Rovaniemi, the business center of Finnish Lapland since the 19th century, was razed to the ground by the Germans in the final days of World War II with only a handful of buildings left standing. Rebuilding after the war and economic development over the ensuing decades have left much of the city a featureless expanse of concrete blocks, regardless of Alvar Aalto's famous reindeer antler city plan (try to recognize it if arriving by plane). Rovaniemi became a city in 1960, and in 2006 it merged with the surrounding, vast rural municipality, making it the largest by area city in the Europe. Today there are 63,000 inhabitants of which about 52,000 live in the urban area.
Most tourists arrive because of Rovaniemi's central position for transportation, because of its location at the Arctic Circle or to see the Father Christmas himself, but there are several other sights worth a visit.
Because of its central location and status as a provincial capital, Rovaniemi has become a center of education in Finnish Lapland. The 1 University of Lapland and 2 Lapland University of Applied Sciences have about 10,000 students in total. Compared to the number of inhabitants living in the old city area (pre-2006), as many as one out of five people are university level students. During summers this shows as a large drop in the number of people vacating the city. On the other hand, during the Christmas holidays most people you'll see downtown are tourists.
The Lapland Air Command of the Finnish Air Force has their base and garrisons on the "far side" of the airport some 10 kilometers north from the city. For a visitor this soon realizes as their F/A-18 Hornets are a vital part of the acoustic environment. At the airport the fighters and other military air traffic use the same runways as commercial traffic and there are no limitations to take photos.
The river Kemijoki, notable for being the longest river in Finland, flows by the city center. On the east side of the river there is a large, forested hill called 3 Ounasvaara which is the hub for outdoors activities. At Ounasvaara you will find for example a winter sports resort, golf course, and a nature trail network.
- 1 Rovaniemi Airport (RVN IATA) (8 km north from the city center). The largest airport in Lapland and third busiest in Finland (after Helsinki and Oulu). Most of the flights go south to Helsinki, served by Finnair and Norwegian Air Shuttle. Air fares by Norwegian are quite often cheaper than corresponding train connections. There are also scheduled flights to international destinations and remarkable number of seasonal charter flights, mostly to the UK. There is café, restaurant-bar, mail office, ATM, and souvenir shop in the terminal. Free WiFi.
Taxi cabs are readily available at the airport, but getting downtown is expensive. Airport Taxi Rovaniemi provides minibus shuttle service between the airport and city centre hotels, fare €7 per person one way. The service is available for every departing and arriving scheduled flight. Local bus service Line 8 is even cheaper (€3.9), but slower, and is of use only for some flights. Car rental companies at the airport.
Most long-distance coaches towards the north (e.g. Pyhä-Luosto, Sodankylä, Saariselkä and Ivalo) stop at the airport, but timetables may not be ideal if arriving by plane.
- 2 Rovaniemi Railway Station is the terminus of most trains from the south. The line extends only a little further north-east to Kemijärvi. The journey from Helsinki takes 9–12 hours and is reasonably comfortable in a sleeper. You can also take your car with you. The railway station is next to the city centre and is 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.
3 Rovaniemi Coach Station is located about one kilometer off the city centre. Coming by bus from the south is relatively cheap but requires about 14 hours of sitting.
Eskelisen Lapin Linjat, Onnibus, Koiviston Auto, and V. Alamäki operate daily to Rovaniemi from Helsinki, some of them via Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Timetables and tickets available through Matkahuolto. The prices start from about €40 for a 15 hours overnight trip.
The bus station is a few hundred meters uphill from the railway station.
Rovaniemi is an important road hub in Finnish Lapland. Some of the most important roads are:
- Highway 4 (Finland) from Kemi (southwest) and Ivalo (north). This highway goes all the way down to Helsinki, about 850 km south of Rovaniemi
- Highway 78 from Ranua, Pudasjärvi and Paltamo near Kajaani (south-southeast)
- Highway 79 from Kittilä (northwest)
- Highway 81 from Kuusamo (southeast)
- Highway 82 from Kemijärvi (northeast)
The core of the city is small, a radius of about one kilometer, so everything there is easily reached by walking. Some attractions located farther away might require other forms of transportation.
The local transportation is provided by private bus companies and the services are collected under the Linkkari portal. Most local buses have a blue-green livery with a white reindeer figure. It's quite convenient to say that local buses have no use for a visitor (as they have little use for the locals, it's not surprising that most households have their own car). The sole exception is line 8 from the railway station via the city centre to the Santa Claus Village and to the airport. Notice that not all departures visit the airport! Local transport is more frequent during daytime of weekdays of school years, and low during the weekends and summer time. There are no night lines.
Rovaniemi has a zone system. The whole urban area including Santa's Village and airport belong to Zone A while the rest of the municipality belong to B or C zones. Within the Zone A a single bus ticket for an adult cost €3.50 and a 24-hour ticket €4.50. The single ticket has one hour transfer time.
Taxis are expensive but available:
- Rovaniemi local taxi: phone +358 20 088 000
Outside the urban area
You can use Matkahuolto to seek bus routes between given locations outside the urban area. Villages by the main roads have usually daily connections. There are also some connections to the villages operated by Linkkari. Usually you need to invoke Linkkari bus at least one day beforehand even though the route is scheduled 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.
Most tourists come to Rovaniemi for precisely one thing: Santa.
- 1 Santa Claus Village (Joulupukin pajakylä) (8.5 km north from the city center). 8 km north of Rovaniemi and right on the old computed place of the Arctic Circle (now computed to be 2 km north), is a tourist trap if there ever was one – but few tourists can miss the chance to meet Santa Claus. Apart from meeting the man, there are also other attractions like small-scale sledding hills for kids, the 2 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. Bus number 8 goes from the town to the village. The village is open around the year.
- 3 Santapark, Tarvantie 1, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Underground amusement park within walking distance from Santa Claus Village. Open only during the winter season. €20/adults, €10/children.
- 4 Administrative and Cultural Centre, Hallituskatu. The rebuilding of Rovaniemi after World War II was largely planned by 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.
- 5 Arktikum Science Centre, Pohjoisranta 4 (opposite to Marttiini), ☏ . 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 jewelry. Sami music and some books. Lockers available. The building is quite cold in winter time. Lunch restaurant with student discount. Don't forget to take a look to the arctic arboretum by the riverbank. €14 for adults, €9 for students, re-entry at same day free of charge, Museum Card valid.
- 6 Pilke Science Centre, Ounasjoentie 6 (next to Arktikum), ☏ . 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.
- 7 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.
- 8 Forestry Museum of Lapland (Lapin metsämuseo), Metsämuseontie 7 (in Pöykkölä suburb, 4 km from the center; bus stop "Metsämuseontie I"), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. February-March 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. This museum holds another one of two modified steam locomotives brought to massive loggings at Savukoski in the 1910s (another one is still in Savukoski). Small café and museum shop. Within walking distance from Local Heritage Museum. Use local buses 3 and 6 and leave at Metsämuseontie I bus stop. €6/4, reduced price for students and children, Museum Card valid.
- 9 Local Heritage Museum (Rovaniemen kotiseutumuseo), Pöykköläntie 4 (in Pöykkölä suburb, 3½ km from the center; bus stop "Pöykkölä"), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Collections consist of household items, hunting and fishing equipment, agricultural tools. From the river bank there is picturesque view to the city center and the river Kemijoki. Café. Within walking distance from the Forestry Museum. Use local bus lines 3 or 6 and leave at "Pöykkölä" bus stop. €6/4, reduced price for students and children, Museum Card valid.
- 10 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 nice arboretum by the pool Kirkkolampi right next to the church.
- 11 Kirkkolampi Arboretum (Kirkkolammen puisto), Harjukatu 11 (next to the lutheran church). Popular park around Kirkkolampi pond. Over 250 species of subarctic trees and perennials. free.
- 12 Orthodox church, Ounasvaarantie 16. A small Orthodox church is on the other side of Kemijoki river. Built 1957 and dedicated to Saint Apostle Andrew.
- 13 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 center. Bridge has a high pylon with bright yellow light on top.
- The 14 Alaruokanen house and the 15 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. 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 for new use.
- 16 Log Train Terminal (about a kilometre west from the train station). Might be worth of seeing during dark times, as the cranes that lift the logs have lights on their arms. Climb to the opposite hill and sit on the fence for a nice view.
- 17 German Soldier Cemetery (Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof Rovaniemi Norvajärvi), Lentosatamantie 80 (in Norvajärvi, 19 km northeast 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 might be of interest to some as there is 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.
- 18 Sukulanrakka Giant's Kettles (22 km south from Rovaniemi, turn left from the road 926). Fourteen giant's kettles (Finnish: hiidenkirnut), including three very deep ones, can be found from Sukulanrakka slopes near the island of Rautiosaari. Nature trail. No public transportation.
- 19 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.
- The famous midnight sun, when the sun doesn't set at all, is seen between June 6th and July 7th. The night sky is luminous from May until mid August. At wintertime auroras are seen on most nights if the sky is clear.
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), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com.
- 2 Unique Lapland, Koskikatu 14, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Produces program services, rents and sells snowmobiles, roadsters, and ATVs, organizes events, concerts, training and coaching and sells high quality outdoor clothing.
There are various outdoor sports activites available, mostly at Ounasvaara hill.
- 3 Ounasvaara Outdoor Resort, Taunontie 14 (3 km from the centre), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 4 Santasport, Hiihtomajantie 2 (up on the Ounasvaara hill), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 5 Santa Claus Golf, Golfkentäntie 43 (close to the skiing resort), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. A 18-hole summer golf course and 9-hole winter golf course. Driving range and practice area. Golf club with restaurant.
In summertime you may hike on the marked routes on and around Ounasvaara's forests. 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 20 viewing tower in the forest provides an excellent panorama.
- 6 Ounasvaara nature trail (Ounasvaaran luontopolku) (600 meters uphill from Santasport). A 4.8-km-long circular nature trail. 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. 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 isn't 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.
- 7 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.
There is another nature trail within walking distance from the city centre on Koivusaari island.
- 8 Koivusaari nature trail (Koivusaaren luontopolku) (on Koivusaari island, 2 km from the center). 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 ground 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 observing 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 place 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. Notice that there are sheeps 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 disabled. free.
- 9 Santa Claus Forest nature trail (Joulupukin metsä -luontopolku) (next to the Santa's Village). Perhaps a bit boring 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.
- 10 Harjulampi bird watching tower, Yliopistonkatu (by lake Harjulampi, 500 m towards town centre from the University). Wooden bird watching tower by an eutrophic lake Harjulampi. 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. There is a sign by the street and the path is easy to walk. Best times to visit are May and August-September. free.
In summer there is a small and very popular sand beach next to the camping area on the Ounasvaara side of the Kemijoki. 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. Small kids can swim in a shallow lagoon.
- 11 Ounaskoski beach. Popular sand beach for swimming in the river. Locker rooms and toilets.
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.
- 12 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.
- 13 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.
- 14 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.
Festivals and events
- Santa Claus Marathon. Travel sport event in June.
- Jutajaiset. An about one-week-long international folklore festival arranged in July.
- Simerock: 10–11 August 2018. Simerock is a rock festival in Rovaniemi. (date needs updating)
There are some souvenirs and fur products for sale at the 4 Lordi's Square, on the pedestrian street, and — of course — at the Santa Claus Village. The once famous 5 Market Square is nowadays somewhat dead. There are mostly berries for sale at the summer and Christmas trees at the Christmas time.
- 1 Sampokeskus, Maakuntakatu 29-31. M-F 08:00-21:00, Sa 09:00-19:00, Su 11:00-18:00. Shopping centre, main entrance on Lordi Square.
- 2 Rinteenkulma, Koskikatu 25. M-F 07:00-21:00, Sa 08:00-21:00, Su 11:00-21:00. Shopping centre, main entrance next to Scandic hotel. Alko.
- 3 Revontuli, Koskikatu 27. M-Sa 08:00-21:00, Su 11:00-20:00. Shopping centre, next to Rinteenkulma, main entrance above highway E75. Free toilets.
- 4 Marttiini factory outlet, Vartiokatu 32 (opposite Arktikum), ☏ . 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 at Rovaniemi but the factory is nowadays in the industrial area of the city. There is another outlet store in Rinteenkulma mall.
- 5 Gift Shop Aarnivalkea, Koskikatu 20 (at the pedestrian street), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 10:00-17:00, Sa 10:00-15:00, Su closed. Souvenirs.
- 6 Rovaniemi Shop, Maakuntakatu 29. M-F 09:00-17:00, Sa Su closed. Rovaniemi themed souvenirs. City's official tourist info.
- 7 Horn Product, Koskikatu 20 (at the pedestrian street), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Su 10:00-20:00. Reindeer antler craftsman. Hand made souvenirs made of reindeer antlers and hides.
- 8 Lauri House, Pohjolankatu 25 (700 m from Lordi's Square), ☏ . 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.
There is an fancy and popular old style market fair event Rovaniemen Wanhat Markkinat during the weekend in mid-August with lots of local products and delicacies for sale. These are arranged at the 6 Old Market Square near the Jätkänkynttilä bridge.
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.
A 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 put on the plate and 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 restaurants around town. Salmon and lavaret are other common ingredients.
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), ☏ . 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 Pizza & kebab Turkinpippuri, Maakuntakatu 29 (Next to the Lordi's Square). Serves good kebab & pizza. Try the kebab roll!
- 4 Pizzeria Trocadero, Koskikatu 31, ☏ . M-Sa 11:00-21:00, Su 12:00-21:00. For some reason vastly oversized pizzas seem to be some thing in Northern Finland. Here you'll find the biggest ones in Rovaniemi.
- 5 Haruno Pizza & Kebab, Korkalonkatu 27, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The oldest pizza & kebab restaurant in town. Today also steaks and other food, especially mediterranian style.
- 6 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.
- 7 McDonald's Rovaniemi, Poromiehentie 3, ☏ . 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.
- 8 Scanburger Rovaniemi, Koskikatu 26, ☏ . M-Tu 10:30-23:00, W-Sa 10:30-04:30, Su 13:00-23:00. Hamburger chain from Northern Finland.
- 9 Hesburger Sampokeskus, Maakuntakatu 31. M-F 10:00-21:00, Sa 10:00-20:00, Su 12:00-18:00. Famous Finnish hamburger chain.
- 10 Classic American Diner, Maakuntakatu 31. M-Th 10:30-21:00, F 10:30-22:00, Sa 11:00-22:00, Su 12:00-20:00. Burger chain with an atmosphere of a classic American restaurant.
- 11 Woodss, Koskikatu 14-16, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Sa 10:00-20:00, Su 11:00-18:00. Vegetarian café and lunch restaurant. Local superfood. Lunch at weekdays 11:00-15:00. The interior design is inspired by relaxing atmosphere of the forests in Lapland. Soup lunch €9.90.
- 12 Curry Masala, Valtakatu 33, ☏ . 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.
- 13 Rang Mahal, Rovakatu 26, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 14 Comico, Koskikatu 25, ☏ . 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.
- 15 Restaurant Rinne Feenix, Koskikatu 25, ☏ . 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.
- 16 Roka Street Bistro, Ainonkatu 3, ☏ . 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.
- 17 Torikeidas, Lapinkävijäntie 3 (Near Kauppatori, across from the bus station). M 10:00-00:00, Tu 10:00-01:00, W-Th 10:00-02:00, F-Sa 10:00-04:30, Su 11:00-01:00. Grill. Perhaps the most famous kebabs in town.
- 18 Restaurant Turkoosi, Postikatu 1A (next to the bus station), ☏ . 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.
At the Lordi's Square there is sometimes a fisherman selling freshly caught and pan-fried vendace (muikku), a small freshwater whitefish.
- 19 Frans & Chérie, Koskikatu 4 (at Sokos Hotel Vaakuna), ☏ . 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.
- 20 Restaurant Amarillo, Koskikatu 4 (next to Sokos Hotel Vaakuna), ☏ . 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.
- 21 Restaurant Rosso, Maakuntakatu 30 (50 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ . Daily 11:00-22:00. Italian style food. Lunch.
- 22 Bord, Koskikatu 23, ☏ . 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.
- 23 Café Kauppayhtiö and Pure Pizza, Valtakatu 24 (100 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ . 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.
- 24 Luckiefun's Sushibuffet, Koskikatu 22 (in Rinteenkulma shopping center), ☏ . Opened in December 2019. The northernmost sushi buffet in Finland, possibly in the world. Asian buffet €15.90.
- 25 Roka Kitchen & Wine Bar, Koskikatu 8 (120 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ . 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.
- 26 Wingston, Kansankatu 17 (250 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 27 Pancho Villa Rovaniemi, Rovakatu 25-27, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 28 Lappish Restaurant Gaissa, Koskikatu 14 (at Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ . 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.
- 29 Café Toivo, Rovakatu 14, ☏ . 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.
- 30 Restaurant Himo, Valtakatu 23, ☏ . M-F 11:00-22:00, Sa Su 14:00-22:00. Sushi, including local ingredients. Also some Thai and Vietnamese food.
- 31 Hai Long, Valtakatu 22, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 11:00-22:00, Sa Su 12:00-22:00. Chinese food. Lunch buffet M-F. Lunch buffet €10.90.
- 32 Xiang Long, Koskikatu 21, ☏ . 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.
- 33 Da Zhong Hua, Koskikatu 43, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 34 Restaurant Saihu, Toukolantie 49, Hirvas (in the village of Hirvas, opposite the turn to Kalliokumpu, at Hotel Metsähirvas (formerly the Forestry School)), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 35 Restaurant Nili, Valtakatu 20, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 12:00-23:00. A Lapland themed restaurant specialized on local specialities like arctic char and bear meat.
- 36 Arctic Restaurant, Valtakatu 18, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Daily 17:00-23:00. Another stylish restaurant with northern specialities on their menu.
- 37 Restaurant Pohjanhovi, Pohjanpuistikko 2, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 38 Restaurant Monte Rosa, Pekankatu 9, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 39 Restaurant Tšar, Valtakatu 23, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 17:00-23:00. New Russian restaurant.
- 40 Rakas Restaurant & Bar, Tarvantie 3 (at the Arctic Circle), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 1 Half Moon night club, Koskikatu 25 (entrance from Poromiehentie) (300 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ . 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 Roy Club, Maakuntakatu 24 (125 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ . 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), ☏ . 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), ☏ . daily 16:00-02:00. Fairly cheap and therefore also fairly popular among young locals. Karaoke and sports bar on a small shady street. Might be surprisingly crowded during the weekend evenings before people head to the nightclubs. Age limit 18. Free.
- 5 Bar 21, Rovakatu 21 (350 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ . 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 coctail bar. Brunch every Sunday.
- 6 Café Kauppayhtiö, Valtakatu 24 (100 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ . 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), ☏ . 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), ☏ . 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 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), ☏ . 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), ☏ . 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), ☏ . 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, ☏ . 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), ☏ . 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), ☏ . 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-okd and up locals. Cheaper than many other bars downtown though. Pool table in the cellar. Outdoor terrace at the summer.
- 16 HatTrick Sports Bar, Koskikatu 24 (178 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M Tu 14:00-22:00, W Th 14:00-00:00, F Sa 14:00-02:00, Su 12:00-22:00. This sports bar is owned by the local football club, RoPS, so by visiting this bar you actually boost local football sports! Located at the pedestrian street.
- 17 Vamos Bar, Rovakatu 23 (250 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ . M Tu Th Su 17:00-00:00, W F Sa 17:00-02:00. Small Spanish style cocktail bar with tapas. Dj and live artists.
- 18 Culture Pub Musta Kissa, Kansankatu 2 (760 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ . 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.
- 19 Restaurant Valdemari, Jäämerentie 9 (on the east bank of the river, 900 m from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Summer terrace and food restaurant for elderly people. Live Finnish bands playing social dance music. Perhaps more of interest for your parents.
- 20 Café Antinkaapo, Rovakatu 13 (530 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ . 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.
- 21 Cat Café Freija, Rovakatu 25-27 (250 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ . M-F 12:00-18:00, Sa 12:00-17:00, Su closed. Café... with cats! What else would you need?
- 22 Choco Deli, Koskikatu 18 (80 meters from Hotel Santa Claus), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 11:00-18:00, Su closed. The northernmost chocolaterie in the World.
- 23 Café Linna, Koskikatu 14-16, ☏ . M-F 09:30-18:00, Sa 10:00-18:00, Su 11:00-18:00. Café at the Hotel Santa Claus.
- 1 Guesthouse Borealis, Asemieskatu 1 (from the railway station 300 meters uphill, 1.5 km from Lordi's Square), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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 Guesthouse Outa, Ukkoherrantie 16 (600 meters from Lordi's Square), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 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), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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 B&B Reindeerstreet 24, Porokatu 24, ☏ . Friendly bed & breakfast next to Ounasvaara, about 1.3 km from downtown, can arrange tours and activities during your stay.
- 7 Scandic Rovaniemi City, Koskikatu 23 (150 meters from Lordi's Square), ☏ . A hotel in the middle of city. Restaurant and a lobby bar.
- 8 Arctic City Hotel, Pekankatu 9 (120 meters from Lordi's Square), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. In the heart of Rovaniemi, next to Sampokeskus shopping mall and 120 m from the Lordi's Square. Two restaurants. Lobby bar.
- 9 Scandic Polar, Valtakatu 23 (180 meters from Lordi's Square), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Mid-priced hotel, centrally located. Open during the winter season only.
- 10 Santa Claus Holiday Village, Tähtikuja 2 (at the Arctic Circle), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Hotel-like accommodation in cabins in Santa Claus Village at the Arctic Circle.
- 11 Hotel Aakenus, Koskikatu 47 (700 meters from Lordi's Square), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Small hotel with 47 rooms. Restaurant and lobby bar. Breakfast and evening sauna included. Holiday apartments in separate buildings around the area nearby.
- 12 Lapland Hotels Sky Ounasvaara, Juhannnuskalliontie (at Ounasvaara hill, 3.4 km uphill from Lordi's Square), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 13 Santa's Hotel Santa Claus, Korkalonkatu 29 (in very center of the town), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Stylish hotel by the Lordi's Square. Restaurant, bar and café. Interior design shop.
- 14 Boutique Hotel Haawe, Valtakatu 22 (170 m from Lordi's Square), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 15 Scandic Pohjanhovi, Pohjanpuistikko 2 (330 meters from Lordi's Square), ☏ . 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.
- 16 Sokos Hotel Vaakuna Rovaniemi, Koskikatu 4 (250 meters from Lordi's Square), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. from €190/night.
- 17 Arctic Light Hotel, Valtakatu 18 (210 meters from Lordi's Square), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 18 Nova Skyland Hotel, Tähtikuja 6 (400 m from Santa's Village), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Chinese-owned hotel. from €400/night.
- 19 Arctic Tree House Hotel, Tarvantie 3 (2.2 km from the Santa's Village, next to Santapark), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 20 Santa's Igloos Arctic Circle, Joulumaankuja 8 (700 m from Santa's Village), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. The hotel consists of 71 glass roofed igloo-like cottages some of which have their own sauna. Restaurant and lobby bar. from €650/night.
- 21 Glass Resort, Tähtikuja 16 (700 m from Santa's Village), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Family business hotel with accommodation in igloo-like cottages. The conical shape of the igloos is inspired by the Sami culture. Restaurant.
- 7 Central Hospital of Lapland (Lapin Keskussairaala), Ounasrinteentie 22, ☏ . The Central Hospital takes care of tourists with acute illnesses or accidents. General emergency is open 24/7.
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 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
|Routes through Rovaniemi|
|Ivalo ← Sodankylä ←||N S||→ Kemi → Helsinki|