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Rovaniemi, on the Arctic Circle, is the capital, transport hub and main commercial centre of Lapland, Finland's northernmost province. The city is 2,613 km (1,623 mi) south of the North Pole. It is a highly popular tourist destination and is considered to be the official home town of Santa Claus.


Santa's Village at the Arctic Circle in the winter

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 the surrounding municipality. 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. Therefore spotting some military aircraft above the town is daily. The Rovajärvi shooting range is the largest in Europe (1,100 km2 (420 sq mi)) and due to Finland's membership in NATO it will be increasingly used also by international troops. 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.

Get in

Rovaniemi railway station
Map of Rovaniemi

By plane

  • 1 Rovaniemi Airport (RVN  IATA) (8 km north from the city centre). The largest airport in Lapland and the 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. Airfares 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. Rovaniemi Airport (Q1323139) on Wikidata Rovaniemi Airport on Wikipedia

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[dead link] is even cheaper (€3.5), but slower and is available only at some flights. See Rovaniemi's route planner[dead link] 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.

By train


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 if 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 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 a 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's front door.

By bus


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[dead link] operate daily to Rovaniemi from Helsinki (some of them via Helsinki Airport), Jyväskylä and Oulu. Timetables and tickets are available through Matkahuolto. The prices start from about €30 for a 15-hour overnight trip from Helsinki.

There are connections from Tromsø, Alta and Vadsø in Norway, at least in summer (2023: 1 Jun–15 Sep). See Matkahuolto for timetables. In winter (Dec–Mar) The Arctic Route connects Rovaniemi with Tromsø. For travellers from Russia, there might be 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 to Rovaniemi, which leaves either from the Tornio-Haparanda travel centre or from Tornio central bus stop, which is near enough to walk to from there.

By car

Highway 4 near the city centre

Rovaniemi is an important road hub for 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 destinations along the route, a good alternative is to take a ferry from Travemünde to Helsinki, then board an overnight train (see above) from Helsinki and unload your car in Rovaniemi, ready for any local trips.

Get around


Being not too big of a town, the best way to get around the city quickly is on 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.

Outside the urban area


You can use Matkahuolto and 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. The overnight trains that continue to Kemijärvi also stop at tiny 5 Misi Railway Platform in the morning (Rovaniemi–Kemijärvi) and evening (Kemijärvi–Rovaniemi). This railway stop mainly serve Rovajärvi shooting range. The ticket for Rovaniemi–Misi is about €7.30 (43 min).

By taxi


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, . 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–F 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.
  • 02 Taksi. Smart phone app offers address based routing and gives price offers from different taxi companies.

By scooter

See also: Finland#By motorised scooter

You can rent electric kick scooters for use in the centre from Finnish Joe Scooter.


Santa Claus Village, the most popular tourist attraction.
The Science Centre Arktikum has more than 100 000 visitors each year.

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. Santa Claus Village (Q135379) on Wikidata Santa Claus Village on Wikipedia
  • 2 Santapark, Tarvantie 1, +358 600-301-203 (shared cost), . Underground amusement park within walking distance from Santa Claus Village. Open only during the winter season. €20/adults, €10/children. Santa Park (Q2539704) on Wikidata Santa Park on Wikipedia

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. Rovaniemi Norvajärvi German military cemetery (Q11891998) on Wikidata German Military Cemetery Rovaniemi on Wikipedia
  • 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. Jätkänkynttilä (Q4539592) on Wikidata
  • 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. Kirkkolampi (Q5484731) on Wikidata

Museums etc.

  • 6 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. In summer, don't forget to take a look to the 7 arctic arboretum. by the riverbank. €18 for adults, €11 for students, the fee covers re-entry on the same day; Museum Card valid. Arktikum Science Museum (Q673871) on Wikidata Arktikum Science Museum on Wikipedia
  • 8 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.
  • 9 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. Korundi House of Culture (Q11872711) on Wikidata
  • 10 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, . Feb–Mar: M–W 10:00–16:00; Jun–Aug: 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 in Savukoski in the 1910s (the other one is still in Savukoski). Small café and museum shop. Within walking distance from the Local Heritage Museum. €6/4, reduced price for students and children, Museum Card valid. Forestry Museum of Lapland (Q11874616) on Wikidata
  • 11 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, . Jun–Aug: 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 (1 km) from the Forestry Museum. €6/4, reduced price for students and children, Museum Card valid. Rovaniemi Local Heritage Museum (Q25452712) on Wikidata
  • The 12 Alaruokanen house and the 13 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 in 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).
  • 14 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 15 main library., and the 16 Rovaniemi city hall..
  • 17 Saarenpudas bridge (Saarenputaan silta), Napapiirintie. This tiny (just 16 m long) arched bridge, completed in 1925, is the only bridge on the road to the Arctic Ocean that was not destroyed by German soldiers during the Lapland War 1944–1945. Free.
  • 18 Korkalonrinne residential area, Sompiontie 1. Interesting, if you are into architecture by Alvar Aalto. The Korkalonrinne residential area consist of bright white row houses and apartment buildings in a park-like surroundings. Built 1956–1958 this neighbourhood follows his vision of a 'garden city'. The neighbourhood is also known as Pikku Tapiola (little Tapiola) after the very similar residential area Tapiola in Espoo.
  • 19 Haunted Walk and Gallery of Darkness (Kauhun Galleria), Leppiniementie 341 (in Sonka), +358 45-153-7889, . In summer: W–F 12:00–18:00, Sa 12:00–16:00; other times by request. A horror-themed art gallery by Hanna Pilve. Free.


  • 20 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. Rovaniemi Church (Q16658217) on Wikidata Rovaniemi Church on Wikipedia
  • 21 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. Saint Andreas Church (Q62098135) on Wikidata

Natural attractions

Giant's kettle at Sukulanrakka hill.

See also Do below.

  • 22 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 hill slopes near the island of Rautiosaari. Nature trail with stairs, partly rough. No public transportation. The site is free-of-charge to visit; shelter facilities €30/10 people, bigger groups or overnighting in the shelter €50.
  • 23 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. Auttiköngäs (Q789379) on Wikidata
  • 24 Häkinvaara hut (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 rivers Ounasjoki and Kemijoki.



Programme services


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. a wild moose safari; you'll get half of the price back if you won't see a moose. In total, there are nearly one hundred companies that serve travellers with a variety of activities!


  • 5 Rovaniemi Theatre (Rovaniemen teatteri), Jorma Eton tie 8A, +358 400-282-484, . Plays in Finnish. Students get about 50% discount from the ticket price. tickets €15–45/adult, cloakroom fee €2/person..
  • 6 Student Theatre of Lapland (Lapin Ylioppilasteatteri), Urheilukatu 1, . Amateur theatre. Actors are mostly local university students. Performs 3–5 plays each year.
  • 7 BioRex Rovaniemi, Pekankatu 12 (in the Sampokeskus shopping centre). Five screen cinema with Dolby 7.1 sound system and Dolby 3D. Ticket sales in the ground floor, screens in the second floor.

Outdoor sports


There are various outdoor sports activities available, mostly at Ounasvaara hill.

  • 8 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. Artificial turf with under-soil heating. Popular outdoor gym. The stadium is free to use for anyone during daytime, when not in use for events.
  • 9 Kotatieva Winter Leisure Park (Kotatievan talvipuisto), Ounasjoen itäpuolentie 828 (about 13 km from the city centre), +358 40-162-0862, . An outdoor park for spending an active day. Mostly known for a 500 meters long ice skating track. Available from December to March.
  • 10 Ounasvaara Outdoor Resort, Taunontie 14 (3 km from the centre), +358 44-764-2830, . 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.
  • 11 Santasport, Hiihtomajantie 2 (up on the Ounasvaara hill), +358 20-798-4202, . 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 an internationally acknowledged training centre for professional athletes.
  • 12 Santa Claus Golf, Golfkentäntie 43 (close to the skiing resort), +358 200-302-00, . A 18-hole summer golf course and 9-hole winter golf course. Driving range and practice area. Golf club with a restaurant.
  • 13 SBG Pelikenttä, Vennivaarantie, +358 45-310-8586, . A paintball field. More information about equipment sales from Santa's Tactical Gear.

Hiking and birdwatching

Cottongrass on a bog by Ounasvaara

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 centre is not very easy to see from the top, however a short walk to the 25 viewing tower in the forest provides an excellent downtown panorama.

  • 14 Ounasvaara nature trail (Ounasvaaran luontopolku) (600 metres 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 the disabled. The nature trail is part of much larger network of different trails that expand to surrounding forests; be careful with trail markings, especially on the open, rocky area uphill from the shelter. The nature trail is marked with blue patches having a white cone in them. Free.
    The red-flanked bluetail spotted at the Ounasvaara hill is at the western end of this Siberian species' habitat.
  • 15 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 – note sunset time, as the daylight is short during midwinter. The winter walking trail is marked with blue patches with a white walker and a snowflake. Follow them and do not enter the skiing tracks. Free.
  • 16 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. The trail can not be used during the spring flood (May–early June). Free.
    Duckboards over a mire at the Santa's nature trail. Don't forget your mosquito repellent!
  • 17 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 then continues to 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 in one direction and returns the same route. There are wooden stairs as help at the steepest climbs. The trail is not suitable for the disabled. Free.
  • 18 Harjulampi bird watching tower, Yliopistonkatu (by lake Harjulampi, 500 m towards the centre from the University). Wooden bird watching tower by the 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 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.
  • 19 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 on the point of peninsula, a 300-m walk from the end of the road, and is not accessible for the disabled. The trail is a bit rugged and the last part of it is on narrow duckboards.
  • 20 Niskanperä bird watching tower, Niskanperäntie (7 km south-west from the centre, west side of the river). Bird watching tower by river Kemijoki. Numerous different waders; 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. The parking lot is right next to the tower but to enter the tower you need to climb narrow stairs.
  • 21 Louevaara cabin (26 km south-west of the centre, in the Louevaara area in the middle of a spruce forest at an altitude of about 240 m; the forest roads in the vicinity are not ploughed in winter), +358 20-639-7820 (Pilke). The deserted cabin is the former fire guard's hut. The wilderness cabin is log-built, reasonably spacious and gets warm enough to sleep in during the winter (using the stove). In the vicinity of the hut, about half a kilometre 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. Enquiries: Pilke. Free.
  • 22 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 trailheads 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.
  • 23 Siberian wood-species trail (Siperian puulajipolku) (46 km from the centre 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 Centre can provide up-to-date information.

  • 24 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. There used to be a shallow lagoon but it was filled in 2020 as reindeer used to poop into it.

  • 25 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.
  • 26 Salmijärvi beach (in Pöykkölä suburb, 4 km from the centre). This rather popular beach by a lake doesn't have the problem with strong current but suffers occasionally of swimmer's itch. Free.
  • 27 Ounaspaviljonki beach (in Saarenkylä suburb, 2 km from the centre). Popular sand beach by river Ounasjoki. Playground for children and a beach volley court. Café service in the summer. Free.

Otherwise you may swim in a pool...

  • 28 Swimming Hall Vesihiisi (Uimahalli Vesihiisi), Nuortenkatu 11, +358 16 322-2592, . 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.
  • 29 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.


  • 30 KesäRafla summer restaurant and sauna, Pallarintie 17 (3 km from Lordi's Square). Open June-August. Very popular unisex sauna for up to 35 people. Sauna is free of charge if guest have their own towels, otherwise towel fee is €5. Beach volley court and SUP board rental. The terrace restaurant offers drinks and charcoal grilled food.

In winter 2024 there is also WNTR Sauna. Fee €24 for a 1½ hour sauna & ice swimming experience.

Festivals and events

  • Arctic Lapland Rally: 2–3 January 2024. Rally in the area Rovaniemi–Kemijärvi since 1966. (date needs updating)
  • Arctic Design Week: . Design and art all around the town in late March. (cancelled 2024) (date needs fixing)
  • Simerock: 9–10 August 2024. Simerock is a major rock festival. Arranged since 2003, it had 25,000 visitors in 2019.
  • Jutajaiset: 6–7 September 2024. International folklore festival in September.
  • Snowmobile Fair (Kelekkamessut): 2–3 November 2024. Everything a snowmobile enthusiast could ever want. Don't get tricked, this is one of the biggest annual events in the town, gathering thousands of visitors from different countries.

Simerock is organized at the 3 Ounaspaviljonki outdoor recreational area. At 4 Lappi Areena there are major indoor events such as the Snowmobile Fair and occasional rock concerts.




Main entrance of Sampokeskus on the Lordi's Square

There are some souvenirs and fur products for sale at the 8 Lordi's Square, on the pedestrian street, and — of course — at the Santa Claus Village. At the once famous 9 Market Square there are mostly berries for sale in the summer and Christmas trees before Christmas.

There is a 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 10 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, . 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, . 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 extends 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.

Shopping centres

  • 5 Sampokeskus, Maakuntakatu 29-31 (main entrance on Lordi's Square). M–F 08:00–21:00, Sa 09:00–19:00, Su 11:00–18:00.
  • 6 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.
  • 7 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 and sports equipment stores. Free toilets downstairs.

Grocery stores, etc.

  • 8 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.
  • 9 Lidl Rovaniemi Saarenkylä, Pulkamontie 2. M–Sa 08:00–21:00, Su 10:00–21:00. Grocery store.
  • 10 Prisma Rovaniemi, Teollisuustie 2 (near the city's industry area, not in the centre but 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. Notable selection of trekking equipment. Alko store, Pharmacy, and a Hesburger hamburger restaurant in the same building.
  • 11 Lidl Rovaniemi Teollisuuskylä, Oijustie 2. M–Sa 08:00–21:00, Su 10:00–21:00. Grocery store.
  • 12 Minimani Rovaniemi, Lampelankatu 3 (in a former small industry area, follow signs saying "Lampela"). Hypermarket of a small independent Finnish chain, with an ATM, public laundrette, and a Subway café in the same building.
  • 13 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.
  • 14 Sale Lapinmaa, Koskikatu 11, +358 44-788-4792. 24 hours daily. A small S-group grocery store. This is the only grocery store in the centre that is open around the clock (as of 2024).
  • 15 Sale Rantavitikka, Jokiväylä 40, +358 44-788-6409. M–Sa 07:00–24:00, Su 09:00–24:00. S-group grocery store right next to the university.
  • 16 K-Supermarket Ounasvaara, Ounasvaarantie 15. M-F 06:30-22:00, Sa 08:00-22:00, Su 10:00-22:00. Large grocery store.
  • 17 K-Market Kairatie, Kairatie 50. M-F 07:00-22:00, Sa 08:00-22:00, Su 09:00-22:00. Small grocery store in residential area. Fuel station across the road. Long distance bus stop to direction Kittilä-Muonio-Enontekiö-Tromsø is 200 metres north, behind the roundabout.
  • 18 K-Market Nivavaara, Tikanperä 1 (2 km from the Santa Claus Village). M-F 07:00-22:00, Sa 08:00-22:00, Su 09:00-22:00. Grocery store in residential area.
  • 19 S-Market Saarenkylä, Napapiirintie 1 (in Saarenkylä suburb; 3.5 km from the centre), +358 44 7886651. M-F 06:30-22:00, Sa 07:00-22:00, Su 09:00-22:00. Large grocery store and fuel station.
  • 20 S-Market Talvitie, Kairatie 82 (in Aronperä suburb; 2.8 km from the centre by highway 79), +358 44-788-6215. M-Sa 7:00-22:00, Su 9:00-22:00. Large S-group grocery store.

Pit-stops by the highway E75

  • 21 K Neste Reissumies, Alakorkalontie 22. 24 hours daily. Reissumies is a popular pit-stop for many who are heading through Rovaniemi without intention to visit the town itself. Located by the highway E75 southern outskirts of the city. Gasoline, grocery store, café, a lunch restaurant and Kotipizza restaurant. Not all services are available at night.
  • 22 Shell Rovaniemi Napapiiri, Sodankyläntie 715 (across the highway from Santa Claus Village – use the underpass if by foot), +358 40-630-4846. 24 hours daily. Shell gas station with some restaurant services and even a caravan park.

Outside the main urban area

  • 23 K-Market Muurola, Totontie 1 (in Muurola), +358 440-123-016. M–Sa 07:00–21:00, Su 09:00–21:00. K-group grocery store. Mail service.
  • 24 Sale Muurola, Mäkipuistontie 1 (in Muurola), +358 44-788-4797. M–Sa 07:00–22:00, Su 09:00–22:00. S-group grocery store in Muurola village. Some non-prescription medicines available.
  • 25 K-Market Sinettä, Sinetänsalmentie 8 (in Sinettä). M–Sa 07:00–21:00, Su 08:00–21:00. Grocery store.
  • 26 K-Market Evesti, Kittiläntie 5512 (in Meltaus), +358 20-741-3366. M–Th Sa 09:00–17:00, F 09:00–18:00, Su 11:00–16:00. Grocery store.
  • 27 K Lohinivan Kyläkauppa, Kittiläntie 9255 (in Lohiniva, some 90 km from the city centre), +358 16 766-122. M–F 9:00–18:00, Sa 09:00–15:00, Su 11:00–15:00. Small grocery store in the northernmost village.
  • 28 Kauppa-Shop, Korpikoskentie 14 (in the Vikajärvi village; at the intersection of E75 and road 82). M–F 07:00–18:00, Sa 08:00–16:00, Su 10:00–16:00. Grocery store.
  • 29 K-Market Jokitori, Vanttausjärventie 7 (in Vanttauskoski). M–Sa 08:00–20:00, Su 09:00–20:00. Grocery store and café. Fuel station.
  • 30 K-Market Rinne, Pirttikoskentie 2169 (in Autti/Pirttikoski). M–Th, Sa 09:00–18:00, F 09:00–20:00, Su 10:00–14:00. Grocery store.



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 restaurant 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 (lohi) and lavaret (siika) are other common 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 speciality 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 a word poro on the package. Horse meat looks the same but is much cheaper.


The third most northern McDonald's in the world

The lunch canteens at the University offer cheap alternatives (€2.95–6 per meal for students as subsidized by the state; €8 for guests, as of 2023), but the meals are served only around noon (mostly 11:00–14:00). There are such canteens at the university and at the university of applied sciences. Also, the lunch café at Arktikum gives student discount.

  • 1 Alvari food and drink (Asemaravintola), Ratakatu 3 (at the railway station), +358 16 318-818. Daily 07:15–21:00; breakfast buffet until 10:00. The restaurant at the railway station is not bad or too expensive either.
  • 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 Hook Rovaniemi, Koskikatu 11, +358 45-140-3772, . M–Th 16:00–22:00, F 16:00–24:00, Sa 14:00–24:00, Su 14:00–22:00. Wings and other finger food.
  • 4 Lapin Krassi, Raidetie 1 (on the way to Saarenkylä from the airport, in a small industry park), +358 10 327 2200, . M–F 10:30–15:00, Sa Su closed. Weekday lunch special.
  • 5 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.
  • 6 Turkinpippuri, Maakuntakatu 29 (next to the Lordi's Square). Serves good kebab & pizza. Try the kebab roll!
  • 7 Santa's Döner Kebab, Koskikatu 18 (next to the Lordi's Square), +358 40-707-0069. M–Sa 11:00–21:00, Su closed. Excellent self-made döner.
  • 8 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.
  • 9 Venetsia Pizza and Kebab, Korkalonkatu 27, +358. Pizzas from a wood-burning oven. Kebabs, chicken döner, etc.
  • 10 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.
  • 11 McDonald's Rovaniemi, Poromiehentie 3, +358 40-731-8585. 24 hr daily. For over two decades this was the world's northernmost McD, and perhaps again, as the ones in Arkhangelsk and Murmansk (Russia) are no more McD.
  • 12 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.
  • 13 Hesburger Sampokeskus, Maakuntakatu 31. M–F 10:00–21:00, Sa 10:00–20:00, Su 12:00-18:00. Main Finnish hamburger chain.
  • 14 Curry Masala, Valtakatu 33, +358 44-237-6113. M–Th 11:00–22:00, F 11:00–23:00, Sa 12:00–23:00, Su 12:00–21:00; lunch M–Th. Indian and Nepalese restaurant with a good range of meat and vegetarian dishes. Very good value lunch buffet, including soup, coffee and mangolassi.
  • 15 Rang Mahal, Rovakatu 26, +358 46-594-6887, . 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.
  • 16 Restaurant Rinne Feenix, Koskikatu 25, +358 400-231-223. M–F 10:30–18, Sa 11:00–18:00, Su closed. Buffet lunch M–F, special buffet Sa. Burgers and salads from the menu.
  • 17 Korundi Kitchen and Café, Lapinkävijäntie 4 (at Culture House Korundi). M–F 10:30–14:00 (16:00), Sa Su closed. Lunch restaurant and art café in the lobby of the art museum. Lunch €15.
  • 18 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 in weekdays.
  • 19 Restaurant Café Rovaniemi, Rovakatu 26, +358 45-116-2829, . Small lunch café in the middle of town. Full gluten-free lunch, cakes etc. available.
  • 20 Torikeidas, Lapinkävijäntie 3 (next to Kauppatori, across from the bus station), +358 40-124-7111. M–Th 10:00–22:00, F Sa 10:00–04:30, Su 11:00–23:00. Grill. Perhaps the most famous kebabs in town. The favourite place for Mr. Lordi!
  • 21 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.
  • 22 Restaurant Turkoosi, Teollisuustie 13, +358 16 319-111. M–F 10:30–13:30, Sa Su closed. Lunch buffet.
  • 23 Pizza and kebab City Star, Lapinkävijäntie 23, +358 40-199-3636.
  • 24 Paras Pizza, Pulkamontie 6 (in Saarenkylä, about 3 km from the city), +358 16 362-322. M–Th 10:30–21:00, F 10:30–22:00, Sa 11:00–22:00, Su 12:00–21:00. Very popular pizzeria in Saarenkylä suburb, next to the K-Citymarket. Very tasty pizzas.
  • 25 Pandakeidas (Käyrämön keidas), Sodankyläntie 6789 (in the Käyrämö village; about 68 km from the Rovaniemi centre in the direction of Sodankylä along E4 and the Revontulireitti snowmobile route), +358 16 737-205, +358 400-350-735, . Daily 08:00–20:00. Roadside restaurant. Chinese and European kitchen, sautéed reindeer and hamburgers (also take-away). Wi-Fi. Fuel. Small shop. Accommodation in four rooms (en suite shower and toilet), one of which for families. Camper parking. Meals €10–23; rooms €50–120.

At the Lordi's Square there is sometimes a fisherman selling freshly caught and pan-fried vendace (Finnish: muikku), a small freshwater whitefish.


  • 26 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.
  • 27 Bord, Koskikatu 23, +358 16 460-6000. Lunch: M–Sa 11:00–14:00, Su closed; dinner: daily 17:00–22:00; café: daily 11:00–22:00. Restaurant of the Scandic hotel. In addition to normal à la carte there is a separate Lapland menu.
  • 28 Da Zhong Hua, Koskikatu 43, +358 16 662-888, . 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.
  • 29 Frans and Chérie, Koskikatu 4 (at Sokos Hotel Vaakuna), +358 44-405-0216. 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.
  • 30 Lappish Restaurant Gaissa, Koskikatu 14 (on the second floor of Hotel Santa Claus), +358 16 321-321. M–Th Su 15:00–22:00, F Sa 15:00–23:00; breakfast daily 08:00–11:00; lunch buffet M–F 11:00–14:00. Lapland style restaurant. Awarded with the Chaîne de Rôtisseurs shield.
  • 31 Gustav Kitchen and Bar, Koskikatu 12 (ground floor of OP bank, across from Sokos Hotel Vaakuna), +358 400-421-244, . Tu–Th 11:00–23:00, F 11:00–24:00, Sa 14:00–24:00, Su M closed.
  • 32 Hai Long, Valtakatu 22, +358 40-649-0889, . M–F 11:00–22:00, Sa Su 12:00–22:00; lunch buffet M–F. Chinese food.
  • 33 Hanki Korean Restaurant, Korkalonkatu 2c (near the administrative and cultural centre), +358 40-161-7898, . M–F 11:00–20:00, Sa 12:00–20:00, Su closed. Small Korean restaurant. Excellent and authentic Korean food.
  • 34 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).
  • 35 Café Kauppayhtiö and Pure Pizza, Valtakatu 24 (by Lordi's Square), +358 16 342-2422. 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.
  • 36 Luckiefun's Sushibuffet, Koskikatu 22 (in Rinteenkulma shopping centre), +358 41-318-3532. Opened in December 2019. The northernmost sushi buffet in Finland, possibly in the world.
  • 37 Massimo, Koskikatu 25 (in Rinteenkulma shopping centre), +358 50-305-0021, . M–Sa 11:00–21:00, Su 12:00–20:00. Italian pizzeria opened in 2022.
  • 38 Pancho Villa Rovaniemi, Rovakatu 25–27, +358 500-132-132, . 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.
  • 39 Roka Kitchen and Wine Bar, Koskikatu 8 (near Lordi's Square), +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.
  • 40 Restaurant Rosso, Maakuntakatu 30 (by Lordi's Square), +358 44-788-5751. Daily 11:00–22:00. Italian style food. Lunch.
  • 41 Saigon Noodle Bar, Rovakatu 26, +358 46-954-8568. Small Vietnamese restaurant. Try their reindeer spring rolls.
  • 42 Restaurant Saihu, Toukolantie 49, Hirvas (in the village of Hirvas, opposite the turn to Kalliokumpu, at Hotel Metsähirvas in the former forestry school), +358 400-315-099, . Dinner M–Sa 17:00–21:00, Su closed; breakfast daily 08:00–10:00. A well-hidden restaurant with comfortable atmosphere and a short but very good menu featuring reindeer, moose, and salmon.
  • 43 Savurafla Kotisaari (on the Kotisaari island of Kemijoki), +358 16 331-1200, . Only in summer. Smoked BBQ dishes. Kotisaari has got a lot of fame due to popular four seasons island meme!
  • 44 Café Toivo, Rovakatu 14, +358 40-176-9969. Excellent baked goods and lunch. Very fresh ingredients and all made on site including baked goods. The café itself is closed for the time being, but catering is available.
  • 45 Wanha Mestari, Hillapolku 9 (in the Korkalovaara district), +358 40-173-9756, . Tu–Th 16:00–00:00, F 14:00–03:00, Sa 12:00–03:00, Su M closed.
  • 46 Wingston, Kansankatu 17 (250 m from Lordi's Square), +358 16 312-111, . 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.
  • 47 Xiang Long, Koskikatu 21, +358 16 319-331. M–F 12:00–22:00; lunch buffet M–F. Authentic Chinese. Separate menu for Chinese customers (or anyone who can read it). Lunch buffet downstairs.





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's Square to commemorate the event.

Nightclubs, bars and pubs

  • 1 Half Moon night club, Koskikatu 25 (entrance from Poromiehentie) (300 m from Lordi's Square), +358 400-947-693. W F Sa 22:00–04:00. The largest and most popular nightclub in town. Customers mostly 18–20 years old. Located in the cellar of Rinteenkulma shopping mall. Occasionally Finnish live artists. Age limit 18. €3.
  • 2 Roy Club, Maakuntakatu 24 (near Lordi's Square), +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 of 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 (by Lordi's Square), +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 cosy nightclub and customers typically over 25 years. The place is often crowded and the line outdoors might get long.
  • 4 Kansan Pubi, Kansankatu 15 (400 m from Lordi's Square), +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, €3.5 for a 0.4-L domestic beer..
  • 5 Bar 21, Rovakatu 21 (350 m from Lordi's Aquare), +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 m from Lordi's Square), +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, Pekankatu 12 (200 m from Lordi's Square), +358 400-693-796. M–Th 16:00–02:00, F Sa 16:00–04:00, Su 18:00–02:00. Rockish bar established in 1991 (but moved thrice since) in the Sampokeskus shopping centre. Entrance from Pekankatu. Occasionally live artists.
  • 8 Paha Kurki Rockhouse, Koskikatu 5 (150 m from Lordi's Square), +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 Bar Iloinen Ilves, Koskikatu 5 (150 m from Lordi's Square). 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 Hotel Santa Claus), +358 40-173-9761. M–Th 15:00–01:00, F 14:00–02:00, Sa 12:00–02:00, Su 14:00–00:00. A Finnish franchise pub. Age limit 20.
  • 11 Uitto Pub, Korkalonkatu 25 (by Lordi's Square), +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) (150 m from Lordi's Square), +358 16 465-4013. 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 cocktail bar in the lobby of Hotel Santa Claus.
  • 14 Plan B, Valtakatu 18 (180 m from Lordi's Square), +358 20-171-0100. Su–Th 14:00–23:00, F Sa 14:00–01:00. A classy (and expensive) cocktail lounge in the Arctic Light Hotel. Their drinks have got a lot of attention among professional bartenders in Finland.
  • 15 Pub Oluthuone, Koskikatu 20 (100 m from Lordi's Square), +358 16 313-715. M–Th 11:00–02:00, F Sa 10:00–03:00, Su 12:00–02:00. Cosy and fairly typical Finnish pub at the pedestrian street but for some odd reason doesn't seem to attract too much foreigners. Customers are mostly 30-year-old and up locals. Cheaper than many other bars in the centre. Pool table in the cellar. Outdoor terrace in summer.
  • 16 Culture Pub Musta Kissa, Kansankatu 2 (750 m from Lordi's Square), +358 40-149-8899. M–Th 14:00–23:00, F Sa 14:00–02:00, Su 14:00–22:00. Small and cosy culture oriented bar opposite to the Student Theatre of Lapland. Occasionally live artists.
  • 17 Pub Pumba, Koskikatu 31. Su–Th 16:00–24:00, F 14:00–02:00, Sa 12:00–02:00. A pub populated by middle-aged locals. Karaoke.
  • 18 Restaurant Valdemari, Jäämerentie 9 (on the east bank of the river, 900 m from Lordi's Square), +358 16 344-181, . Summer terrace and food restaurant for elderly people. Live Finnish bands playing social dance music.
  • 19 Sinetän kyläkrouvi, Sinetänkentäntie 2 (in Sinettä), +358 50 0402662. F–Sa 20:00–02:00, Su 16:00–22:00. A village pub.
  • 20 Lapland Brewery (Lapin Panimo), Teollisuustie 14 B (3.5 km from the city center), +358 40 839 7770, . M–Th 09:00–18:00, F 09:00–21:00, Sa 12:00–21:00. The northernmost brewery of Finland, established in 2016. Tour visit €20–25.


  • 21 Café Antinkaapo, Rovakatu 13 (500 m from Lordi's Square), +358 40-194-7600. M–F 07:30–17:00, Sa–Su closed. Popular and traditional café and confectionary established in 1984. Sweet and savoury cakes and buns.
  • 22 Choco Deli (Rinteenkulma shopping centre), +358 400-720-499, . M–Fr 10:00–18:00, Sa 10:00–17:00, Su closed. Probably the northernmost chocolaterie in the World.
  • 23 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.
  • 24 Kivitaipale Café (Kivitaipaleen kesäkahvila), Perungantie 11 (in the Kivitaipale village; along the Highway 78 towards Ranua). Summer café.




  • 1 Ounaskoski Camping, Jäämerentie 1 (on the east bank of the river, 1.6 km from Lordi's Square), +358 16 345-304, . May–September. Camping site (100 places) on the other side of the river with view of the city, c-store, cafeteria, laundry, sauna, playground. From €19/RV or €20/tent, +€8 for power (10A), +€10/person.
  • 2 Napapiirin Saarituvat Camping, Kuusamontie 96 (7 km from Lordi's Square), +358 50-464-0446, . Small camping area opened already in 1972. Cottages by the riverbank in an idyllic and fairly rural landscape. Minimum cottage rental period 6–7 nights during Christmas, 4–5 nights in New Year, and 2–3 nights otherwise. Campers and tents are welcome June–August without minimum stay. Reception open only 15:00–19:00..


  • 3 Guesthouse Borealis, Asemieskatu 1 (from the railway station 300 m uphill, 1.5 km from Lordi's Square), +358 44-313-1771, . 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 m (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.
  • 4 Guesthouse Outa, Ukkoherrantie 16 (600 m from Lordi's Square), +358 50-492-6991, . Small guesthouse on a silent street near the city centre. Accommodation in 1-3 person rooms with cooking option. Shared toilets and bathrooms. Linen and towels are included. Free Wi-Fi.
  • 5 Santa's Hotel Rudolph, Koskikatu 41–43 (630 m from Lordi's Square), +358 16 321-321, fax: +358 16 321-3222, . 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.
  • 6 Hostel Café Koti, Valtakatu 21, Rovaniemi (250 m from Lordi's Square), +358 44-796-1333, . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. 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 €100 for a double room.
  • 7 B&B Reindeerstreet 24, Porokatu 24 (next to Ounasvaara, 1.3 km from the centre), +358 40-531-5280. Friendly bed & breakfast. Can arrange tours and activities during your stay.
  • 8 Motelli Rovaniemi, Kemintie 945 (10 km southwest from the centre), +358 16 379-0389, . Motel and cottage village outskirts of the city. Also camping site. Rooms have cooking option. Café. Price depends on season.
  • 9 Hotel Metsähirvas, Toukolantie 49 (by Kemijoki, 15 km south-west from the centre), +358 400-315-099, . Hotel in a former forestry school. Husky safaris and forest oriented activities. Their restaurant Saihu has got very good evaluations. The building was built in the 1930s and survived the devastation of the Lapland War. rooms from €65.
  • 10 Pandakeidas (Käyrämön keidas), Sodankyläntie 6789 (in the Käyrämö village; about 68 km from the Rovaniemi centre in the direction of Sodankylä along the E4 Highway), +358 16 737205, . Accommodation in four rooms is available in connection with the roadside restaurant. The family room has beds for three and the possibility of additional beds, as well as a private bathroom (shower and toilet). €50–120.





Stay safe


Rovaniemi is a safe city. You're unlikely to face any major dangers.





Stay healthy

  • 12 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.

  • 13 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.
  • 14 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.
  • 15 Saarenkylä Pharmacy (Saarenkylän Apteekki), Pulkamontie 2, +358 16 362-566. M–F 08:30–18:30, Sa 09:00–16:00, Su closed.





As of Nov 2023, Rovaniemi has 4G from Telia and 5G from DNA and Elisa, and Wi-Fi is widely available in public places. There is 4G coverage from all carriers along the highway from Kemi on the coast, and a patchy signal along other routes.

For exaples of free Wi-Fi and internet terminals, check the 16 Rovaniemi City Library and the 17 Lapland University Consortium Library.

Go next

Routes through Rovaniemi
OuluTervola  S  N  SodankyläIvalo
END  N  S  RanuaPaltamo
MuonioKittilä  N  S  END
END  W  E  PosioKuusamo

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