Known as Santa’s official North Pole residence, Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi is full of Christmas magic. Here’s the info for visiting.
How To Get To Santa Claus Village
Santa Claus Village is located about 8 km north of the capital city of Rovaniemi in Finland.
Most people choose to use public transport or book tours whilst visiting Finland, especially during the winter.
Bus number 8 runs regularly from Rovaniemi Railway Station to Santa Claus Village.
The journey takes about 20 minutes and a one way ticket is €3.60 adult/€1.80 child.
You can buy your tickets on the bus from the driver.
A taxi from Rovaniemi to Santa Claus Village will cost you around €25 – €30 euros.
If you do fancy driving yourself around, car hire is available at the airport and also in Rovaniemi. The drive is only 10 minutes from Rovaniemi along the main E75. There is free car parking when 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.
One of the more popular tours that takes you to Santa Claus Village is Rovaniemi: Reindeer, Huskies & Santa Claus Village .
Entrance Fee to Santa Claus Village
There is no entrance fee at Santa Claus Village.
There are various fees for different experiences in the village.
Opening Times Santa Claus Village
Open from 9am to 7pm every day, all year round.
Best Time To Visit Santa Claus Village + Tips
The perfect time to Visit Santa Claus Village and enjoy the most activities, is when there is snow on the ground and you can get the full magical experience.
Snow usually falls in Finland between the end of November and Mid April.
Obviously Christmas time is a great time to visit for a real Christmas vibe, although I’m pretty sure Santa Claus Village maintains a Christmasy feel all year round.
Also, the Christmas holidays are going to be the busiest time to visit Santa Claus Village, so you may want to avoid this time if you don’t like crowds.
Although the sledding activities are not available in the summer, there are still plenty of outdoor rides and activities available.
If you are hoping to see the Northern Lights whilst you are there, they are usually visible between late August and early April.
What To Pack
Things To Do At Santa Claus Village
You can’t go to Santa Claus Village and not meet the man himself.
It’s honestly one of the best things to do in Rovaniemi and people fly from all over the world to experience it.
Head for Christmas House where admission is free and you can sit and have a chat with the jolly big man.
Also, if you are very good, one of his friendly elves will happily take a photo to capture the moment. A great keepsake of this ‘once in a lifetime’ meeting!
Meet Mrs Claus
To see Mrs Santa Claus, you just pop across to the nearby beautiful, Christmas Cottage, located in the Reindeer Resort.
Surrounded by jolly elves, Mrs Santa Claus enjoys greeting visitors of all ages and sharing her stories about lapland.
If you like meeting the elves the Elf Hat Academy in Santa’s Village might also be fun, especially for children and the young at heart!
Mrs Santa Claus is available to meet with you daily from 1st November to 31st March between 11am and 5pm.
Meeting Santa Claus and Mrs Santa Claus is not to be missed and a fun thing to do whilst visiting the Santa Claus Village.
Visit Santa Claus Main Post Office
Also, don’t miss the Santa Claus Main Post Office. The perfect place to buy a souvenir or sit and write greetings to send home – whatever the time of year!
Once you have chosen what to send and written your messages, the Postal Elves will post your mail for you!
Moreover, if you visit in the summer and want your messages to be held until Christmas, the Postal Elves will put them into a special post box. They then get posted close to Christmas.
Stamped with the special Arctic Circle postmark, I’m sure your friends and family will love receiving your Christmas greetings.
Feed Santa’s Reindeer
Getting up close to these beautiful, gentle animals is an absolute treat. Certainly one of the best things I did during my stay in Rovaniemi.
Costing €5, the visits are available non-stop throughout the day and do not require any pre booking. For this, you get to meet the reindeer and their calves, pet them and feed them.
Reindeers favourite food is lichen and they are very happy to let you feed them this and take photos.
In addition, a friendly and knowledgeable guide will chat to you about the reindeer and reindeer herding.
So, don’t miss out on this lovely activity whilst visiting Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi.
Additionally, if you enjoy meeting the local wildlife, the Ranua Zoo and Wildlife Park in Rovaniemi is home to lots of arctic animals. All of whom live in a beautifully authentic and spacious environment.
Take A Reindeer Sled Ride
During the winter months, it’s possible to have the magical experience of a reindeer sled ride through the snow covered trees at Santa Claus Village.
Prices vary depending on the length of your ride. This is great if you are on a budget as you can opt for the shorter ride to save money but still get to enjoy the experience.
It’s also possible to get a reindeer driving license and a certificate of crossing the Arctic Circle. A great souvenir of your ride and visit, especially for all the families with young children.
Other activities available at Santa Claus Village include, husky sled rides, snowmobile rides, a Magic Train ride and much more.
Visit The Moomin Shop
Santa Claus Village has a variety of shops selling handicrafts, popular Finnish brands as well as a shop selling everything Moomin!
The Moomin Shop was a real treat for me, as I am somewhat of a fan of this cute little troll family that have large noses.
These lovable characters are featured in a book series and also a comic strip by Swedish-Finn writer and illustrator Tove Jansson.
The Moomin shop in Santa Claus Village is overflowing with Moomin toys, mugs, stationary, gifts and everything Moomin. There really is something for everyone.
So, if you are a Moomin fan like me, a visit to the Moomin shop has to be one of the highlights Santa Claus Village.
Learn About The Arctic Circle
The Arctic Circle is an imaginary circle around the North Pole and the northern most part of the planet.
It covers parts of eight different countries – Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and the United States.
To learn more about the Arctic circle and get yourself a photo actually crossing the geographical line, just go to the front of Santa Claus’ Office!
If you prefer everything arranged for you, the Santa Claus Village and Arctic Circle tour takes you to meet Santa Claus, cross the Arctic Circle line and enjoy a Lappish-style buffet lunch.
Also, you are really interested in learning more about this are the Arktikum Museum in Rovaniemi is a great option.
Dine In An Igloo
For a unique dining experience you can have dinner in one of the cosy glass igloos, located on the terrace of the Three Elves Restaurant.
The igloos are available to book from the beginning of September to the end of April every day, at 2pm, 5pm and and 8pm. (Maximum stay 2.5 hours.)
The restaurant serves a variety of local food, including reindeer burgers, grilled salmon, beetroot/cauliflower stew. As well as some delicious desserts like Lapland squeaky cheese or chocolate fondue.
With great views of the starry night sky, you might even get a glimpse of the famous Northern Lights whilst enjoying your meal.
There are also plenty of cosy restaurants and bars to stop and enjoy some delicious local food and drink.
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.