Santa Claus is everyone’s favourite childhood figure, until that fateful day when someone tells you that *Spoiler Alert* Santa is not real. Still, what is Christmas without the image of a bearded man in red giving out presents to happy children? Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi is a place where children and grown-ups get to relive their childhood dream of meeting Santa Claus.
28 Oct 18
Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi – Hometown of Santa
Finland is the official (tourism) hometown of Santa Claus. A trip to Finland is incomplete without a visit to Santa Claus Village. We got the chance to visit Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi last year when we visited Finland.
How to get to Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi
Located in Rovaniemi, capital of Lapland, one can get to Rovaniemi by plane or by train.
For us, we arrived in Helsinki and took the overnight Santa Claus Express Night Train to Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi. We stayed one night in the Santa’s Igloos Arctic Circle, located within Santa Claus Village. The hotel provided free transfer from Rovaniemi Station to the hotel.
Otherwise, one can easily take a bus from Rovaniemi Station to Santa Claus Village.
More information can be found on Santa Claus Office’s website, where one can even opt to visit Santa by reindeer or by snowmobile.
Things to do in Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi
Although we stayed next to Santa Claus Village, we only managed to spend a day there. There are actually quite a few things to do in Santa Claus Village so at least allocate a day to spend there.
Meet Santa Claus
The most obvious thing to do in Santa Claus Village is, of course, to visit Santa! HO HO HO! The admission to Santa Claus Village is free but everything else costs money. The building where Santa Claus is in is very Christmasly decorated and shows how presents are made. To take a photo with Santa, we queued for about 25 mins. We weren’t allowed to take photos with our camera or phones. When it was our turn, Santa greeted us warmly and had a small talk with us while the crew took a video and some photos of us. We were surprised by how friendly Santa was and the cost of getting our photos taken!
- EUR25: one 5″ x 7″ photo
- EUR40: digital photos + video recording package
Being true heart tourists, we bought the soft copies package and was given a code to download them when we get back home.
Snowmobile, Reindeer & Husky Safaris
There are many tours one can take from Santa Claus Village. Since we went in November, most of the tours weren’t available as the snow wasn’t thick enough. However, if you are going to Santa Claus Village later in December, you can get to experience the safaris by joining a tour.
Within the village, there are also options to feed a reindeer for EUR5, ride on a reindeer sleigh for EUR30 and visit the husky park for EUR10 (excluding a ride).
Send a Post Card from Santa’s Office
What better proof of visiting Santa’s hometown than to send a postcard from Santa’s office? We spent a good amount of time writing postcards to our friends, families and ourselves! There are options of sending the postcard on the day itself or on Christmas day!
HAN-dy tip: When buying postcards, remember to choose those with “Santa Claus Village” stamp. Otherwise, asking for the stamp at the post office will incur a fee.
Crossing the Arctic Circle
“The Arctic Circle is a circle of latitude that runs 66°33′45.9″ north of the Equator. It marks the southernmost latitude where the sun can stay continuously below or above the horizon for 24 hours – these phenomena are known as the Midnight Sun in the summer and the Polar Night (“Kaamos”) in the winter.” -info via santaclausvillage.info
Santa Claus Village is situated on the Arctic circle, where a line is clearly marked to indicate the Arctic Circle. We had fun taking photos of us crossing the Arctic Circle and then purchasing a certificate to mark the joyous feat!
HAN-dy tip: Some other Lapland tours are inclusive of “Arctic Circle Crossing” certificate so it might not be necessary to purchase the certificate at Santa Claus Village.
Shopping for Christmas Themed Souvenirs
Santa Village Rovaniemi is filled with shops that sell Finnish and Christmas souvenirs. Some of the shops sell winter clothing, particularly useful if one is underdressed for Lapland. To be honest, most of the shops are selling similar stuff and like everything else in Finland, they are not exactly cheap. Nevertheless, it is a good place to do some souvenir and Christmas shopping. We got our traditional Finnish cups there and they were the cheapest we have seen in Finland.
Learn More About Christmas
Another place to meet Santa is in the Christmas House where there’s is an exhibition which features Christmas traditions from all over the world. Admission is free but photo taking is at a fee. For guests staying at Santa Claus Holiday Village, it is possible to reserve a cabin that includes a visit by Santa! Click here for more details.
Feast at Santa’s Salmon Place
Okay, not exactly a thing to do at Santa Claus Village but rather a thing you must do if you are in Santa Claus Village! Santa’s Salmon Place only serves one main dish and that is all you will need! The fresh salmon that was cooked in open fire was like an early gift from Santa to us. Perfectly grilled whilst retaining the juicy and tender meat of the salmon. Best salmon ever! If there is one thing I have to do when I go back to Santa Claus Village, it would be to try this delicious dish again. Read here for our tasty meal at Santa’s Salmon Place.
During our trip to Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi, we were lucky to catch the opening of the Christmas event. There was a live concert and there were Christmas decorations everywhere. However, due to the lack of snow (no lack of cold though), we weren’t able to join the safaris. We had fun at Santa Claus Village even though it is Santa’s very commercialised hometown. Overall, it is a good place for families to immerse in the festive season. However, probably one visit is sufficient, unless, you are going for the salmon at Santa’s Salmon place.
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