Best things to do in LAPLAND (FINLAND)
Planning a trip to Lapland and wondering what are the best things to do in Lapland?
Lapland is a sparsely populated region in Northern Finland. It is known for its fantastic natural beauty, frequent Northern Lights sightings and its Santa’s Village.
Outdoor lovers travelling to Lapland won’t be disappointed. There are ski resorts, plenty of hiking trails, cross-country ski tracks and other fun things to do in Lapland.
Sounds enticing? Want to come and explore? But what exactly to see in Lapland? To help you with the task of planning we’ve created this list of some of the best places to visit in Lapland.
Check it out!
7 best things to do in Lapland
Hunting the Northern Lights
An aurora, also known as the Northern Lights, is a natural phenomenon seen in the high-latitude regions (around the Arctic and Antarctic).
Auroras are the result of solar wind — a stream of charged particles released from the sun that collides with oxygen and hydrogen atoms in the upper atmosphere. The collisions produce the lights of the aurora as the magnetic field of the earth draws the solar wind towards the high-latitude regions.
Lapland is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights. The highest chance of seeing an aurora is in Northern Lapland, where it is visible about every other clear night. You can go on a guided tour if you don’t want to drive on your own searching for the perfect spot.
Remember that the Northern Lights aren’t visible all year round, only during the period from September to early April. Also, it depends on solar activity and cloud cover. It’s helpful to check the Northern lights forecast daily when you are travelling in Lapland. So, you don’t miss your chance of seeing them.
Visiting Santa Claus Village & Santa Park
Have you always wanted to meet Santa Claus?
It is possible in Santa Claus Village!
Located 8 km from Rovaniemi, the provincial capital of Lapland, Santa Claus Village is one of the most popular and best places to visit in Lapland.
Santa Claus Village offers numerous accommodation, dining and shopping options. In Santa Village, visitors can see Santa’s charming cottage and snowmobile park, send postcards from the Santa Claus Main Post office and meet fluffy huskies and Santa’s reindeer.
Tourists can cross the Arctic Circle, as it runs through Santa Claus Village. Entry to Santa Claus Village is free.
If you are visiting Santa Claus Village, do not miss Santa Park. Located 2 km from Santa Claus Village, Santa Park is a family-friendly Christmas theme park. It offers a number of activities and attractions, such as the Elf Show, Elf Workshop and Ice Gallery.
Husky/Reindeer sledging and snowmobile safari
No trip to Lapland is complete without a husky/reindeer sledging or snowmobile safari.
Riding a dog/reindeer sledge and speeding through the snowy forest on a snowmobile are truly unforgettable experiences you can have only in a few places in the world. This is the reason why husky/reindeer sledging and snowmobile safari are among the best things to do in Lapland.
Many local travel agents sell tours offering these wonderful travel experiences.
We would recommend booking a tour that offers all three of them.
Visiting Arctic Snow Hotel
Arctic Snow Hotel is one of the most unusual hotels in the world.
It has a number of glass roof igloos that give visitors a 360º view of the sky. The glass roof allows visitors to view the midnight sun and, during the Aurora season, the spectacular Northern Lights from the comfort of their igloos.
Besides the igloos, Arctic Snow Hotel offers hotel rooms made of only snow and ice.
In the hotel, visitors also can enjoy the Ice Bar and Ice Restaurant made of ice and snow.
Arctic Snow Hotel is quite pricey. If you are travelling on a budget, you can join a guided tour to the hotel from Rovaniemi. Book a tour via GetYourGuide.
Visiting Arctic Snow Hotel is one of the best things to do in Lapland.
Skiing or snowboarding in Levi
Levi is a popular ski resort in Lapland.
It’s known for its ski slopes and beautiful views of the Northern Lights.
The slopes in Levi are not too steep, as there are no high mountains, so the slopes are perfect for beginners and children. However, there are a few steeper runs that are suitable for experienced skiers and snowboarders.
Levi is a popular destination for cross country skiing. In fact, the ski resort has some of the best cross-country ski tracks in Finland.
If you are visiting Levi ski resort, do not miss Levi Ice Gallery.
Riding the only Sauna Gondola in the World
Do you want to have an extraordinary sauna experience? Head to Ylläs!
At Ylläs ski resort, you can ride the only Sauna gondola in the world! This is a converted ski lift that has turned into a sauna. The sauna cabin overlooks the beautiful Lapland landscape and offers visitors an unforgettable experience.
Going on a hiking adventure
Lapland is a popular hiking destination in Finland.
The barren yet beautiful landscape of Lapland is best explored on foot. Lapland boasts a number of national parks with hiking trails that can be explored both during summer and winter.
There is a variety of trails — from just a few km long routes to strenuous, multi-day treks.
Lapland travel tips
- Lapland is the northernmost region of Finland. Rovaniemi is the administrative capital of Lapland and the gateway to the region. It is where the main airport of Lapland is located.
- It can get very cold in Lapland in winter, with temperatures falling to as low as -40°C. If you are travelling during the winter season, do not forget to pack thermal clothing, warm socks, warm woollen or fleece jumper/sweater, snow-proof trousers and thin thermal gloves (worn under winter gloves).
- Wear a thick, water-resistant winter coat and sturdy, warm winter boots, hat, scarf and gloves.
- If you are travelling during the peak travel season (December — February), book accommodation well in advance, as it sells out fast. It gets very busy in the weeks prior to Christmas.
- Renting a car is the best option for your holiday in Lapland. It will give you the most flexibility and chances to visit remote national parks and towns.
- The Northern Lights season is from September to early April when it gets dark early. In Northern Lapland, Aurora is visible about every other clear night.