Top 5 Things to Do in Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi is not only the capital of Finnish Lapland and the Northernmost city in the European Union, but it is also renowned as the official hometown of Santa Claus! If you're thinking of visiting this incredible location, read on to discover the best activities to do in Rovaniemi.

Located just a few kilometres south of the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi is surrounded by pristine Arctic wilderness including vast forests, rivers, and expansive tundra. Due to its location, Rovaniemi is a prime destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in the winter wonderland of Finland. With so many things to do in Rovaniemi, we’ve narrowed it down to 5 highly recommended excursions for adventurers of all ages who hope to visit this enchanting city!

1. Dog Sledding

Dog sledding in Rovaniemi
Bearhill Husky

Attention adrenaline enthusiasts, dog sledding in Rovaniemi might just be the most thrilling way to enjoy Finland’s winter wonderland! If you’ve always wondered what it feels like to drive a team of energetic huskies through the Arctic wilderness, this is your chance! Experienced mushers (dog sled drivers) provide all of the necessary equipment along with an introduction to dog sled driving techniques, ensuring your safety and security during the excursion. Some activities include a husky farm tour with the opportunity to learn more about the daily lives of the mushers and the dogs with a chance to meet and cuddle these adorable animals. Answer the call of the wild and get ready for an experience of a lifetime by dog sledding in Rovaniemi!

2. Northern Lights Tours

Northern lights tour Rovaniemi
Nordic Unique Travels

Rovaniemi is one of the best places in the world to witness the awe-inspiring natural phenomenon of the Northern Lights! Due to its proximity to the Arctic Circle, your chances of taking in the Aurora Borealis are maximized, especially during the winter months. Viewing the dancing and vibrant colours of the Northern Lights, far away from the city lights, is a breathtaking experience and is one of the most sought-after activities in Rovaniemi. Enhance your Northern Lights viewing by taking a guided photo tour, or enjoying a delicious Lappish BBQ, relaxing in a sauna, and embarking on an exciting evening snowmobile adventure. Whatever Northern Lights tour in Rovaniemi you choose, you are sure to create some incredible memories!

3. Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling in Rovaniemi
Wild Nordic Finland

For those seeking a thrilling excursion in the Arctic wilderness that covers longer distances, snowmobiling in Rovaniemi is just the thing for you! Set out into Rovaniemi’s winter wonderland at high speeds in the company of an experienced instructor, taking in the magnificent scenery as you go, and have your photo taken at the Arctic Circle line! Whether you want to drive or feel more comfortable being a passenger, your seasoned instructor will provide all of the necessary equipment (thermal overalls, winter gear, and helmet) and guidance, ensuring your safety and security at all times. In addition, you can combine your bucket list of things to do in Rovaniemi by joining combination tours that fuse snowmobiling with other fun-filled winter activities such as dog sledding, ice fishing, and reindeer sledding!

4. Wildlife Experiences

Reindeer Sledding in Rovaniemi
Beyond Arctic

Animal lovers take note, the vast wilderness that surrounds Rovaniemi is home to a variety of wildlife species that are adapted to the Arctic climate, which include reindeer, moose, brown bears, wolverines, Arctic foxes, a diverse array of bird species, etc. Another of our favourite things to do in Rovaniemi, wildlife experiences make a visit to Finnish Lapland even more special! Set out in search of the ‘King of the Forest’ on a guided moose safari in Rovaniemi, enjoy a family-friendly reindeer sledding and farm visit in Rovaniemi and learn about these majestic creatures and the way of life of the indigenous peoples of Finnish Lapland, the Sami, and their reindeer herding lifestyle. Don’t forget to bring your camera for amazing photo opportunities!

5. Meet Santa Claus

Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi

A visit to Santa Claus Village is a magical experience for children and the young at heart and is definitely one of the most popular family-friendly things to do in Rovaniemi. Located just outside of the city centre, Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi is a Christmas-themed park that is open all year round. Upon your arrival, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a fairy tale with cheery Christmas decorations and distinctive architecture. The star attraction is, of course, Santa Claus himself! Travellers can meet Santa Claus at his famous Red Christmas House and also visit Santa’s official post office, where he receives letters from little girls and boys from all over the world. Presided by his hard-working elves, Santa works all year round to make the best Christmas possible. A fun-filled and family excursion to Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi is not to be missed!

Now that you know all about the best activities in Rovaniemi, we hope you're inspired to embark upon your next unforgettable adventure in beautiful Finland, one of the premier winter travel destinations in the world! If you've enjoyed this article, we invite you to check out our activity recommendations for both Levi and Saariselkä.