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The Ultimate Guide To Christmas in Lapland [2019]

Written by:
Cazzy Magennis
/
Last updated:
November 12, 2019
Travel stories
Thinking of visiting Lapland this Christmas season? It's magical with so much to do and see. Check out my guide to Christmas in Lapland for all you need...
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christmas in lapland
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I know what you’re thinking, what could possibly be more christmassy than Christmas in Lapland?! Thankfully the Christmas season in Lapland actually runs all year around, but if you want snow, and that christmassy vibe, then christmas in Lapland is best experienced in November to December. 

So, sit back, relax and enjoy my guide to the ultimate Christmas in Lapland which will take you through the best places to visit in Lapland during Christmas, the best things to do in Lapland at Christmas and where to stay during Christmas in Lapland! 

When does Christmas start in Lapland?

As mentioned before the best season to experience Christmas in Lapland is definitely during November to December. November is a great season because the Christmas season is declared opened in Rovaniemi and all things Christmas related start to emerge. 

Also, you’ll have lots of snow which makes it even more awesome. 

Obviously this is one of the most peak times to visit Lapland, so you’ll need to plan in advance to avoid disappointment. 

The Santa Clause Village in Rovaniemi (the official home town of Santa Claus) declares the start of the Christmas season in Lapland every year.

Where is the best place to stay for Christmas in Lapland? 

There are so many amazing places to stay to experience Christmas in Lapland and below I run you through some of my favourites. Remember as mentioned before, this is peak tourist season in November and December, so if you want to stay in these awesome hotels in Lapland, then you’re going to need to book in advance. 

The Arctic Treehouse Hotel in Rovaniemi 

This is a wonderful place to stay in Rovaniemi with children thanks to its proximity to Santa Park (it’s on site!)it's not far from the airport, it’s close to Santa Claus Village and it’s got one of the most awesome hotel designs in the world: you’re staying in an ultra luxury treehouse! 

We actually had the chance to stay there which you can read all about here. But if you want to go ahead and check out prices and how to book then click here!

trreehouse hotel

Northern Lights Ranch, near Levi 

The Northern Lights Ranch is a hotel experience like no other. The accommodation is in the form of “Aurora Cabins” which gives you the best chance to see the Northern Lights from your room, but not only that, there is the chance to book a cabin with a Jacuzzi outside and when you’re surrounded with snow in a Jacuzzi, it’s amazing.

Plus they have the best on-site chef I’ve ever experienced, and I would stay there for the food alone. OH and they have an Ice church ...how awesome is that. 

It’s SUPER christmassy and of the best places I’ve experienced in my life! 

You can read about our stay here and go ahead and book that amazing stay at the Northern Lights Ranch right here!

nthn lghts anch

Pyhan Astelli Igloos in Pyhä

Looking for a unique igloo stay in a beautiful part of Lapland? Then this place is a gem. The igloos and aurora cabins on offer are modern, cosy, comfortable and just amazing. The resort of Pyha itself is awesome and super Christmassy. It’s a great spot for families and couples. 

Check out our stay here OR go ahead and get your amazing igloo booked right here. 

These are some of my favourite stays and if you’re looking for the best place to stay in Lapland at Christmas, I’m not sure I can choose between them all. I think if you manage to snag of those above properties, then you’re going to be in for a real Christmas treat! 

pyhan astll

Snow Hotel and Glass Igloos outside Rovaniemi 

The Snow Hotel is exactly what it says on the tin, a hotel made out of snow that you can actually sleep in. It’s awesome! Or if you fancy staying in something a little warmer, you can stay in their glass igloos, (which Brad and I did) and be in with a chance of seeing the Northern Lights from your room. 

Book your stay here. 

arctic snow hotel and iglos

Where are the best places to visit to experience Christmas in Lapland? 

There are lots of amazing places in Lapland that will give you those Christmas vibes. Actually when the place is covered in snow, every single area is Christmasy, but to help you narrow it down, here are some of my favourite areas. 

Rovaniemi 

Well, we have to start here, because it’s the home of Santa Claus and the tourist hotspot of Christmas and Lapland. Rovaniemi is great for families as there is SO much to do.

My favourite places include a visit to Santa Claus village and Santa Park for the chance to meet Mr Claus himself, try your hand at Elf School and of course post your letter to Santa Claus at the official Santa Claus post office...

Levi 

Levi is another amazing place in Lapland that’s very Christmassy. It’s a tourist hotspot for it’s access to skiing, so if you love to ski, then you’re going to love Levi. Not only that, it’s home to one of the most epic Ice hotels in the world, for a couple of years it was actually Game of Thrones themed and looked amazing. You can even stay there too. (It’s going to be cold!)

Pyha 

This is another great place in Lapland for those Christmas in Lapland vibes. There a beautiful national park to explore and lots of opportunities for skiing with two ski resorts! It’s also a great spot to find the Northern Lights thanks to the reduced light pollution. 

Salla

Salla is another great place in Lapland that’s super Christmassy. There is a ski resort for keen skiers and they have a really cool reindeer farm that Brad and I visited. They can also arrange husky tours, so basically you can experience all the great things to do in Lapland here too. 

What are the most Christmassy things to do in Lapland? 

Oh there are so many amazing things to do in Lapland that ooze that Christmas vibe and below I take you through my favourites, most tried and tested!

1. Hunt for the Northern lights 

When you visit Lapland at Christmas, you’ll still have the chance to see the epic phenomenon that is the Northern Lights. Some tips for seeing the lights: 

  • You’ll need to escape light pollution, so if you’re staying in Rovaniemi, spend a night just outside at the Snow Hotel and Glass Igloos resort a higher chance to see the lights. 
  • Go on a Northern Lights Tour as they’ll know all the best spots with less light pollution to give you a higher chance. I can recommend Wild About Lapland. 
  • Download an Aurora app which will help give you the KP index needed for seeing the Northern Lights. In Finland you need a KP index of 3. 
nthn lghts

2. Dine at a Snow Hotel 

Speaking of Snow Hotels in Rovaniemi, even if you don’t want to stay there, you can still experience what it’s like to eat in a Snow Hotel which is pretty awesome! This is one of those bucket list experiences and unique things to do at Christmas in Lapland. 

3. Take a Husky Ride 

Imagine meeting lots of amazing and loving husky dogs then going for a ride with them in the snow. That’s the ultimate lapland dream. What I will say is that you should choose a Husky company that’s ethical, so therefore I choose BearHill Husky who are just awesome! 

You can read all about our experience with huskies right here. 

4. Head out on a snowmobile 

When the snow covers the ground in Lapland, one of the great experiences is to hit the roads on a snowmobile. Perfect for adrenaline junkies and possible all around Lapland. 

Book your adventure here. 

5. Visit Santa Park and Santa Claus Village

Santa Park is located in Rovaniemi and gives adults and children the chance to meet Santa, attend Elf School (and graduate), make gingerbread cookies and so much more. Anything you can think of associated with Christmas and it will be at Santa Park. Yes I went, because I am a child at heart! 

santa clas vllag

6. Visit a Reindeer Farm and experience a sleigh ride 

What could possibly be more Christmassy than meeting Santa’s reindeer and a sleigh ride? I really don’t know! Well that’s totally possible in Lapland. You can do that in a variety of spots in Lapland including Salla and Rovaniemi. 

Actually this tour is a great one from Rovaniemi that you can book here. 

7. Dig for your own Amethyst at the Amethyst Mine 

This was one of the coolest things I did in Lapland and it’s a great way to dig a unique Christmas gift! Basically it’s one of the unique mine in the world that allows you to dig your own amethyst and take a piece home with you. You can read all about our experience here. 

If you’re coming from Rovaniemi you can book with this tour which includes your transportation, lunch and your entrance ticket. 

8. Visit the Arctic Animals at Ranua Wildlife Park 

The most Northernmost zoo in the world and the ONLY place you can see polar bears in Finland. This is a pretty awesome experience, and relatively cheap for Finland standards. You’ll see lots of arctic animals at this wildlife park. 

Just a note, they don’t have any lights for the comfort of the animals, so if you visit after 2pm (when the sun sets) you’ll need to bring your own torch or rent one. 

You can book a tour from Rovaniemi right here. 

Where is the best place to see Santa in Lapland?

Without doubt, the best place to see Santa in Lapland in Rovaniemi, because that’s where he lives. You can guarantee he is there! He’s always hanging around the Santa Claus Village, and he’s always happy to meet children and adults. 

So if you’re looking for the best Lapland Santa experience then you’re best bet is to go to Rovaniemi. 

Santa!

How do I get to Lapland? 

So Lapland is a region in Scandinavia, and it covers both Finland and Sweden. In this blog post we are talking about Finland and the easiest starting point for a Lapland holiday is to fly to Rovaniemi.

You can get direct flights from the UK and other European countries and I recommend you use Skyscanner to search for the best flights. 

How long should I spend for Christmas in Lapland? 

Lots of people do “one-day” trip to Lapland and I can understand why (it’s probably cheaper), but you will not get to experience the true Lapland at Christmas atmosphere.

I won’t lie to you, a trip to Lapland at Christmas isn’t cheap and you should only go if you can afford to do it. It’s the type of trip that you do once and you do it right. It’s truly a bucket list holiday. 

So, with that being said, I would suggest around 3 nights to fully experience Lapland at Christmas. This will give you a chance to visit the hotspots of Rovaniemi, the ski resorts of Pyhan, and more.

Of course the longer you have, the more you can see, but 3 nights in a reasonable amount and will leave you with amazing memories to last a lifetime. 

Why not gift someone an experience in Lapland with Tinggly? 

I think this is a great chance to mention Tinggly, the awesome gift giving experience company. You can gift people experiences as a Christmas gift this year and these are some of my favourite gift ideas they offer in Lapland…

  • A 2 night overnight stay for two with breakfast in an awesome glass igloo under their “bucket list experience package”. Check it here.
  • Two Hour Snowmobile ride in Rovaniemi with the purchase of their “Christmas gift box”. Check it here. 

Oh and what I really love about Tinggly, apart from the fact you’re gifting an experience, is that all their experiences come with a co2 offset of 200%!

So there you have it, my ultimate guide to Christmas in Lapland. I hope this post has gotten you into the Christmas spirit or helped you book that amazing Lapland holiday. If you’ve got any other suggestions or simply want to ask a question, then please drop us a comment on this post. 

Happy travels! 

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