Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend the night in a hotel made entirely of ice? Including rooms with temperatures as low as -7 degrees? Well, it’s definitely possible, and let me tell you, it’s an interesting experience.
The Ice Hotel is located in a small village called Jukkasjarvi, 200km north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. It was first built in 1989 and every year it gets re-built using ice from the Torne River.
They use artists from around the world to design the rooms each year. During the day, the rooms turn into an art exhibition and many people come to visit and see the amazing artwork.
Some rooms, known as the art suites, are open all year round as they are not are re-built every year, so you can visit during any season.
You can also stay longer than one night, without staying in an Ice Room the whole time. They have normal rooms too.
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How To Get There
The nearest airport is Kiruna, which is approximately 14km from the Ice Hotel.
To reach Kiruna airport you may need to fly via a big city, for example, Stockholm airport. Click here to search for flights.
Once you arrive in Kiruna you can get a taxi outside the airport. You can also pre-book transfers if you prefer.
When I was invited to spend a night at the Ice Hotel in Sweden I knew I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.
Here is how I spent 24 hours at this incredible hotel.
Arriving at the Ice Hotel
On arrival at the Ice Hotel you are provided with a sleeping bag and given a demonstration on how to get through the night in minus 7 degrees. You are not allowed into your room before 6pm due to the exhibition so you will need to leave your stuff in a locker.
After I had checked in and sorted out my luggage, I went for a tour of the Ice Hotel. I saw all the ice rooms and the stunning ice designs and sculptures.
Things to do during the day and evening
It is highly recommended that you fill your day with activities. The village of Jukkasjarvi is quite small and in the middle of nowhere so there isn’t much to see.
You can book activities at the Ice Hotel. Make sure to book in advance as it does sell out quite quickly especially during peak season. Types of activities include, dog sledding, visit the reindeers, photography tours, Northern Lights tours and many more.
I stayed here in May so unfortunately a lot of these activities were not an option. However, I was able to do Ice Sculpting which is a 2 hour activity. This is where you turn a block of ice into anything you want.
You can see my attempt of making a star in the picture below. It isn’t the easiest thing to do but I did find it therapeutic.
In the evening, I had dinner at the Ice Hotel restaurant. Their menu does not have many options, but it does have something for everyone. I had the reindeer steak with fries accompanied by one (or a few) glasses of wine – this helps when you know you are about to spend the night in -7 degrees.
Time for bed
When staying in your ice room all you need to wear is a pair of thermal leggings, a long sleeve thermal top and a pair of thermal socks. This is enough to keep you warm.
Unless you are staying in a deluxe suite, you will need to get ready in the changing room located a few metres from the rooms. Make sure you take with you everything you will need for the night. Only the deluxe suites have a bathroom connected to the room.
Once I was ready it was time to get into the sleeping bag and hopefully fall asleep.
The next morning
The next morning a staff member goes into the room to wake you up. Usually around 7.30am and offers you some warm lingonberry juice. You then need to prepare to leave as from 10am they have groups coming to have a tour of the Ice Hotel.
It wasn’t bad at all. The sleeping bag was so cosy and comfortable. I never felt cold and actually managed to sleep through the night. I loved it and I’m so glad I got to experience this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.