What better way to celebrate Christmas than visiting Santa in his office at Santa Claus village Rovaniemi. Lapland in winter is the ultimate Christmas destination.
The small city of Rovaniemi – located on the edge of the Arctic Circle – is the official home of Santa Claus, it is one of the most magical places in the world.
For young and old this is a must when you are visiting Lapland. We were worried that we would be only 30 year old’s walking around without any kids, but we were definitely not alone. It is definitely a place for everyone, no matter your age.
Santa’s Village is full of hot chocolate, fairy lights, Christmas decorations, Christmas trees, snow and plenty of Christmas cheer.
So, if you’re planning your next Christmas destination why not head to Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi, Finland.
Are you planning a trip to Lapland? Check out this posts to help you plan your trip
The Dreamiest Hotel in the World: Arctic Treehouse Hotel Rovaniemi
The Ultimate Guide to visiting Finnish Lapland in Winter
Taking the Santa Claus Express Train to Lapland
Arctic Fox Igloos: A night in luxury under the stars
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- 1 Winter in Rovaniemi
- 2 Where is Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi
- 3 How to get to Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi
- 4 Things to do at Santa Claus Village
- 5 Where to stay at Santa Claus Village
- 6 Is a trip to Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi worth it?
- 7 Share It!
- 8 My BEST Travel Resources
Winter in Rovaniemi
Whilst winter in Rovaniemi is a dream come to true and the ultimate Christmas destination you need to be prepared for two things! Number one, it is very cold. When we met Santa I mentioned how cold it was (it was minus 8 degrees) and he said it wasn’t cold. Santa things between minus 20 and minus 40 is cold.
Number 2, the day light hours are very limited. Sunrise is at about 10 am and sunset is about 2pm. Luckily, in Lapland, sunrise and sunset last longer than in other countries. We found that it was light from about 8:30 am until 3:30-4pm.
It gets very cold outside and inside it is very warm! I suggest packing lots of layers. Make sure you have a very warm jacket and some sturdy snow boots. Of course, don’t forget your beanie, scarf and gloves!!
Make sure you get some good travel insurance
Part of the excitement of visiting Lapland is participating in snow activities and these can come with some dangers. If you’re me, even just walking around on the ice and snow is a dangerous activity.
So while I would always recommend purchasing some good travel insurance, it is extra important when snow and ice are involved. Before our four month trip around Europe we purchased travel insurance from World Nomads.
World Nomads is travel insurance created by travellers for travellers! For us, it was much cheaper than competitors and included all of the necessary extras.
When purchasing your travel insurance, make sure you do some research to make sure it suits your travel needs.
Where is Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi
Although the rumours are that Santa Claus lives at the North Pole, he actually lives in his village in Lapland, Finland.
Lapland is located in Northern Finland and the village is located in the business capital of Lapland, Rovaniemi.
To be exact, Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi is located right on the arctic circle.
How to get to Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi
The train between Helsinki and Lapland depart several times a day and takes about 11 hours. I suggest taking the overnight train, you board the train just before bed time and you wake up in a winter wonderland. That is of course, if you are travelling in winter!!
Little fun fact, the train from Helsinki to Lapland is called the Santa Claus Express. You can read more about the Santa Claus Express here.
Rovaniemi is easily accessed by car. If you don’t have your own car you can hire a car.
When driving in Lapland be aware of changing weather conditions, especially in winter and the long distances you need to drive.
The drive from Helsinki to The Arctic Treehouse Hotel Rovaniemi is about 10 hours.
Of course, you can also fly to Rovaniemi. Flights between Helsinki and Lapland go daily, flights between London and Lapland depart on Wednesdays and Sunday’s, and flights between Istanbul and Lapland depart Tuesdays, Thursday and Sundays.
To Santa Claus Village
If you arrive by train, you are staying at the Arctic Treehouse Hotel or you are in city center of Rovaniemi you can board the Santa Claus Express bus. Tickets are 3€ per person.
Unfortunately, if you land at the airport there is no public transport to the Santa Claus Village, however, you can easily catch a taxi.
Things to do at Santa Claus Village
Santa Claus village is full of excitement, Christmas cheer and it just seems to be constantly buzzing.
On first glance, it appears as though it is one big shopping area, and yes, there are plenty of shops (we will come to that in a moment) but if you look a little harder there is actually so much to do.
Santa Claus’ Post Office
On of the things we found most exciting at Santa Claus Village is visiting Santa’s Post Office. The post office is filled with elves but is still a real working post office.
The cool thing about the post office is that you can see the hundreds of letters that are mailed to Santa from all around the world
Can you see your home country?
Post a letter to yourself for next Christmas
When visiting the post office you have to send yourself a post card. All mail sent from the post office are marked with a special Arctic Circle stamp.
You can also purchase a postcard and put it in a mail box and it will be sent to you next year in time for Christmas.
Buy a few a postcards to surprise your friends and family at Christmas next year.
Visit Santa in his office
You can’t have a Christmas getaway to Lapland without visiting Santa himself. Santa is the real deal, he has his Finnish slippers, the most epic beard I have ever seen and he is so tall. I felt like such a child and sat in awe staring at Santa.
It was such a cool experience, he took the time to chat to us and to ask about our holiday and even wished our country well we were in the midst of horrific bush fire season.
You can visit Santa Claus for free but you will need to pay if you want photos or a video. We paid 40€ an digital copy of our photos and the video of our meeting with Santa.
Cross the Arctic Circle
Ever since I heard that crossing the arctic circle was a thing it has been on my bucket list. I thought to cross the Arctic Circle you would have to go to some remote part of the world.
But, how cool is it that the line of the Arctic Circle runs straight through Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi. The Arctic Circle is marked with a row of lanterns and blue lights.
Santa Claus Village also has some bigger activities that you can do such as snowmobiling. There really is something for everyone.
Experience the thrill of speeding through Arctic Circle on a snowmobile. Snowmobile rides start at 55€ for thirty minutes. There are also rides available for children – kids can ride a mini snowmobile for 20€ for 10 minutes.
A trip to Lapland would not be complete without a visit to the Husky park. If taking a Husky Safari is not your thing you can just take some to play with the adorable Huskies.
However, if you are feeling adventurous you can speed through the arctic forest behind a pack of Siberian huskies. You have the choice of a 500 meter Husky ride or an 8km safari.
It is said that there are more Reindeer in Lapland than there are people. Reindeers are really part of Lappish culture and they have been for years. To be me, Reindeers can only be seen on the front of Santa’s sleigh, so of course I had to take the chance to meet some real life Reindeer.
From the middle of Santa’s Village Rovaniemi you can go on a reindeer safari.
If you’re up for a bit of shopping or you’re wanting to pick up some souvenirs then you have plenty of options. There many shops where you can buy Christmas decorations, t-shirts, souvenirs, postcards, chocolate and traditional Lappish items.
Where to stay at Santa Claus Village
If you are after the ultimate Christmas experience you can stay right at Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi at the Santa Claus Holiday Village. There are plenty of accommodation types including cabins including a Sauna, glass igloos and treehouse cabins.
If you are looking for a more budget option – to have a little more money to spend on experiences – I suggest booking a the Arctic Treehouse hotel or Santa Claus village for one night and then a local Airbnb for the rest of your trip.
Is a trip to Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi worth it?
If you love Christmas and are looking for an amazing winter wonderland Christmas experience then you can’t go passed Santa Claus Village. It is a magical way to spend the day.
I would recommend to anyone, young or old, to visit Lapland and Santa Claus Village at least once in your life.
Have you been to Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi? Let me know in the comments below
My BEST Travel Resources
Here are my favourite travel resources for planning travel like a pro
Accommodation: I always use booking.com (I love their price match and flexible cancellation policies) or Airbnb (if I want a little more space) to book trip. If you prefer hostels, I suggest Hostelworld.
If you are new to Airbnb you can get an awesome discount using this link
Travel Insurance: After a few hairy moments on my travels, I ALWAYS purchase travel insurance. It may seem like a big cost now, but if the worst happens, it will save you a lot of money and heartache. I personally use World Nomads (and love them!), but I recommend that you do some research to find the insurance company that suits your needs.
Tours: While I prefer to travel independently, I do love doing some tours once I’m in a destination. It is a great way to find out history, hidden gems, taste local food and get a local insight into your destination. I always use Viator to book my tours.
Car Hire: Planning an epic road trip across the US or through Europe, or anywhere! Check out Europcar, they are my go to for car hire all over the world!
Luggage Storage: Some times when we are travelling our check in and check out times don’t match with our departure times so we have to put our luggage into storage. Stasher Luggage Storage is the biggest Luggage Storage Network across the UK, France and Germany