Even though Abisko is a very small village above the polar circle in Sweden, it’s still quite easy and straightforward to get there. You can fly to Kiruna from any of the larger cities such as Stockholm or Gothenburg. It takes approximately 1.5 hours, and from there you can then either drive to Abisko or take the train to Abisko Tourist Station which adds about another hour’s worth of travel.
If you’re interested in a slower mode of travel. You can take the night train direct to Abisko. Keep in mind that this is a very very long train ride, averaging about 20 hours from Stockholm. Though the scenery may be fascinating at the beginning of the train ride, it is still a long train ride, and a big portion of the time, it will be dark outside.
If you fly into Kiruna you’ll have the option of booking a night at the famous Ice hotel just outside of the city. This is a few kilometers from Abisko, and most travel companies can help you arrange transportation there.
As I mentioned earlier I booked this trip over the Christmas holidays and this is something I do not recommend at all. Sweden is already an expensive country to visit and I noticed that the prices of hotels and transportation all jumped up by about threefold when compared to the prices in the offseason.
Also since the entire population of Abisko is only 85 people, the village is not exactly overflowing with accommodation options. By the time I got around to booking my accommodation, all the hotels in the village were booked and the only options that were left were 6 person dorm rooms.
I consider myself well past the age of staying in dormitories so I decided to book a cabin at a small ski resort called Björkliden, approximately 10 km from Abisko. The cabin was quaint and clean-ish but I was surprised to find out that there were extra fees for bedding and towels.
Kåppas Cabin Village in Björkliden
According to the hotel, it is common for Swedish people to load up their Volvos with their own bedding and towels when they travel. However if you’re an international tourist like me who doesn’t make it a habit of traveling with my own bedding, you’re the only choice is to pay the rather large bedding rental fees to enjoy a good nights sleep. Apparently, it’s also common for Swedes to travel with their own soap too because the cabin was also lacking in any basic shower necessities.
I was also informed that I had to pay a mandatory $125USD cleaning fee. You can either pay it in advance, or upon check out, but pay it you must. The cabin itself wasn’t extraordinary in any way and I feel like it could’ve been a little more ‘all inclusive’ for the money I paid.
Once you’ve checked into your cabin your food options are either the hotel bar or the hotel restaurant. Both of which are insanely overpriced but with very limited options in the area you don’t have much choice. I suggest taking full advantage of the free breakfast buffet in the morning to last you through the day.
Some other accommodation options
Abisko Guesthouse is a two-star hotel where the cheapest option is to book the economy room which is a small room for two with a bunk bed. They also do double and triple beds. Prices start from around $70 per night.
Abisko Mountain Lodge is a three-star hotel where you can book a small cabin for up to four people. Prices start around $230 per night.
You can also stay at the STF Abisko Tourist Station, where you can rent a double room from $195 per night. STF stands for the Swedish Tourist Association.
Don’t mix it up with Aurora Sky Station, which is a tower for viewing the northern lights. However, if you do decide to stay at Abisko Tourist Station, you’re only a 10 minute walk from the Aurora Sky Station.
Eating like a viking, or not
When it comes to staying fed, unfortunately, you don’t have a lot of options in Abisko. You’re even more limited if you don’t have access to a car. All the hotels have small restaurants and offer food; however, they are very overpriced.
Perhaps the best reviews go to Abisko Tourist Station STF that serve eco-friendly food. But be ready to fork out between $22-30 for a main dish.
To save money, you could stock up on some noodles, canned food, bread or freeze-dried food and just use the kettle in the hotel.
I did, however, get a chance to drink the delicious Swedish lingonberry juice made from berries that are locally grown. It’s a very rich and healthy drink, and I do recommend that you try it.