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Questions & answers

On this page, we have collected some of the most common questions that Gällivare Tourist Center receives and tried to answer them.

  • What is a World Heritage Site?
    • World heritage is an object, environment, or area considered so valuable and unique by humanity that preserving it is of great importance. The World Heritage Site is designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

      Laponia was designated as a World Heritage site in 1996 by UNESCO and is the only one of its kind in Sweden designated for its natural and cultural value. The name Laponia is the Latin translation of Lapland. You can find more information about the world heritage site Laponia and its regulations at www.laponia.nu External link, opens in new window..
  • When is the best time to visit the Laponia World Heritage Site?
  • What is the easiest way to travel to the world heritage site of Laponia/the road to the west?
    • Bus - During the spring season (end of February–first of May) and summer (mid-June–end of September), Falck's Omnibus has daily departures from Gällivare Resecentrum. Visit their site, www.roadtoritsem.com External link, opens in new window., to see current dates, prices, and stops along the route.
    • Taxi - Sweden Taxi offers taxi transfers by car and minibus from Gällivare. It can be an affordable and convenient option if there are many of you in the same group. Contact Sverige Taxi (Gällivare Taxi) at +46 (0)970-100 00 for a quote and booking.
    • Rental car – Rent a car from the rental car companies Europcar at +46 (0)970-733 65 or Hertz at +46 (0)970-125 50.

  • What does the name Gällivare mean?
    • The name comes from the Lule Sámi name Jiellovárre, which means rift mountain. It refers to the "crack" or cross valley between Välkommaberget in Malmberget and the mountain Dundret in Gällivare.
  • How did Gällivare come about?
    • The town's history goes back to the 1690s when the first iron ore was discovered in the mountain Illuvare, which would later be called Gällivare Malmberg and then Malmberget.

      In 1735, when the first trial mining took place, the area's population consisted primarily of Sámi belonging to the Sámi village of Kaitum. In connection with this, Sweden's Parliament decided to Christianize the community by building a church. Every household in Sweden would contribute one öre (penny) silver coin to the building. In 1754, Ettöreskyrkan (Gällivare old church) was completed. It remains in the same place along the Kulturstigen next to the Vassara River.

      In connection with the establishment of the church and the fact that iron ore mining took off, Gällivare also developed as a city. However, a significant upswing occurred at the end of the 1880s when the Malmbanan railway network was built, thus facilitating ore transport. The mining company LKAB was founded in 1890.
  • How big and how many people live in Gällivare municipality?
    • The municipality has a total area of 16,819 square kilometers and a water area of 1,127 square kilometers. Gällivare is Sweden's third largest municipality by area, after Kiruna and Jokkmokk municipalities.

      The population in the municipality is 17,418 inhabitants, of which 14,300 live within the urban area, and 3,117 live in the countryside. *Statistics from Statistics Sweden - updated summer 2023.
  • What is Sápmi?
    • Sápmi, or the land of the Sami, includes both the land of Sápmi and the Sami people. The geographical area extends north of North Calotte in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. Sweden has 51 Sami villages and a quarter of a million reindeer.

  • What is an urban transformation?
    • Urban transformation is dismantling large parts of a society while developing other parts of the same society.

      In our case, it is about dismantling the Malmberget district and developing the Gällivare community. This is due to the expansion of the underground mine LKAB Malmberget to continue mining iron ore. Underground mining affects the ground surface. Therefore, many properties have to be moved.
  • Where should everything be moved?
    • Gällivare city center, Vassara River, Repisvaara, and Koskullskulle will be the most attractive areas for future construction and development.

      In addition to housing and commercial activities, the school Kunskapshuset has also been added, as well as the ice and events arena (also called the Isborgen) and the athletics hall. 2027, the multi-activity building will be completed in the city's center. This magnificent piece will be the last puzzle of the larger construction projects.
  • How long will urban transformation in Gällivare and Malmberget last?
    • The urban transformation is expected to last until at least 2035 when the current main level at 1250 meters will be excavated.
  • Who pays for everything?
    • The mining company LKAB financially compensates everything that is affected. Companies who take the opportunity to build new or expand bear part of the cost themselves.
  • Where can I find more information about the urban transformation?

  • Can I put up a tent wherever I want in Gällivare?

You can tent wherever you want in nature for a few days, as long as it is not close to residential buildings, disturbs the landowner, or damages nature. However, there are certain exceptions in the national parks and nature reserves within the world heritage of Laponia. You can read these regulations on www.laponia.nu External link, opens in new window..

  • What is midnight sun?
    • A polar day or midnight sun is the phenomenon that occurs when the sun never goes below the horizon for at least 24 hours. The midnight sun occurs in a northerly direction if you are north of the Arctic Circle and in a southerly direction if you are south of the Southern Arctic Circle. The closer you are to the North or South Pole, the more days of midnight sun per year.
  • Between which dates can I see the midnight sun in Gällivare?
    • "True midnight sun" is from the beginning of June to the beginning of July, but it is still bright during the nights before and after during the whole summer.
  • Where are the best places in central Gällivare to see the midnight sun?

  • What are the northern lights?
    • The light phenomenon occurs in the sky when charged particles, such as electrons, move due to solar winds. Particles close to the Earth are attracted to the north and south poles, which accelerate in the Earth's magnetosphere and then crash with the atmosphere's oxygen and nitrogen atoms.

      The collisions appear in the sky as colored flashes of lightning. What we call the Northern Lights, or the Latin name Aurora Borealis.
  • When can I see the Northern Lights?
    • The northern lights occur most of the time of the year. However, is the sky not dark enough during the spring and summer to see the lights with the naked eye. The time of the year when the conditions are optimal is from September to March, between 9:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.

      Avoid standing near light pollution, for example, city lights, as this will obscure the northern lights. The light phenomenon occurs in the atmosphere at an altitude of at least 100 kilometers – therefore, cloud-free conditions are a prerequisite.
  • How do I know when the Northern Lights will appear?
  • Where are the best places in central Gällivare to see the northern lights?

The ore trains from LKAB Malmberget (Vitåfors) depart daily per the timetable below. About 10 minutes later, the trains pass Gällivare train station External link, opens in new window.. If you're lucky, you might see the "gold-colored" ore wagon that will symbolize the 1000th wagon that was manufactured.
*Please note that the timetable is preliminary, and deviations may occur.

Train number

Departure from LKAB Malmberget (Vitåfors)













Luggage storage
It is possible to store your luggage with us at Gällivare Tourist Center. Drop-off and pick-up occur during our opening hours.

Price per person

  • 50 SEK/day
  • 200 SEK/week