Eco-friendly travel guide to Rovaniemi advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Rovaniemi, Finland.
- Air quality: 4.0 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3.0 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3.5 / 5
- Public transportation: 4.0 / 5
- Parks: 4.0 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3.5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3.0 / 5
- Safety: 3.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$150 - $300
- Budget per day: US$250 - $350
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
To become a part of the global culture, we need to make sure that we take care of the environment. You need to be environmentally conscious not only when you are home but also when you are traveling. There is no time to shake your responsibilities off as the world needs us to become responsible for our surroundings if we want to live a long life. Rovaniemi is one of the most important cities in Finland, being the capital of Lapland. This city has been considered a famous place among tourists and adventurers. Rovaniemi is one of the most magical places around the globe and has been known as the home to Santa Claus. This is where people come from all over the world to view the northern lights and is one of the most awe-inspiring visuals of all time.
When you visit Rovaniemi, it is important for you always to make sure that you are doing all you can to preserve the environment. You must understand that this winter holiday destination is extremely cold and needs your help to remain clean and tidy. Here are the things you can do to make sure that you travel responsibly when in Rovaniemi:
- When you are in Rovaniemi, it is important for you to choose modes of transportation that are green and responsible. One of the best ways to make sure that you are making the most of your abilities is cycling around the city. While it is cold and the temperature usually stays pretty low, cycling is a great way to keep your body warm and get around the city without polluting the environment.
- Another great way to get around the city is with the help of using public transport. These are the best ways to get from one point to another in the cheapest manner possible. You will save money and sample the life lead by the people who live in the city. While you may feel that hiring a car is more comfortable and luxurious, using public transportation is the best and most responsible way to travel around the city.
- Although the temperature is very cold in Rovaniemi, walking around the city is a huge adventure in itself. It is suggested that you walk around the city because this is one of the most beautiful places to be around, and the scenic beauty of the land will totally baffle you. While it is more energy consuming to walk around, this is the best way you will be able to soak in the true spirit of nature and be one with that.
- Do not litter the streets. When you come to Rovaniemi, you will find a number of trash cans from time to time. It would help if you only threw your trash in the allocated places. Always carry an extra bag with you so you can throw the trash there when you can't find a dustbin nearby.
- Support local business and entrepreneurship. If you want to buy trinkets and souvenirs for a home, it is best to buy one from the local sellers than invest in one from some fancy shop. When you support the people around, you support the environment.
- As the temperature is very low in Rovaniemi, water is a scarce resource. You must always use water consciously. Never waste water or take it for granted. Use as much as you need and when you need. The same rule applies to food. If you are an adventurous eater and want to try the local delicacies, always take a small portion first, and once you are sure you like it, go for more. Please avoid food wastage as agriculture is slow here and food has to be important. The value of food here is truly high, and you must respect that.
Air Quality and Pollution
Rovaniemi is one of the cleanest cities in the world with very little pollution. The air quality here is very high, making it the perfect place for you to have a breath of fresh air. At the same time the pollution levels here, particularly air pollution, is very low, making not the perfect place for you to get active. However, since the temperature is very low, it is difficult for most people, but the clean air is a great way to feel rejuvenated when in this area. While most of the city was ruined in the Second World war, whatever was left, has been reserved. Hence, it is important for you to put a conscious effort into preserving this place's beauty and charm.
Respect the Culture
Rovaniemi has been known as a very important place for tourists to come to visit the northern lights and for its rich cultural appreciation.
One of the most important events that have swayed the place and have remained iconic is the Second World War. After the Moscow Armistice was signed, Finland was in the middle of the Lapland War, much of Rovaniemi. This has caused significant ruins in the city, which was inhabited from the Stone Age. Hence, it is not possible to find buildings that are older than in 1994 as most of the buildings were destroyed during World War II. After this, the city has been rebuilt and was designed by one of the most famous Finnish architects, Alvar Aatto. The city's footprint has now been shaped like a reindeer head, where the city roads are presented in the antlers, and the sports stadiums make the eyes.
What has been significant about this place is that the city's natural aspect has been preserved even after the war. This has made it possible to have an extremely important tourism industry. People come from all over the world to get a slice of the northern lights and its auroral displays.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Rovaniemi has been known as the official home to Santa Claus, making it a trendy destination for children and adults alike. This is where you get unlimited access to the Arctic Circle, which is one of the unique attractions of this place. At the same time, it has some of the best store adventures during the winter months, which is also a grade for hiking and fishing in summer. However, it is really the winter months that make this place even more enticing. With the colorful waves of the unique Aurora Borealis as well as the various places to visit all around the city, this is truly a place to be.
- Santa Claus Village: As Rovaniemi is the official hometown belonging to Santa Claus, this is the ideal place for you as well as your children. This location is very close to the center of the city, and there is an extremely festive location where you will find everything related to Christmas and Santa Claus. It has a Main Post Office that directly sends letters to Santa Claus himself and where Mrs. Clause bakes gingerbread cookies and has many stories to tell about Lapland han han Christmas cottage. You will be able to take a picture as well as a certificate here of stepping over the Arctic Circle, making it quite an enjoyable memory. If you want to meet Santa Claus face to face, get in line before the visiting hours begin. If you are late, it may take your whole day to meet him.
- Santa Claus Express: This is an exciting double-decker train that goes from Helinski to Rovaniemi and has been called the Santa Claus express as Rovaniemi is the official home to Santa Clause. There are two daily departures everyday. However, the night time train is more popular with tourists as well as the locals. You can get cozy in your private sleeping cabin and reach the next morning into the snowy background of Lapland. The distance covered is about 885 kilometers and takes from 8 to 10 hours. The sleeper car has shared bathrooms, but every cabin has its own sink, window, a power outlet, and fresh linens. While it is dark when you enter the train, it is extremely thrilling to wake up to the snow-covered pine trees.
- Angry Birds Park: Angry Bird is a worldwide phenomenon and an extremely popular game franchise that focuses on these multicolored Birds. The Angry Birds part is one of the best places for you to unleash your inner child. This is a frivolous Park located along the riverbank, and there can be easily accessed from the center of the city. There are a number of slides, ropewalks, swings as well as climbing frames that are all designed with respect to the video game characters. You will even be able to find a mini soccer field as well as a running track for your little one. While this is not one of the most attractive locations in this place, it is surely one that cannot be missed.
- Ranua Zoo: While this is not technically a part of the city itself, it is very close to the city and can be included. This is an extremely amazing opportunity for you to come close to the Arctic animal species. If you are wildlife enthusiasts, you will be able to find over 50 species of animals at the zoo that are original to the land. At the same time, there are a number of wild animals that is also a domestic animal park where you will be able to get close and comfortable with these cuddly and cute polar bears and other animals. You can find a great selection of brown bears, Arctic fox, grey wolf, fish otter, lemmings, and of course polar bear.
- Rovaniemi City Library: Finland's husband is noted as one of the UN's most illiterate nations. They are passionate about books and public libraries; meeting this library was the best location for you to visit. As the citizens have to spend long and Harsh winters cooped at home, they have taken to borrowing books and reading them, making it an important activity. This library is a great place for book lovers and architecture and furious as Alvar Aalto has designed it. This is one of the best civic complexes in the city and is absolutely beautiful. The interior was inviting and thought-provoking, with a huge collection of books tractors absolutely amazing.
- Ethical Bearhill Husky Kennel: Husky dogs can make great runners extremely adorable. This has led to the introduction of a sled dog tour that you can enjoy in this location. This one of the most popular activities here and something that will bring you much joy and affection. You will be able to drive your own dog team while enjoying the rear excellence of nature. However, you must be very respectful venue choose a Husky operator and only of those that are ethical and reputable. With the help of such an experience, you will be able to enjoy your time by doing something extremely extraordinary.
- Hillside of Ounasvaara: If you love to bust in nature and all its Glory, the Lumberjack Candle Bridge is one of the most scenic places and all of Lapland. Not only is this place extremely popular with tourists but also with locals who come here to enjoy the vast plethora of trails that are best for cross country skiing, running, mountain biking, for simply admiring nature. You'll also be able to find a large pool at the local Sports Centre near as well as a number of rental pieces for you to ski, bike and more. This is the best place for you to taste some adventure in the best manner possible. Whether you are an adventure enthusiastic or simply love to look at nature and admire its beauty, this is truly the place for you.
- Looking for Northern Lights: There is no one single place where you will be able to observe the northern lights. These are visible All around The Year, but the chances increase between September and March. Most of Rovaniemi's adventure companies provide aurora Borealis nighttime to us surrounding the Arctic Circle wilderness through skiing, snowmobile, or shoes knowing. The best way to view this nature's light is by waiting for a starry, clear night. You also need to get to a height and location that provides you with a clear line of sight. With the help of technological development, there are a number of mobile applications that predict the likelihood of northern lights and provide you with viewing Windows. But make sure to wear proper winter clothing as it will get really cold out there.
- Finnish Sauna: Did you know that the traditional Sauna was actually invented in Finland over 2000 years ago? Even before the health benefits of sauna bathing were scientifically discovered, Finland's people have been enjoying this bath. Public saunas have hence become one of the most intrinsic parts of finish tourism and finish culture. When you visit Rovaniemi, it is important for You to experience an authentic Finnish sauna to get the full experience. You can also book a private sauna experience in your hotel itself. There are a number of nature-based sauna experiences as well that you must take into consideration. This is truly an amazing experience that you will not forget.
- Arctic Design Shop: Finnish design has now recently come into fashion, and it is easy to understand why. The design has become a part of living now, and you will be able to find a number of extremely beautiful pictures and art pieces here. Every Earth peace here is built with extreme intricacy and attention to quality. You will be able to find a number of creative projects locally that you can admire or even take home to cherish forever. The number of places when you will be able to look for home decor, jewelry, clothing, reindeer art, textile, and more.
Being one of the most beautiful locations in the world, that is definitely a lot that you will be able to find in Rovaniemi if you explore around the city properly. All you need is your interest so that you will be able to get around the city in North America.
When it comes to City parks, you will be able to find quite a number of them all around Rovaniemi. These are the perfect spots for spending some time outside and performing outdoor activities.
- Tapaninpuisto: This is a beautiful Park that has an amazing atmosphere. While there is much greenery during the summer season, the changing lights above during the winter make it extremely spectacular.
- Koskipuisto: This is a riverside Park that provides a spectacular view. The scenic beauty of this place opens up because of the water around, and it is a great place for you to hang out with your friends and family.
- Kivipuisto: This Park has a long train where you will be able to work with your family or with your pets. It is a relatively isolated Park where you will be able to find a number of rocks and enjoy the view.
National parks in Rovaniemi are includes:
- Korkalovaara Park: There is not much to do in this Park except that it offers an extremely exceptional view because of the variety of trees around. This is a great place for those who have a passion for photography.
- Auttikongas: This Park offers an extremely beautiful view that you will not be able to find anywhere else in the City. Along with that, there are a number of cute little cafes and restaurants that make it even more exciting.
As the climate is very cold in Rovaniemi, there are not many beaches here. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Sodankyläntie uimaranta
- Ounaskoski Beach
- Norvajärvi Beach
- Paavalniemi Swimming Beach
- Metsämuseo's Beach
Like any other popular winter wonderland tourist destination, Rovaniemi has many attractions and landmarks. It would help if you made a plan to visit as many of these wonderful sites as possible. To make it easier, we only mention only some of the brilliant sites available for the readers to visit.
- The Santa Claus Office': This is Rovaniemi's biggest attraction, especially For the Little ones. Even adults can enjoy this place as it will bring back their childhood memories and Christmas joy. This place looks straight out of a Christmas movie, and the whole place looks very authentic. You will get to meet Santa Claus here and take plenty of pictures. Official pictures are sold out, along with videos of experience in the place taken by professionals. The gift shops here are filled with delightful trinkets, which will be a great present to bring back home to anybody.
- Lordi's square: In the center of the city is Lordi's square, where you will find the tower that displays the day's temperature. This tower is iconic, and there are a lot of ice statues as well as ice slides where children can play.
- Santa Claus Village: Anybody who has ever wished to travel to the North Pole will find themselves there in the Santa Claus village. The whole place will be decorated with Christmas lights and ornaments. This place is the perfect location for taking the vacation postcard picture. It looks like a picture from a children's storybook and has loads of fun activities with the family. A lot of winter adventure sports activities are available, along with reindeer sleighing. Dog lovers will also enjoy this place as they will be able to pet adorable Huskies.
Let us take a glance at the different kinds of Museums in Rovaniemi:
- Arktikum: To learn more about the culture and Lapland history, a visit to the Arktikum is a must. This science center and museum have exhibitions of Arctic wildlife, different groups in the region, their culture, a wartime exhibition, and historic significance structures. There is also an art exhibition that celebrates Sami folklore. The museum also has a cafe as well as a souvenir shop filled with beautiful souvenirs.
- Pike Science Museum: This museum is an exciting space that is dedicated to the forestry industry. Our readers can learn about Finland's indigenous plants, which will look like a place for adults only, but displays also provide several activities geared towards small children. From shooting games to craft stations, people with all sorts of interests can find this place interesting. Most of the displays in the museum can be touched and calls for interaction, making this a unique museum.
- Korundi House of Culture: Originally a post bus depot from 1933, the Korundi House of Culture was given its modern makeover by architect Juhani Pallasmaa. The post bus depot was one of the few buildings that survived the Second World War. After 1986 was the home to the Rovaniemi Art Museum. This building is a brilliant example of an amalgamation of old and new. Modern art pieces and local history is what attract people to this place.
- Rovaniemi Local History Museum: To behold one of Rovaniemi's few residential buildings characteristic, the local history museum would be the place to visit. This museum brings to life an image of a local farmhouse and facilities of this area a hundred years ago. Artifacts of villagers from the nineteenth and twentieth century can be found. These artifacts are of the mode of living and economy of the people of that time. Fishing, cattle farming, reindeer reading as well as hunting equipment are displayed. The ground floor also features a beautiful photographic exhibition of the history of the region.
Finnish cuisine may not be very diverse, given the climatic conditions. However, there is some local cuisine that our readers cannot miss when they visit Rovaniemi. There are plenty of restaurants to explore with different price ranges as well as themes.
Of course, continental cuisine is available for tourists who want familiar food, but local cuisine is available in most eateries for the ones who like to explore. Fish, berries, game, and local mushroom make up the most significant part of the diet as this region is a land of forests and lakes.
Traditional Local Restaurants
Here are some of the local restaurants that serve traditional fare:
- Ravintola Monte Rosa: This place is known for its cozy atmosphere and breathtaking Finnish cuisine. The food is presented attractively, and the most popular dishes include the salmon soup, reindeer steak, and the Skagen. The main course's different accompaniments like fig jam, bread, mashed potatoes, or lingonberry are absolutely delightful. This place is perfect for the family, and the service is at its finest.
- Nili Restaurant: Nili specializes in Finnish cuisine and is a perfect place for a romantic dinner. People generally visit this restaurant to try out the famous fell reindeer prepared in two ways and the smoked whitefish. There is also a separate kids menu so that families can bring their young ones and not have any problem deciding the dish. The service, as well as the decor, makes this an overall wonderful restaurant.
- Ruokahuone Mariza: This restaurant offers a cheap traditional buffet where patrons can come and enjoy the local cuisine. This place is especially crowded during the lunch hours and includes dishes for vegetarians as well. The food tastes homemade, and coffee is also available, which is included in the buffet price. It is really popular with the locals, and if one wants to visit a less touristy place and eat like a local, this is one of the most appropriate places.
Vegetarian and Vegan
Though it is not very popular in Finnish cuisine, a lot of different restaurants are located in Rovaniemi that provides vegetarian as well as vegan options.
- Rang Mahal Indian Restaurant: Indian food is famous for its wide variety of delicious vegetarian food. This fantastic Indian Restaurant brings authentic food to Finland, and it has takeaway options as well. The buffet is perfect for vegan patrons as well. Vegetarians and vegans do not just have to limit themselves to the salads. There are a lot of aromatic curries as well as rice and Rotis.
- Yuca: This restaurant has authentic Mexican food and many vegetarian options. The owners of the place had gone to Tulum, where they fell in love with the cuisine, and they decided to bring back a slice of Mexico to Rovaniemi, Finland. One of the most famous dishes of this place is its vegetarian tacos. The place also has many colorful and delicious salads. If you want vegan options, you can ask the server for your specifications. The staff here are welcoming the go above and beyond to make all the customers feel welcomed.
- Ravintola HIMO: Specializing in Japanese cuisine, the restaurant is famous among vegans as it has plenty of options. Hot bowls of ramen, along with Japanese beers, are available. Do mention to the server that you are looking for vegan options so that they can give you the recommendations for the day. The tofu dishes are what bring back vegan customers every time to this cozy family restaurant.
Every place has its street food. These foods are characterized by its comforting nature and for being affordable.
- Ravintola Roka -Street Bistro: The place serves a wide variety of Scandinavian, European, and American street food. The most famous street food item in this place is fashion shapes. Local fish is battered and fried to perfection. You can also look through the separate street food menu, which will have a lot of hearty sandwiches. The service is fast, and the staff is accommodating.
- Kauppayhtiö: A quick bite of pizza is a popular choice of street food for many. If you are craving a delicious Pizza, then this place is the perfect spot. It has a lot of vegetarian as well as vegan options along with loaded meaty pizzas. Customers can also grab the delicious signature reindeer burgers.
Rovaniemi has a robust nightlife, celebrating alcoholic beverages and much more drinking options.
The tap water in this city is even cleaner than bottled water and is absolutely safe for human consumption.
Some of the organic cafes in Rovaniemi include:
- Coffee House Rovaniemi
- Cafe & Bar 21
- Restaurant Cafe Rovaniemi
The most special brewery in Rovaniemi is Lapland's Brewery.
There is much to do when you come to Rovaniemi. From adventure sports to simply enjoying your time outdoors, this is the best place to be.
Yoga and Retreats
While there are not many yoga and Retreat options available for online booking, you will be able to find some if you look around.
Being a center of activity and a popular tourist destination, there is no dearth of accommodation all over the city. From luxurious hotels to more affordable guesthouses, you will be able to find exactly what you need.
Some of the most well known Green hotels in Rovaniemi are as follows:
- Arctic Light Hotel
- HAAWE Boutique Apart Hotel
- Lapland Hotels Sky Ounasvaara
- Pyhän Asteli Resort
- Nova Skyland Hotel
- Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna
Hostels and Guest Houses
If you are looking for affordable yet environmental conscious places to live in Rovaniemi, these hostels and guest houses are the best places:
- Wherever Hostel
- Käyrämön Keidas
- The Blueberry Guest House
- Guesthouse Borealis
- GuestHouse Arctic Heart
There are quite a number of honest apartments that you will be able to find in Rovaniemi. These include:
- Rovaniemi Apartments
- Kiela Apartments
- Kotimaailma Apartments Rovaniemi
- Rovaniemi City Apartments
- Piriko Studio apartments
You can find exceptional Couchsurfing options on www.couchsurfing.com when coming to Rovaniemi.
Camping sites in Rovaniemi are includes:
- Ibedcity camping
- Wanha Autti Camping ja Keskiaikaravintola Wanha Autti
- Korvalan Kestikievari
How to Get There
Being a capital city, Rovaniemi has quite a number of options to be reached.
Rovaniemi Airport is the most widely used option when coming to Rovaniemi.
There are quite a lot of bus routes that come to Rovaniemi from different parts of Finland. This is an inexpensive way to reach the city.
You can reach Rovaniemi by train from Helinski. This train route is very well opted for.
Because of the cold weather, hitchhiking is advised against when coming to Rovaniemi.
The aforementioned routes are the most widely available options to reach the city.
Moving around the city of Rovaniemi is very well sorted because of the well-linked public transportation systems.
You can always walk around the city and explore around. The air is extremely pure, making it perfect for some exercise. However, when you are out for a walk, always be well prepared with extra layers of protection, as the temperature may drop very suddenly, and it can become too cold to handle.
All the not very popular you will be able to find quite a number of bicycle rentals in Rovaniemi. It is a great mode of transportation to get around and is extremely clean. If you can have the opportunity to rent a cycle, it is the best way you can move around and explore the city on your own terms. However, it is important to be very careful as the roads are mostly snowy and pose a certain threat.
Electronic vehicles are not very popular in this part of the world. You will not be able to find quite a number of charging stations for such vehicles around the city.
The public bus system in Rovaniemi is very well evolved, and there are quite a number of buses going to and from the city. Most of the well known and most attractive tourist locations have direct access to with the help of a public bus. It is an expensive and a great way to reach around the city.
Tram, Train and Subway
Trams and railway services are not available inside the city.
No matter where you are around the world, shopping sustainably is the only way to ensure that you do good to the environment while pampering yourself. You can adhere to the practice of sustainable shopping in a number of ways. While it may not be something that is right there, it is something worth your effort. Shopping sustainably includes shopping from thrift stores, flea markets, and even shopping locally.
Food markets in Rovaniemi are includes:
- Aasian Säästö Market
- K-Market Rovakatu
- K-Market Sahanperä
Some of the most popular flea markets in Rovaniemi are as follows:
- Varastotien Kirppis
- Tuhat-Tori avoin yhtiö
- Vintik Oy Vintikki
- Tuhat-Tori avoin yhtiö
- Lapin Sinisarastus ry
Second Hand Stores
If you are looking for second-hand stores in Rovaniemi, these are a must:
- SPR Kontti
- Toivon Tori
- Loops shop
- Røde kors
While and may not be many eco-fashion brands here, you will find thrift stores and more.
There are some recycling services provided in the City which has made that much cleaner and environmentally conscious.
Waste management in Rovaniemi takes place with garbage collection, and much of it is well recycled.
Work and Study Abroad
Rovaniemi being the capital of Lapland, has become the center of activities. As it is a popular tourist hub, it has attracted people from all over Finland for jobs and other opportunities. There are a number of jobs associated here as it is a popular tourist center. Migration is high as this is one of the busiest areas all around Lapland. Similarly, the University of Lapland is situated in the city of Rovaniemi, which attracts students from the country and around the world. The city feels alive due to the hustle and bustle of people all around.
There are a number of exchange students who visit the enchanting land of Rovaniemi. As it is one of the best places to view the aurora Borealis, students come here from all over the world to watch this unique phenomenon and study about it. Besides, the unique geography and wildlife are also of peak interest to the inquisitive mind.
Au pair services are not too developed in Rovaniemi. However, if you are looking for such services, you may be able to get your hands on some agencies if you ask locally.
There are quite a number of places where you can volunteer your time and energy when in Rovaniemi. These include:
- SPR ROVANIEMEN OSASTO
- Suomen Punainen Risti
- Keep Lapland Tidy Association