The Marvelous Lapland: How to visit Santa Claus and see the Northern Lights

Trip to Lapland to see Santa Claus

Every year during the Christmas vacations thousands of parents with their children go to Lapland to meet Santa Claus. Tours there offer many agencies and their price sometimes up to 10 000 euros for the trip. This year we also went to Lapland. In this photo report we will give some useful tips on how to go to Santa Claus on your own, how to organize a trip to Lapland, to get cheap and interesting. If you need help organizing a trip, contact us. Here you can see how we work and what our services cost.

You can get to Lappandia by plane, take a direct flight straight to Rovaniemi. This is the fastest way, but often quite expensive. The thing is that there are no regular flights, and you need to find tickets from tour operators, and they usually sell them for tours. You can try to find cheap tickets on regular flights with a connection in Helsinki. It’s also possible to get there by train. On a charter, which again you have to ask the tour operators, or on a regular with a connection in Helsinki. We chose the longest, but most interesting way, went to Lapland by car.

The roads in Finland are good, but slow. In the countryside, in general, allowed to drive no more than 80 km per hour, and in towns you can speed up only to 50. Plus 7 km. Anything after that is punishable by heavy fines. Traffic cameras, of which there are thousands in Finland, keep a vigilant eye on speeding. Information about violations is transmitted immediately to all border-crossing points. So when you leave Finland, you may get a nasty surprise. At first it is not easy to get used to such speed limits, but after a couple of hundred kilometers, life slows down a bit and you stop rushing anywhere.

The road to Lapland is very beautiful. There are signs everywhere and it is difficult to get lost. And what you should really be wary of is different forest animals that can appear on your way there unexpectedly. There are a lot of them and they walk everywhere they want. Add to this that in Finland, even during the day, you should always drive with dipped beam headlights, wear seat belts, children under 3 years old should be put in a car seat, talk on the phone only with “hands-free”, pedestrians everywhere, even in rural areas. And also it is strictly forbidden to use anti-radar devices. They are confiscated and not returned.

The town of Rovaniemi, which is lucky enough to host the guests of Santa Claus, is small. Attractions are the central square, where you can ride a slide for 7 euros and the museum “Arcticum”, which introduces visitors to life beyond the Arctic Circle and the Saami people.

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Here, most visitors to Lapland get acquainted with the northern lights. Video of this amazingly beautiful phenomenon is transmitted by projector to the screen, which is located on the ceiling in the mini-theater of the museum. In Rovaniemi and its suburbs it is almost unreal to see the real northern lights. In this area it is almost always cloudy. In addition to the museum, Rovaniemi has a museum of contemporary art, “Korundi”, the Marttijini Knife Factory, as well as several restaurants, shopping centers, and even a couple of nightclubs.

All the most interesting is located seven kilometers from Rovaniemi. Here on the border of the Arctic Circle there are two residences of Santa Claus: Santa village and Santa Park. Which one is the most important or the most important is not clear, but Santa Clauses live in both.

Santa Village is a village with restaurants, stores and a hotel. The most important facility is the house of Santa Claus. In order to get to meet Santa Claus, you have to stand in a long line.

You can talk to Santa for free. It is written on the signs in the house. But all communication takes no more than 1 minute and in the process of being photographed. The photo can be bought for 25 euro, and for 75 euro you can have it on the flash drive, with the video, as you walk up to Santa, sit down next to him and take the picture. Also before entering the room, you can pay for the gift that Santa will give to your child. It should be noted, the Finns do everything in good conscience. The picture you get is of high quality, beautiful, large, designed in a special cardboard box and packed in a Christmas bag-bag. In addition to meeting the cherished Santa, in the village you can feed and ride reindeer for 17 euro round. See how the real northern husky dogs live and ride through the snow-covered forest on a sleigh, and, of course, cross the Arctic Circle.

More fun in Santa Park, which is three kilometers from Santa Village. Here, guests pay only for admission, and inside all the entertainment is free for them. Adult ticket costs 33 euros, children 27.50. You go down into the cave, where Santa Claus and his helpers elves are waiting for you.

Ticket to the park is valid for 2 days. During this time, you can meet and be photographed for free with Santa, attend a lesson at the school elves, send letters from Santa’s mailbox, make your own elf, decorate gingerbread cookies, visit the ice cave to visit the Snow Princess, watch the show elves and go to a fairyland on a magic sleigh.

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You can find out the schedule of classes and shows right at the entrance. All the entertainment in the park is arranged in a circle. So it is impossible to get lost or miss something. If the only minus here is the huge queues. There are a lot of people. It gets a little bit easier around 4 o’clock in the afternoon. The park itself is open until 6 pm. So the best time to visit is from 3 to 6 pm. Coming to 3 pm, you can visit the lesson at the school of elves and watch their show, and enjoy all the other entertainment when the flow of tourists wanes.

It took us two days to visit all the main attractions in Rovaniemi. If you come here for longer, then, in principle, you will also have something to do. If you are a fan of winter entertainment, of course. They offer a large number of excursions, but at high prices. You can go on a snowmobile safari. For example, a family ride for 3 hours will cost 129 euros per adult and 65, 50 per child. Two-hour sled ride pulled by huskies costs from 105 euros, excursions to a reindeer farm from 140 euros per person. And many other excursions can offer you travel agencies, of which there are about a dozen in Rovaniemi.

Santa Claus Village Finland: Invitation to Joelupukki

Santa Claus Village Finland

Santa Claus Village in Finland is located near the small town of Rovaniemi. A small village called Joelupukki invites to visit the Finnish Santa Claus all year round. Fairytale Lapland is not only a place where you can see the northern lights, but also a permanent home of the real Santa Claus.

Santa Claus Village Finland

People no longer want to celebrate New Year’s Eve in tropical countries, but they tend to go to the snowy land of Santa’s homeland. Even teenagers who have long ago did not believe in Santa Claus, once in Lapland, will again believe in a fairy tale. They will want to write a letter to Finnish Santa Claus and enjoy the kaleidoscope of entertainment that this magical place has to offer.

Even if the celebration of New Year is planned in one of the ski resorts in Finland, to get to visit Santa Claus is very simple and does not take much time. From any city, you can buy a plane ticket and fly to Rovaniemi, and there, any public transport will take you to the fairy tale village in just 10 minutes.

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How to get there

Santa Claus Village Finland

The address of Santa Claus in Lapland is the village of Joelupukki, which is located 8 kilometers from the Finnish town of Rovaniemi. He is all 1,000 kilometers from the Russian border. From St. Petersburg, with a visa, you can get by train, plane or bus in just a few hours. First you need to get to the capital of Finland, then to Rovaniemi, and from there every hour there are buses.

In Rovaniemi there is an airport and railway station, so residents of St. Petersburg have the opportunity to take tickets to the village of Santa Claus directly. From the railway station in Rovaniemi you need to take a bus number 8. If tourists have decided to make a trip to Finland by car, then put the name of the village of Joelupukki in the navigator, and you will arrive just at the cottage of Santa.

History

Santa Claus Village

It is known for everyone that the real birthplace of Santa Claus is Lapland. It is said that this magical symbol of the New Year created the famous Northern Lights. The first tourist who visited this place was Eleanor Roosevelt. In her honor, the Finns built a hut, which can still be seen today.

To visit the village of Santa Claus is better in winter, but Santa Park and the elves are working there in the summer. After all, there are a lot of children on earth and everyone writes letters, which need to be processed and delivered to the destination. Santa reads every letter without exception, even if it was sent by e-mail.

Santa Claus’ summer home is located there in the village, just like the winter office, it began in 1950. There, volumes of books are crowded on the shelves, listing the rogue children of the entire country and the obedient children who receive gifts from Santa every year. Finnish Santa Claus is assisted by fairy tale elves. To get to this magical house, you have to go through the clockwork.

As a side note. In the village you can always go with a group, where the guide will talk about the history of the place, and buy memorable souvenirs. Be sure to write a letter from Lapland and send it to your family, the envelope will have the seal of the Arctic Circle on it.

Working hours, ticket prices

Visit Santa

Finnish Santa Claus welcomes visitors all year round, but there are days when you can not get into the village. To plan the trip, it is better to know the exact schedule of reception days:

  • September through the end of November: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • January 7 to the end of May: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • June through the end of August: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • December 1 to January 6 – enhanced schedule from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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Children under three years old can see the Finnish Santa Claus for free, adults will pay about $40, and children from three to 18 years old will pay $35. This cost includes not only meeting Santa Claus, but also a visit to Santa Park.

Letter to Santa Claus.

Santa Claus Post Office

In the village of Joelupukki, not far from Santa’s cabin, there is a post office that is crowded at all times of the year. Here you can write and send a letter anywhere in the world with a polar circle imprint, as well as leave a message for Santa Claus. Be sure to buy unique cards with wonderful landscapes of Lapland and the northern lights.

Santa Claus has helpers at the post office – fairy elves who will help you compose an interesting text. If a child is small and can’t write yet, the elves will write a letter for him in any language of the world. Each visitor will have the opportunity to have a photo shoot with all the villagers, get warm by the fireplace and watch the elves deliver the mail bags to Santa.

The residence of Santa Claus in Finland has an official website, where, too, every resident of the land has the opportunity to send a letter to Santa Claus electronically.

Write down the addresses of resources and be sure to send the cherished message:

  • santaclausvillage.info;
  • santaclausholidayvillage.fi.

A side note! Sending a single letter costs about $15. Remember, no matter what time of year the letter is written, if you put it in a red box, Santa will read it on Christmas Eve.

Winter fun

Santa's Winter Fun

Santa Park Rovaniemi is decorated as a fairyland. There will be interesting for people of all ages. There you can ride on the rides, visit the school of elves, take part in games and contests. Every child can visit a calligraphy writing class and Mrs. Claus’s bakery, which bakes fragrant cakes. You can not only taste the delicious gingerbread, but also participate in the process of making them.

Near Rovaniemi and on its territory there are many ski resorts. You can organize your vacation there, and visit Santa Claus on one of the days of his stay in Finland. If on vacation you forgot your outfit at home – no problem, you can buy it in any Finnish store.

Despite the fact that the village is open all year round, experienced tourists are advised to go there in the winter. Snow-covered paths and Christmas lights, as well as possible to emphasize the New Year’s Eve. Walking along the snow-covered paths, you unwittingly begin to believe in magic. The whole company can make snowmen and play hockey.

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Santa Claus has Fun in the Village

Village Joelupukki offers entertainment for all ages:

  • You can go ice skating on a frozen lake.
  • Ride snowmobiles, reindeer or dog sleds.
  • Visit ice houses and even have a tea party there.
  • Taste traditional Finnish cuisine.
  • Go ice fishing or take a Finnish sauna.

A side note. Every visitor to the fairy tale place should meet the reindeer of Santa Claus. They live not far from the house of the magical grandfather.

Stores and restaurants

Dress warmly if you visit Finland in winter time and after seeing the local sights, take a stroll through the stores. Everyone can buy New Year’s souvenirs at bargain prices.

Santa and his elves

If the kids visited the elf workshop, they can take all the handmade crafts with them. Be sure to buy Christmas decorations, pictures-slides with northern lights and delicacies of Finnish cuisine.

Remember that from December 25, it’s sale time throughout Finland and all stores are doing great discounts on all merchandise. Be sure to visit a few shopping places:

  1. Santa Claus Gift House Gallery, a huge gift shop where you can find gifts for all your relatives and friends.
  2. The Christmas House Mall, which has an original circular shape and many entrances and exits. There every customer plunges into the atmosphere of the holiday.
  3. Shop Number pavilion is a discount territory, where you can buy quality goods at a low price all year round.

There are countless cafes and restaurants in Santa Claus Village and beyond, where you can grab a bite to eat and even buy delicious gifts to take with you on the road.

Kotahovi Restaurant

We would like to remove special attention to the following eating places:

  1. The chic restaurant in the “Christmas House” offers dishes from all cuisines of the world. There you should try the original cocktails and fish delicacies. The restaurant works as a buffet. People are allowed to take their food outside and pack it with them.
  2. Kotahovi restaurant looks like a Sami hut. This place will surprise you with its interior and delicious food.
  3. In the bar “The World of Snowmen” all around and even the furniture is made of ice, so you can not have a long drink there, but the design of the pub attracts attention and everyone should visit it.

A side note! If you plan a trip with children, then all tourists must go to the restaurant Santamus. It is famous for a variety of desserts and there are many dishes created especially for children.

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