The Finnish province of Lapland is famous for being the home of Santa Claus, who is claimed to live in the Arctic Circle all year. Rovaniemi, Finland’s northern capital, is great for a for a family vacation in December. Make sure to visit Santa Claus Village!
Here’s everything you need to know.
Although Santa Claus Village is not the only Christmas attraction in Rovaniemi, but it is without a doubt the most well-known. This magical village is located just on the Arctic Circle, is packed with festive stores and restaurants, as well as Santa’s Office and Main Post Office, where tourists can encounter Santa himself at any time of year.
When families are looking for fun things to do in Rovaniemi, they will almost certainly end up at Santa Village. However, Santa Claus Village is more than just a Santa Claus attraction. This place is much more than meets the eye.
It is a Christmas village tour park in Finnish Lapland, located just north of Rovaniemi. The Village is a collection of independently owned and operated shops, activities, and lodgings built in a Lapland holiday village environment.
Many tour providers operate within the Lapland Santa Claus Village, offering activities such as snowmobile, Northern Lights flights or safaris, reindeer sleigh rides, and more. There are a bunch of businesses selling original Lappish crafts and Finnish souvenirs. The Rovaniemi Christmas village is one of the simplest ways to see Finnish Christmas celebrations in a fun and picturesque setting.
Lapland is located on the equator of the Arctic Circle. This is the southernmost latitude where the polar night lasts at least one full day in the winter and the midnight sun lasts at least one full day in the summer. Rovaniemi’s Santa Village is about 10 minutes north of the city center.
Santa Claus Village is conveniently positioned within a 10-minute drive of the Rovaniemi airport for those who only have a day or weekend in Lapland.
Notes For First Timers: It’s simple to get around Santa Claus Village. However, when you first arrive, it might be intimidating. You’ll be in front of the entrance to the Safari Center and Christmas House when you first arrive at the parking lot. As you enter, the Christmas House Santa is on your right, and the beautifully decorated houses of Santa Claus Holiday Village are straight ahead. As you enter the attraction, nearly all of the remaining attractions are on the left-hand side.
Santa Claus Office building is the most prominent structure in Santa Claus Village Finland, and it is difficult to overlook. The Arctic Circle line travels right through the centre of the enormous central tower, which is brightly lit.
It’s a real treat to meet Santa Claus in the Rovaniemi Santa Office. The lines are long, yet they wind their way through caves and Santa’s workshop on a fantastic path. The small doors and windows along the road will delight children. Through the keyholes, children can see Santa’s elves hard at work making toys and crafts for children all over the world. Each group has around 5-minutes with Santa in a great North Pole office environment that will turn anyone into a believer. The Santa Claus Office is free to visit, however photo and video packages will cost you. The Santa experience is not allowed to be filmed or photographed by visitors.
Santa Claus Main Post Office is the “official” post office of Santa Claus. Visitors can send a message to their loved ones all around the world with an authentic Santa Claus Arctic Circle stamp from the post office. Many visitors come to this fully operational post office with their own pre-written letters or postcards and receive the official Arctic Circle mark for free. Please keep in mind that any mail will require a postage stamp, which may be obtained at the post office. You can buy a selection of postcards, paper, and envelopes if you don’t have your own letters. Postcards start at just 1 €, but you’ll need to buy postage on top of that. There are many tables in a lovely environment where you can relax and compose your own letters to family and friends.
Christmas House Santa is another place to visit Santa at Rovaniemi’s Santa Claus Village. This Santa experience in Rovaniemi is for individuals who do not wish to queue for the Santa encounter at the Santa Claus Office because the lines are much shorter. The Christmas House is a large gift shop with a few Christmas exhibits. These exhibits educate visitors about various Christmas traditions from throughout the world.
The Arctic Circle Husky Park is great for those who refuse to leave the place without going on a dog-sledding adventure. The park is home to a 100 very friendly Siberian Huskies. The husky rides at Santa Claus Village are available every day of the year. You can visit the Huskies, take photos, and pet them without having to pay but sleigh and carriage rides, as well as trekking and snowshoeing with the Huskies, are all extra charges.
Arctic Circle Snowmobile Park is the most popular mini-snowmobile tour and snowmobile safari company at Santa Claus Village. A mini-snowmobile circuit ride at the Santa Claus Village snowmobile park teaches kids as young as four years old how to drive a snowmobile. The park also provides a more extensive and involved Lapland snowmobile experience. Snowmobile trips are great for large groups and adrenaline seekers because they allow riders to see beautiful scenery from otherwise inaccessible locations. Traditional tours guided by Santa’s reindeer or huskies are also available and are suitable for families. These snowmobile trips last anything from 30 minutes to a whole day. You can also visit The Arctic Circle Snowmobile Museum, dedicated to the history of snowmobiles.
Santa Claus Reindeer Sleigh Rides is one of the most popular activities at Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi if you want to interact with the gorgeous and cute reindeers! They offer sleigh rides with Santa’s reindeer for 400 meters and one kilometer. The longer 1 km reindeer rides take you on a loop around Santa’s village, through the snow-covered Lappish forests. The 400-meter ride winds around some of the village’s buildings on a little track on the village’s perimeter.
Santa Claus Reindeer’s other location, located south of Rovaniemi, offers longer, more in-depth adventures. When there isn’t enough snow for sleighs, the Santa Claus reindeer experience uses wagons instead of sleighs. During the summer, however, there are no rides available.
SantaPark a subterranean cavern deep beneath the Arctic Circle, is always worth visiting around Christmas. At Elf School, you can learn from Santa’s helpers, ride the Magic Train, and meet Santa and the Ice Princess in their underground house. It is a legitimate theme park that bills itself as the “official workshop for Santa’s Elves.” SantaPark is an immersive Christmas-themed event that should not be missed. It is only a short drive from Santa Claus Village. There are also regular shuttles to SantaPark.
If you’re on the hunt for some souvenirs, Lapland is largely designed to resemble an outdoor shopping mall filled with Christmas themed products. There is no better place to get Lapland souvenirs than this one-stop shop. The shops of Santa Claus Village provide everything from handmade knives to crafts, t-shirts, artwork, and much more.
Where To Eat At Santa Claus Village
At Santa Claus Village, there are several delicious dining alternatives and it’s safe to say that there is something to suit almost every palate. Rakas Restaurant and Bar is a popular hangout for locals looking for Scandinavian cuisine. You can dine at Nova Skyland’s lunch buffet if you have a big appetite. The Snowman World ice restaurant is an expensive yet wonderful experience for people who visit Snowman World. You can have some fire-grilled salmon dishes at Santa Claus’ Salmon Palace, which is located in a wooden teepee near the Santa Claus Village parking lot.
When Is The Best Time to Visit Santa’s Christmas Village?
Santa Claus’ Christmas Village is open every day of the year yet the Christmas Holidays are the busiest. Lapland, on the other hand, is a gorgeous year-round location. There is no terrible time to visit, but if you have specific expectations, you should plan your vacation accordingly. The greatest months to see the Northern Lights are October-November and March-April. If you want the complete winter-Christmas experience, visit Santa’s Village in December or January, when the temperatures are cooler and the snow has accumulated. If you aren’t a winter person you might prefer to visit in the summer, when temperatures can reach the mid-30s (Celsius) and the sun shines well into the night.
Santa Claus Village is a lovely location to visit with your family or your partner (the lights are simply magical). It’s put up to look like a mystical village, and on the surface, it succeeds. The village is open, bright, and well illuminated, with lots of exciting music. There are a number of fantastic attractions in this area that allow visitors to get a fair sense of the magnificent Lapland activities and culture.