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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in rovaniemi
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Rovaniemi is the capital of Finnish Lapland.
Razed to the ground by the Germans in the final days of World War II in 1944, today's Rovaniemi is a featureless expanse of concrete blocks, albeit one built on a slightly whimsical city plan intentionally shaped like reindeer antlers.
Rovaniemi Airport (http://www.ilmailulaitos.fi/airport_rovaniemi) (RVN) is the largest in northern Finland and also fields a limited number of international flights, mostly to northern Russian destinations like Murmansk. There are also direct charters during Christmastime.
Rovaniemi is the terminus of most trains from the south. The line only extends to Kemijarvi a little further northeast. The journey from Helsinki takes 9-12 hours and is reasonably comfortable in a sleeper. You can also take your car with you.
The Rollaattori city guide that can be bought at least from the railway station, is a must for younger or younger-minded travellers.
Most tourists come to Rovaniemi for precisely one thing:
The rebuilding of Rovaniemi after World War II was largely planned by famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto - particularly it's reindeer antler lay out. He also designed the Administrative and Cultural centre consisting of several buildings including the Lappia Hall (culture and congress centre), public library and city hall.
Various arctic safari companies, many of which are on the east bank of the river, can arrange all sorts of cold and snowy activities like snowmobile safaris and dog sledding.
Despite of being best known as a superficial themepark-like attraction for charter tourists around Christmastime, the town has the EU's northernmost university:
A traditional meal is sautéed reindeer (poronkaristys), consisting of reindeer meat cut in slices and stewed on a frying pan with butter and water. A "bowl" of mashed potatoes is made on the plate and filled with stewed meat. This is garnished with cranberry jam and slices of pickled cucumber. It's worth trying out once at least — you should be able to find this dish in most restaurants around town.
University canteens offer cheap alternatives (€2.5-5 per meal) but the meals are served only around noon.
The restaurant at the railway station is not bad or expensive either. Ask for student pizzas. In the city center next to Hotel Santa Claus are two decent kebab joints.
On the main central square (Sampoaukio) there is often a fisherman selling freshly catched and fried smallfish.