Local life in Rovaniemi

The lively city centre of Rovaniemi is great for shopping, eating out and enjoying a night away in one of its many hotels. Three shopping centres along with many specialised shops and boutiques cater for all needs; from fashion and shoes to sports equipment, or classic Finnish design brands. With restaurants from across the culinary world, there is something for everyone's taste buds. Rovaniemi has many accomodation options to suit your needs, ranging from budget hostels to high end boutique hotels to a cosy cottage in the wilderness or even an apartment in the city.

Rovaniemi can cater for all your needs to make your stay here in the Arctic an amazing experience.

Restaurants and bars

Although Rovaniemi is a small city, there is still a great variety of restaurants and dining options for you to enjoy. You can find: Finnish, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Thai, American, French, Italian or Mexican cuisine, with dining options such as street food vendors, cafés or fine dining Restaurants.
Rovaniemi has many different bars for those who would like to enjoy a drink, including; a piano bar; a brewery bar offering local ales and lagers; cocktail and wine bars; and several nightclubs.

Shopping

There are three shopping malls in Rovaniemi (Revontuli, Rinne and Sampo), many food stores, and one 24/7 mini supermarket called Sale directly in the city centre. 

Souvenir shops and Finnish designer stores Marimekko, Iittala and Marttiini are located in the city centre as well as Santa Claus Village.

Hotels

With Rovaniemi being a popular tourist destination this means there are many options of hotels and accommodation to select from. There are various choices in the busy heart of town and also in the wilderness of the surrounding area, ranging from luxury to very basic. The oldest hotel is Scandic Pohjanhovi; a very traditional, well-respected hotel that was built in 1947. With new hotels popping up every year, there is something for everyone. The most recent trend is glass igloos (igloo-shaped private cottages with transparent ceilings to view the Northern Lights), and cabins made of natural materials with one glass wall that ensures both privacy and unity with nature. 

A lovely example are the Panorama Huts located at the Arctic Circle Wilderness Lodge.

Transport

Rovaniemi does have a local public bus network, although being a small city the service does not run very frequently. It is best to check from Linkkari to view bus routes and timetables. As an example: bus number 8 connects city center, airport, Santa Park and Santa Claus Village. The bus leaves approximately once every hour and the schedule will depend on the season. There is also an airport bus for transfers from the city centre. It costs 7€/person/way. Take a look at airport bus for the times and pick up locations.
Rovaniemi's taxi options for you include Santa Line and Original Taxi.

Summer facts

June - August
Temperature +15 - +25 degrees (the hottest temperature recorded is +30,6 °C)

Daylight 24 hours
Midnight sun brings with it wonderfully long sunlit days, meaning plenty of time for summer activities.

Activities include canoeing and boat trips on the lakes and rivers of the area, visiting huskies and reindeers, hiking, fat-biking, berry picking, sauna experiences and visiting Santa Claus.

Autumn facts

September - mid November
Temperature -5 - +15 degrees

People head to the forests in search of berries and mushrooms.
Aurora starts to dance in the night sky. 
The first snowfall is usually experienced by mid-November.

The autumn colours of oranges, reds and yellows start to appear.
To witness this transformation of colour enjoy one of our tours visit Autumn activities.

Activities include berry and mushroom picking, nature photography, sauna experiences and visits to a local museum.

Winter facts

Mid-November - mid-April
Temperature -5 - -30 degrees
(the coldest temperature recorded is -45,3 °C)
with rivers and lakes freezing over.

The shortest day of the year is December 21st or 22nd (varies annually), and thanks to being located right on the Arctic Circle, on this day, the sun doesn’t rise at all in Rovaniemi.

Beautiful winter landscapes highlighted by the brightness of the snow which on average stays for 183 days of the year.

See the vast selection of our Winter Activities.

Spring facts

Mid-April - May
Temperature -15 - +15 degrees

The snow starts to melt although many winter activities can still be enjoyed.
The days get longer and warmer, the ice starts breaking up in the rivers and moves downstream in great floes.

Nature (flora and fauna) wakes up and Rovaniemi starts to become green again. In Ranua Wildlife Park you can witness the animals getting ready for the summer.
The focus of the Activities in Rovaniemi includes both winter and summer experiences during this indecisive period.

Rovaniemi is situated in Finnish Lapland, right on the Arctic Circle. Despite the northern location, getting here is easy – Rovaniemi is well connected to the rest of the world via various means of transport. From abroad, the easiest way to get to Rovaniemi is by plane, either via Helsinki or direct. Inside Finland, Rovaniemi can be reached by plane, train, coach or car.

Flight connections
Daily flights between Rovaniemi and Helsinki are operated by Finnair and Norwegian throughout the year. During the winter season, November - March, EasyJet and Norwegian operate direct flights from London Gatwick to Rovaniemi.

Train connections
Finnish railroads are operated by state company VR.
Rovaniemi is easy to reach by rail from many Finnish towns, with several trains running to and from Helsinki every day and a night train every evening. Trains run year round, despite the harsh weather at times.

Coach connections
The coach services operated by Matkahuolto and Onnibus cover most of Finland’s road network and provide a well-priced option for getting to Rovaniemi.

Road connections
Rovaniemi is easy to get to by car from all directions although distances can be long. If you plan on travelling around Lapland by car, be sure to allocate enough time for the long distances and changing weather conditions, particularly in the winter. Note that during the winter period of snow and ice it is compulsory to have winter studded tires on your car.
Up-to-date information on road conditions is published by the Finnish Transport Agency.