Welcome to Umeå, a universtiy city located in Västerbotten County in northern Sweden. Here, it is the centre of Norrland, some 600 km north of Stockholm where the Ume river flows into the Gulf of Bothnia. With a total of 25,000 students, Umeå University has helped double the population since its inception in the 1960s, swelling the figure to its present number of 107,845. After a fire destroyed much of the city in 1888, a trove of birch trees were planted through the city centre, lending Umeå a name oft heard today, city of the silver birches. airBaltic is pleased to present cheap flights to Umeå Airport, just outside of the city centre.
Hejsan! (Hello!) The main language spoken Umeå is Swedish, an offshoot of the Germanic language group which includes both Danish and Norse. You may also encounter a handful of Lapps, a minority group in Sweden, who speak a totally different language called Sami. A stay in Umeå won’t require a language course as most locals speak excellent English. If you are set on learning some basics, a good place to start is Tack sa mycke! (Thanks so much!).
See and Do
Umeå is a university town, so it is young, hip and in the know. Year long, there seems to be a cultural festival just around the corner. Most notably, the International Film Festival hits the screens in Mid-September and while it’s all improvisation at the Jazz Festival in October. Plus, the Norrland Opera, arguably one of Sweden’s best opera companies makes its home here, so be sure to get tickets to see a phenomenal show. During your visit, get a feeling for the region’s culture by checking out the Museum of the county of Västerbotten with its collection of Sami crafts or by heading to the Gammlia museum complex to visit the Bildmusset of modern art and the Maritime Museum, both open during the summer months. In addition, the city offers a Museum of Visual Culture and, appropriate for its location, the Museum of Skiing.
And it wouldn’t be a trip to the north of Sweden without taking time for nature. So travel up river to the Aboretum Norr, which promises a rewarding afternoon with its excellent selection of trees from across the globe. Meanwhile, to the south is the Norrbyskär group of islands in the Västerbotten archipelago. Here, you’ll find a museum and other activities to keep the whole family entertained. Another island worth visiting is Holmön, where there is an interesting boat museum. You can catch a ferry from Norrfjärden, to the northeast. Convenient, they head out daily. In the winter, the prime destination for skiing is nearby Vindeln, which likewise offers rafting during the summer months.