Umeå and the Umeå Region

Umeå is located in the north of sweden in the region Västerbotten. The county of Västerbotten consists of the Västerbotten landscape, along with parts of Lapland, Ångermanland and Jämtland. This is the second-biggest county in Sweden in terms of area – the same size as Denmark.

Umeå, with its University, has experienced one of Sweden’s largest increases in population since the mid 1960s when the University was founded. The latest addition to the University is the School of Architecture, which together with the Institute of Design and Academy of Fine Arts form a creative and artistic campus. Sports is an important past-time for the inhabitants of Umeå. Skiing in the winter or playing Brännboll. The students visit the large indoor sportscenter IKSU, which have over 10,000 visitors each week. IKSU is situated at the University Campus.

In 2014, Umeå will be the European Capital of Culture together with Riga. Umeå holds the country’s largest indoor festival with pop, rock and club music – Umeå Open. The city also takes great pride in holding Europe’s oldest jazz festival. Norrlandsoperan is another cultural hub in the region, and creates new and exciting expressions within dance, opera, music and art. The opera has its own symphony orchestra with an admired repertoire.

Outside of the city

If you have time to stay on a few days there is a lot to be experienced outside of Umeå as well.

The Umeåälven and Vindeälven rivers converge northwest of Umeå. Whilst Umeåälven river contributes to Sweden’s electricity supply, Vindelälven river remains one of the most untouched rivers in the country. Here you can try out white-water rafting, paddling and other wilderness adventures.


If you appreciate unusual animals, at Umeå you can meet the king of the forest – the moose. Everyone is welcome to meet the animals at the Moose House, and a guided tour adds to the excitement. With over 25,000 visitors per year, the Moose House has become one of the municipality’s largest companies within tourism.


Umeå in brief

The average age in Umeå is 38 and this is reflected in the townscape with its pubs, restaurants, cafés, discos and shops. Umeå is home to Norrlandsoperan and several international jazz, folk music and rock festivals. The range of events is not least appreciated by the universities’ students.

  • Umeå is the largest city in northern Sweden and its 117,300 inhabitants have a medium age of 38.
  • Umeå is known as the “City of Birches”. In 1888, a large fire destroyed much of the city, so birch trees were planted to protect against the spreading of future fires. There are aproximately 3 000 birches planted in the city center.
  • Annual hours of sunshine: 1,800. On June 21 the sun rises at 2.21 a.m and sets at 10.59 p.m.
  • Umeå will be the European Capital of Culture in 2014.
  • Most of Umeå’s inhabitants were not born in this city and together they speak approximately 52 languages.
  • Umeå is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Sweden.
  • Umeå has over 180 kilometres of bicycle tracks, making bicycle the transportation of choice for most students, faculty and staff.
  • Umeå is situated in the county with the lowest crime rate in Sweden.
  • Umeå University was founded in 1965 and is the fifth oldest university in Sweden.
  • Umeå University has 34,200 registered students taught and aided by over 4,200 teachers and supporting staff.
  • Campus Umeå is the size of 28 football fields and is located within walking distance of downtown Umeå.
  • Umeå University receives more than 700 exchange students from over 30countries every year.
  • Over 40 nationalities are represented among students and staff.
  • The University Library has over 920,000 physical visitors and nearly 1.1 million web visitors per year. There are 1.5 million books and 28,000 periodicals (including electronic) available in 35,000 shelf metres.
  • Culture on Campus arranges free cultural events open to everyone at Umeå University. Culture on Campus celebrates 10 years this year (2013).
  • The Universum building in the centre of campus includes shopping, restaurants, pubs, and the Aula Nordica concert hall which has a seating capacity of 1,000.
  • The world’s largest brännboll (similar to rounders) tournament is played in Umeå every May.
  • IKSU Sport, one of Europe’s largest exercise facilities, has approximately23,000 visitors per week and offers a wide selection of activities.