Haparanda (Finnish: Haaparanta, meaning aspen beach) is a locality and the seat of Haparanda Municipality in Norrbotten County, Sweden. It is adjacent to Tornio, Finland. Haparanda had a population of 4,856 in 2010,[1] of out of a municipal total of 10,200 inhabitants.

Haparanda is, despite its small population, for historical reasons often still referred to as a city. Statistics Sweden, however, only counts localities with more than 10,000 inhabitants as cities. Haparanda is located at the northerly extreme of the Swedish coastline, and far removed from large cities. Its summers are very mild for a coastal location so far north, and winters are normally not extremely cold in spite of the relative proximity to the Arctic Circle.

The municipality itself, on the other hand, uses the term Haparanda stad (City of Haparanda) not only for the town itself, but for its whole territory (927 km2 or 358 sq mi). At 24° 8' E, Haparanda is Sweden's easternmost settlement.

Haparanda railway station
Haparanda railway station
Haparanda is located in Norrbotten
Haparanda is located in Sweden
Coordinates: 65°50′N 024°08′E / 65.833°N 24.133°ECoordinates: 65°50′N 024°08′E / 65.833°N 24.133°E
CountyNorrbotten County
MunicipalityHaparanda Municipality
 • Total4.43 km2 (1.71 sq mi)
(31 December 2010)[1]
 • Total4,856
 • Density1,097/km2 (2,840/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)


Haparanda hotel and city hall
Haparanda Hotel (left) and City Hall (right)

When Sweden ceded Finland to Russia in 1809, the Finnish–Swedish border was drawn along the Rivers Tornio and Muonio. The town of Tornio, located on the island Suensaari in the river delta became part of the Grand Duchy of Finland within the Russian Empire as demanded by czar Alexander I. (Finland declared independence in 1917).

At that time the town of Tornio was dominated by Swedish-speaking merchants and craftsmen, forming a linguistic island in a Finnish-speaking countryside. After the war many of the Swedes started to develop the small village Haaparanta across the border instead (Haparanda and Tornio are within walking distance), eventually leaving Tornio unilingually Finnish. Haparanda was made a market town (köping) in 1821 and received its city charter in 1842.

Into the early twentieth century Haparanda enjoyed commercial and political significance out of proportion to its size because of its position at the mouth of the Torne river at the head of the Gulf of Bothnia. Timber and furs from across northern Scandinavia and Russia arrived by water for shipping on to the rest of the world via the Baltic. Arctic and Antarctic expeditions of the 19th and 20th centuries, including that of Admiral Peary of the US, wore furs supplied by Hermansons, whose shop still stands in Haparanda, albeit closed now. Haparanda was the only open railway border crossing at the border to Russia during World War I.


Haparanda/Tornio play in the second tier bandy division in Sweden, allsvenskan. Haparanda hosted matches in the Bandy World Championship 2001.

Other sports clubs located in Haparanda include:

The impact of the Finland-Sweden international border

Evacuation Memorial Haparanda
Memorial at Haparanda commemorating Finnish children evacuated to Sweden in World War II. The buildings on the right are in Tornio, Finland.

Relations between the neighbouring towns have always been friendly. A large portion of Haparanda's population speak both Swedish and Finnish. Today the two towns are closely interconnected economically and socially; they constitute a transborder conurbation marketed as "EuroCity". Since Sweden and Finland are in different time zones, Haparanda is one hour behind Tornio. This allows a unique spectacle on New Year's Eve, when people can welcome in the new year twice. Since 2005 the cities have rebranded themselves as "Haparanda-Tornio" in Sweden, and "Tornio-Haparanda" in Finland.

Haparanda has a railway station, but the line is now only used for freight. The station buildings are used by a youth club, and occasionally for concerts. They include what were originally customs and border control posts. This was the only route open between Russia and Germany in World War I, and during World War II many of the approximately 80,000 Finnish children evacuated to Sweden entered the country here.

Rail gauge

Haparanda-Tornio rail bridge Sep2008
The bridge over Torne river with dual gauge tracks.

Haparanda is connected to the Swedish national network by the Haparandabanan (Haparanda railway). The bridge between Haparanda and Tornio is the only direct connection between the Swedish and Finnish rail systems. The two networks use different track gauges, requiring all freight wagons crossing the border to have their cargo reloaded or their bogies exchanged. There is a dual gauge track, in a 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) and 1,524 mm (5 ft) four rail gauntlet track formation, between Haparanda and Tornio.


Haparanda Church, built 1967

An IKEA retail store opened 15 November 2006 in a new commercial enterprise zone at the Haparanda-Tornio border, and is the northernmost IKEA store in the world.[2] Though goods are priced in Swedish kronor only, instore signage is in both Swedish and Finnish. This single store attracts a claimed two million visitors every year, and has triggered "piggy-back" development of other large-scale retail outlets and a prototypical US-style shopping mall on the site.[3] Although shops in Haparanda itself accept euros and Swedish kronor, many have closed in the face of competition from the out of town development.

Notable buildings besides the rail station (1918) include the Stadshotell (hotel and former town hall) of 1900, which has a first floor stateroom with magnificent chandeliers of Orrefors glass, and the landmark pepperpot-shaped watertower,[4] erected in 1920. It no longer provides all the town's water, only the communal hot water supply. Haparanda's uncompromisingly modern church is by Bengt Larsson of the ELLT studio, and dates from 1967, its predecessor being destroyed by fire in 1964.

Plans for a new building containing a multipurpose arena seating 2,500 and more commercial development were announced in 2013. It will be sited on the border. Construction started in 2016 with a planned completion date in 2018.[5]


Haparanda has a subarctic climate courtesy of its northerly position, but in spite of this classification the climate is often quite mild. The marine airflow from the mild North Atlantic tempers winters in spite of the low sun, whilst Haparanda retains enough continental influence for summers to be relatively warm, especially for a coastal city so far north. This is due to the large landmass surrounding the city in most directions as well as the brief midnight sun that normally lasts around 10 days.[6] During summer, daylight is prevalent enough to allow daytime activities around the clock for a longer period than that. During the winter solstice however, Haparanda only experiences 2 hours and 56 minutes of daylight.[7]

Daytime temperature average ranges normally goes between 20 °C (68 °F) in summer to −6 °C (21 °F) in winter, with winters being milder than many continental climates. Due to summer temperatures rapidly dropping once daylight diminishes, Haparanda does not reach such a classification.

Notable people

See also Category:People from Haparanda Municipality

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Tätorternas landareal, folkmängd och invånare per km2 2005 och 2010" (in Swedish). Statistics Sweden. 14 December 2011. Archived from the original on 10 January 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  2. ^ http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/10abe038-cd6f-11dd-9905-000077b07658.html
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2008-12-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Watertower
  5. ^ http://www.concent.se/projekt/haparanda-arena/
  6. ^ "Haparanda, Sweden; sunrise and sunset for June 2016". Sunrise and Sunset.com. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Haparandra, Sweden; sunrise and sunset for December 2016". Sunrise and Sunset.com. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  8. ^ "SMHI". Archived from the original on 2013-10-20.
  9. ^ "SMHI Average Monthly Data 2002-2015".

External links

Media related to Haparanda at Wikimedia Commons
Haparanda travel guide from Wikivoyage
2001 Bandy World Championship

The 2001 Bandy World Championship for men was played in Haparanda, Sweden, and Oulu, Finland, on March 24–April 1, 2001. The main arena was Raksila Artificial Ice Rink. Russia became champions.

Arena Polarica

The Arena Polarica, also called Kuben, is an indoor ice hockey arena in Haparanda, Sweden. Opened in 1990, it has a capacity of 1500 spectators, and serves as the home arena for Asplöven HC of the HockeyAllsvenskan.

Asplöven HC

Asplöven HC is an ice hockey club from Haparanda, Sweden, playing in Sweden's third tier league Hockeyettan. They play their home games at the Arena Polarica, which seats 1500 spectators.

Bothnian Bay

The Bothnian Bay or Bay of Bothnia (Swedish: Bottenviken, Finnish: Perämeri) is the northernmost part of the Gulf of Bothnia, which is in turn the northern part of the Baltic Sea. The land holding the bay is still rising after the weight of ice-age glaciers has been removed, and within 2,000 years the bay will be a large freshwater lake. The bay today is fed by several large rivers, and is relatively unaffected by tides, so has low salinity. It freezes each year for up to six months. Compared to other parts of the Baltic it has little plant or animal life.

European route E4

European route E 4 passes from north to south through Sweden from the border with Finland, with a total length of 1,590 kilometres (990 mi). The Finnish part lies entirely within Tornio in northern Finland, and is only 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) long. The Swedish part traverses most of Sweden except the extreme north and the west coast region, and is commonly considered the highway backbone of Sweden, since it passes in the vicinity of many of its largest cities and through the capital Stockholm. In particular, it is the mainline road used by most vehicle traffic, both personal cars and freight trailers, between the north (Norrland) and southern Sweden or beyond.

From Haparanda on the Finnish border, it stretches south along the Gulf of Bothnia to Gävle, then on a more inland route southwards. It ends in Helsingborg in Sweden, at the port for the ferry to Helsingør in Denmark. The route intersects with European route E6 just outside Helsingborg, which continues to Trelleborg on the southern coast of Sweden.

HT Bandy

HT Bandy (Swedish: HaparandaTornio Bandyförening; Finnish: Haaparanta-Tornion Palloveikot) was a Swedish-Finnish bandy. The club was located to Haparanda in Sweden and Tornio in Finland, two towns on each side of the Swedish-Finnish border. It was founded in 2008 when the two clubs in the towns decided to merge formally, after having had a deep cooperation for many years.HaparandaTornio played in Elitserien, the top-tier of Swedish bandy, in the 2009–10 and 2010–11 seasons, but has since been playing in the second level league, Allsvenskan,In 2017, HaparandaTornio BF folded.

Haparanda Archipelago National Park

Haparanda Archipelago National Park (Swedish: Haparanda skärgårds nationalpark) is a national park in Haparanda Municipality, Norrbotten County, Sweden.

The park covers part of the Haparanda archipelago in the northeast of the Bothnian Bay near the border with Finland.

There are two relatively large islands, Sandskär and Seskar Furö, and several smaller islands and reefs.

The park is to the west of the Finnish Perämeri National Park.All of the islands in the Haparanda archipelago have emerged in the last 1,500 years or so, as the bed of the bay has risen due to post-glacial rebound following the last ice age.The land continues to rise at about 8.5 millimetres (0.33 in) per year, so the islands are steadily expanding.

The water surrounding the islands is shallow, making it difficult to land.

The islands are typified by large dunes.

Haparanda FF

Haparanda FF is a football club located in Haparanda.

Haparanda Line

The Haparanda Line (Swedish: Haparandabanan) is a 165-kilometer (103 mi) long railway line between Boden and Haparanda in Sweden. There is a 3-kilometer (1.9 mi) long section from Haparanda to Torneå, which is on the Finnish side of the Finland–Sweden border. The line is the only Swedish railway to the Finnish border. The single track line is used exclusively by freight trains. Passengers must use buses from Luleå to the Haparanda bus station, where there are bus connections to Kemi in Finland. Interrail tickets are valid on these buses.

Haparanda Municipality

Haparanda Municipality (Swedish: Haparanda kommun), (Finnish: Haaparannan kunta) is a municipality in Norrbotten County in northern Sweden. Its seat is located in Haparanda (Finnish: Haaparanta).

In 1967 the "City of Haparanda" was merged with the rural municipalities Karl Gustav and Nedertorneå. Since 1971 Haparanda, like all other municipalities of Sweden, is a municipality of unitary type. However, it prefers to use the title stad ("city") for the whole territory, including the non-urban parts.

Haparanda Nyheter

Haparanda Nyheter ('Haparanda News') was a Swedish-language twice-weekly newspaper published from Haparanda, Sweden, between 1916 and 1917. It was linked to the Finnish-language newspaper Haaparannan sanomat. Pär Axelsson was the editor of the newspaper.

Haparanda archipelago

The Haparanda archipelago (Swedish: Haparanda skärgård) is a group of 792 Swedish islands in the north part of the Bay of Bothnia. The islands are used for recreation in the summer months. They are icebound during the winter.

Marielund, Haparanda

Marielund is a locality situated in Haparanda Municipality, Norrbotten County, Sweden with 1,726 inhabitants in 2010. It was built as a suburb to Haparanda in the 1970s and then got the name Mattila after a small village in the neighbourhood. To avoid confusion, the name was changed to the current one in the 1980s.


Nikkala is a locality situated in Haparanda Municipality, Norrbotten County, Sweden with 435 inhabitants in 2010.


Seskarö (Finnish: Seittenkaari) is a locality situated in Haparanda Municipality, Norrbotten County, Sweden with 491 inhabitants in 2010. It is located on the island with the same name which is about 20 km2 and situated in the Haparanda Archipelago. Since 1978, it has been connected to the mainland through a bridge, via some intermediate islands.

Sven-Erik Bucht

Sven-Erik Bucht (born 28 December 1954) is a Swedish politician of the Social Democrats. He served as Minister for Rural Affairs in the Löfven cabinet from 2014 to 2019.Bucht served municipal commissioner in Haparanda from 2003 to 2010. During this time an IKEA shop was established in Haparanda.In 2010, he was elected to the Riksdag.

Tomas Johansson (wrestler)

Tomas Johansson (born 1962) is a Swedish wrestler. He was born in Haparanda. He won an Olympic silver medal in Greco-Roman wrestling in 1992, and a bronze medal in 1988. He won a gold medal at the 1986 World Wrestling Championships


Tornio (official name: Tornion kaupunki; in Northern Sami: Duortnus; in Swedish: Torneå) is a city and municipality in Lapland, Finland. The city forms a cross-border twin city together with Haparanda on the Swedish side. The municipality covers an area of 1,348.83 square kilometres (520.79 sq mi), of which 161.59 km2 (62.39 sq mi) is water. The population density is 18.4 inhabitants per square kilometre (48/sq mi), with a total population of 21,837 (31 January 2019). It borders the Swedish municipality of Haparanda (in Finnish: Haaparanta). In spite of being a border city Tornio is unilingually Finnish with a negligible number of Swedish speakers.

Tornion Palloveikot

Tornion Palloveikot, Torneå PV or ToPV is a Finnish sports club in Tornio, founded in 1935. The club is mainly active playing bandy but also floorball and used to have a section for association football too.

The club's home games are nowadays played in Gränsvallen, a town near Haparanda in Sweden. Together with the Haparanda-based club Haparanda SKT, a joint team called HaparandaTornio Bandy was created to play in the Swedish league system, but ToPV has also kept on playing in the Finnish Bandyliiga.

ToPV has been Finnish bandy champions six times for men's teams, in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007, and their women's team once, in 2010.

Climate data for Haparanda, 2002-2015; precipitation 1971-2000; extremes since 1901
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 8.4
Average high °C (°F) −5.9
Daily mean °C (°F) −9.2
Average low °C (°F) −13.3
Record low °C (°F) −40.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 47.2
Source #1: [8]
Source #2: [9]
Municipal seats

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