Finnish Lapland isn’t the trendiest place to live, but moving there will provide such unique experiences as going to the store in snowshoes, watching reindeer cross the street, and staying in an authentic wooden cabin. These are some of the best neighbourhoods throughout Lapland to live in or visit.
Finland’s official Christmas city often feels like living inside a Christmas card all year round. The most popular attraction is the Santa Claus Village, which draws millions of visitors from around the world every year. But there is a lot more to do and see in and around the city that has nothing to do with Christmas. There are plenty of winter sports to take part in, the Arktikum Science Centre, and cool cafes and restaurants. Being in southern Lapland, right on the Arctic Circle, means that Rovaniemi isn’t quite as cold as the rest of Lapland and the airport and railway station make it easy to travel throughout Finland.
Discover the best of Finnish Lapland on Culture Trip’s five-day arctic trip. Led by our Local Insider, you’ll explore the very best of the region; adventures include husky sledding, hiking through the Korouoma canyon and looking out for the Northern Lights.
Saariselkä is one of the best resort towns in Finland for winter sports and is well known for having ski slopes, views of the Northern Lights, and igloo holiday villages. Saariselkä is nestled in the sweeping, forest-covered mountains of northern Lapland neighbouring the Urho Kekkonen National Park. When you want to take the weight off your feet there are plenty of spas and traditional wooden saunas in the area as well.
The town of Kemi on the Western coast of Lapland is most famous for having an ice castle; a feat of art and architecture built entirely from snow and ice every winter with a new theme. As it is open for anyone to visit you can have a look at the ice sculptures or have food at the ice restaurant. In addition, Kemi also contains a gemstone museum, the Icebreaker Sampo, which takes regular cruises through the Arctic Ice, and a Gothic revival church.
With only 4,000 residents, Ivalo is the least populated town in the Inari province with 2sqkm (0.8sqmi) per resident. If peace and isolation is what you’re looking for then Ivalo is the perfect getaway. The hundreds of kilometres of unspoiled Lappish wilderness make it a perfect location for winter sports, skiing, snowboarding, and reindeer sledging during winter. In the summer, one can go hiking, canoeing, and even gold panning.
Autti, which means deep gorge in the Sámi language, is located 70km (43mi) from Rovaniemi. The village is famous for having beautiful river canyons and bewitching pine forests. Attractions include the Wanha Autti Fantasy Medieval Restaurant, which hosts a medieval fair every year and the Wolftrail husky farm offering husky safaris with their huskies, malamutes and wolf dogs.
One of the best ski resorts in Finland, Levi is home to 43 ski slopes that regularly host winter sports competitions, including the Alpine Ski World Cup Slalom. Tourists also flock to the resort to see the Northern Lights, eat at the ice restaurant, and stay in one of the igloo hotels. In summer, it is much more peaceful and the snow gives way to golf, hiking and the midnight sun.
Inari is one of Lapland’s cultural centres for the indigenous Sámi people, holding the Siida Museum, the Finnish Sami Parliament, and one of the only schools in Finland teaching the Sámi language. It is also an area of stunning natural beauty and has served as a location in many works of fiction, including the village of the witches in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. Other attractions include the Ukko Island on Lake Inari, once a sacrificial site, and the Pielpajärvi Wilderness Church, a classic wooden church at the end of an appealing nature trail.
Ever wanted to live at the very top of Europe? Nuorgam comes close; it is the northernmost point in the European Union, right at the border of Northern Lapland and Norway. The village itself is tiny with only 200 residents but has some of the best salmon fishing in Europe.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.