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Aurora Borealis in the center city of Umeå in northern Sweden

Living in Umeå

Image: Fredrik Larsson / Visit Umeå

Umeå is a city of contrasts. From snowy winters to sunny summer days, from the coast and sea to the deep forests; from the vibrant city life to quiet auroral nights.

A glimpse of Umeå

The influx from near and far has transformed Umeå into northern Sweden’s largest urban community with an atmosphere characterised by openness partnered with just the right amount of inquisitiveness. Today’s residents of Umeå, both old and new, have an accepting attitude towards new thoughts and ideas, different behaviours, lifestyles and cultures.

Find your way

All roads may not lead to Umeå, but it's easy to get here anyway – by plane, train, bus or car. Umeå Airport is one of Sweden's busiest, and is so close downtown Umeå that you can actually go there by bicycle. If you want to choose something more climate friendly than air travel, you can catch a train – from Stockholm it's only a 6 hour trip. By car you hit the E4 or E12 and have the chance to discover other nice spots on your way to, and around, Umeå.

Close to nature

Experience the Northern Lights, arctic landscape and endless summer nights. Take the opportunity to go fishing, skiing or hiking. Umeå's proximity to nature offers many possibilities.

Easy to get around

In Umeå you're never really far from anything. Walking distance to most things – entertainment, leisure, culture, nature and studies – makes it easy to take part of what the city has to offer. But the typical thing to do in Umeå is not to walk, but to bike, always and everywhere, summer and winter. Over 250 km of paved bicycle paths will guide you right.

City of culture

In Umeå, cultural workers and artists have gathered since the 1970s, and when such people come together – stuff happens. Here you find museums, a sculpture park, an opera and a professional symphony orchestra - but also cultural associations, music festivals, several smaller theatres and an international literary festival, among many other events. As proof of the city's vibrant cultural scene, Umeå was named European Capital of Culture 2014.

A growing city

When Umeå University was inaugurated in 1965 the city had only 40,000 residents. Today more than 130,000 people live here. Thanks to our students, Umeå is a young and energetic city. The city's youth and growth is evident in several ways, including in entrepreneurship and new businesses. Here you find several innovative ventures within biotechnology, medicine, IT, the environment and energy, modern forestry and engineering industries. 

Activities all year round

Around Umeå you will find outdoor gyms, fitness and ski trails, equestrian facilities, a skate park, ski slopes, training facilities, a curling hall, ice hockey halls and much more.

Quick facts about Umeå

Population: 133,010 (as of September 2023)
City founded: 22 June 1622 
Average age: 39 years (avg. in Swedish is 41.4 yrs.)
Companies: 14,000
Average temperature from January: -9,1˚C
Average temperature from July: +15,2˚C
Sunrise/Sunset on 21 June: 02:13 / 23:07
Sunrise/Sunset on 21 December: 09:27 / 13:45

Residents in Umeå municipality
Clubs and associations
253 km
Bike and pedestrian trails
Birch trees in the city centre
Discover Umeå
Winter in Umeå
Hiking in the Umeå region
Latest update: 2024-01-12