The city by air in Rovaniemi, Finland
Photo by: Lapland Material Bank | Jani Ylinampa
Winter wilderness in Rovaniemi, Finland
Photo by: Lapland Material Bank | Terhi Tuovinen
Santa Claus hard at work in Rovaniemi, Finland
Photo by: Visit Finland

Rovaniemi - Santa's Hometown on the Arctic Circle

Rovaniemi, the hometown of Santa Claus & capital of Lapland, straddles the Arctic Circle. Wilderness weaves through the city, offering easy access to forests, marshes, rivers & lakes.

The hometown of Santa. The capital of Lapland. Maybe you’ve heard of Rovaniemi, the town adopted decades ago by Santa Claus, or his office atop the Arctic Circle, where it’s Christmas 365 days a year. Maybe you’ve heard of award-winning hotels, or glass igloos that sparkle under the Northern Lights. Maybe it’s the wilderness that weaves throughout town, its authentic and lively culture, or the accessible Arctic adventures. Rovaniemi is the heart of Lapland and its main connection to the rest of the world.

The Lumberjack Candle Bridge in winter in Rovaniemi, Finland
Photo by: Lapland Material Bank | Terhi Tuovinen
Hiking in summer in Rovaniemi, Finland
Photo by: Jani Laurila


You can’t talk about Santa Claus Village without talking about Santa. What was once just a small cabin atop on the Arctic Circle, has grown into an inclusive resort where you can meet Big Red every day of the year, Christmas included. After a meet-and-greet with Santa, hop in a reindeer-pulled sledge or spend an afternoon among yapping huskies. Venture underground and explore his grotto, SantaPark.

And don’t forget to stop by the Santa Claus Main Post Office, which receives more than half a million letters to Santa every single year!

Santa Claus Village sits about 8 kilometers north of downtown Rovaniemi. Over the decades, this town has grown from a modest northern village into a modern city, with all the conveniences, connections and culture you can expect. Downtown features three shopping centers, a town square that hosts markets, events and an ice-skating rink in winter, multiple public parks, and cafes on every other street. The Ounasvaara Ski Resort is less than 4km from Lordi Square in the heart of the city.

For travelers, downtown offers the most extensive network of services and providers in Lapland. There are Northern Lights safaris that will take you away from the city lights to give you the best chance of seeing the auroras. Or maybe you’re looking for a snowmobile excursion that lasts all day and night. Wilderness guides abound, who can take you into the trees and marshes for a taste of wild Lapland, summer, winter or any season. The people and service companies here have tapped our long history and our rich supply of local guides to offer true Arctic adventures.

Speaking of adventure, this urban outpost is in the heart of Lapland wilderness, part of the great taiga forest that stretches across northern Scandinavia and Russia. You need only take a few steps out of town to find room to breathe, space to move, and broad expanses.

In summer, hikers roam the hillsides and forests that wait only a few minutes’ walk from downtown. They wander up the side of Santavaara for the overlook that reminds you of exactly where you are—on top of the world. Or they spend a day exploring Arctic Circle Hiking Area. Swimmers laze in the gentle waters of the town’s dual rivers. Those looking for more speed hop on a jet ski and buzz around under the Midnight Sun.

Winter brings snow and ice to cover the land and fills the skies with auroras. The frosty weather and bright sunshine turn Santa’s hometown into the perfect place to ski for hundreds of kilometers. Children and parents alike delight at sledding down cityside fells and ice-skating in city parks. The real adventurers snow-shoe through vast and endless wilderness for a taste of life on the edge.


Travelers will find no end of things to do, watch, hear, experience and enjoy in Santa’s hometown.


Here are some must-have experiences for your visit to Santa Claus Village!

Santa Claus enjoys a cup of campfire coffee in Rovaniemi, Finland
Meet Santa Claus (of course)
Photo by: Jani Laurila
The Arctic Circle leading to Santa Claus Office in Santa Claus Village
Cross the Arctic Circle
Photo by: Santa Claus Office
The official Arctic Circle stamp, available only from the Santa Claus Main Post Office at Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Finland
Get the Arctic Circle stamp from Santa Claus Main Post Office
Photo by: Visit Finland
Sleeping in an aurora igloo
Sleep in an aurora igloo
Photo by: Visit Finland | Apukka Resort
A reindeer sleigh ride in Rovaniemi, Finland
Meet Santa's reindeer
Photo by: Visit Finland
Snowman World at Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Finland
Visit Snowman World
Photo by: Visit Finland | Snowman World
Campfire area at the Arctic Circle Hiking Area in Rovaniemi, Finland
Follow the elves' favorite trails at the Arctic Circle Hiking Area
Photo by: Metsähallitus | Jaakko Posti


  • Korundi House of Culture
  • City Theatre
  • Arktikum Science Museum & Arctic Center
Street-level culture in downtown Rovaniemi, Finland
Photo by: Lapland Material Bank | Inka Hyvonen
Korundi House of Culture in Rovaniemi, Finland
Photo by: Lapland Material Bank | Adam Eronen Piper
The Arktikum Science Museum and Arctic Center in Rovaniemi, Finland
Photo by: Lapland Material Bank
Northern Lights in winter in Rovaniemi, Finland
Photo by: Visit Finland | Arctic Light Hotel
Winter biking in Rovaniemi, Finland
Photo by: Visit Finland | Roll Outdoors


  • Northern Lights Tours
  • Arctic Circle Hiking Area
  • Events in Santa’s Hometown
Drone shot of a canoe on the Ounasjoki river in Rovaniemi, Finland - Looking for drone rules, laws & regulations for Finland?
Photo by: Sanni Vierelä

Have drone, will fly

Please note: we try to keep the below information up to date and accurate, but sometimes things change. Please verify the information before flying your drone.

It can be challenging to fly your drone in Rovaniemi for a few reasons. But it’s not impossible, especially if you do a bit of research and prep work. DroneInfo is the best source of information on flying in Finland. It’s written in a clear, user-friendly way. To fly a drone with a camera in Rovaniemi (and all of Finland), you must be registered. If you’re already registered in the EU, you don’t have to register again.

Drone insurance is not mandatory but is highly recommended.

Registering yourself and insuring your li’l flying buddy is only part of it. Rovaniemi houses both an airport and military base, which further restricts your ability to fly drones. Rovaniemi is split into restricted zones: A, B and C, with decreasing levels of restrictions. You can learn more and apply for permission to fly here, depending on which zone you’ll be in. Remember to submit with plenty of time for processing.


Award-winning luxury hotels. Aurora igloos. Five-star restaurants. Santa’s hometown has the sweet dreams and sweeter deserts your holiday deserves.


  • Arctic TreeHouse Hotel
  • Glass Igloos
  • Hotel Santa Claus
Northern Lights over the Arctic TreeHouse Hotel in Rovaniemi, Finland
Photo by: Visit Finland | Arctic TreeHouse Hotel
Fine dining in Rovaniemi, Finland
Photo by: Visit Finland | Arctic Light Hotel
Enjoying a meal in Rovaniemi, Finland
Photo by: Lapland Material Bank | Studio Artica


  • Restaurant Nili
  • Aitta Restaurant
  • Bear’s Den Restaurant


Map of Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland


As the most connected place in Lapland, Rovaniemi has an international airport with connections to other airports in Finland, Europe and the world at large. There is a bus terminal and train station with dozens of daily connections, both within walking distance of downtown.

Need more Santa Claus in your life?

Come meet Santa, explore the Arctic Circle and experience the culture of Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland.