My plan
The harbor in summer in Kemi, a Finnish Lapland filming location
Photo by: Visit Kemi | LOCATION: Harbor
The Icebreaker Sampo, a tourist attraction in Kemi, a Finnish Lapland filming location
A ship docks near the Old Inner Harbor in Kemi, a Finnish Lapland filming location
Photo by: Visit Kemi | LOCATION: Old Inner Harbor
Inside the chapel in the Snow Castle in Kemi, a Finnish Lapland filming location
Photo by: Lapland Material Bank | LOCATION: Chapel inside the SnowCastle
SUP boarding with a dog in the archipelago national park in Kemi, a Finnish Lapland filming location
Photo by: Visit Kemi | LOCATION: Bothnian Bay National Park
A modern industrial area in Kemi, a Finnish Lapland filming location
Photo by: Visit Kemi | LOCATION: Industrial Area

Kemi - Filming Lapland's Seaside City

Boasting an impressive island national park and not one but two harbors, Kemi is Lapland’s most impressive and iconic seaside city. The harbor is home to the retired Sampo Icebreaker, which spends its winters as a tourist vessel. The characteristics of the city are both retro and historic, with the Old Church (built in the 1500s) and wooden buildings dating to the 70s and earlier. The nearness to the water has also encouraged industry in Kemi, with some of Lapland’s best factories, warehouses and other industrial locations.

Coat of arms for the seaside city Kemi, a Finnish Lapland filming location

Population 19,437
Land area: 95 km2
Water area: 652 km2

Kemi at a Glance

  • Bothnian Bay National Park
  • Inner, historic harbor & large industrial harbor
  • Historic church
  • Retro wooden buildings
  • Industrial locations
  • Map of Kemi


Kemi’s access to the sea is likely its most attractive feature, both for its two harbors and the Bothnian Bay National Park. In summer, the water is dotted with canoes and kayaks, and in winter, the frozen sea is perfect for visiting the islands on snowmobiles or skis. The harbors include the historic Inner Harbor, which is still functional for smaller boats and is lined with red-painted wooden buildings from yesteryear. There is a small park that separates the inner harbor from the city streets. The larger, industrial harbor is situated a few kilometers from downtown. As a working harbor, filming access is limited, but the city of Kemi is happy to help find solutions.

The Icebreaker Sampo was completed in 1961 and used for nearly 30 years in and around Kemi. In 1987, the ship was recommissioned for tourist cruises. It can hold 150 passengers at a time. It does not operate in summer.

The architectural character of Kemi spans centuries. The Old Church is made of stone and wood and was originally built in the 1500s. The newer wooden church, with its iconic pink tower, was built in the early 20th century. Many of the buildings and homes in Kemi are made of wood, with designs from the middle 20th century, lending it a very retro seaside vibe. Downtown boasts modern brick and concrete apartment buildings and hotels, but larger wooden buildings are coming back into vogue.

And you can’t speak of Kemi’s architecture without mentioning the snow castle. Kemi’s SnowCastle features the SnowExperience 365 and an ice-slide year-round, and the family-friendly Winter Park during the coldest part of the year.

Kemi is an industrial city, with factories that make paper and wood pulp, as well as Europe’s only chromium mine. In and around Kemi, there are other factories, warehouses and locations of various sizes and styles, making it your best bet for Arctic industrial settings.

A note on environmental responsibility: Kemi is an eco-friendly city, the first mainland Finnish city to be environmentally certified. They have a goal to be completely carbon neutral by 2030 (5 years earlier than Finland and 20 years before the EU at large). As such, locations in Kemi often have wind turbines in the background and solar panels glittering on roofs.

Logistics in Kemi

Kemi is one of Lapland’s most well-connected cities. The Kemi-Tornio Airport is about 5 km from downtown. European highway E8 runs through Kemi, connecting it both to Tornio and Rovaniemi in the north, and Oulu in the south. Kemi also has rail connections.

Accommodation in Kemi includes hotels, apartments, cabins and seaside holiday villages. Support services and activities are provided by various tourism services, restaurants and more.

Contact Visit Kemi for more information.


Here are some productions that have taken advantage of Lapland's seaside city, Kemi. Click on a poster to view a trailer.