A cultural approach to Rovaniemi
Getting to know local culture adds a whole new dimension to any holiday. Rovaniemi is the provincial capital of Lapland and the Official Hometown of Santa Claus with quite the list of cultural experiences on offer – have a look for selected picks below.
A basic introduction through attractions, Santa Claus and handicraft
– This ticket unfolds three of the most essential cultural establishments in Rovaniemi: the arctic science centre and museum Arktikum, the forest-themed science centre Pilke and the Korundi House of Culture.
Santa Claus Safari
– This tour combines nature, culture and the spirit of Christmas. Santa, reindeer and crossing the Arctic Circle are the high points of the day.
Secret of the Antler
– Hornwork handicraft workshop is a family business specialising in working with traditional Lappish materials such as wood and reindeer antler. This experience lets participants craft their own souvenir out of reindeer antler.
A look into art and architecture
Buildings by Alvar Aalto and the reindeer antler town plan
– Did you know the Rovaniemi town plan is shaped like a reindeer’s head and antlers? Explore Rovaniemi’s architecture and landmarks on your own with the help of a guide route available on the Citynomadi app.
- More information on the town plan and architecture in Rovaniemi here.
Galleries and exhibitions
– Rovaniemi has several spots that culture buffs will find interesting:
- Gallery Napa is run by the Artists’ Association of Lapland.
- The University of Lapland has four galleries (site in Finnish only) where students and staff of the Faculty of Art and Design present their works.
- Varjo Galleria (site in Finnish only) calls itself “the people’s gallery” with a down-to-earth approach to culture and door always open to all.
- The Lapponica Hall in Rovaniemi City Library houses exhibitions by Lappish artists and with Lapland-related themes.
Sleep in style – design-oriented accommodation
Arctic Light Hotel
– The hotel combines Lappish history and contemporary design in a 1950’s building that has previously functioned as the City Hall. The breakfast alone is a worth a stay.
Hostel Café Koti
– The design hostel opened in 2016 in a refurbished former bank building in central Rovaniemi. The interiors are characteristically Scandinavian: modern and sleek.
Arctic TreeHouse Hotel
– The rooms of this hotel are suites standing on stilts, with window walls facing north for viewing arctic natural phenomena such as the Northern Lights.
Food culture - restaurants with local flavours
– This Lapland restaurant is the place to start for Lappish flavours, as everything from the menu to the interior is based on local ingredients, materials and craft.
Café & Bar 21
– An eclectic menu with unique dishes based on local ingredients characterise “the 21”, signature portions being salty and sweet waffles as well as Lapas (Lappish tapas).
– The small and intimate restaurant and street bistro draws influences from the US and Italy, but is strongly rooted in Rovaniemi and Lapland.