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Rovaniemi, on the Arctic Circle, is the capital and main commercial centre of Lapland, Finland's northernmost province. It is located 2,613 kilometers (1,623 miles) south of the North Pole. The city is a highly popular tourist destination and is considered to be the official home town of Santa Claus.
Rovaniemi is a transport and tourist hub for Finnish Lapland. Sitting on the Arctic Circle does not harm the latter role, and Joulupukki, presenting himself as Santa Claus to foreigners, has understood that this is the place to meet people. Tourist businesses have also flocked here. Easily reachable, Rovaniemi still has rivers, a fell, mires, vast forests, Midnight Sun and Northern Lights: much of what Lapland means to most people.
As the capital of Finnish Lapland, the city has several important museums, cultural venues and educational institutions. It has the feel of a university town when you get to the right venues. The University of Lapland and Lapland University of Applied Sciences have about 10,000 students in total.
In 1960, Rovaniemi became a city, and in 2006, it merged with surrounding municipalities. With the resulting area of 8,017 km2 (3,095 sq mi), nearly the size of all Cyprus, it became the largest city in Europe. With 63,500 inhabitants it is also among the ten most populous cities this north, globally. Some 52,000 live in urban areas. The population is Finnish-speaking (96%). The original Sámi population has integrated with the Finns and disappeared; there are some Sámi here, but not significant numbers. The first Sámi village is 175 km to the north.
The Finnish Air Force maintains a base (Lapland Air Command) which is situated at the city's airport. There is also a large shooting and training range partly in the municipality: Rovajärvi, 1,100 km2 (420 sq mi). On occasion, you may bump into soldiers, conscripts, and military personnel.
The Kemijoki river, noted for being the longest river in Finland, flows by the city centre. On the east side of the river there is a large, forested hill called 1 Ounasvaara, which is a hub for outdoor activities. Ounasvaara also has a plethora of facilities such as a golf course, a nature trail network, and a winter sports resort.
The city was razed to the ground by the Germans in the final days of World War II. In the years to come, the city was completely rebuilt with inputs from Alvar Aalto, a Finnish architect, who planned the city's footprint in such a way that it resembled the shape of a reindeer's head.
- 2 Visit Rovaniemi, Koskikatu 12, ☏ +358 16 346-270, +358 40-829-0676, [email protected]. M–F 09:00–16:00. Tourist information. Shop with Rovaniemi themed souvenirs.
- 1 Rovaniemi Airport (RVN IATA) (8 km north from the city centre). The largest airport in Lapland and third busiest in Finland (after Helsinki and Oulu). Most of the flights come from Helsinki in the south, served by Finnair and Norwegian Air Shuttle. Air fares by Norwegian are quite often cheaper than corresponding train connections. There are also scheduled flights from international destinations and a remarkable number of seasonal charter flights, mostly from the UK. There is a café, a restaurant-bar, a mail office, an ATM, and a souvenir shop in the terminal. Free Wi-Fi.
Taxi cabs are readily available at the airport, but getting to the centre is expensive. However, Santa Claus Bus provides a minibus shuttle service between the airport and hotels in the city centre at a fare of €7 per person one way. The service is available for every departing and arriving scheduled flight. Local bus service Line 11 is even cheaper (€3.5), but slower and is available only at some flights. See Rovaniemi's route planner to find out local transport connections. There are car rental companies at the airport.
Most long-distance coaches towards the north-east (e.g. Pyhä-Luosto, Sodankylä, Saariselkä and Inari) stop at the airport. Timetables may not be ideal if arriving by plane, but most popular destinations are well served. For destinations to the north-west or south you most probably need to visit the bus station in the centre.
Rovaniemi is the terminus of most trains from the south. The line extends only some 80 km further east-north-east, to Kemijärvi. The journey from Helsinki takes 9–12 hours and is reasonably comfortable in a sleeper (about €200 for two persons, add €50 for an en suite bathroom). If you arrive from Helsinki, Tampere or Turku with the overnight train, you can also take your car with you (add €100, about as much as fuel and wear when driving).
From Russia you can either go via Helsinki or take the train to Kandalaksha on the Murmansk railway and continue by bus (check connections).
The railway station is outside the city centre, within an easy walking distance – you face north when you exit the station, and the city centre is to your right, to the north-east. Most of the long-distance buses stop here as well. There are few taxis waiting for each train. If you need to call one, notice that there are two taxi stands and make sure the driver knows at which one you are waiting – or just tell them that you are waiting at the station front door.
- 2 Rovaniemi railway station (Rovaniemen rautatieasema), Ratakatu 3.
3 Rovaniemi Coach Station is about a kilometre from the city centre, a few hundred metres uphill from the railway station. Coming by coach from the south is relatively cheap but requires about 14 hours of sitting.
Eskelisen Lapin Linjat, Onnibus and V. Alamäki operate daily to Rovaniemi from Helsinki, Jyväskylä and Oulu, some of them via Helsinki Airport. Timetables and tickets available through Matkahuolto. The prices start from about €30 for a 15 hr overnight trip from Helsinki.
There are connections from Tromsø, Alta and Vadsø in Norway, at least in summertime. For travellers from Russia, there's a twice-weekly cross-border service with Kandalaksha (Finnish: Kantalahti). If you come from Northern Sweden, you can transfer at Haparanda to a direct bus which goes to Rovaniemi, it leaves either from Tornio-Haparanda travel center or from Tornio central bus stop, which is near enough to walk to from Tornio-Haparanda travel centre.
Rovaniemi is an important road hub in Finnish Lapland. The most important directions are:
- Highway 4 (E75) from Kemi (in the south-west) and Ivalo (north-east). This highway comes all the way from Helsinki (about 850 km (530 mi) south) or all the way from Vardø in Norway (about 650 km (400 mi) north); you could come from Murmansk via Raja-Jooseppi and Ivalo, or via Salla
- Highway 78 from Ranua, Pudasjärvi, Puolanka, and Paltamo (near Kajaani) (south-southeast). With road 5 coming from Helsinki to Kajaani, this is an alternative route between Helsinki and Rovaniemi (895 km (556 mi)).
- Highway 79 from Kittilä and Muonio (north-west, the latter on E8 from Tromsø)
- Highway 81 from Kuusamo and Posio (south-east)
- Highway 82 from Salla and Kemijärvi (east-north-east)
- Highway 83 from Pello (west-north-west)
If driving from Germany or Central Europe in general, the shortest alternative is to drive through Sweden along road E4 all the way to Luleå and then through Haparanda to the Finnish border and on to Rovaniemi.
Unless you like driving long distances or visit destination along the route, a good alternative is to take a ferry from Travemünde to Helsinki, then to board an overnight train (see above) from Helsinki and unload your car in Rovaniemi, ready for any local trips.
Being not too big of a town, the best way to get around the city quickly is by foot. However, some of the main attractions are far away and buses are sparse; most households have a car.
By public transport
The local transportation is provided by city of Rovaniemi and the services are collected under the Linkkari portal. A route planner for local transport is available. Mobile tickets can be bought using the Waltti or Routes and Tickets app.
Most local buses have a blue-green livery with a white reindeer figure. The most useful line is line 8 from the railway station via the city centre to the Santa Claus Village and (some departures) to the airport. Local transport is more frequent during daytime in weekdays of school years, and low during the weekends and in summer. There are no night lines.
Rovaniemi local traffic has a zone system. The whole urban area, including Santa's Village and the airport, belongs to Zone A, while the rest of the municipality belongs to zones B or C. Within the Zone A, a single bus ticket for an adult costs €3.50 and a 24-hour ticket €4.50. The single ticket allows transfers during one hour.
- See also: Finland#By motorised scooter
You can rent electric kick scooters for use in the centre from Finnish Joe Scooter.
Outside the urban area
You can use Matkahuolto and Matka.fi to search for bus routes between given locations outside the urban area. Villages by the main roads usually have daily connections. There are also some connections to the villages operated by Linkkari. Usually you need to invoke the Linkkari bus at least one day beforehand, as they won't drive empty buses. Most sights outside the urban area won't be accessible by bus.
All trains from and to the south stop at 4 Muurola Railway Station, some 25 km south of the city centre. A one-way ticket to Muurola costs €4 and the trip takes about 18 minutes.
Taxi services can be rather expensive. Below is a list of taxi call centres operating in the city. You can ask the staff at your accommodation to call a taxi for you.
- Lähitaksi: phone +358 100-7300
- Menevä Rovaniemi, ☏ +358 50-471-0470 (head of office), toll-free: 0800-02120 (booking). Also bookable by app or web. Fixed price based on calculated route and time if destination address given when booking by app or web. Flag fall M–Sa 06:00–18:00: €4, other times and holidays: €7; 1–4 persons €0.90/km + €0.90/km, 5–8 persons minimum €20, €1.60/km + €0.90/min (July 2020).
- iTaksi, ☏ +358 10-212-0000, [email protected]. Also bookable by app or web. Fixed price based on calculated route and time if destination address given when booking by app or web. €4.00/6.00+€0.90/km+€0.85/min.
- Taksini, ☏ +358 100-84999. Also bookable by app. Fixed price based on calculated route and time if destination address given when booking by app or web. Flag fall M–Fri 06:00–20:00: €5.90, Sa 06:00–16:00: €5.90, other times and holidays: €9.00; 1–2 persons €1.60/km, 3-4 persons €1.91/km, 5-6 persons €2.07/km, 7-8 persons €2.23/km (July 2020).
- Valopilkku (Taksi Helsinki). Taxis ordered by smart phone app. Pricing not told on the web.
- 02 Taksi. Smart phone app offers address based routing and gives price offers from different taxi companies. Pricing not told on the web.
Most tourists come to Rovaniemi for precisely one thing: Santa.
- 1 Santa Claus Village (Joulupukin pajakylä) (8.5 km north from the city centre; bus line 8). All year. Located right on the old computed place of the Arctic Circle (now computed to be 2 km north), this is a tourist trap if there ever was one – but few tourists can miss the chance to meet Santa Claus. Apart from meeting him, there are other attractions like small-scale sledding hills for kids, the Santa Claus' Main Post Office with special stamps, several souvenir shops, and restaurants. The village also hosts several safari companies that organize various activities. During dark times the village has nicely lit ice sculptures.
- 2 Santapark, Tarvantie 1, ☏ +358 600-301-203 (shared cost), [email protected]. Underground amusement park within walking distance from Santa Claus Village. Open only during the winter season. €20/adults, €10/children.
The famous midnight sun, when the sun doesn't set at all, is seen between June 6th and July 7th (even though the city centre is south of the Arctic Circle). There are white nights from May until mid-August. In winter auroras are seen on most nights if the sky is clear.
- 3 German Soldier Cemetery (Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof Rovaniemi Norvajärvi), Lentosatamantie 80 (in Norvajärvi, 19 km north-east from Rovaniemi). This is the final resting place for 2,683 German soldiers who died during the World War II in Lapland. Constructed of large stone blocks and located virtually in the middle of nowhere, it seems to be of interest to some, as there are about 10,000 annual visitors. During autumn one can eat berries on the way. The road to the cemetery is not maintained in winter. No public transportation. Free.
- 4 Jätkänkynttilä bridge (Jätkänkynttilän silta). Accomplished in 1989, the bridge has become one of the most important symbols of Rovaniemi. It runs over the Kemijoki close the northern end of the city centre. The bridge has a high pylon with bright yellow light on top. Free.
- 5 Kirkkolampi Arboretum (Kirkkolammen puisto), Harjukatu 11 (next to the Lutheran church). Popular park around the Kirkkolampi pond. Over 250 species of subarctic trees and perennials. Free.
- The 6 Alaruokanen house and the 7 Old Railway Station survived the otherwise somewhat complete destruction of the town during the Lapland War, and are therefore rare representations of pre-war wood architecture. The Alaruokanen house was built during the 1860s and serves today as a banquet hall. The old railway station was built in 1909 (before World War II the railway was where the highway E75 is now). The building is in bad condition and awaits new use (as of 2020).
- 8 Administrative and Cultural Centre, Hallituskatu. The rebuilding of Rovaniemi after World War II was largely planned by the famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto – particularly its reindeer antler layout. He also designed the Administrative and Cultural Centre which includes the Lappia Hall (theatre, culture and congress centre), the main library, and the Rovaniemi city hall.
- 9 Arktikum Science Centre, Pohjoisranta 4 (opposite to Marttiini), ☏ +358 16 322-3260. 10:00–17:00 daily in summer, Tu–Su in winter. One of the best museums and science centres in Finland, focusing on life in the Arctic regions through the ages as well as the Sami culture, history of Finnish Lapland and Rovaniemi city. The museum shop has books, postcards, delicacies and jewellery. Sami music and some books in Sami languages. Lockers available. The building is actually quite cold in winter time. Lunch restaurant with student discount. Don't forget to take a look to the arctic arboretum by the riverbank. €18 for adults, €11 for students, the fee covers re-entry on the same day; Museum Card valid.
- 10 Pilke Science Centre, Ounasjoentie 6 (next to Arktikum), ☏ +358 20-564-7820. Tu–F 09:00–18:00, Sa Su 10:00–18:00. Those attracted by northern forests will want to visit Pilke, where exhibitions describe sustainable use of northern forests and diverse yields, forest products and commodities. Same day re-entry free of charge, lockers available. The museum shop and information has various interior design items made of wood. Maps and other information about nature destinations in Lapland. €7/5, reduced price for students and children 7–15, Museum Card valid.
- 11 Korundi House of Culture, Lapinkävijäntie 4 (near shopping centre). Tu-Su. Art, music and other culture events. The art museum collection consists mostly of modern Finnish art. Home of the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland. €8/adult, €5/students, €3/children (7–15), Museum Card valid.
- 12 Forestry Museum of Lapland (Lapin metsämuseo), Metsämuseontie 7 (in Pöykkölä suburb, 4 km from the centre; bus lines 3 and 6, stop "Metsämuseontie I"), ☏ +358 40 5360 0080, [email protected]. Feb–Mar M–W 10:00–16:00; June–August W–Sa 10:00–17:00. A fancy museum dedicated to forestry in Lapland from 1870 to the 1970s. The museum consist of old buildings brought here from all around the province, and the collections are inside the buildings. The museum area is also worth visiting. Various items from saws to tractors. The museum holds one of two modified steam locomotives brought to massive loggings at Savukoski in the 1910s (the other one is still in Savukoski). Small café and museum shop. Within walking distance from Local Heritage Museum. €6/4, reduced price for students and children, Museum Card valid.
- 13 Local Heritage Museum (Rovaniemen kotiseutumuseo), Pöykköläntie 4 (in Pöykkölä suburb, 3½ km from the centre; bus lines 3 and 6, stop "Pöykkölä"), ☏ +358 50 325 2017, [email protected]. June-August Tu–Su 11:00–17:00. A local history museum. Main building and two outbuildings built in 1840, 14 relocated buildings from the Rovaniemi area. The collections consist of household items, hunting and fishing equipment, and agricultural tools. From the river bank there is a picturesque view to the city centre and the river Kemijoki. Café. Within walking distance from the Forestry Museum. €6/4, reduced price for students and children, Museum Card valid.
- 14 Haunted Walk and Gallery of Darkness (Kauhun Galleria), Leppiniementie 341 (in Sonka, Rovaniemi), ☏ +358 45 153 7889, [email protected]. In summer: W–F 12:00–18:00, Sa 12:00–16:00; other times by request. A horror-themed artgallery by Hanna Pilve. Free.
- 15 Lutheran church, Yliopistonkatu 2. Built 1950, near the administrative centre. Famous for its considerable large fresco "Spring of the Life" by professor Lennart Segerstråle. The fresco and other wall paintings use elements of Lapland in Biblical context (for example there are no lambs but reindeer). There is a nice arboretum by the pool Kirkkolampi right next to the church.
- 16 Orthodox church (Rovaniemen apostoli Andreaksen kirkko), Ounasvaarantie 16. A small Orthodox church is on the other side of the Kemijoki river. Built 1957 and dedicated to Saint Apostle Andrew.
See also Do below.
- 17 Sukulanrakka Giant's Kettles (Sukkulanrakan hiidenkirnut) (22 km south from Rovaniemi; drive a few kilometres past Rautionsaari by road 926 along the left bank of the river, turn left to the forest road Hiidenkirnuntie; the road ends in a sling after 1.65 km, continue by the circle trail). 24 hr daily. Fourteen giant's kettles, including three very deep ones, can be found on the Sukulanrakka slopes near the island of Rautiosaari. Nature trail with stairs, partly rough. No public transportation. Free; shelter facilities €30/10 pers., bigger groups or overnighting in the shelter €50.
- 18 Auttiköngäs waterfall, Kuusamontie 7724 (by road 81 Rovaniemi–Posio, 80 km from Rovaniemi centre). A 16-m-high waterfall and old-growth forest. Bus stop at the road, parking area 1 km farther. A 50-m steep trail for wheelchairs (assistance needed) to a hut with view to the rapids, a 3.5-km nature trail through varying terrain, with campfire sites; reserve plenty of time. Free.
- 19 Häkinvaaran kammi, Kammintie. In the village of Saarenkylä, on the top of Häkinvaara a stone-built kota, in front of which opens an amazing view over the Ounasjoki and Kemijoki rivers estuary.
Various arctic safari companies can arrange all sorts of cold and snowy activities like snowmobile safaris, husky sledding and reindeer sledding. Most of the tour operators have summer activities available too. Try e.g. wild moose safari; you'll get half of the price back if you won't see a moose.
- 1 Lapland Safaris, Koskikatu 1 (On the west bank of the river, next to Hotel Pohjanhovi), ☏ +358 16 331-1200, fax: +358 16 331-1233, [email protected].
- 2 Unique Lapland, Koskikatu 14, ☏ +358 500-599-999, [email protected]. Produces program services, rents and sells snowmobiles, roadsters, and ATVs, organizes events, concerts, training and coaching and sells high quality outdoor clothing.
- 3 Rovaniemi Theatre (Rovaniemen teatteri), Jorma Eton tie 8A, ☏ +358 400-282-484, [email protected]. Plays in Finnish. Students get about 50% discount from the ticket price. tickets €35-25/adult. Cloakroom €2/person..
- 4 Student Theatre of Lapland (Lapin Ylioppilasteatteri), Urheilukatu 1, [email protected]. Amateur theater actors being mostly local university students, has got 3-5 plays each year on their repertoire.
There are various outdoor sports activities available, mostly at Ounasvaara hill.
- 5 Keskuskenttä Stadium (Keskuskenttä), Ruokasenkatu. Multi-purpose stadium for football and athletics with official FIFA certification. Home stadium for local football clubs RoPS and FC Santa Claus. Capacity up to 5000 seats with 2800 seats in the covered main stand. Three full-length running tracks and fourth track in front of the main stand have green color. Artificial turf with under-soil heating. The stadium is free to use during daytime.
- 6 Ounasvaara Outdoor Resort, Taunontie 14 (3 km from the centre), ☏ +358 44-764-2830, [email protected]. Downhill skiing on 13 slopes, snow park for snowboarders. Separate forest skiing area with unmaintained slopes. 100 km of cross-country skiing tracks. Trekking and MTB available at the summer. Disc golf course.
- 7 Santasport, Hiihtomajantie 2 (up on the Ounasvaara hill), ☏ +358 20-798-4202, [email protected]. Leisure and well-being activities from bowling to spa and from massaging to outdoor fun. Disc golf course. Santasport is a vocational school for sports and internationally acknowledged training center for professional athletes.
- 8 Santa Claus Golf, Golfkentäntie 43 (close to the skiing resort), ☏ +358 200-302-00, [email protected]. A 18-hole summer golf course and 9-hole winter golf course. Driving range and practice area. Golf club with restaurant.
Hiking and birdwatching
In summertime you can hike the marked routes on and around Ounasvaara's forests (or elsewhere). Interestingly there are some rocky areas, which are ancient shores from the time after the last ice age, still visible by these routes. Prepare to face mosquitoes in the forest... From the top of the hill you'll find great views to the forests, hills and swamps outside the city. The city center is not very easy to see from the top, however a short walk to the 20 viewing tower in the forest provides an excellent downtown panorama.
- 9 Ounasvaara nature trail (Ounasvaaran luontopolku) (600 meters uphill from Santasport). A 4.8-km-long circular nature trail with info plates both in Finnish and English. The starting point is by a parking lot some 600 m uphill from Santasport. Conifer forest, small bogs, awesome views down to the river valley, and two natural springs with ice cold water ready to drink. Try to spot Siberian jays, spotted nutcrackers, reindeer, or elks (of these reindeer are the most probable). There is a wooden lean-to shelter and fireplace in the far end, close to the springs. The terrain is occasionally difficult and the trail is not suitable for disabled. The nature trail is part of much larger network of different trails that expand to surrounding forests so be careful with trail markings (especially on the open, rocky area uphill from the shelter). The nature trail is marked with blue patch having white cone in it. Free.
- 10 Ounasvaara winter walking trail (Ounasvaaran talvikävelyreitti) (starting points: 170 m uphill from the Jätkänkynttilä bridge, near Santasport or at Sky Hotel Ounasvaara). First of all: it is absolutely forbidden to walk on a skiing track. If you don't have skis but still wish to see how the forest looks like at winter, don't worry. There is a 6-km-long winter walking trail at Ounasvaara hill. The trail partially follows the nature trail but the official starting point is closer to the city centre. You can also enter the trail from Santasport or at Sky Hotel Ounasvaara. The trail visits the viewing tower and its lean-to shelter with campfire place and firewood. Walking the whole trail takes about 3 hours which should be ntices as the daylight is short during the midwinter. The winter walking trail is marked with blue patches with white walker and a snowflake. Follow them and do not enter the skiing tracks. Free.
- 11 Koivusaari nature trail (Koivusaaren luontopolku) (on Koivusaari island, 2 km from the centre). Another nature trail within walking distance from the city centre on Koivusaari island. The islands at the confluence of rivers Ounasjoki and Kemijoki are protected as a remarkable nesting site for birds. There is a 2.5-km-long nature trail on Koivusaari island, mostly on duckboards as the terrain here might be quite wet. The trail goes around the northern part of the island where the environment is mostly open flood affected meadow. There is a floating bird watching tower on the trail and the view to the river Ounasjoki from the northern point of the island is awesome. The trail also visits a site where the railway passed the river before World War II. Try to spot some birds and rare plants like Siberian blue lettuce, bluntleaf sandwort or almond-leaved willow on your way. Beware that there are sheep grazing freely on the island! Getting to the trail from the bridge is a bit tricky as you need to go under the bridge first but there are signs. Not suitable for people with disabilities. Trail can not be used during the spring flood (May-early June). Free.
- 12 Santa Claus Forest nature trail (Joulupukin metsä -luontopolku) (next to the Santa's Village). A nature trail next to the Santa Claus Village. From the Santa's Village you need to walk through the underpass next to the bus stop and there you are. The trail starts with duckboards over a beautiful aapa-type mire (aapa-mires are extremely typical for these latitudes) and heads then to a nice pine and spruce forests. In the far end there is a park-like planted spruce colony called "Santa's forest". The trail is 1.5 km to one direction and comes back the same route. There are wooden stairs for help at the steepest climbs. The trail is not suitable for disabled. Free.
- 13 Harjulampi bird watching tower, Yliopistonkatu (by lake Harjulampi, 500 m towards the centre from the University). Wooden bird watching tower by an eutrophic lake Harjulampi built in 1995. Over 80 bird species have been observed here of which 32 nest here regularly. Easy to access as the tower is less than 100 m off the street and within a walking distance from the centre. There is a sign by the street and the path is easy to walk. Best times to visit are May and August-September. Free.
- 14 Paavalniemi bird watching tower, Paavalniementie (10 km south-west from the centre, east side of the river). Popular bird watching tower at a place where river Kemijoki expands into a lush bay, about 10 km off-town. Numerous northern waders and waterfowl. The tower is located in the point of peninsula, some 300 meters walking from the end of the road and is not accessible for disabled. The trail is a bit rugged and last part of it is on narrow duckboards.
- 15 Niskanperä bird watching tower, Niskanperäntie (7 km SW form the center, west side of the river). Bird watching tower by river Kemijoki. Numerous different waders, and the fauna is most diverse during the migration season: May-June and September-October. The site is easy to access by a car or by bike. From highway 4 turn east on road Niskanperäntie and continue driving until you see the tower on your left. Parking lot is right next to the tower but to enter the tower you need to climb narrow stairs.
- 16 Louevaara deserted cabin (approximately 25.9 km southwest of the centre, in the Louevaara area in the middle of a spruce forest at an altitude of about 240 meters). The desert cabin is the former fire guard's hut. The wilderness cabin is log-built, reasonably spacious and warm enough to sleep in during the winter. In the vicinity of the hut, about half a kilometer away, there is the scenic Kuusilampi, which can be reached by following a hiking trail from the hut. In the hut there is also basic tableware for the use of hikers. An old fire guarding watch tower with a metal frame can be found near the hut.
- 17 Arctic Circle National Hiking Area (by E75, 20 km east of Rovaniemi centre). Hiking area with much infrastructure, such as lean-to shelters. There are three trail heads with parking areas. Coaches to Kemijärvi or Sodankylä stop at Lake Vikajärvi, near one of them. Two nature trails (200 m and 1.5 km) are suitable for wheelchairs and prams, the longer with assistance or motor. There are also longer or more demanding nature trails, as well as marked hiking trails, the longest, Olkkajärvi Hiking Trail of 12 km each way, requiring some hiking skills, suitable footwear and possibly equipment for an overnight stay.
- 18 Siberian wood-species trail (Siperian puulajipolku) (46 km from the city center towards Kuusamo, 10 km gravel roads from Vanttauskoski village). During past decades the Finnish Forest Research Institute planted over 20 different species of economically important tree species to this area to observe how well they grow and survive this climate. There is a 2-km-long circular nature trail through the area. Next to the parking lot there is a day-trip hut and a campfire site at the yard. The place got its name from the Siberian larches. The site is distant and not accessible with public transportation. free.
Biking and canoeing
There are a few places that offer bicycle rentals in town, including Hostel Cafe Koti and the Lauri guesthouse. The Tourist Information Center can provide up-to-date information.
- 19 Kalliosalmi–Olkkajärvi canoe route (starting point at Kalliosalmi by road 82, to Kemijärvi, some 55 km from Rovaniemi centre). 64 km canoe route. The last 23 km section, through the Arctic Circle hiking area, is the most demanding. Earlier on the route services are scarce.
In summer there is a small and very popular sand beach next to the camping area on the Ounasvaara side of the Kemijoki. In June the sun is shining to the beach until midnight. Swimming close to the shore is safe but because of the dangerously strong stream, do not even consider to swim across the river! There is a floating safety barrier surrounding the beach. Formerly there was a shallow lagoon but it was filled in June 2020 as reindeer used to poop into it.
- 20 Ounaskoski beach. Popular sand beach for swimming in the river. Locker rooms and toilets. The current of the river is strong, the safety barrier is there for a reason. Free.
- 21 Salmijärvi beach (in Pöykkölä suburb, 4 km from the center). This rather popular beach by a lake doesn't have the problem with strong current but suffers occasionally of swimmer's itch. A bit far from the centre. Free.
Otherwise you may swim in a pool...
- 22 Swimming Hall Vesihiisi (Uimahalli Vesihiisi), Nuortenkatu 11, ☏ +358 16 322-2592, [email protected]. M–F 06:30–19:30, Sa–Su 11:00–16:30. Swimming hall with indoor and outdoor pools. Gym and massage available. Café. Adults €8, students €5, children €1.5–3, family (2+2) €18.
- 23 Santasport Spa, Hiihtomajantie 2. The spa is suitable for competitive swimmers, water sports enthusiasts and tourists alike. The pool area has a large pool, a children’s pool, hot and cold pools, a hot tub, a hot tub and a massage pool.
Festivals and events
- Jutajaiset (around the town). July. An about one-week-long international folklore festival.
- Simerock: August. Simerock is a major rock festival. Arranged since 2003; got 25,000 visitors in 2019.
- 3 University of Lapland (Lapin yliopisto).
- 4 Lapland University of Applied Sciences.
There are some souvenirs and fur products for sale at the 5 Lordi's Square, on the pedestrian street, and — of course — at the Santa Claus Village. At the once famous 6 Market Square there are mostly berries for sale in the summer and Christmas trees before Christmas.
There is an fancy and popular event Rovaniemi old-style market fair (Rovaniemen Wanhat Markkinat) during the weekend in mid-August with lots of local products and delicacies for sale. These are arranged at the 7 Old Market Square, near the Jätkänkynttilä bridge.
Design and souvenirs
- 1 Marttiini factory outlet, Vartiokatu 32 (opposite Arktikum), ☏ +358 40-311-0604. M–F 10:00–18:00, Sa–Su 10:00–16:00. An outlet store offers the famous knives in the old knife factory building. The knife factory building itself is one of those few that survived the Lapland War. Marttiini knives are still made in Rovaniemi but the factory is nowadays in the industrial area of the city. There is another outlet store in the Rinteenkulma mall.
- 2 Gift Shop Aarnivalkea, Koskikatu 20 (at the pedestrian street), ☏ +358 44-9989-5597, [email protected]. M–F 10:00–17:00, Sa 10:00–15:00, Su closed. Souvenirs and some local delicacies.
- 3 Arctic Design Shop, Valtakatu 24, ☏ +358 300 870 511, [email protected]. M–F 09:00–18:00, Sa 12:00–17:00, Su closed. Local design from local producers, most of them study or have graduated from the University of Lapland. Selection extend from clothes to sex toys(!).
- 4 Lauri House, Pohjolankatu 25 (700 m from Lordi's Square), ☏ +358 44-706-0060. M–F 10:00–18:00, Sa 10:00–15:00, Su closed. Traditional gifts and handicrafts manufactured in the same building. The design is inspired by the Sami ancestry of the owner.
- 5 Valkko Shop, Koskikatu 24, ☏ +358 400-272-266. Gifts and souvenirs. Also a café.
- 6 Alko Rovaniemi Keskusta, Koskikatu 25 (entrance from Koskikatu or Poromiehentie) (in Rinteenkulma shopping centre). M-F 09:00–21:00, Sa 09:00–18:00, Su closed. Alcoholic beverages.
- 7 Sampokeskus, Maakuntakatu 29-31 (main entrance on Lordi Square). M–F 08:00–21:00, Sa 09:00–19:00, Su 11:00–18:00.
- 8 Rinteenkulma, Koskikatu 25 (main entrance next to the Scandic hotel). M–F 07:00–21:00, Sa 08:00–21:00, Su 11:00–21:00. Grocery store (K-supermarket), local design shops, souvenir shop, sports equipment. The K-supermarket Rinteenkulma has a wide selection of local delicacies including reindeer meat products.
- 9 Revontuli, Koskikatu 27 (next to Rinteenkulma, main entrance above highway E75). M–Sa 08:00–21:00, Su 11:00–20:00. Several clothing stores. Grocery store (S-market) with basic groceries. Sports equipment. Free toilets downstairs.
Grocery stores etc.
- 10 K-Citymarket Rovaniemi, Pulkamontie 1 (in the suburb Saarenkylä, outside the centre but relatively close to Arctic Circle). M–Sa 08:00–22:00, Su 09:00–22:00. K-group hypermarket. There are also an Alko store, a Subway café, and a Hesburger hamburger restaurant in the same building.
- 11 Lidl Rovaniemi Saarenkylä, Pulkamontie 2. M–Sa 08:00–21:00, Su 10:00–21:00. Grocery store.
- 12 Prisma Rovaniemi, Teollisuustie 2 (near the city's industry area, relatively close to the railway station), ☏ +358 16 330-5500. M–Sa 08:00–23:00, Su 09:00–23:00. S-group hypermarket near the city's industry area. Outside downtown but relatively close to the railway station. Notable selection of trekking equipment. Alko store, Pharmacy, and a Hesburger hamburger restaurant in the same building.
- 13 Lidl Rovaniemi Teollisuuskylä, Oijustie 2. M–Sa 08:00–21:00, Su 10:00–21:00. Grocery store.
- 14 Minimani Rovanimi, Lampelankatu 3 (in a former small industry area, follow signs saying "Lampela"). Hypermarket of a small independent Finnish chain, opened in 2020. ATM, public laundrette, and a Subway café in the same building.
Considering the size of the city, Rovaniemi has a remarkably wide range of restaurants. You will find anything from sushi to bear meat and from hamburgers to traditional delicacies.
As elsewhere in Lapland, the traditional meal is sautéed reindeer (poronkäristys), consisting of slices of reindeer meat stewed in a frying pan with butter and water. A "bowl" of mashed potatoes is placed to the dish and the hole is filled with stewed meat. This is garnished with lingonberry jam and sometimes slices of pickled cucumber. It's worth trying once at least - you should be able to find this dish in most better restaurants around town. Salmon and lavaret are other common, local ingredients.
You can find the light greyish flatbread called rieska from any grocery store. Those are usually made of barley (ohrarieska), sometimes potato (perunarieska). A comb-shaped, slightly sweet pastry kampanisu is eaten with a cup of coffee. It is a true specialty of this area but much harder to find.
If you are about to buy some reindeer cold cuts from the market, make sure there is word poro on the package. Horse meat look the same but is much cheaper.
The lunch canteens at the University offer cheap alternatives (€2.50–5 per meal for students as subsidized by the state; €7 for guests), but the meals are served only around noon. There are such canteens at the university and at the university of applied sciences. Also, the lunch café at Arktikum gives student discount.
- 1 Railway station restaurant (Asemaravintola), Ratakatu 3 (at the railway station), ☏ +358 16 318 818. The restaurant at the railway station is not bad or too expensive either. Ask for student pizzas. Breakfast buffet daily 07:00-10:00 for €8.90
- 2 Golden Rax Pizza Buffet, Korkalonkatu 27 (at crossing of Koskikatu and Korkalonkatu). M-Sa 11:00-19:00, Su 12:00-19:00. Self-service all-you-can-eat-and-drink pizzas, chicken wings, lasagne etc.
- 3 Kotipizza Koskikatu, Koskikatu 5, ☏ +358 16 310 303. M-Th 11:00-21:00, F-Sa 11:00-22:00, Su 12:00-21:00. Finnish pizza franchising restaurant.
- 4 Pizza & kebab Turkinpippuri, Maakuntakatu 29 (Next to the Lordi's Square). Serves good kebab & pizza. Try the kebab roll!
- 5 Pizzeria Trocadero, Koskikatu 31, ☏ +358 16 344 120. M-Sa 11:00-21:00, Su 12:00-21:00. For some reason vastly oversize pizzas seem to be some thing in Northern Finland. Here you'll find the biggest ones in Rovaniemi.
- 6 Venetsia Pizza & Kebab, Korkalonkatu 27, ☏ +358. Pizzas from an authentic wood-burning oven. Kebabs, chicken döner etc.
- 7 Subway Sampokeskus, Maakuntakatu 29. M-Th 09:00-23:00, F 09:00-00:00, Sa 10:00-00:00, Su 11:00-22:00. Subs.
- 8 McDonald's Rovaniemi, Poromiehentie 3, ☏ +358 40 731 8585. Open 24 hr. For over two decades this was the world's northernmost McD, but nowadays there are McD in Arkhangelsk and Murmansk (Russia) which are more north.
- 9 Scanburger Rovaniemi, Koskikatu 26, ☏ +358 16 345 600. M-Tu 10:30-23:00, W-Sa 10:30-04:30, Su 13:00-23:00. Hamburger chain from Northern Finland.
- 10 Hesburger Sampokeskus, Maakuntakatu 31. M-F 10:00-21:00, Sa 10:00-20:00, Su 12:00-18:00. Famous Finnish hamburger chain.
- 11 Curry Masala, Valtakatu 33, ☏ +358 44 2376113. M-Th 11:00-22:00, F 11:00-23:00, Sa 12:00-23:00, Su 12:00-21:00. Indian and Nepalese restaurant with a good range of meat and vegetarian dishes. Very good value buffet M-Th lunchtime for €9.50, including soup, coffee and mangolassi.
- 12 Rang Mahal, Rovakatu 26, ☏ +358 46 594 6887, [email protected]. M-Th 11:00-21:00, F-Sa 11:00-22:00, Su 12:00-21:00. Indian restaurant with lunch buffet and à la carte. Indian style reindeer dishes.
- 13 Comico, Koskikatu 25, ☏ +358 16 344 433. M-Th 11-21, F 11:00-22:00 (02:00), Sa 12:00-22:00 (02:00), Su 12:00-18:00. Texmex fingerfood. Buffet lunch Monday-Friday. Serves also as a bar and has some live artists at the evening. lunch buffet €10.50.
- 14 Restaurant Rinne Feenix, Koskikatu 25, ☏ +358 400 231 223. M-F 10:30-18, Sa 11:00-18:00, Su closed. Buffet lunch at weekdays and special buffet at Saturdays. Burgers and salads from menu. Weekday lunch buffet €10.50, Saturday lunch buffet €12.90.
- 15 Roka Street Bistro, Ainonkatu 3, ☏ +358 50 311 6411. M-Th 11:00-22:00, F 11:00-23:00, Sa 12:00-23:00, Su 12:00-22:00. Non-expensive 25-seat street food bar and bistro. Street food lunch at weekdays.
- 16 Restaurant Café Rovaniemi, Rovakatu 26, ☏ +358 45 116 2829, [email protected]. Small lunch café in the middle of town. Full gluten-free lunch, cakes etc. available.
- 17 Torikeidas, Lapinkävijäntie 3 (Near Kauppatori, across from the bus station), ☏ +358 40 124 71 11. M-Th 10:00-00:30, F-Sa 10:00-04:30, Su 11:00-0:30. Grill. Perhaps the most famous kebabs in town.
- 18 Kotipizza Pohjolankatu, Pohjolankatu 4, ☏ +358 16 345 666. M-Tu 10:30-21:00, W-Sa 10:30-21:30, Su 11:30-21:00. Finnish pizza franchising restaurant.
- 19 Restaurant Turkoosi, Postikatu 1A (next to the bus station), ☏ +358 16 319 111. M-F 10:30-13:30, Sa Su closed. Lunch buffet next to the coach station and near the railway station in a former post office building. lunch buffet €9.50.
- 20 Pizza & kebab City Star, Lapinkävijäntie 23, ☏ +358 40 199 3636.
At the Lordi's Square there is sometimes a fisherman selling freshly caught and pan-fried vendace (muikku), a small freshwater whitefish.
- 21 Frans & Chérie, Koskikatu 4 (at Sokos Hotel Vaakuna), ☏ +358 44 4050 216. M 12:00-23:00, Tu 12:00-16:00, W 12:00-22:00, Th Sa Su 12:00-23:00, Su 12:00-22:00. Traditional Lappish dishes and French cooking à la carte. Fresh mussels every Friday.
- 22 Restaurant Amarillo, Koskikatu 4 (next to Sokos Hotel Vaakuna), ☏ +358 44 405 0211. M-Th 11:00-00:00, F 11:00-01:00, Sa 12:00-01:00, Su 12:00-00:00. Mexican style food, steaks and burgers.
- 23 Restaurant Rosso, Maakuntakatu 30 (50 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 44 788 5751. Daily 11:00-22:00. Italian style food. Lunch.
- 24 Bord, Koskikatu 23, ☏ +358 16 460 6000. Lunch: M-Sa 11:00-14:00, Su closed; Dinner: M-Su 17:00-22:00; Café: M-Su 11:00-22:00. Restaurant at the Scandic hotel. In addition to normal à la carte there is a separate Lapland menu.
- 25 Café Kauppayhtiö and Pure Pizza, Valtakatu 24 (100 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 16 3422422. Sandwich shop, ice cream, milkshakes, hamburger restaurant and bar. Its slogan is "the café where everything is for sale". The Pure Pizza has authentic Neapolitan style pizzas.
- 26 Luckiefun's Sushibuffet, Koskikatu 22 (in Rinteenkulma shopping center), ☏ +358 41 318 3532. Opened in December 2019. The northernmost sushi buffet in Finland, possibly in the world. Asian buffet €15.90.
- 27 Roka Kitchen & Wine Bar, Koskikatu 8 (120 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 50 301 2288. M-Th 16:00-23:00, F Sa 16:00-00:00, Su 16:00-22:00. Bistro food and tapas. Wine bar in the cellar.
- 28 Wingston, Kansankatu 17 (250 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 16 312 111, [email protected]. M closed, Tu-Th 16:00-22:00, F 16:00-23:00, Sa 14:00-23:00, Su 13:00-22:00. Chicken wings, nachos, wraps, hamburgers, steaks and salads.
- 29 Pancho Villa Rovaniemi, Rovakatu 25-27, ☏ +358 500 132 132, [email protected]. M-Th 11:00-21:00, F 11:00-22:00, Sa 13:00-22:00, Su 13:00-21:00. Mexican food. Platters. Burgers, including mega sized ones. Lunch at weekdays.
- 30 Lappish Restaurant Gaissa, Koskikatu 14 (at Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 16 321 321. M-Th & Su 15:00-22:00, F Sa 15:00-23:00. Lapland style restaurant in the second floor of the Hotel Santa Claus. Breakfast daily 08:00-11:00 and lunch buffet at weekdays 11:00-14:00. Awarded with Chaîne de Rôtisseurs shield.
- 31 Café Toivo, Rovakatu 14, ☏ +358 40 1769969. M-F 07:30-17:00, Sa 10:00-14:00. Excellent baked goods and lunch. Very fresh ingredients and all made on site including baked goods.
- 32 Restaurant Himo, Valtakatu 23, ☏ +358 40 508 8282. M-F 11:00-22:00, Sa Su 14:00-22:00. Asian restaurant specialising in Japanese food. Run and maintained by a Vietnamese-origin chef. Also offers a cooking program (ideal for those staying in the country for a long time).
- 33 Hai Long, Valtakatu 22, ☏ +358 40 649 0889, [email protected]. M-F 11:00-22:00, Sa Su 12:00-22:00. Chinese food. Lunch buffet M-F. Lunch buffet €10.90.
- 34 Xiang Long, Koskikatu 21, ☏ +358 16 319 331. M-F 12:00-22:00. Authentic Chinese. Separate menu for Chinese customers (or anyone who can read it) available. Lunch buffet M-F downstairs.
- 35 Da Zhong Hua, Koskikatu 43, ☏ +358 16 662 888, [email protected]. M-F 11:00-22:00, Sa Su 12:00-22:00. Chinese with Lappish tint in some dishes. Also sushi. Lunch buffet M-F.
- 36 Saigon Noodle Bar, Rovakatu 26, ☏ +358 46 954 8568. Small Vietnamese restaurant. Try their reindeer spring rolls.
- 37 [dead link] Restaurant Saihu, Toukolantie 49, Hirvas (in the village of Hirvas, opposite the turn to Kalliokumpu, at Hotel Metsähirvas (formerly the Forestry School)), ☏ +358 400 315 099, [email protected]. Dinner Tu-Sa 16:00-21:00, Breakfast M-F 07:00-10:00 and Sa Su 08:00-11:00. A well-hidden restaurant with comfortable atmosphere and a short but very good menu featuring reindeer, moose, and salmon.
- 38 Nabo, Valtakatu 21, ☏ +358 20 730 4720, [email protected]. W-Sa 17:00-22:00. New and highly renowned Nordic-style restaurant. Full menus €44/€56 (+ drinks). Booking a table strongly recommended.
- 39 Restaurant Nili, Valtakatu 20, ☏ +358 400 369 669, [email protected]. Daily 12:00-23:00. A Lapland themed restaurant specialized on local specialties like arctic char and bear meat.
- 40 Arctic Restaurant, Valtakatu 18, ☏ +358 20 1710 100, [email protected]. Daily 17:00-23:00. Another stylish restaurant with northern specialties on their menu.
- 41 Restaurant Pohjanhovi, Pohjanpuistikko 2, ☏ +358 16 465 4014, [email protected]. Daily 18:00-22:00. A legendary restaurant and a bar in even more legendary hotel. Tables by the windows have excellent view to the river. The breakfast buffet is open to everyone with price €18.
- 42 Restaurant Monte Rosa, Pekankatu 9, ☏ +358 16 330 0400, [email protected]. M-F 14:00-23:00, Sa Su 17:00-23:00. Cozy restaurant at the Arctic City Hotel. Lapland delicacies on the menu. Lunch buffet at weekdays 11:00-14:00 for €12.00. Best steaks in town.
- 43 Restaurant Tšar, Valtakatu 23, ☏ +358 40 060 6847, [email protected]. M-Sa 17:00-23:00. Russian restaurant.
- 44 Rakas Restaurant & Bar, Tarvantie 3 (at the Arctic Circle), ☏ +358 505 176 952, [email protected]. M-Sa 12:00-00:00, Su 12:00-23:00. A fine dining restaurant at the Arctic Circle. Has lately got remarkable attention among gastronomy enthusiasts. Table reservation recommended.
The night when Hell froze over
For years, Finland was a notoriously poor performer at Eurovision Song Contest, racking up the dreaded nul points so often that "winning the Eurovision" became slang for "hell freezing over". But in 2006, Lordi from Rovaniemi went on stage in latex monster masks and rocked the arena with their metal anthem Hard Rock Hallelujah, winning Finland's first (and, to date, only) crown. The town square was renamed Lordi Square to commemorate the event.
Nightclubs, bars and pubs
- 1 Half Moon night club, Koskikatu 25 (entrance from Poromiehentie) (300 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 40 0947693. W F Sa 22:00-04:00. The largest and most popular nightclub in town. Customers mostly 18-20 yo. Located in the cellar of Rinteenkulma shopping mall. Occasionally Finnish live artists. Age limit 18. €3.
- 2 [dead link] Roy Club, Maakuntakatu 24 (125 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 16 313 705. Karaoke daily 22:00-04:30, nightclub Su-Tu 00:00-04:30, W-Sa 23:00-04:30. Known as Roippari by the locals. Small nightclub established in 1985 and open every single day in the year. Awarded as the Best Bar in Finland 2016. Karaoke pub in the ground floor, nightclub in the cellar. Age limit 18. €3.
- 3 Oliver's Corner, Koskikatu 9 (60 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 40 686 5000. pub Su-Tu 14:00-02:00 W Th 14:00-03:00, F 14:00-04:00, Sa 12:00-04:00; nightclub W-Sa 22:00-04:00. Irish style pub with a cozy nightclub and customers typically over 25 yo. Locals consider this club more suitable for adults and therefore the place often crowded and the line outdoors might get long.
- 4 Kansan Pubi, Kansankatu 15 (400 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 40 094 7693. daily 16:00-02:00. Cheapest and therefore also fairly popular among young locals. Might be surprisingly crowded during the weekend evenings before people head to the nightclubs. Age limit 18. Free admission, 3.5eur for a 0.4l domestic beer..
- 5 Bar 21, Rovakatu 21 (350 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 40 811 7037. M Tu 11:00-21:00, W Th 11:00-22:00, F 11:00-02:00, Sa 12:00-02:00, Su 12:00-21:00. Café, gelateria, tapas and cocktail bar. Brunch every Sunday.
- 6 Café Kauppayhtiö, Valtakatu 24 (100 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 16 342 2422. Sandwich shop, ice cream, milkshakes, hamburger restaurant and bar. Lunch. Its slogan is "the café where everything is for sale". The Pure Pizza has authentic Neapolitan style pizzas.
- 7 Rock Bar Grande, Rovakatu 28 (230 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 50 4100 288. M Tu Th 16:00-02:00, W & F 16:00-04:00, Sa Su 18:00-04:00. Rockish bar established in 1991 (but moved twice since) in the Sampokeskus shopping centre. Entrance from Rovakatu-Pekankatu corner Take the small door on the left (don't go into the mall) then step the stairs down. Occasionally live artists.
- 8 Paha Kurki Rockhouse, Koskikatu 5 (150 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 40 538 9355. M-Th 16:00-03:00, F Sa 16:00-04:15, Su 18:00-03:00. Notable rock-ish beerhouse, close to the safari company offices near the river.
- 9 [formerly dead link] Bar Iloinen Ilves, Koskikatu 5 (150 meters from Hotel Santa Claus). Tu-Su 16:00-until the closing time, M closed. Right next to the Paha Kurki. A very small pub without background music. Fancy Rovaniemi themed interior.
- 10 Bar Hemingway's, Koskikatu 11 (opposite to Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 40 1739 761. M-Th 15:00-01:00, F 14:00-02:00, Sa 12:00-02:00, Su 14:00-00:00. A Finnish franchising pub. Age limit 20.
- 11 Uitto Pub, Korkalonkatu 25 (100 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 44 788 5889. M-Th 15:00-02:00, F Sa 15:00-03:00, Su 15:00-02:00. A popular old-time forestry themed pub. Pizzas, salads and hot dogs for food.
- 12 Pub Pisto, Valtakatu 23 (entrance from Korkalonkatu) (160 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 16 4654 013. M-Th 09:00-22:00, F 09:00-01:00, Sa 09:00-02:00, Su closed. A stylish public house established already in 1960. According to famous Rovaniemi-born novellist Jari Tervo "You haven't been in Rovaniemi unless you have been in Pisto". This pub appears in many of Tervo's novels.
- 13 Bar Zoomit, Koskikatu 14, ☏ +358 16 321 3251. Su-Tu 11:00-00:00, W-Sa 11:00-03:00. Café and trendy coctail bar in the lobby of Hotel Santa Claus.
- 14 Plan B, Valtakatu 18 (180 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 20 171 0100. Su-Th 14:00-23:00, F Sa 14:00-01:00. A classy (and expensive) coctail lounge in the Arctic Light Hotel. Their drinks have got a lot of attention among professional bartenders in Finland.
- 15 Pub Oluthuone, Koskikatu 20 (120 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 16 313715. M-Th 11:00-02:00, F Sa 10:00-03:00, Su 12:00-02:00. Cozy and fairly typical Finnish pub at the pedestrian street but for some odd reason doesn't seem to attract too much foreigners. Open daily and customers are mostly 30-year-old and up locals. Cheaper than many other bars downtown though. Pool table in the cellar. Outdoor terrace at the summer.
- 16 Culture Pub Musta Kissa, Kansankatu 2 (760 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 40 149 8899. M-Th 14:00-23:00, F Sa 14:00-02:00, Su 14:00-22:00. Small and cozy culture oriented bar opposite to the Student Theatre of Lapland. Occasionally live artists.
- 17 Restaurant Valdemari, Jäämerentie 9 (on the east bank of the river, 900 m from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 16 344 181, [email protected]. Summer terrace and food restaurant for elderly people. Live Finnish bands playing social dance music. Perhaps more of interest for your parents.
- 18 Café Antinkaapo, Rovakatu 13 (530 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 40 194 7600. M-F 07:30-17:00, Sa 08:30-14:30, Su closed. Popular and traditional café and confectionary established in 1984. Sweet and salty cakes and buns.
- 19 Cat Café Freija, Rovakatu 25-27 (250 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ +358 40 168 2802. M-F 12:00-18:00, Sa 12:00-17:00, Su closed. Café... with cats! What else would you need?
- 20 Choco Deli (Rinteenkulma shopping centre), ☏ +358 400 737 900, [email protected]. M-Fr 10:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-17:00, Su closed. Probably the northernmost chocolaterie in the World.
- 21 Café Linna, Koskikatu 14-16, ☏ +358 16 321 321. M-F 09:30-18:00, Sa 10:00-18:00, Su 11:00-18:00. Café at the Hotel Santa Claus.
- 22 Café Staar, Rovakatu 15, ☏ +358 44 300 4497, [email protected]. Café specialized on sweet and salty waffles.
- 23 Café Raito, Koskikatu 24. Coffee, cakes, and other sweet delicacies.
- 24 Coffee House Rovaniemi, Maakuntakatu 30. M-Tu closed, W-F 08:00-20:00, Sa 10:00-20:00, Su 11:00-20:00. Finnish chain café. Popular among the local young.
- 1 Guesthouse Borealis, Asemieskatu 1 (from the railway station 300 meters uphill, 1.5 km from Lordi's Square), ☏ +358 44 3131 771, [email protected]. This is a very friendly guesthouse located in the immediate vicinity of the railway station. Cross the road from the railway station, directly in front of you is the red-yellowish university building, find a small walking road to your left (facing the building) that goes uphill. Turn left to the bigger road and walk 25 metres (80 feet). If you are looking for a warm and hospitable place to stay then this is worth checking out. Shared kitchen. Free WiFi. from €50.
- 2 [dead link] Guesthouse Outa, Ukkoherrantie 16 (600 meters from Lordi's Square), ☏ +358 50 492 6991, [email protected]. Small guesthouse on a silent street near the city center. Accommodation in 1-3 person rooms with cooking option. Shared toilets and bathrooms. Linen and towels are included. Free WiFi.
- 3 Santa's Hotel Rudolph, Koskikatu 41-43 (630 meters from Lordi's Square), ☏ +358 16 321 321, fax: +358 16 321 3222, [email protected]. Inexpensive, but the reception for this location is off-site; check-in is at the reception of the Hotel Santa Claus at the Lordi's Square. Chinese restaurant in the same building. €50/double.
- 4 Hostel Café Koti, Valtakatu 21, Rovaniemi (250 meters from Lordi's Square), ☏ +358 44 7961 333, [email protected]. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. Downtown hostel opened in 2016. Rooms, two mixed dorms and one female dorm. Breakfast included. Bar and popular lunch restaurant in the ground floor. from €30 for a bed in a 10-bed dorm, from €99 for a double room.
- 5 Ounaskoski Camping, Jäämerentie 1 (on the east bank of the river, 1.6 km from Lordi's Square), ☏ +358 16 345 304, [email protected]. Camping site (100 places) on the other side of the river with view of the city, c-store, cafeteria, laundry, sauna, playground. From €15/RV or €14/tent, +€6 for power (10A), +€7/person.
- 6 [dead link] B&B Reindeerstreet 24, Porokatu 24, ☏ +358 40 531 5280. Friendly bed & breakfast next to Ounasvaara, about 1.3 km from downtown, can arrange tours and activities during your stay.
- 7 Motelli Rovaniemi, Kemintie 945 (10 km southwest from the city center), ☏ +358 16 379 0389, [email protected]. Motel and cottage village outskirts of the city. Also camping site. Rooms have cooking option. Café. price depends on season.
- 8 Hotel Metsähirvas, Toukolantie 49 (15 km southwest from the city center), ☏ +358 40 031 5099, [email protected]. Hotel in a former Forestry School by the river Kemijoki some 15 kilometers southwest from the city center. Husky safaris and forest oriented activities. Their restaurant Saihu has got very good evaluations. The building itself was built in the 1930s and survived the devastation during the Lapland War. rooms from €65/night.
- 9 Scandic Rovaniemi City, Koskikatu 23 (150 meters from Lordi's Square), ☏ +358 16 460 6000. A hotel in the middle of city. Restaurant and a lobby bar.
- 10 Arctic City Hotel, Pekankatu 9 (120 meters from Lordi's Square), ☏ +358 16 3300111, fax: +358 16 311304, [email protected]. In the heart of Rovaniemi, next to Sampokeskus shopping mall and 120 m from the Lordi's Square. Two restaurants. Lobby bar.
- 11 Scandic Polar, Valtakatu 23 (180 meters from Lordi's Square), ☏ +358 16 465 4013, [email protected]. Mid-priced hotel, centrally located. Open during the winter season only.
- 12 Santa Claus Holiday Village, Tähtikuja 2 (at the Arctic Circle), ☏ +358 400 306 273, [email protected]. Hotel-like accommodation in cabins in Santa Claus Village at the Arctic Circle.
- 13 Hotel Aakenus, Koskikatu 47 (700 meters from Lordi's Square), ☏ +358 16 342 2051, fax: +358 16 342 2021, [email protected]. Small hotel with 47 rooms. Restaurant and lobby bar. Breakfast and evening sauna included. Holiday apartments in separate buildings around the area nearby.
- 14 Lapland Hotels Sky Ounasvaara, Juhannnuskalliontie (at Ounasvaara hill, 3.4 km uphill from Lordi's Square), ☏ +358 16 323 400, [email protected]. Completely renewed classics on top of the Ounasvaara hill. Within walking distance from Ounasvaara Resort as well as the hiking trail and skiing track network. There is a viewing platform on the roof accessible by stairs outdoors (so you don't need to be a guest). Restaurant.
- Lapland City Apartments, Varies. Small but comfortable apartment close to the town centre, including fridge, oven, microwave, shower, television and optional internet. Prices may vary if shared. €87 per night single plus €5 internet.
- 15 Apukka Resort, Tutkijantie 28 (18 km northeast from the city center, 10 km from the airport), ☏ +358 29 370 0268, [email protected]. Holiday resort about 20 kilometers the city center, north from the arctic circle. Accommodation varies from suite to glass igloos and cottages. Various activities both at the summer and winter. Own restaurant. Car rental service. from €100/night.
- 16 Arctic Circle Wilderness Resort (Vaattungin Kämppäkartano), Vaattunkikönkääntie 219 (25 km northeast from the city center), ☏ +358 500 788 888, [email protected]. Small wilderness resort quite literally in the middle of Arctic Circle Hiking Area by the Vaattunkiköngäs rapids. Extensive marked trail network for hiking. Services include pre-order catering restaurant. Staff present from November to April, otherwise this is "cold" site. The resort is located some 2 kilometers from the road E75. €98-155/night, panorama hut €98-355/night.
- 17 Santa's Hotel Santa Claus, Korkalonkatu 29 (in very center of the town), ☏ +358 16 321321, [email protected]. Stylish hotel by the Lordi's Square. Restaurant, bar and café. Interior design shop.
- 18 Boutique Hotel Haawe, Valtakatu 22 (170 m from Lordi's Square), ☏ +358 40 093 3689, [email protected]. New 14-room boutique hotel in the middle of town center. No restaurant, all rooms have their own kitchen and breakfast supplies are included to the price. The building has historical value as it is one of those few that survived the World War II. from €220/night.
- 19 Scandic Pohjanhovi, Pohjanpuistikko 2 (330 meters from Lordi's Square), ☏ +358 16 465 4014. This legendary hotel has been the choice for presidents and royals for decades. By the river Kemijoki. Four-star downtown hotel with saunas and swimming pool.
- 20 Sokos Hotel Vaakuna Rovaniemi, Koskikatu 4 (250 meters from Lordi's Square), ☏ +358 20 123 4695, [email protected]. from €190/night.
- 21 Arctic Light Hotel, Valtakatu 18 (210 meters from Lordi's Square), ☏ +358 20 171 0100, [email protected]. Privately owned modern and boutique hotel which opened in 2015. Famous for its innovative design and awarded several times. Some rooms in the top floor have roof windows for aurora watching. The building was the city hall until 1988. from €200/night.
- 22 [dead link] Nova Skyland Hotel, Tähtikuja 6 (400 m from Santa's Village), ☏ +358 40 560 3115, [email protected]. Chinese-owned hotel. from €400/night.
- 23 Arctic Tree House Hotel, Tarvantie 3 (2.2 km from the Santa's Village, next to Santapark), ☏ +358 505 176 909, [email protected]. The hotel got some media attention when it opened in 2018. It consists of cube-like cottages on the slope of Syväsenvaara hill. All rooms have a large window facing north, so visitors may easily watch northern lights or midnight sun from the rooms. Restaurant and bar in the reception building downhill. from €530/night.
- 24 Santa's Igloos Arctic Circle, Joulumaankuja 8 (700 m from Santa's Village), ☏ +358 400 102 170, [email protected]. The hotel consists of 71 glass roofed igloo-like cottages some of which have their own sauna. Restaurant and lobby bar. from €650/night.
- 25 Glass Resort, Tähtikuja 16 (700 m from Santa's Village), ☏ +358 40 519 4444, [email protected]. Family business hotel with accommodation in igloo-like cottages. The conical shape of the igloos is inspired by the Sami culture. Restaurant.
Rovaniemi is a safe city. You're unlikely to face any major dangers.
- 8 Police station (Poliisilaitos), Hallituskatu 1.
- 9 Central Hospital of Lapland (Lapin Keskussairaala), Ounasrinteentie 22, ☏ +358 16 328-2140. The Central Hospital takes care of tourists with acute illnesses or accidents. General emergency is open 24/7.
Each week one of the following three pharmacies has a call week with extended opening hours.
- 10 Sampo Pharmacy (Sampo Apteekki), Rovakatu 28, ☏ +358 16 362 661. M-F 09:00-19:00, Sa 09:00-17:00, Su 12:00-16:00.
- 11 Kairatie Pharmacy (Kairatien Apteekki), Kairatie 2, ☏ +358 50 597 8892. M-F 09:00-19:00, Sa 09:00-17:00, Su 12:00-18:00.
- 12 Saarenkylä Pharmacy (Saarenkylän Apteekki), Pulkamontie 2, ☏ +358 16 362 566. M-F 08:30-18:30, Sa 09:00-16:00, Su closed.
The Hotel Santa Claus has a laptop in the lobby, meant for guests, where anyone can sit at the computer and use the Internet for free.
There is Internet access via Wi-Fi in the main library, and using their computers is possible but might require a reservation, ask at the desk.
Free Wi-Fi access is available in most of the cafés, at Korundi Culture House, and at the Arktikum.
- Downhill (and cross-country) skiing from November to April in Levi (near Kittilä), Luosto (near Sodankylä) and Pyhä (near Pelkosenniemi).
- Ranua with an Arctic wildlife park
- Inari, the Finnish capital for the Sámi, 315 km farther north
|Routes through Rovaniemi|
|Ivalo ← Sodankylä ←||N S||→ Tervola → Oulu|