2 Votes


User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

 rovaniemi map eng

 Snowy landscapes, rides with reindeer and huskies, meetings with Santa Claus and elves, festive events and the magnificent Northern Lights are just a few of what one can experience in the unique Rovaniemi!

A few words about the city

 Rovaniemi is a city in Finland and the capital of the Lapland region. It is one of the northernmost cities in the world, located near the Arctic Circle! The town has 60,592 inhabitants, and there is the seat of the University of Lapland, which is attended by about 10,000 students. Of course, Rovaniemi is known worldwide as the city of the "real" Santa Claus. During Christmas, the whole region dances to the rhythms of Santa Claus, with thousands of tourists rushing to be photographed with him. However, the city has tourism all year round and offers experiences that are difficult to live elsewhere! So I have chosen for you what I think is worthy of consideration for one visiting the city for the first time.

Joulupukin Pajakylä

 Let's not hide behind our finger, the main reason one visits Rovaniemi is to be in the Santa Claus Village (Joulupukin Pajakylä). But what does Santa have to do with Lapland and Rovaniemi? If I had to answer with just one word, I would say none. To find the beginning of the story, we have to go back to 1950, when Eleanor Roosevelt decided to visit the Arctic Circle region. Then the locals necessarily created a humble wooden chalet, to welcome the first lady of the USA. This small wooden chalet is the ancestor of today's vast village of Santa Claus, which in 1984 began to take the form we see today. The location is rather accidental, since some local businessmen were looking to transfer Santa's homeland to their area and Rovaniemi was the only town in northern Finland that had an airport at the time! Being there you will have the opportunity to meet the "real" Santa Claus, his wife and the elves and take pictures with them. You can also send letters and card postal, ride with reindeer and huskies, and finally there are dozens of cafes and restaurants to enjoy your drink or food. The Santa Claus Village is located about eight kilometers outside Rovaniemi, it is open all year round and there is no entry fee. Of course, in the winter months and as Christmas approaches, inseparability prevails, while there are continuous routes from the city center. Finally, even though there is no entrance fee to the village, the prices for everything are quite high. Typically, the photo and video with Santa Claus costs 50e!

Santa Park

 But beyond the village, just outside Rovaniemi there is another theme park dedicated to Christmas, the Santa Park. This particular one is literally built into a rock and has been an attraction for families with children since 1998! The entrance is by roller coaster and throughout the visit you can make several stops in the individual parts of the park. Characteristically there is the gift workshop, the elf school, the ice sculpture museum, the post office and, of course, Santa's office. There, the children can ask for what gift they want for Christmas and have their photo taken with him. Unlike the Santa Claus Village, here there is an entrance fee of 25e, while for all the individual activities you will need to pay extra.

santa park

Lordin aukio

 Now if we were seeking the most central point of the city, it would be Lordi Square (Lordin aukio). It used to be known as Sambo Square, but it was renamed in June 2006 in honor of the Finnish band's victory in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006. In fact, in the center of it there is a monument where the most famous monsters in music history have left their footprints! All members of Lordi have been appointed honorary citizens of Rovaniemi! There you will find most of the city's shops and restaurants, while next to the square is the Sampokeskus shopping center! Throughout the year it gathers the majority of people, while in the summer various events take place.

lordin aukio2

Rovaniemen kirkko

 The Church of Rovaniemi (Rovaniemen Kirkko) is located in the center of the city and is considered one of its major attractions. The church we see today was designed by the architect Bertel Lilgequist and completed in 1950! An older church in 1817 was burned down by the Nazis during the Lapland War on October 16, 1944. The Church of Rovaniemi initially stands out for the impressive Christian cross on its roof, illuminated with red neon light and is visible only at night! Equally noteworthy is the large fresco of the altar, 14 meters high and 11 meters wide, which was created by Professor Lennart Segerstrale in 1951. Admission to the church is free.

rovaniemen kirkko


 The Arktikum Science Museum is the most important museum in the city and one of the most popular in the whole country, both for its exhibits and for the building itself. Its operation began in 1992 and it is divided into two individual museums, the Provincial Museum of Lapland (Lapin maakuntamuseo) and the Arctic Center, which examine culture, history and contemporary life in the Arctic Circle. So through interactive exhibits and interesting presentations you will learn all about the history of the Laplanders and Vikings, as well as all the animals that inhabit this blessed place. Ultimately, in the building there is a lovely cafe, Artikum Café, where you can enjoy a hot drink or have a bite, between the guided tours. Admission costs 18e.



 Of course, a trip to Rovaniemi would not be complete without a visit to one of the local farms in the area! There you will have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with a way of life in Lapland and learn everything about it. We found ourselves at Raitola farm, the people of which are very friendly and made us feel at home. They usually offer warm juice from berries and cinnamon rolls, while talking about their everyday lives and farm animals. King of these animals is, of course, the reindeer, an animal that lives in the area at a greater density than humans. Lapland is home to 200,000 reindeer, about 20,000 more than humans. You will then be able to feed the reindeer and take a short 400-metre sleigh ride. At the end of the ride, they will also give you a reindeer driving license as a souvenir! Finally, you can also get in touch with Lapland Huskies, who scream with joy as they go crazy pulling sleds in the snow.



 As you will have already realized, Rovaniemi is not a city with a plethora of attractions. However, there are many things you can do and see in the area. So in addition to sleigh rides with reindeer and huskies, I suggest trying snowmobile. Whether you are experienced or inexperienced, you will be able to discover the beautiful landscapes around the Arctic Circle on an exciting snow safari. In addition, Rovaniemi is considered one of the ideal spots to see the Northern Lights. So if you find yourself in the Lapland area during the winter, do not forget to hunt for this unique phenomenon. Many travel agencies combine the Northern Lights with nature barbecues. It is an amazing experience, since you will find yourself in the middle of the Lapland desert in a place full of snow-covered fir trees, in which you will light a fire, roast sausages, drink hot beverages and hear stories about the region. Plus, you can walk on frozen lakes, swim in them in special costumes and fish in these idyllic landscapes. Finally, since you are in Finland, I would suggest taking a sauna. Here there are various options, not at all common, since you can take a sauna in the snow, on moving ships and in many other special places.


How to go

 At the moment Thessaloniki is not directly connected by air with Rovaniemi. So you should first approach another city and then go to Rovaniemi. The alternatives I have to offer are two. The first is to fly via Ryanair to Stockholm and from there with SAS to the country's capital Helsinki. Then you can take the evening train and have a unique experience. The total cost of this option is estimated around 200,00e round trip. The second option is to fly with Ryanair to Charleroi airport and from there with the same company to Rovaniemi. In this case the cost is estimated around 160,00e.

Where to stay

 In Rovaniemi, as in all of Scandinavia of course, accommodation is expensive. What we call value for money does not exist, as all hotels and rooms are overpriced. Despite the size of the city, there are many options, but during the Christmas period they are sold out. So my proposal is Tuomas ' luxurius suites, Kitka, a beautiful and fully equipped apartment, just a breath away from the main street.

How to move

 Rovaniemi is a very small city, where most of its attractions are concentrated in its center. The distances are relatively short and you can walk them, but Rovaniemi has several buses that cover the whole city. Two of the times you'll need them are when you're moving towards Santa's Village and the Airport. So you should know that in addition to the local buses, there are also private ones that run the same route, although the tickets are a little more expensive. In both cases, the tickets are provided by the driver.

What to eat

 Finnish cuisine has many influences from Russian, Swedish and Hungarian traditions. Fish, meat, potatoes and fruit (especially berries) are the main ingredients for most of the country's recipes. Understandably, in winter foods are heavier and fattier because of the polar cold. Some of the country's most traditional dishes are salmon soup (lohikeitto) and salmon in general, smoked trout, salted herring, perch and muikku, stuffed rice dumplings (karjalanpiirakka), cinnamon roll (korvapuusti), reindeer meat, while finally in some restaurants you will also find bear meat! As for drinks, Finland is famous for its vodkas, while the locals drink a lot of tea, coffee and hot fruit juices (usually blueberries). To try the local cuisine I recommend Café & Bar 21, while for delicious pastries Kotileipomo Antinkaapo Oy.

Useful information

finland info

In Rovaniemi we travel with a new type of Passport or Police ID, where the details are written in Latin characters.

In Rovaniemi the language used is, of course, Finnish. But the majority, if not all, speak English, so ask for clarification in English.

The currency of the country is, of course, the Euro.

Rovaniemi has the same time as Greece (GMT +3).

Getting to and from Rovaniemi airport is easy, as in the winter months there are continuous routes of both public and private buses, costing from 1.8 to 4.5e.

There is no Greek embassy or conslate in Rovaniemi, so if you need anything you should contact the nearest one, which is located in Helsinki at Maneesikatu 2A4 and its phone number is +3589 6229790.

Rovaniemi is by definition a Christmas destination, but at that time the temperatures are well below zero and the days are quite short. So I would suggest to visit it in the summer season as well, where everything is blooming and green, the daylight never fades and the temperatures are normal.


Recommended excursions → Helsinki, Oulu, Inari


rovaniemi lang eng


If this article seemed interesting or contributed to your quality information, then you can like my facebook page: o_thessalonikios or follow me on instagram!

Mouzakidis Pantelis



pantelis thessalonikios 1

I am Pantelis or as the title of the blog testifies "O Thessalonikios". If you also have a passion for travel, then you are in the right place. My goal is to be able to see the 237 countries of our planet and my purpose to give you information that I gained from my travels. 

travel vibe