A stay at an ice hotel is a truly arctic experience. There are several ice hotels in Scandinavia - adventurous visitors can find them in Norway, Finland, and Sweden each winter (scroll down for the list).
What is an ice hotel? An ice hotel is a hotel that is built out of blocks of ice and packed snow each winter in sub-zero temperatures. A mixture of snow and ice, called snice, holds it together. Ice hotels come in all shapes and sizes. In Scandinavia, there are several ice hotels. Guest accommodation can be in large buildings with many guest rooms while some others offer individual igloos for guests instead. The room temperature in ice hotels ranges from 0 to -6 degrees Celsius (32-21 degrees Fahrenheit).
Ice hotels often have very unique "Ice Bars" with beautiful works of art created entirely from ice. At these ice bars, even the drinking glasses are made from ice. Some hotels even have their own ice restaurants!
What do I need to bring to an ice hotel? Even though the sub-zero sleeping bag will keep you warm during a night at an ice hotel, you should bring long thermal underwear and a pullover or sweater. Stuff your regular clothing in the bottom of your sleeping bag so you don't have to put on frozen clothes in the morning. Another tip: Make sure you go to the bathroom before you go to bed. Getting out of your sleeping bag in the middle of the night isn't pleasant.
Keep in mind that ice hotels are a special experience and it's uncommon for guests to spend their whole trip at an ice hotel. Most visitors stay one or two nights, and spend the rest at one of the regular hotels nearby.
When are ice hotels open? Depending on the weather in Scandinavia, ice hotels are generally open from January to April (click on individual hotels below for details).
Find out what ice hotels can look like in the Ice Hotel Photo Gallery!