Von Eigenes Werk -, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Von Eigenes Werk -, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Rovaniemi is a city and municipality in Finland, the administrative center of the province of Lappi. Rovaniemi is located 8 km south of the Arctic Circle at the confluence of two large northern rivers – Ounasjoki and Kemijoki.
The oldest settlement on the site of a modern city dates back to the 11th century . The first mention of the city dates back to 1453. The name comes from the Sami “roavve”, which means “forested hill”. Lapland forests and the gold-bearing veins discovered in these places at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries attracted a large number of settlers here.
Rovaniemi today is  world wide  famous Finnish winter resort. Lapland and Rovaniemi in particular is the capital of Christmas and the birthplace of Santa Claus himself. The Finns believe that Santa Claus and Christmas spirits live in Lapland, on Korvatunturi mountain. Here are the workshops of Santa, the post office, as well as the “Santa Park” – themed Christmas entertainment center, where tourists with children from all over the world strive to get during the winter holidays. Even in summer, local shops can pick up gifts for next Christmas.
In December, the city is literally “bursting at the seams”: about 500 thousand people  flood the area in order to visit the village of Santa Claus.

Access : Coordinates: 66.5, 25.733333 / Distance to Helsinki – 800 km, to St. Petersburg – 1025 km / Although the capital of Lapland is located almost at the Arctic Circle, it is not so difficult to get there, intercity and international transport is well developed – there is an airport, railway station and bus station.
/ Bike rental : Rovaniemi and its environs are comfortable to cycle around during the warmer months. Many hotels have rental offices, some of which are free. In other places, rent costs from 20 EUR per day. For those who want to ride in winter, there are fat bikes – from 60 EUR per day. / By bus or train :  Regular bus service with all settlements. Direct train Helsinki-Rovaniemi (travel time – 12 hours).

Highlights :

  •  Santa Claus Village and Santa Park, The main “children’s” attraction of Rovaniemi is Santa Claus Village : The magical village of Santa Claus near Rovaniemi is the main attraction of the capital of Lapland. Santa Claus himself can be seen in the village all year round, in addition, you can look for gifts for the coming Christmas in numerous souvenir shops, buy postcards with special Lapland postmarks, meet reindeer and huskies – Santa’s favorites. You can get here by bus # 8 from the Rovaniemi train station.    / Santa Park. It is a unique combination of the latest entertainment technologies, the most beautiful Lappish nature and Christmas tales.     / The sports complex “Santasport” has a large playground with slides, labyrinths, transparent pipes and rope ladders. There is also a pool with a paddling pool and children’s slides.
  •  Reindeer park : Halfway between the village of Santa Claus and the amusement park, there is another park, the Reindeer Park, where it will be interesting to hear about the traditions of Lapland’s reindeer husbandry.
  •  Rovaniemi is also famous for being located right on the line of the Arctic Circle, this is told to tourists by the “Arctic Circle” sign located at the northern entrance to the city, indicating the exact geographical latitude of this imaginary line – 66 ° 33 ’07’ ‘north latitude and 25 ° 50 ’51’ ‘east longitude. Here you will be given a certificate that you have crossed the Arctic Circle.
  •  One of the city’s most recognizable landmarks is the Arktikum Cultural Center, opened in 1992 on the banks of the Ounasjoki River. This center houses museums and exhibitions dedicated to Lapland.
  •  The Peukella Museum of Local Lore demonstrates the customs and activities of the inhabitants of Northern Finland in the 19th century, such as salmon fishing and reindeer herding.
  •  The Rauman TaIDemuseo Art Museum hosts exhibitions of contemporary art from the Baltic Sea countries. / The Lannstram Muin Art Museum, the Raum Museum, the Potter Museum.
  •  Rovaniemi is the largest city in Europe in terms of area, 8016 square kilometers, due to the inclusion of the surrounding territories in the city.
  •  Jätkänkynttilän silta bridge (Finn. Jätkänkynttilän silta), “The rafter’s candle” is one of the landmarks of Rovaniemi. / The old Lutheran church. Its high spire can be seen literally from any street in the city; it rises 54 meters high.
  •  Not far from Rovaniemi is the Ranua Arctic Zoo, one of the northernmost in the world. The zoo, opened in 1983, is home to about 60 species of Arctic animals in natural conditions.
  •  Library : The city library has the richest collection of books and documents about Lapland and its indigenous population – the Sami. The library building and Lappia Palace opposite – as already mentioned – are the outstanding creations of Alvar Aalto.
  •  Orthodox Church , On the eastern bank, near the rapids of Ounaskoski, an Orthodox church rises: here you should look at the icons brought to Lapland from an Orthodox monastery on the island of Valaam.
  •  Ethnographic and forest museum : Approximately 4 km south of the city center, on the banks of the Kemijoki River, there is the Pöyukkölä Ethnographic Museum (peasant houses, farm utensils, opening hours: Tue Sun 12.00-16.00. In the open-air Lapland Forest Museum, you can learn about the life of Lapland woodcutters and rafters in the first half of the 20th century.
  •  The Ounasvaara ski resort : Rovaniemi is one of the best winter sports centers in Finland. 10 km from Rovaniemi there is a ski center “Ounasvaara” with well-groomed slopes, the maximum length of slopes is 800m, with a height difference of 140-160m. For cross-country skiers, there are 100 kilometers of trails, including illuminated ones. , Vertical drop – 80 m , Lifts – 5, incl. 1 chairlift and 3 drag lifts , Ski slopes – 10 (one for children) , Longest run – 820 m (Ounas) , Flat trail – 100 km , Halfpipe , Toboggan run – 800 m (vertical drop – 120 m) , The tracks are prepared with snow-compaction. equipment and are illuminated. “Kisarinne” – FIS-certified slalom track (length 520 m). Equipment rental, snowboard school, downhill and cross-country skis, telemark are available.
  • The central square of the city is named after the hard rock band Lordi after their victory at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006.
  • Trade fairs : Famous fairs are held in Rovaniemi three times a year. The spring fair starts in mid-March, the summer fair in the second half of June and the autumn fair in mid-September.

Activities : Sightseeing, At Haskipark, in the Arctic Circle, you can go in search of the northern lights in a dog sled. / photo opportunities / opportunities for active recreation. Safari in snow-covered fields with dog and reindeer sledding, golf, ice fishing and skiing. The Ounasvaara ski resort is located within the city, not far from the Santasport complex.
/ you can certify your stay in the Arctic Circle and purchase a Polar Certificate.

Go next : Kittilä ,a lively municipality , in Finnish Lapland. best known destinations here are the Levi ski resort at Sirkka, Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park in the west (Ylläsjärvi, Jerisjärvi/Rauhala) and Lemmenjoki National Park / Luosto ,a ski resort in Sodankylä, Finnish Lapland, / Pyhä or Pyhätunturi is a holiday resort and skiing centre.


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