Ranua Zoo and Wildlife Park in Rovaniemi specialises in arctic and northern animals. Here’s all the info for visiting this unique park.
How To Get To Ranua Zoo & Wildlife Park
Located on the outskirts of the small town of Ranua in Southern Lapland, Ranua Zoo is about 80km from Rovaniemi, along the main 78 road.
Most people choose to use public transport or book tours whilst visiting Finland, especially during the winter months.
There are regular buses from Rovaniemi to Ranua Zoo.
The journey takes about an hour and will cost roughly between €11 – €18.
If you do fancy driving yourself around, car hire is available at the airport and also in Rovaniemi.
It’s about an hours drive along the main 78 road from Rovaniemi to the Wildlife Park and there is free parking once you arrive.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are lots more tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
A popular tour is From Rovaniemi: Ranua Wildlife Park Visit which includes transportation, a knowledgeable guide to show you around and a buffet lunch.
Ranua Zoo & Wildlife Park Entrance Fee
Adults – €21.50
Children (4-14 years) – €17.00
Family – €65.00
Ranua Zoo & Wildlife Park Opening Times
1st September to 31st May: 10am – 4pm
1st June to 31st August: 10am – 6pm
Best Time To Visit Ranua Zoo & Wildlife Park + Tips
I would recommend visiting during the winter months when there is snow on the ground and these arctic animals are at their best.
Snow usually falls in Finland between the end of November and Mid April.
The Christmas holiday period and weekends are when the Zoo is at its busiest, so avoid these times if you prefer it less crowded.
Of course it is possible to visit during the summer, although many of the animals will hide away when the weather is very warm.
Wrap up warm if you visit, as we did, in the snow!
Also, the park trail slopes in places and can be slippery, so good shoes and take care.
Sledges are provided to pull younger children along the trail.
What To Pack
What To Expect At Ranua Zoo & Wildlife Park
Just south of the Arctic Circle and in a beautiful coniferous forest location, Ranua Zoo and Wildlife Park is home to a host of wildlife.
Opened in 1983, it specialises in approximately 50 different species of arctic animals. All of whom live in the most authentic and spacious environment possible.
The setting is beautiful and you follow a peaceful trail that meanders through the trees which, when we visited, were covered in glistening snow.
Along the 3km park trail, you can meet artic fox, snow owls, reindeer, wolves, moose, otters, beavers and many more arctic animals. Not forgetting Venus the famous polar bear!
(If you’re interested in learning more about how the artic wildlife has been used by the people that live here, the Arktikum Museum in Rovaniemi is a great option.)
During the winter months you might have to look carefully to spot some of the animals. They can be quite well camouflaged and some may actually be hibernating.
As well as all the wildlife, the park has plenty of attractions, including a Fazer chocolate shop, a wine shop and a restaurant.
Ranua Wildlife Park’s Wild Arctic Restaurant serves a lunch buffet from 11.00am to 4.00pm offering salads, soup and various main dishes.
Alternatively, you can purchase freshly made sandwiches and snacks to take around the trail with you.
There are also petting animals, mini carts, horse riding and play areas to keep the younger children entertained.
Ranua Zoo and Wildlife Park is a lovely place to spend a couple of peaceful hours, walking and spotting wildlife followed by a bite to eat and a drink.
If you prefer everything arranged for you the Ranua Wildlife Park Day: Visit the Arctic Animals is another tour that is very popular.
Where To Stay In Rovaniemi
Luxury – Santa’s Igloos Arctic Circle
Santa’s Igloos offer stylish glass-roofed igloos by the Arctic Circle, 5 miles from central Rovaniemi. WiFi and parking are both free.
All air-conditioned igloos at Santa’s Igloos Arctic Circle have a private bathroom with a rain shower. For extra comfort, sleeping masks, bathrobes and slippers are available. A flat-screen TV and electric kettle are also on offer in the rooms. Each igloo comes with a tablet through which guest can contact the reception and receive Northern Lights alarms.
Breakfast is available daily at the property.
Mid-Budget – Arctic Light Hotel
This boutique hotel is 5 miles from Rovaniemi Airport and Santa Claus Village. It features bright, ultra-modern rooms with individually themed décor. WiFi and parking are free.
A flat-screen TV, minibar and tea/coffee facilities are standard at Arctic Light Hotel. Bathrobes and slippers add extra comfort, and some rooms have their own kitchenette. Each room has a private bathroom with a hairdryer and a bath or shower.
Facilities at Arctic Light Hotel include a sauna, a terrace and a lounge bar. Finnish-American TV chef Sara La Fountain creates the healthy, energising breakfast. Staff at the 24-hour reception will gladly recommend local restaurants, attractions or activities.
Budget – Motelli Rovaniemi
Located in Rovaniemi, Motelli Rovaniemi provides air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi. With barbecue facilities, the property also features a garden. The property offers a shared lounge.
The units at the motel come with a flat-screen TV. Rooms are complete with a private bathroom and shower, while certain rooms at Motelli Rovaniemi also feature a terrace. All guest rooms will provide guests with a kitchen.
The accommodation offers a sun terrace.
For more places to stay in Rovaniemi, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.