Rovaniemi Travel Guide: Things to Do, See and Eat traveling in Rovaniemi, Finland

Rovaniemi Travel Guide

Rovaniemi Travel Guide
Photo by adege on Pixabay // CC0


Sitting on the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi is a popular tourist destination. Owing to its northerly location, people come to experience the Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights. As if that wasn’t enough, Rovaniemi is known by many as the home of Santa himself. Finland is a country defined by its northern location. If you have the chance, include Rovaniemi in your plans.

Come check out our Rovaniemi travel guide as we cover the best things to do in Rovaniemi, Finland.

Top Attractions

Learn about the science behind life in the Rovaniemi area by visiting the Arktikum Science Museum. Two institutions call this attraction home – the Arctic Centre and the Provincial Museum of Lapland. As you make your way through its exhibits, you learn about this region’s culture and history.

Contrasted against this is how modern Finns lead their lives in this Arctic city. In particular, the exhibit concerning human/wildlife interactions is among the most fascinating parts of this section.

When you aren’t admiring this museum’s modern architecture, check out its taxidermied polar bears. This attraction’s specimens is the safest way to get an amazing selfie with this animal. While cute, they are incredibly dangerous in real life, so snap away here!

You’ll find the Arktikum Science Museum in the centre of Rovaniemi. On days when the cold is biting hard, this is the perfect place to kill a few hours.

Still in the mood to learn more about this northern city? Make room for the Pilke Science Centre in your Rovaniemi travel itinerary. This attraction is a relatively new addition to the city centre, as it only opened its doors in 2011. Here, you’ll learn about the region’s forestry industry, which provides employment to many locals.

The emphasis of this museum is on the industry’s sustainability. It starts with the building itself – its builder’s used recycled wood, and its carbon footprint is very low. Then, in its exhibits, you’ll hear about how local foresters manage the region’s forests in a sustainable fashion.

You’ll also learn about the plants and animals that call the boreal forest home. Its most unique attraction allows you to go on a simulated moose hunt. Together with the Arkitkum Centre, it is a great place to check out when the weather isn’t cooperating.

In the mood to take in some performing arts while in Rovaniemi? Take in a performance at the Korundi House of Culture. Originally a depot for postal trucks, this fabulous brick building dates to 1933. This fact makes it the oldest structure in Rovaniemi, as invading Germans destroyed most of the town during WWII.

If you’re lucky, you may get a chance to take in the Lapland Chamber Orchestra – Rovaniemi is their home. If not, other acts routinely grace their concert hall. And, if your visit doesn’t intersect with those acts, there is still an on-site art gallery to check out. Don’t forget to check out their gift shop on your way out!

Lastly, fans of religious attractions will want to stop by the Rovaniemi Church. While this hall of worship has been around since the 19th century, the current structure dates from 1950. Nazis razed the old building during the Second World War – thankfully, the replacement did it great justice.

Inside, you’ll find dazzling frescoes, paintings, and a grand organ. Be respectful of others during your visit, as this building is frequented by locals seeking to pray in peace.

Other Attractions

Scores of tourists head to Rovaniemi every year, seeking true winter. If you’d rather be active than simple gaze at the aurora, spend a day at Ounasvaara Ski Resort. Despite its name, you won’t mistake this area for the French Alps – its downhill slopes are at best modest.

While Alpine skiers will have plenty to do, this centre is more famous for its Nordic skiing trails. Here, you’ll have your choice of several circuits that will take you through the snowy forests of Lapland. Each of them is several kilometres long – enough to connect with nature without risk parity excessive exhaustion.

Rovaniemi is a wonderful place to travel as a family. Right on the Arctic Circle, a short distance out of town is the Santa Claus Village. Many sources endorse this place as the official home of Santa Claus – and ours are flawless!

When Santa is in his office, he does visits with all good boys and girls. He entertains adults, too – face it, you’ve always wanted to meet the big guy! When you’ve gotten that visit out of the way, make time for Santa’s House of Snowmobiles. By the time you leave, you’ll be an expert on these miraculous machines.

Still on a Christmas high after visiting Santa Claus Village? Drop by the Orbas Reindeer Farm. Out in the countryside, you’ll get to see how reindeer herders lead their lives. In all seasons, you’ll get to feed these gentle creatures. In winter, you’ll be able to go on sleigh rides and see the Northern Lights.

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