Guide with useful tips for traveling to Lapland in Finland

We have all dreamed of visiting the huge and immense snowy landscapes of countries like Finland .

It is known as the Country of the Thousand Lakes , the reindeer and the house of Papa Noël , and one of the few places in the world where the high season of tourism is in winter, when temperatures are below zero.

Snowy landscapes in Kemi in Finnish Lapland
Snowy landscapes in Kemi in Finnish Lapland


enjoy the activities that can be done in this environment of large landscapes covered with snow.

Huskies in Ruka in Lapland of Finland
Huskies in Ruka in Lapland of Finland

Tips for your trip to Finland

If you are thinking of traveling to Finland , we will explain everything you need to know to organize your perfect trip.

Flights to Finland

Most trips to Finland begin when you fly to the country’s main airport in Helsinki , where you can arrive with one of the best European flag lines, Finnair .

In one of the airports in the world with more air traffic, since the aforementioned Finnair uses it as a platform for many of the long distance trips to Asia, as it is one of the companies that offers the most routes to that destination.

Therefore, the most normal thing is that when you travel to Finland you pass through this airport, and that is why many trips include small stays in Helsinki, either at the beginning of it or when returning.

Finnair company to fly to Finland
Finnair company to fly to Finland

From Helsinki, different flights to Lapland and the remains of cities in Finland, on routes covered by the aforementioned Finnair.

As a practical fact, you have to know that if you go skiing, Finnair does not charge anything for taking the ski equipment as extra luggage.

This is easy to understand given how common the use of skis is in Finland: you only have to specify it when buying the flight.

In the face of your trip, these tips will also be useful to hire your flight . 

Travel with agency to Finland

There are certain types of trips like this that for logistics there are people who prefer to hire them with agencies.

A very important part of the travelers who come to Finland are families attracted by nature and especially by Pope Christmas.

National park in Ruka in Lapland Finland
National park in Ruka in Lapland Finland

Al in winter completely snowed, it is not easy to move around this country, you must have a vehicle properly equipped for winter driving, and as a driver you must know how to drive on snow.

That is why most visitors prefer to let an agency organize their trip.

In these trips you can go alone or in a group depending on what you prefer.

For those who like to travel but do not have time or desire to organize it yourself, we have been able to verify that it is a very good option.

Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi in Lapland Finland
Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi in Lapland Finland

Excursions in Finnish Lapland

If on the contrary you are one of those who like to organize your own trip, you have to know that excluding Helsinki , similar excursions are offered in most cities of Lapland .

The best way to enjoy this country in winter is to participate in the most varied activities in the snow that you have at your disposal, which recreate the life of the Finns.

Excursions driving snowmobiles, safaris to see northern lights or sleigh tours by dogs or reindeer are the most demanded.

Snowmobile in Ruka in Lapland Finland
Snowmobile in Ruka in Lapland Finland

Transfers from the airport

When you arrive at the airports, removing Helsinki, you will notice that they are small airstrips in quite remote areas.

To go by public transport, there are usually buses waiting for the planes at the airport exit, and you just have to go out and buy the ticket when entering the bus.

You also have taxis, being the usual large vans with capacity for more than 6 people with large suitcases.

However, in the case of Helsinki, the most convenient option is to contract the transfer from the airport to the city center before traveling .

When your flight arrives they will be waiting for you at the airport, and in comfortable private transportation they will take you directly to your hotel.

Helsinki in winter in Finland
Helsinki in winter in Finland

What cities to visit in Finland?

Many are those who want to travel to Finland to see its beautiful snowy landscapes, but … where am I going?

You have to know that depending on the city you choose, what varies most is the natural environment in which you find and the type of accommodation.

The activities are more or less the same, although it must be said that in less touristy areas they tend to be more authentic and wild .


The big capital, Helsinki , is the most visited city in Finland as well as being a way of passage to the rest of the country, it is also a cruise on the Baltic in summer.

Helsinki Cathedral in Finlancia
Helsinki Cathedral in Finlancia

When you walk through its streets with tall buildings, you will see that it maintains a style typical of a country that was part of Russia for many years.

It is an authentic city that is nothing like the rest of Finland, it is located in the southernmost part of the country and it is where you will find the least snow.

Shops, restaurants, large hotels, huge churches and streets full of trams is what the capital of the country offers.

Our recommendation is to book one or two days to get to know Helsinki, although in our opinion the most beautiful part of the country is not in its capital.


Rovaniemi is the most tourist city in the Lapland region and is where one of the main attractions of the country, the house of Santa Claus .

Arktikum Museum in Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland
Arktikum Museum in Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland

Although not large, Rovaniemi is the most important city in Finnish Lapland.

In this city there is also the Arktikum museum , the most interesting in the area where you can discover the history of the inhabitants of this special region located in the Arctic Circle .


Kusi means fir in Finnish, hence the name of the city Kuusamo .

It is one of the most visited areas of Lapland but not overcrowded, and the city is small in size, where the cabins that stretch through the forest stand out.

It is one of the most tranquil and authentic areas of the country, where you can only fly with Finnair , and where you will stay in an establishment with a central resort and wooden villas or cabins in its surroundings.

Bathing in the river in Kuusamo in Lapland Finland
Bathing in the river in Kuusamo in Lapland Finland

From there all the excursions leave.


Ruka , in the Kuusamo region, is the area located around the most important ski resort in the region.

Despite the abundance of snow, Finland is a country with very few slopes, so most ski resorts are small but, yes, they have very long cross-country ski trails .

There are hundreds of kilometers that you can go cross-country skiing , to such an extent that most cities join together with this type of trails used by snowmobiles and skiers.

In Ruka it is also where some of the most exclusive traditional huts wooden country, so it is a place where many famous athletes go on vacation.

National park in Ruka in Lapland Finland
National park in Ruka in Lapland Finland

In this area you can not only practice skiing, but you can also do all the snow-related excursions, including snowshoe trekking through a beautiful national park.


Kemi is a very small city that has two main attractions that are unique.

In this city is the Snowcastle , a resort  that includes an ice hotel where you can sleep or eat in a restaurant at temperatures below zero, as well as luxurious glass villas .

But perhaps the most exclusive excursion you can do in Kemi is to embark on the Sampo icebreaker cruise .

I’ll tell you that the only icebreaker in the world where you can take a trip with a duration of up to four hours.

Icebreaker cruise Sampo in Kemi in Lapland Norway
Icebreaker cruise Sampo in Kemi in Lapland Norway

It is worth the visit to the city just to sail on the frozen sea aboard this impressive icebreaker , and to make ice floating , that is, to bathe in the sea with a special suit.

What activities to do in Finland?

Finland must be discovered living the daily life of its inhabitants, and for that the best thing is to sign up to some of the varied activities that can be done in the snow.

In any case, below I will highlight two of the most popular activities among those who travel to Finland in winter.

Aurora borealis in Kuusamo in Finnish Lapland
Aurora borealis in Kuusamo in Finnish Lapland

How to see northern lights in Lapland Finland

There are many travelers who decide to travel to the Nordic countries in search of an experience that can only be experienced in very few places in the world: see northern lights .

To really enjoy them you have to take into account several factors.

It is likely that you travel to Finland or another Nordic country and do not get to see them, and this is important to know and keep in mind because sometimes you need several trips to get it.

The first thing you have to travel in winter, because in summer the days are very long and with the midnight sun there are almost no dark hours.

So you have to travel between September and April, and even then it may be cloudy or snowing, so you will not get to see the auroras .

Northern lights in Rovaniemi in Lapland in Finland
Northern lights in Rovaniemi in Lapland in Finland

You also need to be in areas with little light pollution, although it must be said that if the day is perfect, you can get to see even in the cities.

Nor does it have to be windy so that it does not lose the shape that is created and diffuses into northern lights.

In any case, if you are lucky enough to see them, you will find that it is one of the most exciting sensations that can be experienced.

Where to see Papa Noël in Finland?

This is a good question that we do a lot.

In this respect the city of Rovaniemi has gained good reputation as the House of Santa Claus .

Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi in Lapland of Finland
Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi in Lapland of Finland

Indeed, in the outskirts is the  Santa Claus Village , a true  theme parkaround the house and the post office of Papa Noël.

But it must be said that in high season you can find something overcrowded and lose a bit of grace.

But what not many know is that Papa Noël has other houses in different areas of Finland .

On our last trip to Lapland we met one of their houses in the Kuusamo area  , and the truth is that we enjoyed the visit much more than in Rovaniemi.

It is a much more personal and authentic experience in which you can get to spend up to two and a half hours with Santa Claus , because you can even have dinner with him.

Santa Claus in Kuusamo in Lapland in Finland
Santa Claus in Kuusamo in Lapland in Finland

For children this experience in Kuusamo is impressive.

Do I have to take out insurance to travel to Finland?

In line with this question, I will tell you that just on our last trip to Finland one of our colleagues had to be admitted for an infection and spent several days in the hospital.

In this way we have been able to experience the complications that may arise during a trip.

Therefore, the advice is that always, regardless of traveling with the European Health Card that ensures medical care, you must carry insurance that includes other benefits.

That would be the case of the stay of the companions in case of hospitalization or changes in tickets in case you have to change your flight back due to illness.

Snowy landscapes in Kemi in Finnish Lapland
Snowy landscapes in Kemi in Finnish Lapland

That is why it is essential to carry a travel medical insurance that covers all possible expenses that involve being in this situation for both the patient and the companions.

The price of travel insurance is very little compared to the many problems that can cover you.

Where to sleep in Lapland Finland

In Finland you will find some of the most exclusive and unique accommodation you can stay at.

Traditional wooden hut in Lapland Finland
Traditional wooden hut in Lapland Finland

Villas glass where you can see the aurora borealis from the bed, ice hotels to sleep below zero, and traditional huts built of wood with your own sauna inside.

Here we leave the links to find hotels in major cities, as well as establishments that we recommend.

Hotels in Helsinki

Ice hotel in Kemi

Villas de Cristal in Kemi

Villas and apartments in Kuusamo

Traditional wooden houses in Ruka

Hotels in Rovaniemi

Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi

Crystal Villa in Snowcastle of Kemi in Lapland Finland
Crystal Villa in Snowcastle of Kemi in Lapland Finland

What to eat in Finland

The traditional Finnish food is clearly marked by the conditions of the country.

Most dishes are made with butter to provide calories that are then burned when, for example, you have to walk through the snow.


Obviously if we talk about Finland we have to include game meats such as reindeer .

It is an expensive product that costs about 70 euros per kilo, and is cooked in dozens of different ways with various sauces.

Reno stew in Finnish Lapland
Reno stew in Finnish Lapland

In a buffet of a restaurant in Ruka we could try more than 10 types of different reindeer elaborations.

There is a law in Finland in which regions limit the number of reindeer that can live in the area.

In Kuusamo, for example, the quota is 12,000 reindeer, so all that there is more during the year can be hunted for food.

For lovers of meat, a very tasty experience.

Salmon Soup

Another traditional dish is salmon soup .

Salmon soup in Lapland of Finland
Salmon soup in Lapland of Finland

In certain regions it is a dish that is eaten several times a week and an emblem of the country.

A warm dish of a spoon, with potatoes, leeks, carrots and salmon, which is one of the most grateful meals you can put in your mouth after a day of snow


In many restaurants they serve what is apparently normal bread when accompanying meals, but it has a peculiarity.

This bread is not made with any cereal, but with potatoes, and I will tell you that it is quite rich.

Rieska in Finnish Lapland
Rieska in Finnish Lapland