Kemi is one of Finland’s most picturesque cities, offering a unique blend of modern urban life and the beauty of the natural landscape. With its breathtaking views of the Bay of Bothnia, its well-preserved historic architecture and vibrant cultural scene, it is a must-visit destination.
For those wishing to explore the city and its surroundings, Kemi offers numerous sightseeing opportunities. From the world’s largest snow castle to the traditional wooden houses of the old town and the nearby nature reserves, visitors can enjoy the best the city has to offer. In this article, we’ll explore the many sights and attractions in and around Kemi, as well as tips and tricks for planning an unforgettable trip.
Things to see and do in Kemi
Kemi, Finland, is a city full of attractions and activities, from outdoor adventures to cultural experiences. Whether you’re looking for an outdoor activity like skiing or an indoor activity like visiting a museum, there’s something for everyone in Kemi.
From stunning nature trails to picturesque beaches, and from lively nightlife to traditional Finnish culture, Kemi offers a truly unique experience.
Kemi Snow Castle
Kemi Snow Castle, or Lumilinna, is one of Finland’s most iconic winter attractions. Located on the Gulf of Bothnia in Kemi, Lumilinna is a snow castle that is rebuilt and redesigned every year, making it a unique experience for tourists and locals alike.
Built from blocks of snow and ice, Lumilinna is the largest snow structure in the world and is believed to have been built since 1996. Each year, the castle is built by local artists, and a different theme is chosen for each year’s design.
In addition to its incredible architecture, Lumilinna also offers various activities for visitors to enjoy. Inside the snow castle, visitors can explore the various rooms, such as a chapel, a restaurant and an ice bar. There are also art exhibitions and performances, offering visitors the opportunity to learn about Finnish culture.
The Icebreaker Sampo is a unique experience in Kemi. It is one of the only places in the world where tourists can experience an authentic icebreaker boat tour. This tour takes visitors through the icy waters of the Gulf of Bothnia, where they can observe the power of an icebreaker as it crosses the frozen sea. The tour also takes visitors to the beautiful islands of the Sea of Bothnia National Park, where they can observe the stunning scenery and wildlife of the area.
The Icebreaker Sampo is an excellent way to learn about the history of the area. Visitors can learn about the history of the icebreaker and its importance in the area’s fishing industry, while taking in the beauty of the Finnish landscape. The tour also includes an evening light show and a stop at the Icebreaker Sampo Museum, which houses a collection of artefacts related to the history of the icebreaker.
Kemi Church is an Evangelical Lutheran church founded in 1580, making it one of the oldest churches in Finland. It is also the oldest church still in use in the city.
The Kemi church is a wooden building with a tower, and its architecture is typical of the region. The church has undergone several renovations over the years, but its original medieval design still stands, giving the church a unique and beautiful appearance.
The church in Kemi is a popular tourist destination, and hosts various cultural events throughout the year. Inside the church, visitors can see beautiful stained glass windows as well as an intricate wooden pulpit. There is also a museum in the church, which displays local history and culture.
Kemi Gemstone Gallery
Located in the heart of the city, the Kemi Gemstone Gallery offers visitors the opportunity to explore the beauty of the precious stones found in this region of the world. The gallery houses a wide variety of gemstones, from colourful tourmalines to rare rubies.
Visitors can explore the different stones in the gallery’s showcases or purchase pieces of jewellery to take home. In addition to the gems, the gallery offers various educational programmes, such as lectures and educational videos.
The Gallery also offers visitors the opportunity to experience the traditional art of gem cutting. Visitors can see how skilled artisans create stunning works of art from rough gemstones or they can also participate in classes to learn how to identify and classify gemstones.
With its unique combination of educational programmes and gemstone exhibitions, the Kemi Gemstone Gallery is an experience not to be missed if you visit the city.
Sisäsatama, the inner old harbour of the city
Sisäsatama, Kemi’s Inner Old Harbour, is one of the oldest harbours in Finland. It was built in 1891 and is the only harbour in Finland still standing on its original site.
The harbour is surrounded by a beautiful promenade and has a wide range of shops and restaurants. It is a popular place for tourists and locals alike, and is a great place to stroll around and enjoy the sea views.
Boat trips and fishing trips are organised in the harbour, as well as various cultural events. There is also a small lighthouse located in the harbour, which is a popular spot for photographers. The harbour is also an ideal place to enjoy a meal or a drink while taking in the breathtaking views of the Finnish coastline.
Local history museum
The Kemi History Museum is located in the old town of Kemi, Finland. The museum was founded in 1975 and is dedicated to preserving the rich history of the town and region. It contains exhibits of artefacts from the Stone Age to the present day. Visitors can get an insight into Kemi’s past, such as its traditional fishing industry, fascinating culture and unique landscape.
The museum houses a number of permanent and temporary exhibitions focusing on Kemi’s history as well as other aspects of Finnish culture. Its most popular attractions are the “History of Kemi” exhibition and the museum’s collection of artefacts and photographs, which provide an interesting insight into the town’s past.
Perämeri National Park
Perämeri National Park is a stunning nature reserve located in Kemi, Finland. The park covers some 5,000 hectares and boasts a wide variety of landscapes, lakes and rivers.
The park is home to a wide variety of animals, including moose, elk and reindeer, as well as a wide variety of birds and fish. Visitors to the park can also explore the different habitats found in the park, such as forests, wetlands and coastal regions.
The park also contains several archaeological sites, such as Stone Age dwellings and burial sites, and a variety of educational experiences are offered with guided tours of the sites.
Kemi Art Museum
The Kemi Art Museum is a national museum located in the city of Kemi, which was founded in 1969. The museum is dedicated to the promotion of fine art in the region and houses an extensive collection of Finnish and international art, ranging from the 16th century to the present day.
The collection includes works by both well-known and lesser-known artists. The museum also hosts various exhibitions, lectures and other events throughout the year. In addition, the museum offers various educational programmes for adults and children, such as art classes and workshops.
How to get to Kemi
The three main ways to get to Kemi are by plane, train and car. If you want to come by plane, Kemi is served by Kemi-Tornio Airport, which offers flights to Helsinki, Stockholm and other cities in Finland. Once at the airport, taxis are available to take you to your destination.
If you prefer to come by train, you can do so by taking a train from Helsinki, Tampere or other major cities to Kemi. The journey takes about 6 hours from Helsinki, and 3 hours from Tampere. If you travel by car, it takes about 4 hours from Helsinki and 2 hours from Tampere. You can also take a ferry from Sweden to Kemi.
How to get around the city
Kemi is a relatively small city and can easily be reached on foot. The city centre is well connected to the surrounding areas and all points of interest are within easy walking distance. Many of the city’s attractions are located in the city centre, such as the Kemi Town Hall or the Kemi Art Museum.
If you prefer, public transport is also available in Kemi. Buses run regular routes throughout the city and the surrounding area, and taxi services operate efficiently. In addition, the city has some bicycle rental services, so visitors can explore the city on two wheels.
Where to stay in Kemi
Visitors wishing to stay in the city are spoilt for choice. Hotels are plentiful in Kemi, ranging from basic to luxurious. For those looking for an affordable option, there are a number of budget hotels offering comfortable rooms and services.
There are also hostels, a cheaper option for those who want to stay in town but don’t need all the amenities of a hotel. Camping is also an option, with several campsites located nearby.
Where to eat in Kemi
Kemi offers a wide selection of restaurants. Traditional restaurants such as Ravintola Teatteri and Palvelutalo Loistokoti offer classic Northern Finnish dishes such as smoked fish, reindeer and cloudberry.
The town market is also a good place to sample local delicacies such as salmon soup and cloudberry jam. There are also several cafes and bars where you can find delicious pastries and local craft beers.
Kemi is also home to several unique restaurants. Ravintola Kummisetä is a popular spot for seafood lovers, serving the freshest catch of the day. For a unique experience, the Arctic Snow Hotel offers a restaurant inside an igloo, where guests can enjoy a menu of Finnish specialities while admiring the snow sculptures.
We hope our Kemi travel guide will help you prepare for your trip to the city. We invite you to share this article on social media using the buttons below. And if you have any questions, you can use the comments section to ask them.