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Finland: Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi is the administrative capital and commercial centre of Finland's northernmost province, Lapland. It is situated about 6 kilometres/4 miles south of the Arctic Circle. Because of its location, the sun never sets in the summer and allows the enjoyment of the midnight sun. During the winter months the Northern Lights can be seen, a phenomenon which attracts many visitors on trips to Finland.

Rovaniemi is a popular destination all-year-round. During the winter, highlights include snowmobile safaris, reindeer and husky rides and Northern Light hunting. During summer, there is a beautiful and relaxing riverboat cruise on Rovaniemi’s two large rivers that flow through the city. Along the river and around the city are 70 shelters, that are used by anyone wanting to roast sausages over an open fire, with firewood provided. The river is dominated by the Jatkankynttila Bridge, an impressive sight especially when illuminated at night, which is Finland’s oldest cable-stayed bridge and crosses Finland’s longest river.

Rovaniemi is the official town of Santa Claus, who has his office at Santa Claus Village, just outside of the city centre. It is built on top of the Arctic Circle marker, denoted by a line painted on the sidewalk. In his office, he meets and greets people, from all over the world, every day of the year. In Santa Claus Village, you can visit the Santa Claus Official Post Office. From there, you are able to send postcards and Christmas greetings whatever the time of the year.

The Lappia House, designed by the famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, is the Rovaniemi Town Hall and serves as a theatre, concert hall and congress centre. The Arktikum is a very comprehensive museum of Finland's and the world's Arctic regions and is one of Finland’s finest museums. One half deals with Lapland, with information on Sami indigenous culture and the history of Rovaniemi; the other half offers a wide-ranging display on the Arctic, with both static and interactive displays focusing on flora and fauna as well as on the people of Arctic Europe, Asia and North America.

In Rovaniemi, you can visit a husky park and view ice sculpting on a Finland vacation.

Rovaniemi, Finland

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