This is the most popular village before Christmas. Plan your visit in advance

This is the most popular village before Christmas.  Plan your visit in advance

Here you can feel the magic of Christmas all year round. However, visiting the village of St. Nicholas in Rovaniemi just before Christmas is a special experience. Reindeer, singing elves, the smell of gingerbread everywhere, a sleigh ride in picturesque surroundings or watching the northern lights will leave unforgettable memories. Unfortunately, you have to pay a lot for it, because Finland is not the cheapest country.

Rovaniemi is an urban oasis in the Arctic desert, where culture, outdoor attractions and fairy tales meet – this is how the town is advertised on the Internet. This is the hometown of Santa Claus, and it is also where the famous village of St. Nicholas is located. Santa Claus and his park – places that, if you believe the online announcements, are a must-visit for anyone who wants to feel the real Christmas atmosphere: with snow, elves and, of course, the real Santa Claus!

It’s not cheap, but a visit to the village of St. Nicholas without tickets

Rovaniemi is a Finnish town located in the north of Lapland, about 800 kilometers north of the capital of Finland – Helsinki and a few kilometers south of the Arctic Circle. It is inhabited by approximately 60,000 inhabitants. It is also the administrative capital of Lapland and the largest city in Finland in terms of area. Rovaniemi is visited by over half a million tourists every year.

Unfortunately, there are no direct flights to the town from Poland. However, we can easily get there within 4 hours with a transfer. Flight prices in the pre-Christmas period start from PLN 1,900. It is cheaper to fly to Helsinki (approx. PLN 1,000) and from there to Rovaniemi by train. The cost of a round-trip ticket is approximately EUR 100 (the price depends on how far in advance you book the ticket). However, then we will lose about 7 hours for the journey. You can also go to Rovaniemi from Poland by car. However, you must take into account a journey of over 24 hours and remember that winter roads in Finland may not be cleared of snow. Accommodation prices on site during the holiday season are also high and start from approximately PLN 450 per person per night.

You can save some money by planning your visit to Rovaniemi at least 4 months in advance. Then you can get tickets at lower prices. If we don’t have to, don’t go there during the peak season, i.e. around St. Nicholas Day or Christmas.

You can get to the village from the railway station or airport by a special Santa Claus Bus leaving from the railway station. The cost is about 4 euros, so if we order a taxi for several people (approx. 20 euros), the cost will be similar.

It’s not cheap, but at least the entrance to the village of St. Santa Claus is free. If we want additional attractions and a guide, we have to pay from PLN 300 to PLN 750. At this price, we can count on transport from the hotel, guide care, and in the most expensive version, visit a reindeer farm, take a sleigh ride, taste traditional salmon soup, go to a husky farm and visit the Arctic Circle in a harness.

Travel agencies also organize organized trips to the village. A one-day trip with flights, meals and additional attractions costs approximately PLN 4,500 before Christmas. In February, the same trip costs PLN 2,300. zloty. A multi-day trip with additional attractions costs approximately PLN 7,500. PLN per person.

This is where the magic happens

Saint’s Village Nicholas is located on the outskirts of Rovaniemi: approximately 7.5 kilometers from the center and approximately 2.5 kilometers from the airport. This is a huge amusement park that offers a lot of attractions on quite a large area. The most important thing is, of course, meeting Santa Claus, but not only that!

Although entry to the village is free, all other attractions, such as a visit to the reindeer farm, a visit to the husky farm or the built slopes for sledding, are additionally paid. There are also plenty of restaurants on site with specialties straight from Lapland. You can meet with Saint for free. Santa Claus, visit his post office, or cross the border of the Arctic Circle. If we want our child to receive a gift from Saint during the meeting. Nicholas, we also have to buy an additional voucher (cost from 20 euros).

Despite the commercialism, the atmosphere in the village has its own unique charm. After passing through the door to the house of St. You walk through a mysterious corridor and pass Saint Nicholas’ office. Nicholas, where he reads letters from all over the world, as well as a gallery of famous people who visited the village. At the end there is a dream meeting with Saint. Santa Claus. You can record a video with him or take a photo with him, which the elves take (a video package and an electronic photo cost approximately EUR 50, a printed photo in paper form with a Santa Claus certificate costs EUR 40). Even in the pre-Christmas period, the queues are no longer than half an hour, but there is also a conversation with Saint. Nicholas is shorter. Outside the holiday season, it may take up to 10 minutes. The meeting with Saint Santa Claus is a magical and touching moment not only for children. Saint Santa Claus can say hello in virtually any language in the world, and what’s more, according to some, he can read minds.

You can also visit Mrs. Claus’ house and chat with her, and the helpful elves will take a souvenir photo. The house is open to visitors between November and the end of March. However, entry to this facility is subject to a fee.

There is also an Elf Farm at the northern end of the village. There are reindeer, alpacas, llamas, sheep, goats, horses, rabbits and even peacocks. Admission to this area costs 15 euros.

It is also worth visiting one of the local restaurants. They have open fireplaces and the interiors are decorated with products of local handicrafts. The menu includes salmon and reindeer meat dishes. Prices range from 20-40 euros per meal.

Additional attractions in Rovaniemi

However, the village is not only about St. Santa Claus. An additional attraction here is the possibility of symbolically crossing the border of the Arctic Circle. This is only a conventional border, because the real one runs a few kilometers further north – but it can still be an amazing experience. You can get a special certificate for crossing the circle at the Tourist Information office (5 euros) or ask for a stamp for your passport (1 euro).

Next to the village there is also Santa Park, which resembles an amusement park. There is also Saint here. Santa Claus, and photos with him are free here. However, the entrance fee starts from 40 euros. Please note that this theme park is not open all year round, but if you get there around Christmas it will be open.

Rovaniemi is also an ideal place for active people. There are well-prepared ski slopes in the area, as well as well-kept cross-country ski trails. It is also worth visiting the city center.

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