Rovaniemi in 2 days
Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, is the very best winter wonderland to imagine. During winter, the whole city is covered in snow and all the lakes are frozen. It is known for its beautiful nature and landscapes. Rovaniemi has so much more to offer from reindeer sleights to huskies’ adventures and hunting Northern Lights during the cold nights, and a lot of people has really difficult time to adjust their work schedule to come.
So, when people bring us problems, we come with solutions, we bring to the table an intense experience to see the best of Rovaniemi without spending your life savings.
Before coming to your trip to Lapland.
The basic is to know some facts about the city to understand the context that we are in.
Rovaniemi is the main city of Lapland, the northern region of Finland, approximately 1,200 kilometres from the capital, Helsinki. The city is located right in the Arctic Circle, and it is possible to cross it and get your Crossing Certificate, so keep reading and we’ll tell you how.
The temperature in winter can go really low, as low as -40 degrees, freezing lakes and covering the city in white, even some people bath in the river!
But this shouldn’t stop you from visiting this wonderful region!
We have gathered the most interesting activities for you to do during this short escape and we have also included some of our favourite restaurants and pubs so you can experience the most authentic Lappish food.
You can check our post: How to get to Rovaniemi if where we explain the different transportation options.
Reindeers farm and a good breakfast.
We recommend you start your day with some finnish traditional breakfast. The one we like the most and what we will recommend you is Pulla and Kahvi. Pulla is a traditional baked bread with some sugar over it while kahvi is the traditional finnish coffee, kind of similar to american coffee.
The first place you should visit is one of the many reindeer farms in Rovaniemi. If you want to get a real sight of the customs and life in the farms, you should visit the farms that are located a bit far from the city. You can rent a car and contact the farmers in advance to book your visit. We offer for you a tour with high competitive price that include pick-up from hotel/accommodation appart than the normal visit, so you don´t have to pay the fuel.
Most of these tours and private visits start very early in the morning and you should leave around 9 a.m. to the tour.
You will get an insight into the traditional life, explanations about reindeers and their care. You will be able to feed them and play with them in a safe environment and finish the visit with a warm drink and some cookies around the bonfire in one of the traditional Laavus.
Santa Claus Village
At around 11:30 a.m. your next stop is the Santa Claus Village, located a couple of kilometres away from the city centre. You can reach it by public bus, the Santa’s Express or car.
The village is open until 5 p.m. during Summer and 7 p.m. in Winter.
We like to start our visit crossing the Artic Circle.
Fun fact: There is a live webcam all year round so that your friends and family can see you.
There is also another reindeer farm here in the Village that you can visit if you have missed the previous activity. Apart from the reindeers, you can also meet the Huskies in the Husky Park. During winter, there are husky sleigh rides and reindeer sleigh rides available that you can also book.
At this part of the visit, we like to get some rest and food to renew our energies before meeting Santa. There are several restaurants around the Village. If you have booked our Highlights of Rovaniemi tour a warm meal is included.
You can opt for a warm meal in the restaurants or try the Salmon cooked in the traditional way.
Santa Claus Office
After this pause, you can head to Santa’s Christmas House to meet and talk with the authentic Santa Claus. This is a great visit for children! And you can also get some pictures with him.
In Santa Claus Post Office you can send postcards and letter stamped with the special Arctic Circle postmark for your family that will be specially delivered for Christmas.
To end up our day, the next stop is the Arctikum Museum where you can learn about the northern nature, culture, and history of Rovaniemi and Lapland. It is located at the edge of downtown Rovaniemi. It is complete and interactive, very interesting for both adults and children. Through its various rooms you can learn all about the extreme nature of Finland and its fauna and flora, the customs of the Sami people and an interesting exhibition about the past of Finland and Rovaniemi during the Second World War.
At this point of the evening, if you are staying in the city center, you can roam around and find of the many places to have dinner and maybe enjoy the night life in one of the pubs.
Of course, if you have come all the way to Lapland, you cannot miss the Northern Lights. They appear when highly charged solar wind particles from the sun collide with air molecules in the atmosphere resulting in a transfer of energy into light. These phenomena take place in Polar Regions, which is why Lapland is such a great place to try hunt them.
In order to see Auroras, you will need:
- Clear skies: You will not see them unless the clouds dissapear
- Far for light pollution: All the lights should dissapear in order to maintain their reflection as high as possible.
- Solar activity.
Before seeing them, wear some warm clothes. Consider that the best times to see them are from 9P.M. to 2 A.M. and temperatures can be extremely low.
In Nordic Unique Travels we offer all kind of tours to see them which include winter clothes and boots, campfire with snacks and warm drinks to make your experience wonderful and cozy.
If you are traveling in Summer, we recommend our guests to enjoy a day out in the Lappish forests with two different hikes that are suitable for everyone ( 1- 2 km) and finish with a traditional barbeque in one of the many Laavus around Lapland.
You can select between Autiköngäs or Vikaköngäs. In both cases, you will see rapids and a large part of the finnish nature, the inner forest, some mushrooms and some of the bests views that you can ever have. With our trip is included some sausages to eat, but you can have some food in the city center. Some restaurants we recommend you are Bull Bar and Grill.
As in summer we have days with many hours of sunshine, which is known as midnight sun, you can enjoy the whole afternoon for more activities.
The most popular and that we recommend for the more adventurous are Quadbike rides in the forest or the Jetski Experience in one of the lakes of Rovaniemi.
If, on the other hand, you travel with children or prefer a quieter activity, another of our tours that we usually recommend is Berry and Mushroom Picking or the Husky Safari.
If you are visiting Rovaniemi during winter, you can pretty much expect lots of snow. the whole region is covered with a thick white mantle, and we could not be happier about it. In this case, the best option is to start the day with a snowmobile tour, which are available at several hours in our schedule.
In our tours we provide everything you need, including winter clothes, helmet and BBQ for after the rides. Some of our snowmobile safaris include ice fishing, an activity that we strongly recommend you to try.
Alternatives: National parks in Lapland
If the idea of driving does not convince you much, you can opt for a morning of snow fishing and snowshoeing or enter the magical winter landscapes of Lapland.
There are two excursions that we love to offer to our customers:
In Posio’s forest area, 160km from Rovaniemi, this place is magical and looks like a fairyland. The snow accumulates in mid-November, producing snow trails thicker than 1 meter.
- Visit to Riisinturi National Park
This National Park with its snowy landscapes looks exactly like our favorite winter wonderland and it is a great location for taking photos if you are a fan of photography.
Lastly, we can provide you transport to move to the airport or to the train station with our tours so you save all the cold time in the street. Rather than that, we move you to your transport area to stay warm. I hope you have enjoyed this guide, and please, if you have any suggestions, don´t be afraid to contact us from Instagram or Twitter!