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Travelers might find themselves in Rovaniemi either on a pitstop on their way to the deeper north, coming to visit Santa Claus in his village, or in search of a real life winter wonderland in the untouched nature complete with the aurora borealis in the proximity of a city. Rovaniemi is the capital of Finnish Lapland. It’s huge by land area, small by population, so there’s plenty of room to roam for those seeking solitude from the tourist masses of the super popular travel destinations in the world. Besides the Santa Claus village, here are the other three things to do in Rovaniemi recommended by a local.

Snowy forest and huts in Vaattunkiköngäs hiking area in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Hiker in snowy forest trail in Vaattunkiköngäs hiking area in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Hiker in snowy forest trail in Vaattunkiköngäs hiking area in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Bridge in snowy forest trail in Vaattunkiköngäs hiking area in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Icy river in snowy forest trail in Vaattunkiköngäs hiking area in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Hiker on a bridge on snowy forest trail in Vaattunkiköngäs hiking area in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Laavu lean-to and campfire on snowy forest trail in Vaattunkiköngäs hiking area in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Laavu lean-to and campfire on snowy forest trail in Vaattunkiköngäs hiking area in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Wood for a laavu lean-to campfire on snowy forest trail in Vaattunkiköngäs hiking area in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Hiker on snowy forest trail in Vaattunkiköngäs hiking area in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland snowy forest trail in Vaattunkiköngäs hiking area in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland wilderness hut on snowy forest trail in Vaattunkiköngäs hiking area in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Laavu lean-tos and campfire on snowy forest trail in Vaattunkiköngäs hiking area in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Laavu lean-to and campfire on snowy forest trail in Vaattunkiköngäs hiking area in Rovaniemi, Lapland, FinlandRiver on snowy forest trail in Vaattunkiköngäs hiking area in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Bridge over river on snowy forest trail in Vaattunkiköngäs hiking area in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Cabin on snowy forest trail in Vaattunkiköngäs hiking area in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland

  1. Vaattunkiköngäs hiking area

There are several easy trails, long and short. They take you through snowy fairytale forests, across bridges over icy rivers, to several laavus (traditional, ethnic lean-tos) where you can stop for a rest or make a fire to cook. The area starts at around 15-20 minutes drive outside the city.

Snowy Christmas trees in Rotary park in Rovaniemi, Lapland, FinlandSnowy Christmas trees in Rotary park in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Snowy Christmas trees in Rotary park in Rovaniemi, Lapland, FinlandSnowy Christmas trees in Rotary park in Rovaniemi, Lapland, FinlandSnowy trees in Rotary park in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Snowy birch forest trail in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Snowy forest in Rovaniemi, Lapland, FinlandArktikum museum in snowy Rovaniemi, Lapland, FinlandArktikum museum in snowy Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Arktikum museum in snowy Rovaniemi, Lapland, FinlandBig christmas trees with fairy lights next to Arktikum museum in snowy Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland

  1. Rotary park and Arktikum area

Rotary park consists of perfect-looking Christmas trees planted in a perfect wheel, or some might stay star, formation when viewed from above, so I would strongly suggest bringing a drone to this location if you have one. The surrounding natural forest is beautiful too, and it’s close to the Arktikum museum and its Arctic garden. The museum is worth to visit for anyone interested to learn more about the Arctic.

 

Lappia-hall theatre modern architecture by Alvar Aalto in snowy Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Lappia-hall theatre modern architecture by Alvar Aalto in Rovaniemi, Lapland, FinlandLappia-hall theatre modern interior design by Alvar Aalto in snowy Rovaniemi, Lapland, FinlandLappia-hall theatre cafe modern interior design by Alvar Aalto in snowy Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Rovaniemi city library door handles modern design by Alvar Aalto in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Rovaniemi city library modern design by Alvar Aalto in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Rovaniemi city library modern design by Alvar Aalto in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Rovaniemi city library modern design by Alvar Aalto in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Rovaniemi city library modern design by Alvar Aalto in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland

  1. The library and theatre buildings by Alvar Aalto

The city of Rovaniemi suffered a near-total destruction in 1944 when it was burned down by the retreating Germans’ scorched-earth military strategy in the War of Lapland. The rebuilding was taken part in by Finland’s architecture superstar Alvar Aalto, who designed several buildings for the city that showcase his world-renowned, modern, functionalist design. They include theatre and library that make for a delightful visit for architecture and culture enthusiasts. The Rovaniemi City Library has a comprehensive collection with a section for Lapland and the Arctic region themed literature specifically, in many languages.