Rovaniemi is a city built in the wilderness where ancient traditions and modern life combine. It is a culturally rich Arctic town with eight seasons during one year. The sunshine, temperature and natural scenery in eight seasons are different. Here is Santa’s global headquarters, and you can feel the Christmas atmosphere every day. Rovaniemi is the hometown of Santa Claus. His office headquarters is located on the Arctic Circle and is open to visitors all year.
It’s a beautifully wrought and fairy-tale city. Only by personally visiting You will believe that Santa Claus will drive the reindeer sleigh from the far north during the snowy winter night only if you come here by yourself.
Let’s see the great city together.
1. Santa Claus Village
Most of the tourists go to Rovaniemi mainly for Santa Claus Village. The village is located 8 km north of Rovaniemi and within the Arctic Circle. Located in a forest covered ground with snow, Santa Claus Village is a group of wooden houses. Most of the visitors to Santa Claus Village just want to see Santa. But don’t forget that the village has many attractive activities such as the small “reindeer sled” for children and the Santa Post Office. Visitors are not allowed to take pictures and videos when they enter the Santa Claus office in order to keep Santa’s home as a secret.
2. Arctic Circle Marking
On the ground of the middle of the village of Santa Claus, there is a wide white line that writes 66°32’35” ARCTEC CERCLE. This is the Arctic Circle! Visitors come here to do two “great things”. First thing is to take a picture of the two feet across the Arctic line at 66 degrees 33 degrees north latitude, and the second one is to receive a certificate to prove that he has entered the Arctic Circle.
3. Santa Claus Office
The Santa Claus office is located in the Santa Claus Village. We can meet Santa and ask him various questions here. Many parents bring their children to come here at every Christmas. Santa patiently answer the children’s strange questions and tell them various stories. There are a lot of tourists not only at Christmas but also other days. Because the travelers believe that it’s the place to make fairy tales into reality.
The Santa Claus office is a room full of mysterious and peaceful atmosphere. The walls that decorated with wooden panels are with string bells, and the lights are flashing. The front wall is lined with a world map made of woods. The kindly Santa smile and sit on the oak chair by the fireplace shaking hands with the tourists.
4. Aurora Borealis Museum
The Aurora Borealis Museum is located on the south bank of the Ounasjoki River. It is a long glass house with a clear beauty and a sense of harmony between man and nature. It is like a modern half-burrow in the wilderness. The building itself is peculiar and romantic with a glass dome that is about 170 meters long and about 30 meters wide. It doesn’t exhibit anything about the aurora but the collections for showing the Arctic life. This is a great place to learn about polar creatures, Sami people and natural phenomena. There is a glass promenade that leads directly to the river. It is said that the riverside is a great place to watch the aurora.
5. Wild Nordic Finland
There are very special outdoor activities of Rovaniemi here: sleigh rides, reindeer tours and tours of the aurora borealis. The reindeer is like the soul of the Sami and the essence of Lapland culture. You can enjoy hot coffee and bread in the snow, and you can follow the locals to explore the treasures and secrets.
6. Santa Park
Built in 1998, the Santa Park is not far from Santa Claus Village. It is a large mobile park with the theme of Santa Claus. It’s a place full of Christmas atmosphere where you can feel the atmosphere every day. You have always fun in the park no matter what the weather outside is. The whole garden is like a dreamland. The magic train leads you to the fantasy world of Lapland, and the changes of the seasons are ingeniously presented. Here you can see many fairy tale characters such as the Elf. There is the Elf School, the Santa Gingerbread Kitchen, the Santa Claus Office, the sleighs that can be used in all seasons, the Ice Sculpture Princess Gallery and the Giant Snowball. You can even break into Santa’s studio to see how busy he and the dwarf are for preparing gifts. You can chat with Santa Claus to talk about your wishes and what the gifts you want for the coming year.
7. Ranua Wildlife Park
The Ranua Wildlife Park is one hour’s drive from Rovaniemi. The park breeds typical Finnish and Nordic animals. There are 50 different species with more than 200 wild animals including bears, Finnish polar bears, donkeys, wolves, moose and so on. The only immigrant from abroad is the polar bear of Sweden. The tour route within the park is about 2.5 kilometers long. You will see many wild animals if you pass through various animal areas. There is also the Jussan Pirtti restaurant, candy shop and souvenir shop in the park. The park is open all year round and is accompanied by a guided tour at night. The safari at night is a completely different scene and many animals are extremely active at night.
8. Lappish Forestry Museum
The purpose of the Lappish Forestry Museum is to preserve the labor supplies of the lumberjacks to show their lives. The museum was opened to the public in 1962 and occupies 5 hectares. The museum includes cabins for lumberjacks, logging tools, log drifting equipment and forestry machinery. The museum exhibits vividly tell visitors about the original stage of the forest industry that provided important employment opportunities for Lapland and made significant contributions to the development of the national economy.
You can touch the interactive exhibits to be familiar with the use, products and production of the boreal forest. All exhibits can be touched and experienced in Pilke. For example, it’s intuitive to see that how many trees need to be consumed for different types of roll paper. You can feel the mutual influence between the human being and the nature. It’s perfect to visit this science center with children. It’s great for children to establish the sense of protecting the environment from childhood.
10. Husky Park
Husky Park is located in the village of Santa Claus. There are about 100 cute and pure Siberian Husky in the traditional and natural environment of the park. Husky Park is open all year round. There are guided tours and hikes with huskies in summer. In winter, husky sleigh rides are available daily.