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Rovaniemi

Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in rovaniemi

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January in Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi is the capital of Finnish Lapland.

rovaniemi Travel Guide :

Rovaniemi

Understand

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

Get in

Rovaniemi

By plane

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 MurmanskMurmansk. There are also direct charters during Christmastime.

Rovaniemi

By train

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.

Rovaniemi

Get around

The Rollaattori city guide that can be bought at least from the railway station, is a must for younger or younger-minded travellers.

Rovaniemi

See

Most tourists come to Rovaniemi for precisely one thing:

  • Santa Claus Village, 8 km north of Rovaniemi right on the Arctic Circle, 1 (http://www.santaclausvillage.info/eng/main.htm). A tourist trap if there ever was one, but few tourists can miss the chance to meet Santa himself. Apart from meeting the man, there are also other attractions like small-scale sledding hills for kids. The village hosts also several safari companies organising different types of activities. During dark times the village has nicely lit ice sculptures. Bus number 8 goes from town to the village.

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.

  • Arktikum. Pohjoisranta 4, tel. 016 322 3260, 2 (http://www.arktikum.fi/index_eng.html). One of the best museums and science centers in Finland, focusing on life in Lapland through the ages. Admission ? 11, open 10 AM-5 PM daily (but closed Monday in winter).
  • Log Train Terminal, about a kilometer west from the train station. Might be worth of seeing during dark times, as the cranes that lift the logs have lights on their arms. Climb to the opposite hill and sit on the fence for a nice view.
  • German Soldier Cemetary, Norvajarvi (19km northeast from Rovaniemi). Constructed of large stone blocks and located virtually in the middle of nowhere it might be of interest to some. During autumn one can eat berries on the way.
  • 14 devil's churns, including three very deep ones, can be found from Sukulanrakka slopes on the island of Rautiosaari, (22km south from Rovaniemi, turn right from the road 926).
Rovaniemi

Do

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.

Rovaniemi

Learn

Despite of being best known as a superficial themepark-like attraction for charter tourists around Christmastime, the town has the EU's northernmost university:

  • University of Lapland, 3 (http://www.ulapland.fi/). Slightly below 5000 students, of which ~200 are international exchange students.
Rovaniemi

Buy

Rovaniemi

Eat

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.

Rovaniemi

Budget

University canteens offer cheap alternatives (€2.5-5 per meal) but the meals are served only around noon.

  • Rotko, Faculty of Art & Design (red-yellowish building). University canteen conveniently located right opposite the railway station.

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.

  • Meidan Kebab
  • Haruno Pizza & Kebab. Also serves pizza.

On the main central square (Sampoaukio) there is often a fisherman selling freshly catched and fried smallfish.

Rovaniemi

Drink

  • Nite Train, right next to Hotel Santa Claus. A popular high-school-age joint.
  • Tivoli, a few hundred meters from Hotel Santa Claus to the same direction as Nite Train. Attracts a bit more older crowd and has occasional live acts.
  • Pub Tupsu, located in the vicinity of both Rovaniemi Theatre and University Theatre. A favorite of bohemian art school kids and middle-aged alcoholics. Has good happy hour beer offers.
  • Paha Kurki, located opposite to the safari company offices near the river. Notable rock-ish beerhouse.
Rovaniemi

Sleep

  • UniHostel, Ratakatu 6 (booking office), tel. +35816347950, 4 (http://www.das.fi/?deptid=10229), ran by the university housing association offers cheap accomodation about three kilometers away from the city center.
  • Camping site is on the other side of the river and has a nice view to the city.
  • There is a cheap small boarding house in the immediate vicinity of the railway station. From the railway station, go trough the yard of the red-yellowish university building, find a small walking road that goes uphill. Turn left to the bigger road and walk 25 meters.
Rovaniemi

Get out

Rovaniemi

External links


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