How to Visit Rovaniemi in Winter: Lapland Winter Wonderland!

Ready to explore Rovaniemi in winter?

After spending my last winter in Lapland and various parts of Finland, the best part of my trip was visiting Rovaniemi in winter. I am here to share all I have learned from my previous experience, and help to make the planning of your trip a very easy task 😉.

Rovaniemi is known as the official hometown of Santa Claus and it is the capital of Finnish Lapland. This friendly town is surrounded by Arctic nature and offers a wide range of activities all year round, allowing visitors to enjoy Lappish culture to the fullest. And, of course, you can cross the Arctic Circle when you’re here!

Below, I’ve prepared a very detailed guide on what to do in Rovaniemi in winter. It covers all of the essential information about the weather, where to stay, how to plan your Rovaniemi winter trip, etc. At the end of this guide, you will find a helpful FAQ that will make your winter in Rovaniemi vacation easy to plan and your one-stop guide!

If we miss anything you are curious about for a winter trip to Rovaniemi, just leave me a comment below.

You will love these articles ❤️:

Lapland Rovaniemi winter
Rovaniemi downtown

Essential Tips Before You Visit Rovaniemi in Winter

What to Expect When You Visit Rovaniemi in winter?

Expect sub-zero temperatures and snow-covered streets, making winter in Rovaniemi the perfect destination. There are so many classic winter activities such as dog sledding, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. The highlight for many is a chance to meet Santa Claus at the Santa Claus Village, a year-round Christmas-themed attraction!

Winter is also the prime Northern Lights season, and Rovaniemi’s location within the Arctic Circle makes it an ideal place to witness this natural spectacle.


How many days do I need to visit Rovaniemi in winter?

I’d suggest at least 3-5 days as there are so many awesome things to do! This will give you enough time to try out all the popular winter activities, as well as have some relaxation time. After all, there’s no better place to kick back and relax than Rovaniemi.

Any less than this, and you’ll find your visit rushed and you’ll miss out on a fair few experiences. If you can, I’d recommend that you spend even longer here, as this will give you a better chance of spotting the Northern Lights. Not to mention, there are plenty of day trip opportunities!


Is it worth it to visit Rovaniemi in December?

If you love Christmas then you need to visit Rovaniemi in December. After all, Santa Claus’s official residence in the North Pole can be found in Santa Clause Village in Rovaniemi, Finland.

I personally visited Rovaniemi in December, therefore all the photos you see in this article, were taken during this time.

The winter activities in Rovaniemi are best done between December and March. The snow usually melts in the latter part of April, and by early May, the river ice breaks and melts downstream. Visiting Rovaniemi in December is a popular month, especially as families come to meet Santa Claus and get involved with festive activities!

The month of May is when nature starts to come back to life. From early June to early July, Rovaniemi experiences the Midnight Sun, which brings a lot of light to the city.


Weather in Rovaniemi in Winter

What are the average temperatures during winter in Rovaniemi?

If you are wondering if Rovaniemi in winter is cold, my honest answer for you is: heck yeah! Rovaniemi is very cold in winter! The days are usually short and cold, with very little sunlight.

But the good news is that Rovaniemi in winter transforms into a magical fairy land. Rovaniemi is a beautiful white city, with plenty of fun activities. Also, make sure you pack the right kind of clothing. So, dress accordingly and enjoy this fairytale.

❄️ Rovaniemi in November: Highs of 0°C (32°F); Lows of -6°C (21.2°F)

❄️ Rovaniemi in December: Highs of -4°C (24.8°F); Lows of -11°C (12.2°F)

❄️ Rovaniemi in January: Highs of -8°C (17.6°F); Lows of -16°C (3.2°F)

❄️ Rovaniemi in February: Highs of -6°C (21.2°F); Lows of -14°C (6.8°F)

❄️ Rovaniemi in March: Highs of 0°C (32°F); Lows of -10°C (14°F)


Snowfall in Rovaniemi winter

In October, temperatures start to drop below zero and this is usually when the first snowfall occurs. By late November, expect to find permanent snow cover, as up to 161 mm of snow can fall during this month!

December and January are both very snowy months, with January typically experiencing the most snow with an average monthly snowfall of over 200 mm. As such, this is a very popular time to visit Rovaniemi. April is still considered to be very snowy, and it doesn’t actually start to melt until the end of the month or during the start of May.


Daylight Hours in Rovaniemi during Winter

During the peak winter months, you’ll only get a few limited hours of sunshine throughout the day. This tends to be between 10 am – 2 pm, although this can differ depending on the weather of course. That’s as little as 4 hours (often even less).

Luckily, as Rovaniemi is very snowy, the light seems to reflect off the snow so it does appear lighter. As you won’t have many hours of sunlight, it’s important to plan out your trip effectively, so you can make the most of your time here.

things to do in Rovaniemi in winter
Exploring Rovaniemi in winter

How To Get to Rovaniemi in winter

✈️  Flight to Rovaniemi

Due to the weather, flying is often the most popular choice. Rovaniemi Airport is one of the busiest airports in Finland, experiencing a large number of direct flights from Europe during the winter months.

Direct services include London, Paris, Dusseldorf, and Istanbul among others, and there are also a couple of daily flights from Helsinki (Finland’s capital). Airlines that service this route include EasyJet, Air France, Eurowings, Turkish Airlines, Finnair, and Norwegian.

To reach the city from the airport, there’s a public bus which is the most affordable option. You can also opt for a taxi, private transfer, or car rental, which I’ll dive into now!


🚙 Car Rental to Rovaniemi

If you’re flying to Rovaniemi then you can pick up a car rental right from the airport. Popular operators found here include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Green Motion, and Sixt among others. If you want to find some great deals, check out Discover Cars before your trip. Of course, you may already be road-tripping through Finland (or Europe in general). In this case, make sure you opt for a one-way rental.

Just be aware that there are specific rules when driving in Finland during the winter. The rental company will equip the vehicle with everything you need, but it’s always best to double-check.

I also have wrote this article on the 15 essential tips how to drive safe in Lapland, to help to answer all the questions you may have if you decide to rent a car.

#1 Our Top Pick

Discover Cars

🏆 When choosing a rental online in Rovaniemi, my number one pick is always Discover Cars. I personally use them and love them since they meticulously search through local and international companies to get you the best deal every time.

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🚗  Private Driver to Rovaniemi

If you’d prefer not to drive in Finland’s snowy conditions, then you can always opt for a private driver. Now, these will be very costly, but they are a great option for those who aren’t on a budget. You’ll still have plenty of flexibility, yet you won’t have to drive yourself.

Johka and Private Transfer Lapland are two popular options. Not only can you book a private transfer from the airport to your hotel, but they also offer private transportation throughout the country. Their vehicles seat 6-8 guests so are perfect for groups and families as you can split the cost.


🚆 Train to Rovaniemi

I traveled from Helsinki to Rovaniemi on the overnight Santa Claus Express. I traveled on a comfy sleeper cabin, and it is also amazing to know that you can load your rental car in the train, and this is exactly what I did. But keep in mind that you need to book it way in advance, as they only have a few spots available. It is not cheap, but it is was the most convenient way I found to have my rental car with me, and to have the freedom to explore around Rovaniemi.

Finland’s train services are operated by the state company VR. Several trains run from Helsinki to Rovaniemi daily, so you’ll have no problem arriving from the country’s capital. Direct services are quicker but more expensive, and the journey takes between 8.5 – 11.5 hours.

You can arrive here from other Finnish towns as well but services may not be as frequent so it’s best to check! Despite Rovaniemi’s harsh weather and climate, trains run to this city all year round. You can purchase your tickets online in advance which I’d highly recommend, as Rovaniemi is certainly a popular winter destination.

transport to Rovaniemi in winter
Catching the train to Rovaniemi in winter!

🚍 Bus to Rovaniemi

Coach services run all across Finland (including to Rovaniemi). They are operated by Matkahuolto and Onnibus and connect this winter wonderland with the South and the North. In fact, these coaches offer the only form of public transport to the more Northern areas of Lapland.

Buses from the capital of Helsinki take around 11.5 hours and tickets are around half the price of the trains. Better yet, these companies over overnight departures, so you can save on a night’s accommodation rather than traveling all day. On these buses, you’ll have a toilet, Wi-Fi, and electric sockets, as well as luggage storage.

winter in Lapland

How to Get Around Rovaniemi in Winter

When it comes to getting around Rovaniemi, renting a car is a great option, even in the winter. The roads are kept pretty clear in and around the city, and your car will be equipped with all-year or winter tires. There are plenty of places to visit outside of the city, and this way, you won’t need to rely on public transport.

I rented a car and I loved that I had freedom to visit around Rovaniemi, and take day trips such as to the stunning Pyha-Luosto National Park. I also drove to the boarder with Sweden to catch the Northern Lights and it was truly a magical experience. Thanks for my car rental!

Just don’t forget to read this article: 15 Essential Tips to Drive in Lapland in Winter

🌟 You can compare and save up to 70% on your rental car when you book through this site. I use and recommend Discover Cars because it is the most reliable rental car source, and it allows you to compare the prices of different places.

However, if you don’t want to drive, then several bus services will help you get around. Line 8 runs to Santa Claus Village while there’s also the Santa Claus Bus that runs from the airport to Santa Claus Village. Matkahuolto operates daily services to Ranua Zoo as well, which is another popular attraction.

Your other option is to take a taxi, with reputable companies including Taxi Lähitaksi Rovaniemi, Rovaniemi Taxi Service, and Menevä Taxis. Although this is a more expensive option, it’s a convenient way to explore the city and surrounding area.

Where to stay in Rovaniemi in Winter

There are plenty of places to stay in Rovaniemi. Whether you’re after a luxurious glass igloo or a more affordable hotel room, there are options for every budget. Just keep in mind that Finland is one of the more expensive countries in Europe, and you’ll be traveling during a popular season, so you may end up paying over the odds for accommodation!

Here are my top choices:

Rovaniemi igloo hotel

📍 TOP OVERALL: Glass Resort

⭐️ RATING: 9.7/10 Exceptional (493 Reviews)

This place offers some of the best glass igloos in Finland. Each apartment boasts ceiling-to-floor glass windows, a private sauna, and a hot tub, so there’s no better setting for watching the Northern Lights. Breakfast and dinner are included in the price, and there’s an on-site restaurant as well as a tour desk. ‘Santa Claus’ Office’ is also located on-site.


Rovaniemi in winter

📍 BEST CITY LOCATION: Santa’s Hotel Santa Claus

⭐️ RATING: 8.3/10 Exceptional (493 Reviews)

If you are want to stay downtown Rovaniemi, the Santa’s Hotel is the best option. Great location, walking distance from restaurants, shops and the mall. Excellent breakfast. They offer shuttle options to the main attractions.


igloo hotel in Rovaniemi, Finland

📍BEST LOCATION: Santa’s Igloos Arctic Circle

⭐️ RATING: 8.6/10 Fabulous (402 Reviews)

You will love Santa’s Igloos Arctic Circle as it is at a fantastic location in Santa Claus Village. This place is also one of the best hotels in Finland for the Northern Lights as they have ‘Northern Light Alarms’.


glass igloos in Finnish Lapland

📍 LUXURY: Apukka Resort

⭐️ RATING: 8.7/10 Fabulous (653 Reviews)

Apukka Resort is just a 15-minute drive from Rovaniemi. Here, you’ll find gorgeous Aurora Cabins, igloo suites, and Lakeview suites, which are great for spotting the Northern Lights. Boasting saunas, an on-site restaurant specializing in Nordic cuisine, and evening entertainment, this place has a lot to offer.

glass igloos in Finland
Staying in Rovaniemi in winter!

Northern Lights in Rovaniemi in Winter

As Rovaniemi is located along the Arctic Circle, it’s a great place to spot the Northern lights (or Aurora Borealis).

The season for spotting this natural phenomenon starts at the end of August and finishes towards the start of April.

The Northern Lights are typically seen from 10 pm, with 11:30 pm – midnight being a great time to spot them! However, they can be seen into the morning.

These gorgeous light displays can last for up to several hours although sometimes they’re only spotted for a couple of minutes. Just be aware that you’ll need a clear sky to see them!

🌟 BEST TOUR: When it comes to spotting the Aurora Borealis, you can either look out for it yourself or head out on a tour. This Northern Lights photography tour lasts for 4-5 hours and your guide will show you the best camera settings for if you spot them (it is a natural occurrence after all).

Lapland winter
Catching the Northern Lights during my trip to Rovaniemi in winter

Best Things to do in Rovaniemi in Winter

I’ve actually written a full guide on the best things to do in Rovaniemi in Winter. However, I’m going to go through my personal top activities and experiences, to ensure you don’t miss them off your itinerary in Rovaniemi!

1. Visit Santa Claus at the Santa Claus Village

📷 Recommended Tour: Santa Claus Village tour + Arctic animals adventure

No trip to Rovaniemi is complete without heading to Santa Claus Village. As this city is the official ‘hometown’ of Santa Claus, you can’t spend time here without visiting Father Christmas! Luckily, he’s here every day of the year so it doesn’t matter when you visit.

Thanks to the snow, festive activities, and magical atmosphere, getting to meet Santa Claus in Rovaniemi is an experience like no other. He’s always jolly and happy to have a chat, making this a great activity for families, especially those with small children. Better yet, you can request an elf to take a photograph of the family with Father Christmas, and you can purchase this later!

The opening hours for this activity differ depending on the month of your visit, so make sure to check this in advance.

Santa Claus Village in winter

2. Enjoy Rovaniemi Town in Winter

Although most popular for being the home of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi has so much more to offer. Known for its vibrant atmosphere, culture, and surrounding scenery, it’s the perfect place for a winter escape.

Spend some time on the Lordi’s Square, the central square where you go shopping for cute Christmas decorations, watch kids having fun ice skating, and visit the Christmas Market with some locals displaying their handcraft arts.

Simply wandering around Rovaniemi is enough to get anyone in the festive spirit, with its multitude of activities and snowy vibe. However, there are plenty of attractions found in and around the city itself, which are also worth a visit. One of these is Arktikum, which is a science center and museum that will teach you all about the Arctic region, and its nature, history, and culture.

Culture House Korundi is another great place to visit, as well as the Science Centre Pilke. You’ll find plenty of great restaurants in the city too, and don’t miss out on Lapland Brewery either. If you have children, then they’ll love the Angry Birds Playground!


3. Visit a Reindeer Farm & Go Reindeer Sledding

📷 Recommended Tour: Rovaniemi: Reindeer, Huskies & Santa Claus Village

When we think of Christmas, Santa Claus and his reindeer tend to be the first thing to mind (along with the delicious food, of course). As such, you can’t visit Rovaniemi and not head to a reindeer farm. Visit a reindeer farm in Rovaniemi is a must-do activity, as besides the fun experience with the animals, the visit is very informative. I have done it and learned a lot myself.

You’ll be able to get up close with these charming creatures and take plenty of photographs to capture the moment. For the best experience, I highly recommend that you go reindeer sledding as well. Honestly, this is an activity like no other!

Not only are you in for the experience of a lifetime, but you’ll even get to drive the sleigh yourself after your herders have given you instructions. To commemorate this, you’ll be given a Reindeer Sledge Driver’s License (this may depend on where you go and which tour you choose).

Even if you only have a short amount of time in Rovaniemi, don’t miss out on meeting the reindeer here!

visiting Rovaniemi in winter
While exploring Rovaniemi in winter, make sure you try reindeer sledding!

4. Go Dog Sledding

📷 Recommended Tour: Snowy Trails Husky Safari from Rovaniemi

Another hugely popular activity, especially with animal lovers! While in Rovaniemi, you’ll want to visit a local husky farm. Here, you’ll get to learn all about these beautiful creatures and even get close to a few. You’ll also get to take plenty of pictures of these gorgeous pooches!

After learning all about their training and breeding, as well as husky races, why not head out on a dog sledding ride? These sled rides offer you the perfect opportunity to admire the stunning landscapes all around you, as well as the skill of these well-trained dogs.

Many of the tours (including the one above) come with hotel pick-up and drop-off from Rovaniemi, so you won’t have to worry about transport either. These tours typically only last for a few hours, or you can go for a combination tour instead which includes other attractions and activities.


5. Experience the Traditional Finish Sauna

📷 Recommended Tour: Rovaniemi: Snow Sauna Experience with Dinner

Not only are there plenty of things to do in Rovaniemi, but it’s also the perfect place to relax. One of the best ways to do this is by trying out a traditional Finnish Sauna. You’ll find plenty of these experiences on offer, and they’re all run by different activity and hotel providers. Some of them even include ice swimming so you get the best of both worlds!

A Finnish sauna uses dry heat, unlike many other saunas and steam rooms. Although the temperature is typically set from 70 to 100 Celsius degrees (158 – 212°F), the humidity is only around 5-20%.

Many of the locals visit a Finnish sauna every day, whether it’s the winter or summer. These saunas have endless health benefits including reducing blood pressure, muscle relaxation, detoxification, and skin care. Not to mention, they can help to reduce stress!


6. Snow Activities

📷 Recommended Tour: Rovaniemi: 5-Hour Snowmobile and Ice Fishing Adventure

If you’re heading to Rovaniemi during the winter then you need to try out some of the snow activities that are on offer! Skiing is one of the most popular options as it offers a fantastic way to explore Finland’s backcountry.

Snowshoeing is another great choice that involves fewer technical skills, or you can head out to explore on a fat bike. For those who want a bit more speed, snowmobiling is a fantastic alternative, while ice fishing offers something for those who just want to relax. You can even go horse riding in the snow if you’re after a unique activity.

If you can, I’d recommend going for a combination tour which includes a couple of activities. You’ll find some that include snowmobiling and ice fishing (like the one above), while others may include other activities so it’s best to shop around.


Booking Tours vs. Exploring On Your Own

When exploring Rovaniemi and its surrounding areas, you’ve got two options; you can explore self-guided or take a tour. For those who have more time and are opting for a car rental, then you won’t need a tour in my opinion. Unless, you want to learn about the local area from a guide that is!

However, if you’re short of time and you’re relying on public transport, then I highly recommend opting for a tour. These will include transport and often hotel pick-up and drop-off, so you won’t have to worry about getting around. Just keep in mind that some of these tours are expensive, so it’s best to shop around to get the best deals. I’d also suggest going for a combination tour so you can tick off multiple attractions at the same time.

To give you an idea of what’s on offer, I’ve added some of the best tours below!

Top Pick-day Tour

Reindeer, Huskies & Santa Claus Village

🏆 TOP TOUR: This combined tour offers all the arctic experiences in one convenient tour! It includes a visit to Santa Claus Village (where you’ll get to meet Santa Claus), a reindeer farm, and a husky farm. Not only that, but you’ll head out on a reindeer sleigh ride and a husky ride. Hotel pick-up and drop-off are included and so is a Salmon soup lunch, as well as winter clothing.

TOUR LENGTH: 5 hours

⭐️ Rating: Rating: 4.4/5 (218 Reviews) | Details: Read more reviews now!

Top Northern Lights Tour

Lapland Northern Lights Tour with BBQ

🏆 TOP TOUR: If you want to see the Aurora Borealis while in Rovaniemi then this Northern Lights tour is a fantastic option! It includes a traditional Lappish BBQ around a campfire in the Finnish wilderness, as well as winter clothing and hotel pick-up and drop-off. Your guide will take you to a spot without light pollution and teach you all about this natural phenomenon.

TOUR LENGTH: 3 hours

⭐️ Rating: Rating: 4.0/5 (708 Reviews) | Details: Read more reviews now!

Best Family-Friendly Tour

Rovaniemi Full-Day Family-Friendly Tour

🏆 TOP TOUR: This Rovaniemi family friendly tour is a great option for those who are short of time. On this tour, you’ll visit some fantastic lookout spots, Santa Claus Village (where you’ll meet Santa), a reindeer farm, and a husky farm. As well as having a reindeer and husky sleigh ride included in the tour, you’ll get to visit the Arktikum Arctic Museum, where you’ll learn about the local history, people, and wildlife.

TOUR LENGTH: 6 hours

⭐️ Rating: Rating: 4.0/5 (51 Reviews) | Details: Read more reviews now!

Best Day Tour

Arctic Delight Day Tour

🏆 TOP TOUR: This Artic Delight Day Tour offers a fun-filled adventure for the whole family. You’ll head out on a snowmobile to a local reindeer farm where you’ll take an enchanting sleigh ride through the snow. This tour also includes a visit to Santa Claus Village, where you can meet Santa in his office and then enjoy a hearty lunch. An Arctic Circle ceremony will then take place and you’ll get a Certificate!

TOUR LENGTH: 7 hours

⭐️ Rating: Rating: 4.5/5 (74 Reviews) | Details: Read more reviews now!


Best Places to Eat in Rovaniemi, Finland

This bustling city has so many fantastic restaurants that you’ll be spoilt for choice. Whether you’re looking to try authentic Lappish dishes or you’re after something more mainstream like a pizza or burger, this place has something for everyone!

Here are some of the best places to eat in Rovaniemi:

  • Nili Restaurant – Boasting a warm atmosphere, fantastic decor, and authentic Lapland delicacies, this restaurant has so much to offer!
  • Amarillo, Rovaniemi – As well as a great menu, this place also offers many sharing dishes, which can be enjoyed as a family.
  • Ravintola Roka Street Bistro – This eatery serves bistro-style and street food, all made with the finest ingredients and with a ton of flavor.
  • Rosso, Rovaniemi – This place is famous for its pizzas, although they also offer delicious pasta dishes, grilled dishes, salads, and desserts!
  • Santa’s Salmon Place – Here, you’ll get to enjoy mouthwatering salmon, while relaxing next to an open fire and just enjoying the atmosphere.

The Money Situation in Rovaniemi, Finland

Keep in mind that visiting Rovaniemi in winter is not cheap, as it’s a popular destination. So if you’re planning to visit Rovaniemi during this time, you need to plan your budget in advance, and keep aside a fair amount of cash.

In order to have fun in Rovaniemi, you’ll be spending money on activities. Most of the fun of Lapland in winter involves paying activities. So, if you’re planning to visit Lapland on a budget, you will miss the best part of the magic!

Unfortunately, Finland is very expensive to travel through and this winter wonderland is no different. Everything from accommodation and transport to food and excursions is pricey, and you can easily find yourself spending far more than you would have liked.

💸 ACCOMMODATION: In terms of where to stay, I find that Booking.com offers the best deals, while for transport, buses tend to be far cheaper than trains.

💸 TRANSPORTATION: Rental cars being the most expensive option, buses tend to be far cheaper than trains.

💸 TIPPING: When it comes to tipping, there’s no need to leave tip with your bill, although of course, you can if you wish. There are some restaurants that offer affordable meals, so shop around for the best prices.

💸 ATM: You can find ATM around downtown Rovaniemi.

💸 CREDIT CARD vs MONEY: Credit cards (Visa/Master) are widely accepted, cash is also fine. You need to be aware of the fee structure of your international debit or credit card. 

how to visit Rovaniemi in winter
Exploring Rovaniemi in winter is magical

What to Pack for winter in Rovaniemi

Winter in Rovaniemi is cold! But as we say: “There is no such a thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing”. This fits perfectly for your packing rule for Lapland in winter. Therefore, to maximize space in your luggage, here are the best items to pack for your trip:

Travel Insurance for Rovaniemi in Winter

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I use a service called HeyMondo and can highly recommend them — they offer affordable prices, great coverage, comprehensive travel + medical insurance, an app with 24-hour medical support, and no out-of-pocket fees.

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Rovaniemi in Winter FAQs

Is it worth going to Rovaniemi in December?

I would highly recommend visiting Rovaniemi in December. First of all, there’s a fantastic festive vibe to this city, especially as you’ll be visiting Santa Claus Village and meeting reindeer. What better way to get into the Christmas spirit?

Another great reason to visit in December is the variety of winter activities on offer. This includes snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and skiing, among plenty of others. These activities offer the perfect way to admire Finland’s snowy landscapes.

Is Rovaniemi at Christmas worth it?

Although visiting Rovaniemi at Christmas comes with a high price tag, it’s certainly worth it in my opinion. There are so many awesome festive attractions and activities on offer, ranging from meeting Santa Claus and the local reindeer to enjoying the Christmas stalls.

It’s a great time to visit for anyone, but especially families with young children. You’ll leave your little ones with memories they’ll never forget, and you’ll get to experience something truly magical as a family. However, we enjoyed it just as much visiting as a couple!

What is the difference between Rovaniemi and Lapland?

Lapland (also known as Finnish Lapland) is the Northernmost region of the country. It’s a stunning wilderness area, famous for its wildlife, outdoor activities, and Northern Lights. This region is home to the indigenous Sámi people, so is a great place to visit in terms of culture and history.

Rovaniemi is the capital of Lapland, making it a great base for exploring this incredible region. It’s located along the Arctic Circle and is known as the ‘Gateway to the Arctic’. So, both destinations go hand in hand.

Do they speak English in Rovaniemi?

While not everyone speaks English in Rovaniemi, it’s a very widespread language here, so you should have no problems communicating with the majority of people. Most of the locals speak very good English in fact, and sometimes other languages too.

Finnish is of course the main language and is spoken by over 90% of the population. In Lapland, the Sami language is also spoken, although on a much smaller scale. As with anywhere you travel, it’s always best to learn the basics in the local language such as hi, please, and thank you!

Is Rovaniemi walkable?

Yes, Rovaniemi itself is a very walkable place. The city center is pretty compact, so you’ll find a variety of attractions, hotels, bars, and restaurants all within a short walk. However, there are bus services if you’re not able to walk far.

Just keep in mind that many of the popular attractions are located out of the city center. This includes Santa Claus Village, and the local reindeer and husky farms. There are also ample day trip opportunities including Rauna Wildlife Park.

Do I need a car in Rovaniemi?

I’d highly recommend renting a car in Rovaniemi if you can. Although the city center is walkable, there are plenty of attractions found outside of Rovaniemi. There are also ample day trip opportunities on offer, and you won’t need to rely on public transport for these!

Hiring a car in Rovaniemi is easy, as you can pick a rental up straight from the airport. For those who are unable to drive, you’re best bet is to make use of the local bus services or tours if you want to head out of the city center.

What is the best age to visit Rovaniemi, and is this a good family vacation?

Honestly, Rovaniemi is suitable for all ages. We thoroughly enjoyed our time here, and I can safely say that there’s something for everyone. However, it’s certainly a highlight with young children who love Christmas. So much so, that you’ll struggle to get them to leave!

Thanks to the variety of attractions, festive activities, and awesome amenities, Rovaniemi makes the perfect family vacation. There are so many unique experiences that you can have together and you’ll be left with memories to last a lifetime.

Rovaniemi in Winter Conclusion

In my opinion, visiting Rovaniemi in winter is a bucket list experience for sure. There are so many awesome winter activities for you to get involved with, and of course, you’ve got a chance to spot the magical Northern Lights.

If that doesn’t convince you, then there’s also Santa Claus Village where you can enjoy the festivities. Here, you can meet Father Christmas, wander around the themed stalls, visit an ice bar, and grab a delicious hot chocolate to warm you up!

Honestly, there are so many fantastic things to do in Rovaniemi at this time of year. As such, make sure you don’t rush your time here. The one thing I will say is that Finland is an expensive country to travel through, and this place is no different. To truly make the most of your trip, you’ll want to allow a budget high enough, so you can take part in the variety of activities on offer including a reindeer or husky sleigh ride.

If you are planning a visit to Finland, you may also enjoy reading the following:

Lapland in winter

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2 thoughts on “How to Visit Rovaniemi in Winter: Lapland Winter Wonderland!”

  1. WWWOOWWW!!!!! que lugar mais lindo… parece uma terra mágica, as fotos como sempre estão fantásticas, o texto rico em detalhes, AURORA BOREAL é um sonho a ser conquistado. Parabéns pela bela matéria.

  2. Muito obrigada e fico muito feliz que gostou do artigo. Um dia quem sabe, vc tambem nao planeja sua visita a Rovaniemi, tenho certeza que ira amar!

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