Are you planning your trip to Lapland and you have questions? In this guide, we will show you the options you have to get there, some interesting and well-located accommodations that will facilitate your stay in Lapland with children, and activities suitable for the little ones that can be carried out there depending on the time of year in the let you travel.
How to get to Lapland
There are two comfortable and recommended options to travel to Lapland. The first is to fly to Helsinki and then take a train that will take you to the final destination and the second alternative is to take a direct flight to Rovaniemi, which would avoid the intermediate passage of the train.
Flying to Helsinki and taking a train to Rovaniemi
Flights to Helsinki, being the capital of Finland, take place more frequently and from a greater number of airports, which will give you more flexibility when planning your trip. Upon landing, unless you choose to spend a few days sightseeing in Helsinki, you only have to go to the train station next to the airport to catch the train that will take you to Lapland. The service is managed by VR and tickets can be purchased from its website or from the green machines at the station itself.
The journey by train takes between 8 and 11 hours, depending on the train you are travelling on and the time you have to wait when making the train transfer. There is also a night train, which leaves around 9:00 p.m. and arrives in Rovaniemi at 7:00 a.m., in which you will have your own cabin with a bed to rest. This last option can be especially interesting when you are travelling with children since the journey will undoubtedly be much shorter. The train drops you off in Rovaniemi, so you will have to take another train or bus if you have opted for another Lapland destination other than this one.
Direct flight to Lapland
This option has some advantages and disadvantages over the previous one. First of all, Rovaniemi and Kittilä airports are smaller and have fewer international routes, so depending on when you travel, this option may not be available. In general, there should be no problem travelling during summer and Christmas. Other times and airports may not be available or your flight frequency may below.
The main advantage, as already mentioned before, is that you will avoid travelling by train, which means a time saving of about 9 hours. Likewise, you will have to take into account the travel time to your final destination, if it is not Rovaniemi or Kittilä.
What to do in Lapland with children during winter
There are a lot of places to visit and activities to do in Lapland in the wintertime. Therefore, it is important to decide in advance what interests you the most and organize the trip accordingly.
Before showing you some ideas that will help you decide what to do in Lapland with children in winter, it is important to note that many companies offer packs that include many of these activities, so you will have to decide if you want to hire them with any of them or, on the contrary, have the freedom to organize everything on your own.
Visit Santa Claus Village
A mandatory stop on your trip to Lapland is the town of Santa Claus, which is located in Rovaniemi. The huge compound has 4 main buildings: Santa’s office, Santa’s Christmas house, Mrs Claus and the reindeer house, and the post office. In addition, there is the Arctic Circle, the circle of latitude that marks the southernmost place where the phenomena are known as the midnight sun and the polar night can occur.
It is also possible to find a large number of activities, such as visits to reindeer and husky farms, safaris with these animals and snowmobiles, sledging, and hunting for the northern lights. All of them are explained in greater depth in the following points since it is possible to do them in other places in the area.
Reindeer and husky safari
These are two perfect activities to do in Lapland with children. The operation of both safaris is very similar. In both cases, you will be sitting on a sleigh pulled by the animals and, besides, you can visit the husky or reindeer farm to see how they live during the winter. A hot drink and something to eat to warm up is usually included in both activities.
Northern Lights Search
The best time to see the Northern Lights in Northern Finland is between September and March or April. This is because it is the months with more hours of darkness, so the probability of seeing this phenomenon is higher. The main problem is that it is not possible to know for sure if you will be able to see them during your trip.
Some companies offer tours to search for the Northern Lights, although it is not necessary to resort to them. Of course, having a car can help in the search since it will facilitate the movement. Also, it may be a good idea to install an application on your smartphone that is responsible for showing the probabilities of observing the Northern Lights in your location during the next few hours.
Visit the Arktikum museum in Rovaniemi
Arktikum houses the Lapland Provincial Museum and the Arctic Center of the University of Lapland. In it, you can discover the history, culture and nature of the Arctic area. There are interesting activities and areas for children, so it is an interesting activity to do with them.
We’ve already talked about snowmobile safaris, so we’re not going to get too long. It is important to note that some of these can be done with young children, since they are sitting in a sledge pulled by the snowmobile, which also allows adults to drive the snowmobile, and the terrain where it is carried out does not present any difficulty. However, you will have to ask in advance the company with which the service is contracted to confirm that this option is available.
Skiing on one of its slopes
There are a large number of ski slopes in the Lapland region, so there are a large number of options to choose from depending on the type of ski you want to do, your level of skiing and the difficulty of the slope.
What to do during summer in Lapland
During summer, many of the activities mentioned above are adapted to the lack of snow. This is the case with reindeer and husky dog safaris, whose sledges have built-in wheels so they can slide without snow. Santa Claus Village is open all year round, so you can visit it anyway, although with the lack of snow it will lose some of its charms. The Arktikum museum is also open all year round.
However, the probability of seeing the Northern Lights during summer is almost nil, especially considering that during those months the sun stays on the horizon for most of the day. This activity can be replaced by others, such as a horse safari, hiking, fishing days or mushroom and berry picking, among others.
Where to stay in Lapland
The accommodation options are very varied and can be adapted to different budgets and to the activities and places that you want to do and visit in Lapland. Therefore, in this section, we will only mention some of the most interesting alternatives.
Accommodation in Santa Claus Village
Next to Santa Claus Village, there are several interesting accommodation options, including several hotels, apartments, cabins and even glass igloos in which to enjoy the Northern Lights. There are a total of 10 different options available.
Staying in Santa Claus Village can be an ideal option if this is your main destination and where you intend to spend most of your time and do the activities that are offered since the trips will be minimal, which is appreciated when you travel with children.
Accommodation in Rovaniemi
As in the previous case, there are a large number of options to choose from and, in this case, there is the advantage that it is possible to find cheaper alternatives compared to Santa Claus Village.
Stay elsewhere in Lapland
There are a large number of very interesting places in the Lapland region. If you plan to move to other areas, you are likely considering staying elsewhere. Levi, Saariselkä, Kemi or Kilpisjärvi are some of the towns that you can choose. In them you can do all the activities mentioned above, numerous ski slopes and, even if you choose Levi, visit a spa that has an area for children.
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We help you prepare your trip
- Find cheap accommodation
- Benefits and discounts in Helsinki
- Rent a car