Ever since its founding in 1453, the quaint and picturesque city of Rovaniemi has been growing, expanding, and staking its claim in the nation’s budding tourism sector; however, it’s important to note the city’s humble beginnings before investigating the present-day landscape.
So, let’s take a closer look at Rovaniemi’s interesting origins and history, and at the main Rovaniemi Attractions.
The Sami people, who are colloquially referred to as Lapps or Laplanders, belong to an indigenous Scandinavian group comprising the vast majority of Rovaniemi’s bloodlines, which is why the local customs and societal norms are firmly rooted in Saamic ideologies and beliefs. They traditionally engage in herding reindeer.
During the 1450s, the Rovaniemi region revolved entirely around small villages, animal husbandry farms, and numerous agricultural hubs, although fishing and hunting were also very common. However, it took approximately 300 years for Rovaniemi to rise to prominence, and most of its growth and expansion took place during the 1800s.
Throughout the 19th century, the Lapland province underwent seismic economic shifts due to the development of extensive logging sites, mineral mining businesses, and other lucrative ventures supported by the region’s abundant natural resources. As a result, Rovaniemi quickly became the foremost commercial center of the Lapland province, and continues to hold the title to this day.
Due to its rare geographical location in Northern Finland and unique topographical features, the region surrounding Rovaniemi has remained relatively untouched and unspoiled for many centuries.
Consequently, this quaint city has an inimitable blend of traditionalism and modernity, which has sparked a significant increase in touristic activity, with over 500,000 international visitors arriving during the past year alone.
Rovaniemi Attractions: Why Travel to Rovaniemi?
Regardless of whether you wish to engage in exciting nature tours, instructive museum trips, riveting nighttime jaunts, or lively shopping excursions, Rovaniemi’s tourism industry truly has something in store for everyone; however, as any experienced jetsetter will tell you, it is important to highlight the most popular attractions. You will want to focus on the following activities:
The Ice Breaker Cruise: A convenient shuttle bus will pick you up from Rovaniemi, Kemi, or Levi and bring you directly to the Polar Explorer’s official dock, at which point you’ll board the largest touristic Ice Breaker in the world. During the breath-taking three-hour tour, you’ll be able to see the expansive Bothnian Bay in all its glory, see amazing ice-crushing displays, and even don a flotation-survival suite before swimming in the bay’s icy waters. This unique icebreaker cruise is an excursion you simply cannot miss.
Santa Claus Village: As the primary residence of St. Nick and all of his helpers Elves, this Christmas-themed amusement park is consistently one of the biggest draws in all of Lapland. From the opulent onsite eateries and sumptuous shops to the ubiquitous elf shows and exciting sleigh rides, the world-renowned Santa Claus Village is a winter wonderland – and not only for children.
Arktikum Science Museum: Located in the heart of Rovaniemi on the shores of the Kemijoki River, you’ll find a remarkable museum with some of the most incredible infrastructural designs and exhibits in the world. The building materials include granite and pine wood. The most visually impressive section of the Arktikum facility is the 172-metre-long glass corridor that serves as the “Gateway to the North.”
If you wish to visit more Finnish cities and areas, Read about Finnish Lapland main attractions- here.