on a page about Gällivare. Located in the westernmost part of this vast municipality, the park can be reached by road from Porjus about 40 kilometres south of Gällivare, and that is as close as I've ever got to it but I hope to remedy that some time. Again, a park belonging to the UNESCO World...more
Some 40 minutes north-west of Gällivare, towards Kiruna, is the village of Kaitum which is a Sami village and therefore is the local centre for Sami handicraft. Moreover, there is a famous chapel here by Anders Labba, in honour of UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskiöld who loved it up here. It was built in 1964 in the shape of a Sami tent. To get...more
Run by the now internationally famous Swedish mining company Boliden, Aitik opened in 1968 and lies 20 or so kilometres south east of Gällivare itself, which is why it is less visited than the LKAB mine in Malmberget (see general tip). You can visit this one too though in high season, and it is the World's largest open cast copper mine so it should...more
Children can sometimes borrow toboggans from the ski centre in the Dundret slopes but otherwise the sport shop in the city centre should sell them cheap. Dundret was full of skiers to avoid but we still found a toboggan-friendly hill or two. It just got quite dark on a mid-winter afternoon as it's not floodlit like the ski slopes :)))more
Several companies in the area offer snowmobile tours of anything from 1,5 hours to full days depending on what you are prepared to pay and what you would like to see. There are short tours just giving you a flavour of snowmobile driving, longer tours to take you into the countryside, or evening tours to spot northern lights. Some include a stop for...more