WHY VISIT LAPLAND
Lapland comprises the northernmost part of Sweden and Finland, and it is a fascinating destination for all ages. Owing to its location above the Arctic Circle, this region is best known for its magical winter landscapes and northern lights as well as outdoor activities like dog-sledding, snowmobiling, ice fishing and reindeer sleigh rides.
Here you’ll find some of Scandinavia’s most unique attractions, like the Santa Claus Village, the famous ICEHOTEL and the Sampo icebreaker ship. There are also plenty of opportunities to experience the culture and traditions of the Sami, the native people of Lapland.
See more information at our Lapland Travel Guide.
DESTINATIONS IN LAPLAND
There are countless small towns and villages in Lapland, and on our website we have selected a few destinations below that we believe to be the best according to our own experiences.
Kiruna, the northernmost city in Sweden, is surrounded by amazing landscapes, ranging from rivers and crystal-clear lakes to ancient boreal forests and snow-capped mountains. The most famous attractions here are the ICEHOTEL, located in the neighbouring village of Jukkasjärvi, and the Aurora Sky Station in nearby Abisko National Park.
Situated next to the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi is considered the capital of Finnish Lapland. This town is best known as the hometown of Santa Claus, whom visitors can meet any day of the year at the Santa Claus Village.
Located in Finnish Lapland in the middle of the Bothnian Arc is Kemi, the site of the famous SnowCastle with its amazing SnowRestaurant, SnowChapel and Children’s Land. Other popular attractions in this area include cruises aboard the Sampo icebreaker ship, where you can go for an “Arctic swim” in thermal flotation suits.
HOW TO GET TO LAPLAND
In most cases there are no direct flights to Lapland, so you must first fly to the capital city of the country you intend to visit: Stockholm for Swedish Lapland or Helsinki for Finnish Lapland.
Both Stockholm-Arlanda Airport in Sweden and Helsinki-Vantaa Airport in Finland are served by several international and regional airlines.
Many of the local domestic carriers in Sweden and Finland have partnerships with the international airlines, so it is possible to purchase your airfare to Lapland in just one booking. These airlines usually operate their routes from the capital cities to our tour destinations in Lapland.
- See more details about flights to Lapland:
Unfortunately, the land connections between destinations in Lapland are generally poor, but there are some well-linked towns that we can combine in our packages:
Kiruna - Abisko: Connected by train (www.sj.se)
Kemi - Rovaniemi: Connected by train (www.vr.fi)
As far as language is concerned, English-speaking visitors will not encounter many problems getting around in Lapland. Most people in Scandinavia, especially in the popular tourist areas, can speak English. Even Santa Claus is multilingual!
WHEN TO VISIT & WEATHER
The Lapland region has a subarctic to continental climate characterized by mild summers and cold, snowy winters. In the summertime, temperatures are usually 10 - 15 °C (50 - 60 °F) and rainfall is moderate.
During the peak travel season, December to February, the region experiences an average temperature range of about - 16 °C (3 °F) to 3 °C (37 °F) depending on location, with occasional lows of about - 30 °C (-22 °F) or colder with wind chill. Thankfully, the dry, crisp air has a moderating effect on the temperatures. The amount and duration of snowfall also varies by location, but the average number of days with snow cover is around 175 – 225 days per year between mid-October and mid-May.
Winter: December to March is an ideal time for a winter holiday in Lapland, when both snow conditions and northern lights displays are at their peak. Also during this time the various ice and snow hotels are open and many snowmobile and husky tours are operated daily. Christmas and New Year’s are the busiest times during this season while February and March are generally more relaxed. Since most attractions in Stockholm and Helsinki are open all year round, a trip to one of these cities is a perfect addition to your stay in Lapland.
Packing suggestions: Our staff can offer helpful advice about what to pack, and if you're unfamiliar with how to dress in Arctic conditions, we highly recommend taking a look at 66°North, an Icelandic brand of outdoor clothing designed specifically for unpredictable Nordic weather.
See more information about climate, daylight and time zones in Lapland.
TOP THINGS TO SEE AND DO
There are countless things to do and see in Lapland, including these most popular highlights:
- Food & Culture
- Activities & Day Tours
Our itineraries are designed to be flexible, allowing you to add optional activities and day tours. We do, however, recommend that you book additional tours in advance to be able to guarantee availability. Your dedicated travel consultant will be able to advise you about available activities.
An average stay in Lapland is 4 days, but it can easily be prolonged by adding nights and optional activities. To help you make the most of your time in Lapland, see our helpful itinerary suggestions below. Underneath each suggestion are travel themes that include holidays with similar itineraries.
3 – 4 days: Stay in Kiruna. Enjoy a northern lights safari by snowmobile, a dog sledding tour, a visit to a reindeer farm and maybe even an overnight at the magical ICEHOTEL.
5 – 7 days: Start in Kiruna and enjoy a snowmobile safari, a dog sledding tour, a visit to a reindeer farm and an overnight at the ICEHOTEL. Nearby at the Aurora Sky Station in Abisko you can enjoy an evening of gourmet dining and northern lights viewing far from the city lights. Or spend a night in Abisko National Park and try activities like cross country skiing and snow shoe walks.
7+ days: Combine your stay in Lapland with a city break in Stockholm and visit famous attractions like the Royal Palace, Vasa Ship Museum and City Hall.
Lapland Travel / Stockholm City Breaks
3 – 4 days:Stay in Rovaniemi. Visit the famous Santa Claus Village, where you can meet the jolly old elf in person, and enjoy thrilling activities like a husky tour, a ride in a reindeer sled and a snowmobile safari in search of the northern lights.
5 – 7 days: Start with a visit to Kemi and spend a night at the SnowCastle. Take a tour on the Sampo Icebreaker and enjoy a dog sledding tour before continuing by train to Rovaniemi, where you can enjoy a northern lights tour by snowmobile, take a reindeer sled ride and visit the Santa Claus Village.
7+ days: Combine your stay in Lapland with a city break in Helsinki and visit popular attractions like the Senate Square, Uspenski Cathedral, the Parliament Building and the Olympic Stadium.
Lapland Travel / Helsinki City Break
Need help figuring out what to bring for a visit? See our packing tips.