Abisko is the most northern village in Sweden and can be found within the Arctic Circle. With its location in northern Lapland, only a few kilometers south of the Abisko National Park, the town is also quite close to the Norwegian border. Even though it is really small, the village is quite famous for its tourism. Next to many options for accommodations you can enjoy all kinds of entertainment, especially when it comes to outdoor activities.
In terms of transportation it is best to use the train, either a direct night train starting in Stockholm or one of many trains from airports around the area. Traveling by car is also a possibility, but considering the distance it is preferable to choose the first mentioned option.
During winter it is common to book either a room or your own cabin. Especially when you have a bigger group of people and want to spend quality time in your vacation home, the cabins for example at the Abisko Turiststation can be a good and also quite affordable choice considering splitting up the price between several people and saving money with self-cooked food.
So, either you stay in Abisko, or at the Abisko Turiststation that is located 4 km west of the village. Those two places have much to offer and experiencing both is worth it and easy to combine since the 30 min walk in between is nicely prepared and even holds a special view of the landscape around.
Since the area is most famous for spotting northern lights many people traveling to Abisko mainly for that experience. Although you can`t rely on that, the chances during winter are usually really high and most visitors will be able to experience this natural miracle – all for free right from your accommodation. You could also pay for going on several guided tours but those need to be booked in advance and they could be without success.
Activities like hiking and cross country skiing can be designed as free adventures as well. Just bring your own equipment and some experience: there a many trails waiting for you. But safety always comes first, so if you feel uncomfortable with going by yourself there are again lots of options for guided trips.
For an affordable price you can also buy a lift pass or single rides up and down the Nuolja-Mountain. You can take this possibility to go downhill skiing, but since there are no beginner tracks you can go to the Aurora Ski Station without skis as well. The place was first invented to watch northern lights, but most people agree, that is it even better going there during the day. There is little café from which you can enjoy an amazing view. If the weather is suitable, there are even tracks to hike a little away from the station and other tourists to really be able to feel the power of the nature around you. As an extra tip, if you are there during the cold winter time, definitely check out the outdoor toilet, it is an adventure itself!
Observing wild animals in nature is always related to some luck, but if you are patient you may get this unique experience all for free. The chance of seeing moose is higher during the winter time because they live closer to the villages. But if you see them it is important to not get to close or threaten them. They are not aggressive, but if they are in fear for themselves or their kids, they could attack. But experiencing them from a safe distance are moments you will never forget.
Next to all those sporty and outdoorsy activities, a more relaxing experience many places offer – often even included in the booked accommodation – is the use of a sauna. Especially after a long day outdoors, during winter time usually with temperatures way below zero, it is a nice way to wrap up your day. And if you are brave enough (and your body can handle it) in between you can even jump out in the snow or go ice bathing at prepared places on the lake. But again, safety first!
As a short and free entertainment in between there is also the little “Naturum Abisko” museum at the Absiko Turiststation. Next to some facts about the animals and nature of the area, the environment, and changes because of the climate crisis, it is the right place to get information also about hiking trails and much more.
The last topics that need to be mentioned are food and restaurants. Since Abisko is a small village there is only one option for grocery shopping, a little supermarket which has everything you need plus a huge offer of snacks. At some accommodations meals like breakfast will probably be included or can be booked but as mentioned earlier, lots of money will be saved if you bring or buy your own food, at least for the majority of time. But one place that can be recommended is Restaurang Kungsleden. It is part of the Abisko Turiststation but everyone can enjoy the food. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner and although it is quite expensive, especially the breakfast and lunch is affordable and definitely worth a try.
Other than all that, Abisko with its amazing landscape and especially the Abisko Turiststation located in the national park is a place to find balance with active and relaxing activities to recharge with the help of the surrounding nature. In the winter time the focus is more on a combination of outdoor activities and coziness inside the vacation homes. But also in summer there is a lot to see especially when it comes to wildlife and outdoor experiences. All in all it is a place for nature lovers and for everyone who wants to see northern Scandinavia with all it stands for.
One more advice: There are many activities to do, for free but also for lots of money. Try to find a balance between both, this way money can be saved but also invested in some highlights. There is so much to do, special moments don`t need to be expensive. So, everyone can create a unique and unforgettable vacation.