Rovaniemi's claim to fame is being home to Santa Claus, so most visitors come here looking for a festive-themed experience. Santa Claus Village is an amusement park that offers the most complete Christmas-related experience. Here you can meet Santa in person, tour the gingerbread bakery and cross the Arctic Circle.
In Rovaniemi, must-sees include Arktikum Science Museum, the perfect place to learn more about life in one of the world's most extreme climates and the modern art museums at KorundiCulture House and Taidemuseo.
Due to its location on the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi also attracts visitors interested in seeing the Northern Lights and getting close to the rugged landscapes of the Arctic. Kotatieva Leisure Park is a great place to see the Northern Lights and experience Lapland's magical winter landscapes. Winter sports enthusiasts will find everything they need at Ounasvaara ski resort (only 3 kilometers away from downtown). With your own wheels, you can drive to the ski resorts of Pyha and Luosto, located deep in Lapland's forests.
But the city isn't just a winter vacation destination. After picking up your rental can or van in Rovaniemi, you have total freedom to explore Lapland's wild nature and find the perfect spot to witness the eerie beauty of the midnight sun. Summer is also the perfect time to visit the magnificent Auttikongas waterfalls and explore Piha Luosko national park. When you don't want to venture far from town, you can spend some time in Arctic Garden, a large city park with a riverside beach.
Rovaniemi is the perfect destination for a vacation with children. Top kid-friendly attractions include Santa's Grotto and post office, the Elf's farm, which is home to bunnies, alpacas, goats, reindeer and more, the Arctic Circle husky park, and Pilke Science Center, where kids can learn about the importance of forests. You can also drive the family to Roiske Center for Summer Activities, where kayaking, surfing, wakeboarding and many other water sports are available.
If you're hungry, Santa Claus Village has several on-site restaurants serving Asian and European cuisine. For in-town options, take to the streets around Lordi Square, where you'll find anything from fast food to cafés and upscale restaurants.
Want to buy gifts for family and friends? The biggest shopping venues in Rovaniemi are Sampokeskus, Revontuli and Rinteenkulma, shopping malls conveniently located in the downtown area. Santa Claus Village has a gift shop, and for locally inspired handicrafts and souvenirs, check out Arctic Design and Lauri Atelier.
Many cultural events and concerts are held at Lappia Hall, Rovaniemi's performing arts center. The most well-known open-air concerts are SimeRock (a rock music festival held in July and August) and Jutajaiset music and folklore festival.