There is plenty more to the town affectionately known as ‘Little Stockholm’, home to 90,000 (or so) people in the northeast of Sweden, gazing convivially across the Gulf of Bothnia towards Finland and the east. A former European Capital of Culture, Umeå is home to the world’s largest collection of vintage guitars and almost as many birch trees, that perfect marriage of creativity and nature that brings out the best in both. The name loosely translates as ‘the roaring river’, which sums up this charmer quite perfectly.
Umeå is just a few hundred miles south of the Arctic Circle, making it the perfect final stop before leaving civilisation behind and heading off in search of the Northern Lights. Umeå is more than a simple stopover though, and it’s not unusual for those stopovers to turn into long holidays to turn into full-on migration, as the charisma and energy of underrated Umeå slip under the skin. Throw in some curiously warm summers (by Swedish standards, at least) and the sort of geographical location that cities would sell limbs for, and you’ve got your new favourite city. Now, time to play Somewhere Along the Highway for the 35,446,834th time….