Two days in Rovaniemi—the capital of Finnish Lapland—lets you enjoy its snow adventures, top sights, and Arctic culture. Ride a husky sled, admire local wildlife, dine in an igloo, and more. Here are our ideas for getting the most out of 48 hours in Rovaniemi.
Day 1: Sleighs and Sleds
Morning: Start your visit with one of Rovaniemi’s top winter attractions—a sled ride. Hold tight as a husky-drawn sleigh speeds you across frozen plains, or slow the tempo with a jingle-belled reindeer-sleigh ride through the woods—perfect for the kids. Alternatively, double up with a tour that incorporates both of these snow adventures in one outing.
Afternoon: Continue your exploration of Rovaniemi’s outdoor pursuits this afternoon, either drilling into a frozen lake and dropping a hook into the water on an ice-fishing adventure or whizzing through the forested fells on a snowmobile safari.
Night: As dusk falls, maximize your chances of seeing the northern lights by joining a guided search. Book a photography-themed tour to help you capture the lights’ full glory or a trip focused on the Finnish folklore around the phenomenon. Alternatively, choose a snowshoe trek, tramping through the snow while you scan the skies.
Day 2: City Sights, Culture, and Santa Claus
Morning: Widen your horizons with some sightseeing today. Observe Arctic polar bears at Ranua Wildlife Park, or opt for a Rovaniemi city tour. Some combine sleigh rides with time at the fascinating cultural exhibitions of the Arktikum museum, while others include visits to Rovaniemi’s Santa Claus Village and ice-built Snowhotel.
Afternoon: If you haven’t already, make tracks for Santa Claus Village. Join a tour that begins with snowmobile and reindeer-sleigh rides before showcasing this fairy-lit Christmas park, where the kids can meet Santa Claus and mail a Santa-postmarked postcard.
Night: Mark your last night in style at the Snowland Restaurant outside Rovaniemi. Constructed entirely out of snow, this igloo eatery promises a magical evening. Savor exotic local dishes at an ice table and drink from ice glasses—a fitting finale to your stay.