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13 exciting things to do at the North Pole in Rovaniemi

There is so much to discover at Rovaniemi, a Finnish city through with the Arctic Circle passes. Let’s take a look at the enjoyable things you can do in Rovaniemi during the winter.

1. Watch the Northern Lights

Rovaniemi is a prime location to watch the Northern Lights. The best time to observe the natural splendor is anytime between December through to February. Also prepare yourself for possible surprises. You may not be at the right place when the Northern Lights may appear. That is why some companies have designed special software to ensure that you won't miss the magical sight. These apps which you can download on your phone for a certain price notify you the moment the Northern Lights appear in the sky. Hotels offer further information about this service.

The Northern Lights can be enjoyed from a variety of places. From a snow-covered forest, a hotel roof terrace or on a lake of ice! How? Head out on the icy lake, wearing a special outfit, lie back on the frozen frosty lake and gaze up at the sky. We think that of all the ways of seeing the Northern Lights, this is the most unique and relaxing way.

2. Go on an ice fishing excursion

Try ice fishing in Rovaniemi. All you need is fishing gear. Once you have your fishing gear, look for small holes in the ice floes and dip your fishing rod in the first hole you come across. In the evening you can cook and eat your fish on a campfire.

3. Enjoy a warm sauna on an icy day

If you are looking for an authentic Finnish experience, you must arrange a visit to a sauna. Discover the prominent spa culture of Finland at a special spa, 20 kilometers away from Rovaniemi. Warm-up in the warm pool after stepping into the spa from freezing -20 degree temperatures. You can enjoy warm beverages and ginger biscuits at the sauna.

4. Send cards to loved ones from the Santa Claus Village

Don’t forget to send a card to your loved ones all the way from the Santa Claus Village post office. If you visit coincides with Christmas time, what is a nicer way to celebrate the Christmas spirit with your loved ones and reminisce on all Christmases you have shared?

5. Go on a husky and reindeer tour

Leave the city, head for the snowy wilderness and go on a husky dog and reindeer tour escorted by guides dressed in local wear. Find out more about places to see in the city, as you explore the white-capped forest. Short tours include visits to the Santa Claus Village. Pay extra and go on longer tours you in which you can discover all of Rovaniemi. A thrilling sleigh adventure awaits with the rapid maneuvers of the huskies and reindeer and the open treeless spaces that are icy lakes. On certain tours, provided you have a driving license from a designated place, you can take the reins on your husky and reindeer sleigh ride.

6. Explore the reindeer farms

The reindeer of Finland are national treasures and you can visit local farms to meet some. Feed the elegant reindeers and learn some interesting facts from shepherds that work there. The farms offer delicious local delicacies and warm coffee and biscuit after the trip.

7. Walk in the snow

Breathing in the fresh air and hearing the snow crunch under your boots as you take in the beauty of the forest may seem like a calming activity during the day but a bit scary by night. Yet, why not try something new? Grab your snow boots and go on a night walk tour. All you need is warm clothes, balance and snow boots as they make it easier to walk in the snow.

8. Visit the snow tower

To visit the snow castle, which is rebuilt in January each year, head to Kemi, 115 kilometers from Rovaniemi. Surrounded by the castle walls, which are 12 meters high, the area also includes a hotel, art gallery, and Chapel.

9. Go on an icebreaker ship

Board an icebreaker for a pleasant journey through the frozen waters of Laponia's Bothnian Sea. Enjoy being on the ice in your warm clothes and drinking special local hot beverages during the journey. You can reach the ship by special shuttle buses departing from Rovaniemi.

10. Snowmobile on icy lakes

Another exciting activity you can try in Rovaniemi is snowmobiling on the ice lakes. There are many lakes in the region, but the lakes only freeze over when the temperatures drop and the snow begins to fall from the start of autumn until mid-April. If you are there during this time frame, grab the opportunity and rent a snowmobile. Snowmobiling is difficult so remember to follow the instructions carefully.

11. Join in the Christmas festivities

You will feel like you are living in a fairytale in Rovaniemi, surrounded by snow-covered forests, shops with red ornaments, multi-colored lights, and cookie-scented streets! If you plan to be in Rovaniemi for Christmas, make sure to find out what Christmas events are on. Discover the Christmas markets that hold lively events. Don't forget to visit other quaint shops selling local products. Such as items made from the horn of the reindeer, a symbol of the country and the city. Don't worry, it's a natural process because deer's antlers fall off at certain times of the year. After exploring the markets, it is time for a Christmas feast. Don't forget to book in advance for this special night at one of the many specialty restaurants that serve a delicious Christmas menu. Don't miss the fireworks at the end of the night where you will view double the amount of fireworks, on the arctic circle, on the border of two countries, with two different time zones!

12. Visit or stay at the Igloo or ice hotels

You can either visit or stay at the igloos and ice hotels, depending on your preference, for a fee. Imagine how incredible it would be watching the Northern Lights from an igloo. The ice hotels even have beds made of ice for those that enjoy the cold.

13. Go on a Laponian cuisine food course

At picturesque local houses learn the secrets of Finnish cuisine with professional chefs. When you return home you can serve your family all the lovely dishes you learn to cook.

Don’t forget to pack these

Rovaniemi is better during the winter, but don’t forget that this cold region drops to temperatures of -40. Therefore, it is important to take precautions before going to the region. First of all, the right choice of clothes. Wear clothes that cover your mouth and nose completely, and wear thermal underwear. Don't forget to take cold and waterproof boots with you. Wind and waterproof coats are also a must. Keep accessories such as hand and foot warmers, snow glasses, hand cream with you. Each will protect you from the cold and provide the comfort necessary for a perfect holiday.