How to Spend 1 Day in Rovaniemi
Nestled in northern Finland, Rovaniemi comes into its own in winter when Arctic Circle snows, the northern lights, and Santa Claus attract visitors. From reindeer-sleigh rides to chasing the aurora borealis, here’s how to get the most from a day in the city.
Morning: Go for the Snow
Begin your day in authentic Lapland style, with a reindeer safari on Rovaniemi’s fells. Head into the snow-laden countryside, meet the animals, and take a sleigh ride through the woods to the jingle of reindeer bells. Alternatively, up the pace with a husky-sled ride—dashing through the snow pulled by these ever-energetic dogs—or pair up both activities on a combo trip, enjoying a reindeer-sleigh circuit before skidding over the frozen waste behind a team of huskies.
Afternoon: Sightseeing, Santa, or More Snow
Double down on Rovaniemi’s snow sports this afternoon, adding a touch of discovery or Christmas magic while you’re at it. Learn about the Arctic’s wildlife and culture on a city tour that includes Rovaniemi’s Arktikum museum before continuing to Santa Claus Village—a theme park where the kids can meet Santa. Pack a lot into your afternoon with a tour that rolls a snowmobile trek, reindeer-sleigh ride, and visit to the village into one outing, or, if it’s just speed you’re after, book a snowmobile safari and zoom off through the wooded fells.
Evening: Seeking Out the Northern Lights
This evening, seize the chance to sight the northern lights—and snap brilliant shots of them—on an evening photography tour. You’ll set up camp on a fellside with a photography guide and watch for the lights as you get photo tips on how to best capture them. Those interested in Finnish culture can choose a tour focused on the Finnish folklore that surrounds the aurora borealis, hearing the ancient legends that still swirl around this natural phenomenon. For the ultimate northern lights hunt, however, go by reindeer sleigh, scanning the skies from a sled as it glides through the snow.