Luleå is the capital of Norrbotten, chartered in 1621, though it didn’t become a boom town until the late 19th century when the Malmbanan railway was built to transport iron ore from the Bothnian coast to Narvik (Norway). The town centre moved to its present location from Gammelstad, 9km to the northwest, in 1649 because of the falling sea level (8mm per year), due to postglacial uplift of the land.

A laid-back university town and an important high-tech centre, Luleå claims more than its fair share of top-notch restaurants for a town its size, as well as an enticing archipelago of islands off its coast and a sparkling bay with a marina.

Explore Luleå

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Luleå.


Learn more about Luleå

Uncover the heart of travel and be inspired to see new sights with one of Lonely Planet’s in-depth, award-winning guidebooks.