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Lapland for Christmas: The Ultimate Guide

Lapland for Christmas is arguably the best destination on the planet. And with so many winter activities, Christmas-themed attractions, and below-freezing weather, it probably comes as no surprise that so many people flock to Lapland—and Finland as a whole—each and every winter. This guide will help you spend a Magical Christmas in Lapland. It primarily forcusses on organising a DIY trip BUT the information on each place will help you decide on the location which best suits you for your package holiday: eg with Inghams, Transun, TUI, Crystal Ski, Santa’s Lapland or Canterbury Travel.

This guide includes:

  • How to get to Lapland
  • When to go to Lapland
  • The Best Places to Visit in Lapland for Christmas and where to Stay
  • Things to Do in Lapland for Christmas
  • Planning Your Christmas Holiday/Vacation to Lapland
  • Where to see Santa Claus in Lapland
Lapland for Christmas

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What makes Lapland even better is the fact that Finland is only a three-and-a-half-hour plane journey from London, making it an ideal family getaway—especially if you have little ones wanting to meet Santa. 

I took my two girls to Lapland in December. And we had the most magical pre-Christmas holiday that you could ever dream of.

From riding the overnight Santa Claus Express Train to Rovaniemi to Levi and meeting Santa in the Northern Village Lights, Lapland was by far one of the best experiences we’ve ever done. And we can’t wait to go back one day and do it all over again.

If you’re planning a trip to Lapland, then I’ve gathered some tips, tricks, and all the information you could ever possibly need to make your holiday run as smoothly—and as budget-friendly—as possible!

But don’t feel overwhelmed, if you are not booked on a Lapland package holiday – and want to go DIY, all you need to prebook are flights, accommodation and a hire car if you need one.

Where is Lapland, Finland?

Lapland is in the northern area of Finland in northern Europe.

Many people actually believe that Lapland is its own country. However, that is not the case. Lapland is a region in Scandinavia (which, again, is not a country but also a region).

And although when most people think of Lapland, they only think of it as part of Finland, Lapland actually occupies the northern parts of Sweden, Norway, and Russia. Pretty confusing, isn’t it? 

When to visit Lapland

Planning Lapland and when to go is key. With Christmas activities on not just during December- you have more flexibility. December is obviously the most expensive time to visit but with a high probability of snow. November til March is considered the main season but not all areas will have snow.

If you are considering late November or very early December – then the northern resorts are your best option for guaranteed snow. e.g Levi, Ylläs, Saariselka and Akaslompolo. Shops and restaurants are mostly operating normally over the 25th & 26th of December – but supermarkets close early on the 24th December as Christmas Eve is the main celebration.

Flying with four children
Arriving in Lapland

How to Get to Lapland by Air

If you’re travelling from or via the UK, there are a few different airports you can access Lapland from. Finnair operates flights to Finland from Heathrow, Edinburgh, and Manchester.

Norwegian Airlines and EasyJet have flights that depart from Gatwick on Sunday and Wednesdays. they sometimes add a Tuesday departure. Ryanair provides flights from London Stansted

Use Google flights or Skyscanner to find the best way to get there from your local airport, there more than likely will be a stopover via Helsinki, as the majority of direct flights to smaller airports are charter flights. From Helsinki you can fly to the majority of Finnish Lapland airports.

There are also a few different airports in Finland that you can fly into, with Helsinki and Rovaniemi being direct routes.

The closest airport to Levi and Yllas is Kittila- however, you will have a layover in Helsinki. 

Girl walking through Helsinki Airport

If you aren’t bothered about seeing Helsinki, then I suggest flying into Rovaniemi. Rovaniemi is considered the capital of Finnish Lapland, plus it’s closer to places like Levi and Yllas, making travel between the villages far more convenient. 

Night Santa train from Helsinki to Rovaniemi

How to Get to Lapland by Train – Our Favourite Way!

The VR train can take you directly to Rovaniemi or to Kolari (the closest train station to Levi and Yllas.) From Kolari the bus to Levi is about one hour. From Rovaniemi to Levi the bus takes about 3 hours. In both cases, it’s an easy bus ride with USB chargers and a toilet on board – with stops right outside the Crazy Reindeer Hotel in Levi.

If you fly into Helsinki—as we did—then one of the best ways to get up to Lapland is by taking the overnight Santa Claus Express Train.

The Santa Claus Express Train picks you up from Helsinki Train Station and takes you just under 12 hours north—overnight, of course—to Rovaniemi or further on to Kolari.

You can also catch the overnight train from Tikkurila station which is 15 minutes from the airport if you do not wish to go into Helsinki. The overnight train gets there about 15 minutes after it leaves Helsinki main train station.

The train has three different seating/cabin options to choose from. We opted for two two-person sleeper cabins with en-suite bathrooms, which cost €69 per cabin. But there are also cabins without ensuites for around €49 which can interconnect. Those with ensuites cannot interconnect. Children aged 0-10 travel free when they share your cabin, one child per adult ticket.

Sleeping area in the Santa night sleep train to Rovaniemi Finland (Lapland)

Regular seats to Rovaniemi are available for €35 per adult and €20 per child—not the comfiest option, but good for those travelling on a budget – but not recommended for night travel with families.

There are also high-speed day trains that run from Helsinki to Rovaniemi, which take around eight and a half hours. However, these trains are more expensive. And they only offer standard seating, not cabins. 

Tickets for train departures for up until mid December are usually released mid March and then for later around 3 months before. Trains depart Helsinki to Rovaniemi and Kolari either around 19.25 and if second departure is available then about 23.15.

Which Part of Lapland has the best Christmas Activities?

First of all decided what part of Lapland you want to visit, it covers four countries. Finland has the most amount of Santa experiences. For Swedish Lapland you could fly to Luleå or Kiruna. You can get a train from Luelå across Swedish Lapland to Kiruna, the IceHotel is nearby. There are local excursion providers of snowmobiling, husky sledding and reindeer farms in Sweden and accommodation and food is cheaper than Finland.

Children in Reindeer Sleigh in Rovaniemi, Finland ( Lapland) Santa CLaus Village
Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi, Lapland

Before delving into each areas Christmas activities, this is a brief overview of the most popular places to visit in Finnish Lapland.

Overview

Rovaniemi is the official home town of Santa and the city with Santa Claus Village and SantaPark 8km outside. For those wanting to ski, ski slopes are available just outside Rovaniemi. If you stay city centre you don’t need to hire a car as you can use public transport very easily.

For that winter wonderland feel away from the city, you’ll need to stay a bit further out and hire a car.

Rovaniemi is a city with Santa Claus Village 8km outside the centre & SantaPark 2km from SCV.

Levi in the Kittila region, is a couple of hours north of Rovaniemi and has a ski village centered around the base of the slopes. Hotels, restaurants and chalets as well as log cabins are available, – plus the handy ski bus which makes any DIY accommodation booking easier if they are located on the route. Accommodation options can make feel you secluded if you choose or you can stay in the centre – you don’t need a hire car if you choose accommodation and excursions with pickups included.

Saariselkä, Ylläs, Ruka, Luosto/Phyä, Utsjoki are all more remote with that isolated winter wonderland feel, they also have ski slopes and excursion providers in the area.

Santa Claus Village Directions Sign at Rovaniemi, Finland ( Lapland)

Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi is the ‘capital of Lapland’ and the home of Santa Claus’ Village. And as it is the home of Santa Claus’ Village, there are plenty of Christmas activities that people can get involved in. The city itself is a regular city where some tours depart from.

Mail Box at Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi, Finland ( Lapland)
Posting a letter from the Artic Circle at Santa’s Lapland, which gets stamped with a special postmark

Santa Claus’ Village Is an outdoor area that’s free to enter, you pay for the activities you want to do. It has an area where kids can meet Santa, a border where you can cross into the Arctic Circle, a post office where you can send postcards with a special Arctic Circle postmark from Santa’s Post Office, and even reindeer sleigh rides and husky rides and petting.

Husky at Husky Park in Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi, Finland ( Lapland)

At Mrs Claus House you can decorate gingerbread. You can also book private Santa visit at Santa Claus Village through Wild Nordic.

List of all activities in Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi:

  • Reindeer Sleigh Ride
  • Husky petting
  • Husky Rides
  • Meet Santa for free! Elves capture your meeting with Santa Claus in photos and video which are available to purchase. Here you can visit Santa Claus of the Arctic Circle every day of the year in Christmas House or Santa’s Office.
  • Meet Mrs Claus in Christmas Cottage– 5 € / person (can be booked online or on spot)
  • Cross the Artic Circle
  • Send Postcards with special artic circle postmark from Santa’s Post Office
  • See animals next door at Elf’s Farmyard
  • Elf Academy. 
  • Shopping and Restaurants
Artic Circle Temperature Rovaniemi, Finland (Lapland)
Artic Circle at Santa Claus Village

Santa Claus Holiday Village has accommodation options also.

In Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi they usually only allow you to pre book the longer excursions and that’s usually towards the end of summer. The short and medium length excursions can be booked on the day of your visit.

Arrive for opening time so you’re well before the tour buses. and you will have a quiet park for an hour or two! More information on what’s available can be seen at the Santa Claus Village website

Elf’s Farmyard is next door to Santa’s Office in Santa Claus Village – where you can feed Arctic animals, try cross country skiing and roast marshmallows and sausages over their outdoor fire.

Snowman World is 2km from Santa Claus Village and has ice slides, ice sculptures, ice-skating, ice bar and restaurant.

SantaPark is an underground theme park for younger children. They have some shops/stalls, a large buffet restaurant, post office, ice bar, make and do areas, games area, short ride through Santa’s work shop, meet Santa, make gingerbread, elf school and an elf show Everything’s included in your admission fee except gingerbread decorating.

Icekart cars at Santa Motor Park. close to Santa Claus Village.

Girl decorating gingerbread shapes in Levi Finland before meeting Santa, lapland

There’s a regular bus that goes in a loop (Kutilan liikenne) taking in Rovaniemi city centre, train station, airport, Santa Claus Village and SantaPark making it very easy to navigate.

To make the most of Rovaniemi, stay a little outside the city, but on the bus route, so you can have the magic of snow laden cabin in the trees, but can easily access attractions such as SCV or Snowman World, Angry Birds Park etc.

Outside of Santa Claus Village

Outside of the village, you can also experience the Northern Lights, husky sleigh rides, snowshoeing, skiing, sledging, and snowmobile rides. There are also ice hotels and glass igloos that you can spend the night in.

Apukka Resort is a beautiful winter wonderland resort where you can do all of the excursions in one place. They have a Snow & Fun day that’s great value. You get to experience all the top excursions with lunch and transfers included.

Rovaniemi is a popular choice for first-time visitors to Lapland. And it’s where we took our overnight Santa Claus Express Train to.

More things to do in Rovaniemi with kids:

  • Arktikum & Pilke science and forestry museum.
  • Korundi Museum – which has the Angry Birds outdoor playground, an indoor soft play and a public swimming pool.

Getting around Rovaniemi:

Buses in Rovaniemi

You can use a credit card for bus and taxis

Bus Line Number 8 is the bus that goes to Santa Claus Village from central Rovaniemi.

Do check out the public bus routes. This will make moving around and choosing accommodation much easier.

Kutilan liikenne travels in a loop from Ounasvaara – Railway Station – Rovaniemi central – SantaPark (1st Dec – 8th Jan) – Santa Claus Village – Airport

Santa Claus Bus travels in a loop from the Railway Station passing central hotels in Rovaniemi taking passengers to Santa Claus Village.

There’s a shuttle bus that meets all Finnair and Norwegian flights it also runs for departures.

Taxis in Rovaniemi

Taxis are expensive in Finland. It’s advised to double check the estimated price before your journey.

  • Taxi Lähitaksi Rovaniemi – App available

+358 200 88 000

info@lahitaksirovaniemi.fi

  • Rovaniemi Taxi Service

+358 60 030 030 / +358 29 009 1090

info@rovaniementaksipalvelu.fi

  • Menevä Taxis – App available

+358 800 02120

myynti@meneva.fi

Other useful apps

Waltti App for Rovaniemi bus

Moovit App for bus & train info

Places to Stay in Rovaniemi

Places to eat in Rovaniemi

  • Rosso’s
  • Roka Street Bistro
  • Yaka

Supermarkets in Rovaniemi

  • Prisma supermarket.

Luosto

Luosto is north of Roveniemi, with a variety of activities to enjoy for families of all ages. Including:

  • Skiing and snowboarding: Luosto has a variety of ski slopes for all levels of experience, as well as a snowboard park. There are also several ski schools that offer lessons for children and adults.
  • Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing: There are many marked snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails in Luosto, offering a great way to explore the winter landscape. Snowshoes and cross-country skis can be rented from most sports shops in Luosto.
  • Reindeer sleigh rides: There are several tour operators in Luosto that offer reindeer sleigh rides. This is a great way to experience the Lapland wilderness and learn more about reindeer.
  • Husky rides are another popular winter activity in Luosto. This is a great way to experience the speed and power of huskies.
  • Visiting the Amethyst Mine: The Amethyst Mine is a popular tourist attraction in Luosto. Visitors can tour the mine and learn about the history of amethyst mining in Lapland. They can also purchase amethyst jewellry and souvenirs.

If you are booked with a Canterbury Travel package, your search for Santa will be located 10-25 mins from your accommodation where you will also meet and play with Snowy Bowy, Noisy Nod, Wendy Wood, Speedy Sam and the unforgettable Tricky Dicky. (flights will be out of Rovaniemi). There currently no way to see this Santa and his elves unless booked with Canterbury Travel or Santa’s Lapland and staying in Luosto. If you wish to organise a DIY trip to see Santa then travelling to Rovaniemi is your best best.

Accommodation in Luosto

Private Log Cabin on Booking.com

See more info from the official tourism board.

northern lights, lapland

Yllas

Two hours north of Rovaniemi is the ski resort of Yllas which you can access by car, bus, or by flying into the nearby airport of Kittila.  There are two main sides: Hotel Saaga side (Ylläsjärvi side) of Yllas which is quieter and more for skiing) or Akaslompolo. To reach Levi, it is one hour drive away.

As Yllas is a ski resort, it’s obviously a great place in Finland to go skiing. But you can also participate in ice-hole swimming (if you’re brave enough), snowmobile safaris, snowshoeing, dog sledging, and reindeer safaris.

Yllas also has opportunities to meet Santa and see the Northern Lights. This Santa come highly recommended by many and he will come to your cabin with reindeer!

Accommodation in Yllas

  • Yllas Info Tourist Board has lots of accomodation options.
  • Destination Lapland – a cabin company Ingrams use.
  • Saaga Hotel Yllas (Ylläsjärvi side)- a TUI package option where you fly into Kittila Airport near Levi
  • Snow Elf Hotel (Akashotelli/Akashotel) – A TUI option
  • Self catering log Akas Cabins in Yllas (Äkäslompolo side) with Inghams.
  • Villa Armas Cabins with Inghams – Cabins are self-catering, but guests have the option to pre-book half board with buffet breakfast and 3 course buffet evening meal taken at Äkäs Hotel.
  • Yllas Log Cabins – close to Akashotel for meals
  • Villa Alveus  3 bedrooms, 5 beds
  • 2 Bedroom Cabin in the center of Äkäslompolo
  • Holiday Club Chalets – they have several log cabin options available in Äkäslompolo.

Eating Out in Yllas

Selva Pyy – burgers etc

Levi

You will hear many names about this area – which again can be confusing. The town is Sirkka, with the mountain and ski resort named Levi and the municipality is Kittilä.

Levi is a wonderful ski resort 40 minutes north of Yllas, which again you can access from Rovaniemi by car, bus, or plane—flying into Kittila. And Levi quickly became our favourite place in Lapland as there were so many Christmas-themed activities, plus the area was incredibly beautiful – trees in winter are covered in a thick layer of snow, which makes them look like they are wearing a blanket.

Levi additionally has some of the best skiing conditions in the country. 

Child learning to ski in Levi

The experience that stood out most to us in Levi was meeting Santa during the Searching for Santa experience at the Northern Lights Village. I personally think this Santa experience is one of the best available due to everything that is included; a reindeer sleigh ride, decorate Christmas trees, make gingerbread cookies, on top of meeting Santa and receiving a gift.

An alternative is this private Santa experience which lasts one hour. Pick up can be arranged from the Design Hotel Levi Reception.

But aside from meeting Santa and skiing in Levi, you can set off on reindeer, husky, and snowmobile rides, go ice fishing, see the Northern Lights, stay in an igloo, go ice karting and go snowshoeing through the beautiful Finnish wilderness.

For an indepth look at Levi and why we choose it, read here.

Two girls meeting Santa in Levi

Accommodation in Levi

  • Crazy Reindeer Hotel aka Hullo Porro Hotel (also used by TUI on package holidays) A bus stop is right outside making it very easy to get around Levi. Kidsland is down the hill in front of the hotel, towards the ski slopes and over to the left behind the trees. The hotel is in a quiet wooded location, around 400m from the ski lifts and Levi village centre, providing beautiful walks through this winter wonderland.
  • Levi Panorama hotel
  • Hotel Sirkantahti
  • Kittilä near Levi – They also have a reindeer farm where you can pet and help feed. This airbnb has two bedrooms: One bedroom with a double bed with the second having a double and two singles. A fold out double bed is based in the living room. Essentials and towels/bed linen are included.
  • 2 bedroom, 5 bed chalet
  • Where we stayed: Ballerole—a holiday rental with everything you could possibly need, including a Christmas tree and sleds.
  • Northern Light Village Levi

Saariselka

Even further north—roughly a three-hour drive from Levi—is the village of Saariselka which is one of the best areas in Lapland to see the Northern Lights. Being so far north, the chances of seeing the Northern Lights are multiplied tenfold.

So if witnessing the Aurora Borealis is up there on your bucket list, I highly suggest checking out Saariselka. 

Saariselka is also a popular ski resort in Finland with 15 slopes of varying difficulty. And it has plenty of other Christmas activities like ice fishing, tobogganing, Santa experiences, snowmobiling, husky and reindeer safaris, and snowshoeing

Saariselka also has plenty of glass-roofed igloos. So you can see the Northern Lights without even leaving your bed. 

Saariselka is also home to the original Northern Lights Village which also offers Search for Santa – some argue it is still the best Santa in Lapland!

Accommodation in Saariselka

Inari

And even further north still—just under an hour’s drive from Saariselka—is Inari. Again, because of Inari’s northern location, the Northern Lights are on full display during the winter months, making it one of the best villages to see the natural spectacular in Lapland. 

You can also go on a husky, reindeer, or snowmobile ride, visit a reindeer farm, try ice fishing, go snowshoeing, or practice cross-country or downhill skiing. And like other places in Lapland, you can stay overnight in a glass-roofed igloo—one of the best and most unique experiences. Tours

Ruka

Ruka is a popular ski resort in Lapland, Finland, and it’s also a great place to experience Christmas. The town is decorated with festive lights and decorations, and there are many Christmas activities to enjoy from meeting Santa to sleigh rides. The nearest airport is Kuusamo Airport (KAO). Currently, TUI is the only airline that flies direct to Kuusamo.

Accommodation in Ruka:

Little girl meeting a husky as husky sledding is a great family thing to do in Levi

When Should I Book My Lapland Christmas Trip?

Like any trip, you should book your holiday to Lapland as early as possible to ensure low prices and the guarantee that you can secure the accommodation and activities that are high on your priority list. If you are organising a DIY trip to Lapland then you will have a few bits to tie in. Priorities for us were:

  • Booking flights – 11 months in advance. Sign up to airline emails eg easyJet, BA, Finn Air for flight sales
  • Booking Santa
  • Booking accommodation – we booked an Airbnb wooden cabin in Levi as detailed below
  • Booking trains with VR (can usually book 3 months in advance)
  • Booking other excursions
  • Buses were easy to organise from Rovaniemi to Levi and never full despite it being mid December.
  • Ski passes and lessons if required.

In terms of certain dates to book, Lapland offers Christmas-themed experiences as early as November, running right up until after Christmas day. We visited Lapland during the second week of December and found it was the perfect time to visit as it was close enough to Christmas but still gave us time to get back into home life before Christmas truly began. 

Package and DIY Lapland Christmas Options

There are a couple of different ways to book a Lapland Christmas trip. And those ways are package holidays and DIY holidays.

With a DIY holiday, you will book everything yourself. And although this way is slightly more stressful, it does mean that you can find great deals, saving you money in the long run.

Package holidays, on the other hand, sort everything out for you. Your accommodation, flights, and activities will all be taken care of, eliminating the hassle and stress of booking.

Package holidays are considerably more expensive, but many people do prefer how straightforward and easy they are.

If you are booking a package holiday, it’s worth comparing “ski holidays” and “Santa experience holidays.” Often, a 7-day ski holiday to the exact same area will be far cheaper than a 4-day Santa experience holiday.

If you find that this is the case, then you can easily book a Santa experience separately and still save tons of money

Tips for Visiting Santa Claus in Lapland

Visiting Santa Claus in Lapland is one of the best experiences we’ve ever done as a family. And even my 9-year-old came out of it believing Santa was real again—win-win! Some of my top tips for visiting Santa in Lapland are the following: 

  • Have your kids send letters to “Santa” before arriving in Lapland. You can send—or just give—your letters to the Santa experience you book. So when your kids finally meet Santa, he’ll have their letters ready and waiting.
  • Book the Searching for Santa Experience at the Northern Lights Village in Saariselka or Levi. This is the Santa experience we booked, and both kids and parents absolutely loved it.
  • Wrap up warm, and by warm, I mean lots and lots of layers. Lapland gets extremely cold during the winter. So you’ll want to stock up on thermals, thick jackets, and waterproof trousers. 

Tips for a Festive Christmas Experience in Lapland Finland

With blankets of snow and Christmas decorations all around you, it’s almost impossible not to have a festive Christmas experience in Lapland. But my top tip to make your trip as festive as possible is to book plenty of activities, including the most festive activity of all, a trip to see Santa. 

Tips for Visiting Lapland with Kids

Visiting Lapland with kids will be a holiday like you’ve never experienced before. So here are some tips to make your trip run as smoothly as possible:

  • Take it slow: It’s likely that you’ll be cramming in lots of activites and experiences in Lapland. So it’s important to remember to slow down and give the kids a break whenever they need it. 
  • Ages 5 to 9 years old are best: I personally think the best ages to take kids to Lapland are between the ages of five and nine. Lapland does get extremely cold, which toddlers and younger children may not be able to cope with. Plus, from five onwards, kids fully understand and appreciate the experience. So you’ll make memories that both you and them will remember for a lifetime. 
  • Make the trip short: Although four or five days may not seem like a long enough time away, it is actually the perfect amount of time in Lapland. The cold weather can be hard to deal with—especially for kids—so the shorter time away will let them enjoy everything Lapland has to offer without getting over the cold.
  • Pack lots of layers: It’s best to pack more layers than you think you’re going to need, as it’s better to have them and not need them then need them and not have them.

Is Christmas a Good Time to See the Northern Lights?

Yes, Christmas is a good time to see the Northern Lights. You can actually catch a glimpse of Aurora Borealis from mid-August to early April, with November and December being two of the best months.

If you aren’t booking a Northern Lights tour, then wait for a clear, starry night and head to a location away from buildings and street lights. If you can, climb to somewhere with some elevation, like the top of a hill. 

What to Wear for a Lapland Trip

When visiting Lapland, you’re going to want to wrap up warm with plenty of layers. Here are the clothing items that you should plan on packing and wearing in Lapland:

  • Thermal base layers
  • Thermal outdoor boots
  • Thermal snowsuit
  • Wool socks
  • Thermal mittens or gloves
  • Warm hat and a balaclava
Santa Claus Village Signs in Rovaniemi, Finland ( Lapland)

Choosing Where to Stay in Lapland

A package holiday can offer hotel or log cabin and even glass igloo accommodation, as can a DIY trip. You often have to rent bed linen and/or towels as an extra in the majority of cabins in Finland, they usually cost around €20pp for the duration of your stay or you can bring your own.

Make sure to read the small print as depending on the site you brook through there might also be a cleaning fee to be paid at the property.

Winter in Lapland is typically from November to March, although the coldest weather is usually in January and February but you will find more accommodation availability released towards the end of summer.

Airbnb and Booking.com are good options if you want to book as afar in advance as possible and are booking a DIY trip – however, most options seem to be available about 6 months in advance.

Look above under each location to see some suggestions for hotels and cabins that other readers have recommended in the the most popular areas. Included are some links to Airbnbs or hotels people have booked.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Lapland at Christmas Worth It? 

Yes, Lapland at Christmas is worth it!

And in my opinion, it is the best Christmas destination. Not only are there dozens of opportunities to meet Santa and winter activities like skiing and reindeer sleigh rides that get you into the Christmas spirit, but you’re also guaranteed snow—and lots of it!

Where is the Best Place for Christmas in Lapland?

The best place for Christmas in Lapland is subjective – but for a magical feel, Levi and Yllas

We visited a few different places on our trip to Lapland. And Levi really stood out. Levi is home to one of the best Santa Experiences (Searching for Santa at the Northern Lights Village), and as it is the best ski resort in Finland, it has incredible skiing, snowboarding, and sledging opportunities.

We also found that Levi had husky rides, reindeer rides, Northern Lights tours, and snowmobiling. So you can tick off all your must-do activities in one place. 

Is Lapland Santa Worth It?

Yes, Lapland Santa is worth it. In fact, even my eldest daughter—who is above the Santa-believing age—was convinced that Lapland Santa was real.

We booked the Searching for Santa experience at the Northern Lights Village. And when Santa pulled out the letters my girls had mailed to him, the looks on their faces confirmed that meeting Santa is a must-do in Lapland. 

Is it Worth Going to Lapland in December?

There really is no better time to go to Lapland than in December.

Lapland is a true winter wonderland. And with the whole northern part of Finland covered in snow, plus Santa Experiences, Christmas decorations, and winter activities, you won’t find any place better to celebrate the Christmas period. 

What is the Best Age to Go to Lapland?

Children of all ages will love Lapland, but the best age to take your children is between the ages of 5 and 9.

Kids aged between 5 and 9 will not only appreciate and understand the experience more than a toddler, but they will also be better equipped to handle the change in climate and weather. 

My girls were 6 and 8 when I took them to Lapland. And I think they were the perfect ages. Both of them fully understood the experience, found joy in all of the activites we participated in, and they dealt with the cold extremely well—in fact, all they wanted to do was play in the snow. 

What is the Best Age to Visit Santa in Lapland?

The best age to visit Santa in Lapland is between the ages of 5 and 9.

Studies show that most children stop believing in Santa by the age of 8. So getting a trip in before they reach the non-believing age will make the experience even more magical.

With that being said, however, my eldest daughter was 8 when we went to Lapland. And although she didn’t actually believe in him before the trip, once he pulled out the letter she had sent to him, her mind changed completely. 

How Many Days Do You Need in Lapland?

You need at least four days in Lapland to experience everything it has to offer.

Four days will allow you to see Santa, ride a reindeer and husky sleigh, see the Northern Lights, go skiing, and go snowmobiling. However, you can also extend your trip to fit in more activities and to prevent yourself from feeling rushed. 

Why is Lapland So Special?

Due to Lapland’s location on the Arctic Circle and all of its Christmas-themed activities, it has become one of the most special winter destinations on the planet.

Lapland offers incredible winter activities, chances to see Santa, natural phenomena like the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun, and the most magical component of all, snow. 

Which City is Most Beautiful in the World for Christmas?

Technically not a city, but the most beautiful region in the World for Christmas is Lapland in Finland.

Lapland during the month of December is blanketed in a layer of snow which only makes the area even more festive. With Christmas markets, winter activities, Santa Experiences, and the Northern Lights, Lapland is a true winter wonderland that runs circles around any other city on the planet. 

How Safe is Lapland?

Lapland, and Finland in general, is a very safe destination to visit.

Finland emphasizes its laws and rules, meaning tourists don’t need to worry about street crime and other forms of criminal activity. 

How Much is a Reindeer Ride in Lapland?

Prices for reindeer rides in Lapland do vary, depending on the length of the ride, the area you’re staying, and whether your ticket combines with another attraction (say a husky ride, for example).

But on average, a 2-hour reindeer ride experience will cost around £100 per person. 

How Much Spending Money Do You Need for Lapland?

You should budget around £150 per person per day when visiting Lapland.

£150 a day will cover food and your chosen excursions. However, that figure could be a lot more if you want to book various activities, go shopping, or spend numerous days on the slopes.

Can you Wear Jeans in Lapland?

You can wear jeans in Lapland, but it isn’t recommended.

As Lapland is covered in snow, it’s extremely likely that your jeans will get wet. And we all know that once jeans are wet, it’s impossible to get them dry again, especially in temperatures below freezing.

Instead of wearing jeans, invest in thermal base layers and waterproof trousers to keep you warm and dry throughout your entire visit. 

How Cold is Lapland at Christmas?

Lapland is extremely cold at Christmas. And by cold, I mean highs of -7°C (19°F).

Minimum temperatures sit at around -14.3°C (6.26°F). So you’ll want to wrap up warm with plenty of thermal layers.

Is Lapland Dark All the Time?

Lapland isn’t dark all the time, as Finland experiences what’s known as the midnight sun and polar night.

During midnight sun, countries close to the Arctic Circle experience 24 hours of sunlight. Whereas during the polar night, the same countries experience 24 hours of darkness. Lapland in December experiences 0-3 hours of sunlight a day, usually between the hours of 10 am and 1 pm. 

Can You See Northern Lights in Lapland?

Yes, you can see the Northern Lights in Lapland—especially in the region’s most northern point.

The Northern Lights dance across the skies above Finland for roughly 200 nights a year. So if you’re holidaying in Lapland during the winter months, chances are you’ll get a glimpse of the natural phenomenon. 

What is the Difference Between Finland and Lapland?

Lapland is a region in northern Finland that makes up roughly one-third of Finland’s total area.

Lapland also covers parts of Sweden, Norway and Russia’s Kola Peninsula. And is larger than Belgium, Holland and Switzerland all put together.

When is the best time to visit Lapland?

If you want snow in Rovaniemi I’d recommend booking from the 2nd week in December onwards, more than likely there will be snow the first week in December but it might not be deep enough for excursions.

If you’re intending on a resort further north such as Levi, Ylläs, Saariselkä etc they have snow a few of weeks earlier.

Peak season is the week of Christmas to New Year so expect accommodation and car hire to be more expensive. In recent years February mid term is also very busy.

All excursions are still available up until about the end of March. Santa is open for visitors at Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi every day of the year. There’s more snow, less people and longer daylight hours.

They celebrate Christmas Day on Christmas Eve in Finland, a lot of places close early on 24th December.

When does Snowman World open?

Snowman World opens the end of the first week of December.

When does Santa Park Close?

Santa Park closes the end of the first week in January.

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