Rovaniemi may be best known as the home of Santa Claus and as a family vacation resort, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t also plenty of museums throughout the city. These include quirky specialist museums, cultural and historical museums, as well as educational museums for children after their visit to Santa.
A small but quirky museum in the Santa Claus Village that pays homage to snowmobiles, one of the most significant forms of transport in Lapland. The exhibit displays snowmobiles from five decades ago and from various parts of the Arctic – including a rare Harley Davidson snowmobile from 1960 – and demonstrates just how important they are to the Lappish way of life. Visitors are even encouraged to add photos of their own snowmobile experiences to the gallery and grow the museum’s collection.
This museum pays tribute to the forestry industry of Lapland, which has aided the survival and livelihood of the area for hundreds of years. Located in a series of reconstructed lumberjack’s cabins, the museum has displays of pre-mechanised logging equipment, a sauna used by the loggers, and the first steam locomotive used for forestry in Finland. During the winter, the museum also hosts a Christmas Fantasy Show run by the Arctic Theatre Company, combining Christmas elves and lumberjacks with song and dance numbers.
One of Finland’s many open-air museums reconstructed from old, wooden buildings where visitors can walk around and see what life was like in pre-industrialised Finland. The Rovaniemi Local History Museum is located on a former farm, which also survived the Second World War, with the main empire-style building dating back to the 1840s. The restored log cabins each contain their own exhibits, including reindeer-farming artefacts, old photos of Rovaniemi, and traditional handicrafts. Regular events are also held at the museum, such as an annual midsummer celebration and a traditional porridge feast just before Christmas.
While this is more of an interactive children’s centre than a museum, the Christmas House in the Santa Claus Village does also include interesting exhibits about the history and traditions of the holiday, and how it is celebrated in different parts of the world. The building contains rooms for taking a picture with Santa and receiving a certificate of ‘Santa’s niceness’. It is best to take young children to this exhibition while the magic of Christmas is still alive inside of them, but it is still highly nostalgic and charming for adults as well.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
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.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
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.