If you had told me, that I would be spending a week north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden in 2017. I would have laughed and said that wouldn’t be happening. Yet it did. I flew to Fort Frances and went exploring and having fun in this winter wonderland. Kiruna is one of the largest cities above the Arctic Circle but that doesn’t mean much. It is a city of 20,000 people. It does have a thriving tourist trade due to the nearby attractions in Jukkasjarvi. Since I wasn’t renting a car, I wanted to stay in the city of Kiruna. Staying at the SPiS Hotel and Hostel was a great choice.
SPiS Hotel and Hostel
SPiS Hotel and Hostel is located in downtown Kiruna. SPiS offers both hotel rooms and hostel beds. The hotel is a couple block from pretty much everything in town. It is 5 blocks from the main bus station. The hotel is a 3 block walk from 501 bus stop. The 501 is the main tourist bus that goes out to Jukkisvirk and the Reindeer Farm and ICEHOTEL. It is a short walk from the main tourist information center. It is a 15 mins walk from pretty much everything in Kiruna.
Getting to SPiS
The closest bus stop to SPiS is a toss-up from the Central bus station or the Police Station stop. Both routes are about equal distance from the hotel.
Both the airport and train station are a couple of miles out of town. The Horvall bus company runs bus from the airport and train. The FLYGBUSS from the airport leave about 30 mins after a flight’s arrival. The cost is 110 SEK ($14 USD). The bus doesn’t take reservations, just hope abroad outside the airport. The Train Station bus is called the Transferbus and runs with the train schedule as well. The cost is 110 SEK ($14 USD).
SPiS can arrange a taxi if you let them know in advance. The taxi cost about 210 SEK ($26 USD)
It is possible to rent a car, but personally unless you have lots of snow and ice driving experiance. Don’t. Save yourself the car wreck.
I was given a double rooms just off the dining room. The room featured two twin beds that formed a double bed. The beds could be pulled apart and used individually if need be. Each room features a photo of Swedish Lapland taken by a local photographer.
The comforters were epic. I really wanted to steal one and take it home with me. They are warm and fluffy. My only complaint with the beds is that they kept sliding apart. As someone who likes to sleep diagonally across beds, it made for an interesting first night when the beds slid a little bit apart and created a gap. But I was still nice and warm in the comforter.
The room has about 3 ft all the way around the twin beds with a small entrance way. If you are used to American size hotel rooms, the room is small but it is comparable to other rooms I have stayed in Europe. But then again, Kiruna is not a place to lay around and relax in hotel room all day.
Should you want to watch TV, there is a nice flat screen TV mounted on the wall. I didn’t even turned it on. There is a small shelf in the room with a few knickknacks and a guest book (with a pen) to sign and write your own Kiruna story in.
The bathroom is much larger than expected. It is a one room with a drain in the middle of the floor and a curtain for mark off the shower. The bathroom is well lit and comes with 4 large bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and shower gel. They all smelled nice and fresh. I wish more hotels in the USA would go to the large bottles of bathroom supplies as these bottles don’t create all the waste plastic. About the only thing, I didn’t like in the bathroom is the shower. I hated that since there wasn’t a lip around the shower, the water would go everywhere and then I would dry off and get dressed. When I would walk back into the bathroom in my socks, my socks would get wet.
SPiS Mack & Restaurant
SPiS’s restaurant serves breakfast from 7 am to 10 am and lunch from 11 am to 2 pm and dinner from 5 pm to 10 pm. Breakfast and lunch are buffets.
Breakfast is included in the room price and is an all you can eat buffet. They offer both hot and cold offerings. They had the traditional European cold cuts and cheese along with local yogurt and some berries. The hot bar offers eggs, bacon, sausage and rotation of pancakes and other breakfast items. They offer a variety of fresh bread and coffee and tea.
SPiS offers an in-house restaurant that offers local fair with a modern twist. From the roasted lamb with asparagus to reindeer steaks. Everything I had from the menu was amazing.
The restaurant really shines in its beer and wine collection. I am not joking. They have over 100 beers and wine on the menu and almost all of them are in stock. I am the queen of picking a beer that is not on the menu, I never had that happen with their menu. Although once, I got the last bottle of something. But in their defense, they had a bottle when I order it.
I am sure there is a small grocery store within walking distance of the hotel but I didn’t look for it. As I was staying in the hotel, I didn’t use the hostel kitchen but I did hear it had a great selection of cooking tools.