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A Winter Wonderland Escape: Everything you need to know about visiting Lapland (Rovaniemi) Finland

Are you ready to embark on a magical winter adventure? Look no further for how to visit Lapland Rovaniemi, Finland – the official hometown of Santa Clause. From enchanting landscapes to thrilling activities, this destination is a dream come true for all the winter and Christmas lovers. Let's dive into the details of planning your unforgettable trip!

In this blog we will cover everything about a visit to Lapland (Rovaniemi) Finland, including, how to get to Lapland, where to stay in Lapland, what activities you can do in Lapland, how much to budget in Lapland, and even what to pack for Lapland. Hopefully this will help you to plan your very own epic trip to Lapland in Finland!

1. When to visit - Weather in Lapland Rovaniemi Finland (Navigating November and December)

Lapland experiences a true winter wonderland in November and December. Expect temperatures ranging from -5°C to -20°C (23°F to -4°F), creating a snowy paradise. Be prepared for shorter daylight hours, the sun only rises for a few hours during this time of year, adding to the magical ambiance of the Northern Lights. Check out our recommended packing list at the bottom for clothing and other suggestions on how to keep warm during this time of year in Lapland!

2. Arriving in Lapland: Choosing the Right Airport or train station

When planning your journey to Rovaniemi, you'll likely fly into Rovaniemi Airport (RVN). Conveniently located just 8 kilometers (approximately 5 miles) from the city center, this airport is the closest and easiest airport to be able to reach the heart of Lapland.

Arriving to Lapland from Helsinki

We decided to travel on the Santa Clause express train that arrives from Helsinki to Rovaniemi Lapland. It is an overnight train that takes approximately 10 hours, and arrives into Rovaniemi in the morning. Prepare for breathtaking window views of snow-covered landscapes, frozen lakes, and charming villages blanketed in winter white. The journey itself becomes a part of the magical experience, with the train's large windows providing a perfect frame for the winter scenery!

The Santa Claus Express pulls right into Rovaniemi Station, marking the official entry into the Arctic Circle. Stepping off the train, you're greeted by the crisp Arctic air, and the anticipation of meeting Santa Claus himself! After all, that's what we are all here for.

From Rovaniemi Station, there are free buses available to reach Santa Claus Village, located just a short distance away. Alternatively, there are paid buses you can take to reach the city centre. Some accommodations are within walking distance from the train station which we will cover more on below.

How far is Santa Claus Village

Santa Claus Village is a only 2 kilometers (about 1.2 miles) from Rovaniemi Airport. A quick taxi ride or public transportation will have you at this iconic destination in no time.

If you are arriving to Rovaniemi train station, take the SANTA EXPRESS bus to Santa Claus village, it takes around 25 minutes to get there.

The other option is to catch the Local Bus No.8 from the Rovaniemi railway station. 

The stop you need is “Arctic Circle” – the bus will pull in at the Arctic Circle Tourist Information center – located inside the Santa’s Gifthouse shopping centre. It will be hard to miss as this is where most people get off the bus, if in major doubt just ask the bus driver.

If you don't want to catch a bus, it is also possible to catch a taxi. But be aware that taxis are very expensive in this area!

3. Choosing the Perfect Accommodation in Lapland (Rovaniemi)

For an authentic and convenient Lapland experience, consider staying in areas like Ounasvaara, the city centre, or Santa Claus Village itself. These locations offer a range of accommodations, from charming cabins to modern hotels, ensuring a comfortable and festive stay.

Here are a few accommodation recommendations that would be suited to visit Lapland.

Budget hotels $ 50-150 per night

This is one of the cheapest options that isn't too far away from the city centre and only a 10 minute walk from the train station. We stayed here for a couple of nights and it was perfect for a budget stay, close enough to the city centre and it was easy to reach Santa Claus village by public transport. It also included breakfast, and the locals that run the Guesthouse were extremely friendly and helpful with suggestions during our stay there.

Another great options is the following guesthouse, also at a similar price and it good proximity to both the city centre and to Santa Claus Village.

Mid-Range hotels $$ 150-300 per night

Stay in the heart of Lapland at the Santa Claus Holiday Village. If you're here for all things Christmas, this is the perfect place to stay.

Another fantastic option if you're looking for a little more space are these suites, also in a great location.

If you would prefer an apartment with more space then this is another good option

Luxury hotels $$$ 300+ per night

Arctic Treehouse Located near SantaPark, Arctic TreeHouse Hotel offers suites that are decorated in a Nordic design. Santa Claus Village is only 2 km from Arctic TreeHouse Hotel.

This one is adults-only accommodation with barbecue facilities and the chalets provides lake views and an outdoor fireplace.

The best thing about Apukka Resort is a lot of the winter activities such as snowmobiling, husky safaris, Northern Lights safaris and reindeer sleigh rides can be arranged with property. Guests can also choose a cabin with a glass roof, giving the opportunity to spot Northern Lights from the bed.

Apukka resort in Lapland

4. Winter Activities in Rovaniemi

Witness the magical Northern Lights while staying in Rovaniemi. The Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, is a natural light display that occurs in the polar regions, including Lapland, Finland. This tour allows you to experience the mesmerizing colours illuminating the night sky and discover the best spots for photography!

northern lights in lapland

Go on a thrilling husky adventure! Mush with the huskies and learn about the huskies' training and daily lives. We did this tour and had an incredible experience amongst the peace and purity of the Lappish nature with this traditional way of transportation.

Explore the snowy wilderness on a thrilling snowmobile safari.

snowmobile in lapland

Glide through snow-covered landscapes with these majestic Arctic companions.

reindeer in lapland

You can learn local Finnish art of ice fishing from a local guide, drill your own fishing hole, catch and cook!

Snowshoeing is one of our favourite ways to experience a snowy landscape. You can get right amongst the nature and experience the wild Lappish nature. See the frozen landscapes while enjoying gingerbread and hot drinks.

Embark on an exhilarating Arctic horseriding adventure, where you can trot through pristine snowscapes.

Meet Santa Clause

Start your trip by meeting the man himself at Santa Claus Village. Simply take the Santa Claus Express shuttle bus from the city to Santa Claus Village. Entry to Santa Claus Village is FREE!

5. Budgeting for a Lapland Escape

Estimating the cost of your 3-day adventure is crucial for planning.

On average, budget around $1000 to $1500 per person, covering accommodation, meals, activities, and transportation within Lapland.

6. Packing Essentials: Dressing for the Arctic Winter

Insulated Layers

Stay warm with thermal base layers, a down jacket, and waterproof outerwear. We highly recommend clothing shops such as Uniqlo that specialise in thermal layers.


Don't forget gloves, a hat, and a neck gaiter to protect against the chilly winds.

Sturdy Boots

Navigate the snowy terrain comfortably with waterproof and insulated boots. We recommend some kind of snow boot to keep your feet warm.

Lapland is a captivating destination where the magic of Christmas and the beauty of winter come to life. With the right preparations this getaway promises memories that will last a lifetime! Embrace the enchantment and create your own fairy-tale in the heart of the Arctic Circle.


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