Winter Travel Guide: Rovaniemi, Finland

Rovaniemi, located in the northern part of Finland, is known as the official hometown of Santa Claus and offers a unique winter wonderland experience. Here is a travel guide to help you make the most of your visit to Rovaniemi during the winter season.

Best Time to Visit Rovaniemi in Winter:

The winter season in Rovaniemi typically lasts from late November to early April, with the coldest months being December and January. The best time to visit Rovaniemi in winter is during the holiday season, when the city is adorned with festive lights and decorations. However, keep in mind that the days are short during this time, with only a few hours of daylight.

Getting to Rovaniemi in Winter:

Rovaniemi is easily accessible by air and train. Rovaniemi Airport is located about 10 kilometers from the city center and is served by many international and domestic airlines. Train travel is also a popular way to get to Rovaniemi from other parts of Finland and Europe.

Getting Around Rovaniemi in Winter:

Rovaniemi has a comprehensive public transportation system that includes buses and taxis. The easiest way to get around is by using a bus pass, which offers unlimited travel on public transportation. If you plan to stay in Rovaniemi for an extended period, you may want to consider renting a car to explore the surrounding areas.

Top Winter Attractions in Rovaniemi:

  1. Santa Claus Village: The most popular attraction in Rovaniemi is the Santa Claus Village, which is open year-round and offers a variety of activities, including meeting Santa Claus, visiting the Santa Claus Post Office, and taking a ride on a reindeer or husky sled.
  2. Northern Lights: Rovaniemi is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights. You can take a guided tour to increase your chances of seeing them or venture out on your own to a dark location away from city lights.
  3. Snow Activities: Rovaniemi offers a variety of snow activities, including skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. You can also take a snowshoeing or ice fishing excursion.
  4. Arktikum Museum: The Arktikum Museum offers an interactive and educational experience about the Arctic region and its people. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions on Arctic culture, nature, and history.
  5. Ounasvaara Ski Resort: Ounasvaara Ski Resort is a popular ski destination located only a few kilometers from the city center. The resort offers a variety of slopes for skiers of all levels.

Food and Drink in Rovaniemi in Winter:

Rovaniemi has many excellent restaurants and cafes that serve warm and comforting winter dishes. Traditional Finnish winter dishes include reindeer stew, salmon soup, and smoked fish. You can also warm up with a cup of glögi, which is a Finnish version of mulled wine.

Shopping in Rovaniemi in Winter:

Rovaniemi is a great place to shop for unique winter souvenirs, including reindeer hides, woolen mittens, and traditional Finnish design items. The most popular places to shop for souvenirs include the Santa Claus Village and the Rovaniemi Market Square.


Rovaniemi is a magical destination to visit during the winter season, with plenty of activities and attractions to keep you busy. Whether you’re interested in meeting Santa Claus, seeing the Northern Lights, or enjoying snow activities, Rovaniemi has it all. Plan your visit and enjoy all that this winter wonderland has to offer.

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