The Ice hotel. A unique and marvelous experience. Situated in the small and quite village of Jukkasjärvi, near the Swedish city of Kiruna, this place is like a fairy tale. You won’t think so when you first lay eyes on this place. But, stepping inside, and exploring all the fascinating artwork is quite magical. I had only read and seen pictures of this place online. However, the first-hand experience is unparalleled.
To get to the Ice hotel, you need to take bus number 501 from the Kiruna bus station which drops you right in front of it. You can buy a two way ticket if you’re not staying there. It will cost you about 150 SEK (Swedish Krona) or EUR. 15 per person. There are specific timings for the buses travelling to and from the Ice hotel, so beware of that.
The half hour bus ride from Kiruna to Jukkasjärvi is rather picturesque with all the snow covered roads, and the cute little houses. It gets dark here by 2:30 pm, so you tend feel that it is really late at night. But, then this too is an experience. Everything around the city is lit up, most of the tourist attractions shut by 3-3:30 pm, the shops shut by 5:30-6 pm. So, generally speaking, make your plans for the broad daylight 😛
Some of the major attractions in Kiruna itself would include the Kiruna church, the Kiruna City Hall, the LKAB Kiruna mine which is a guided tour of the iron ore mines of Kiruna. A little fact about Kiruna. It is currently being transformed. To be more precise, the entire city is being moved to a different location altogether. Why? Because the iron ore deposits are extending beneath the center of the city. Since, the iron ore mines are the main source of income for the people living here, they don’t even mind the relocation. They are in fact on board with this transformation. Kudos to their extent of understanding.. 🙂
Getting back to the Ice hotel, on arriving , you will find yourself thinking, “This is what the hype and hoopla was about?” The entrance is dimly lit, there are four blocks of ice just standing there (maybe to let people know that they are the Ice hotel). Basically, the first impression is, “Is this it?! Where are all the pretty rooms that I saw on the internet?!” Wait for it.. it is all there, you just have to walk a bit further, and buy your tickets. There are guided tours in English if you’re interested. Otherwise, you can simply visit the hotel anytime between 10 am – 5 pm. You can get your tickets at the Ice hotel souvenir shop which will cost you about 325 SEK or EUR. 32.50 per person, and then off you are.
The bus ride from Kiruna to Jukkasjärvi
On entering into the Ice Hotel..
The various rooms designed by various artists..
The design of a regular room (design not based on a particular theme)..
There is even a common sitting area with an interesting ice sculpture..
The Ice hotel bar..
After our tour of the beautiful Ice hotel, and a drink at The Fuzzy Chisel, we went to the souvenir shop followed by a snack at the waiting lounge. Which was warm, and not made of ice. The hotel has both warm and cold rooms. So, if you visit their website to book a stay, they recommend you stay just one night in the cold room. For the other days, you book yourself in the warm rooms. There are other activities that you can book as well, such as ice sculpting, northern lights tour, snow mobile tour, etc.
The last bus from Jukkasjärvi to Kiruna is at 6:15 pm. If you miss it then you either try to get a taxi, or a room to spend the night 🙂 To sum up, it is a place worth visiting if you’re in the Lapland!