10 Places to Experience Perpetual Daylight

10 Places to Experience Perpetual Daylight

Summer is associated with longer days and lots of sunshine, and in the northern hemisphere, the further north you go between May and July, the longer your days will be. While many countries notice the effects of the Earth tilting on its axis, nowhere is this more pronounced than in the Arctic Circle. The circumpolar area stretches through 8 countries—Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, the United States, Canada, Greenland and Iceland—and despite the harsh northern climates, there are many vibrant cities north of 66 degrees. Here are 10 places you can visit in “the land of the midnight sun.”

10. Umeå (Sweden)

Umeå is the 12th largest city in Sweden, and the largest in the province of Norrland, with almost 80,000 inhabitants. It was a European Capital of Culture in 2014 and has been an important university town in the country since 1965. Located along the 63rd parallel, it is situated about 400 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle and 600 kilometers north of Stockholm. Its position along the Gulf of Bothenia mediates its climate, with average summer temperatures hovering around 20 degrees. The city receives nearly 300 sunshine hours per month between May and July. It is known as the cultural center of northern Sweden, since it is the largest center north of the Stockholm-Uppsala region, and is home to many festivals and museums. It is also a center for media, with many bands hailing from Umeå.

Umea Sweden

9. Iqaluit (Canada)

Iqaluit, formerly known as Frobisher Bay, became a city in 2001. It is the capital city of the territory of Nunavut, in Canada. The population is almost 6,700 people, and many of the people who live there are Inuit. Average temperatures in June are just 7 degrees Celsius and 12 degrees in July; despite that, Iqaluit receives 200-plus sunshine hours per month in the summer. Iqaluit is accessible by air and boat, but not connected to a highway. The Nunavut Legislative Assembly Building is a distinctive feature of Iqaluit’s cityscape and its colorful interior is home to some of the very best Inuit art. The former Hudson’s Bay Company buildings are now an art gallery. During the summer solstice, on June 21, Iqaluit celebrates the midnight sun with a festival called Toonik Tyme, which combines traditional Inuit activities with the Alianait Music and Arts Festival, among other modern events.

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