Have you ever wanted to visit Santa’s home? If you have, then you’ll probably find yourself in Rovaniemi Finland, the official home of Santa Claus and his workshop. Rovaniemi is the largest city in Europe in terms of land area and the starting point for many Arctic expeditions in Finland. It’s also a beautiful and fascinating city in its own right.
Lots of people want to visit Santa, so you’ll find a huge range of Rovaniemi accommodation options in the center of the city and throughout the surrounding countryside. Some of the coolest places to stay in Rovaniemi are the more unusual options, like igloos and treehouses. But there isn’t a lot of information out there on this city, so you may struggle to find somewhere that suits your needs.
With this Rovaniemi neighborhood guide, you’ll be able to find somewhere to stay that’s close to what you want to see. You can explore the city or use the good train and rail connections to investigate other parts of Europe. Basically, choosing the right place to stay will ensure that you have the trip of a lifetime in this remote and beautiful part of the world.
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Rovaniemi.
Best Airbnb in Rovaniemi: Pleasant Home in the Heart of Town
Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Rovaniemi for your first time or on a return trip, this apartment is a good choice. It’s right in the heart of the city and offers bright, clean, and cheerful furnishings. The space is suitable for up to 4 guests, includes all the amenities, and is one of the best places to stay in Rovaniemi for easy access to the local restaurants and cafes.
Best Hostel in Rovaniemi: Hostel IbedCity
This hostel in Rovaniemi is absolutely awesome. It’s only 1.7 kilometers from Santa’s village, so it’s ideal if you’re trying to decide where to stay in Rovaniemi with kids who want to see Santa’s home. It offers 7 uniquely decorated rooms and 1 family room as well as a sauna so you can heat your bones after a long, cold day exploring.
Best Hotel in Rovaniemi: Arctic City Hotel
Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Rovaniemi for families or with friends, this hotel is a great choice. It’s located right in the city center and close to the best restaurants, shops, and cafes. It’s within walking distance of the train station and offers comfortable rooms as well as a spa, wellness center, and rooftop terrace.
The City Center is the best neighborhood in Rovaniemi to stay in if you want convenient and easy access to everything.
Ratantaus is the best area in Rovaniemi to stay in if you want to be close to the center but in a more local neighborhood
Santa Claus Village
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Rovaniemi with kids, then this is where to look. Santa Claus Village is the official home of the famous man and his workshop and it’s located just 15 minutes from Rovaniemi’s city center.
Rovaniemi is the official Christmas city and it can look and feel like a Christmas card picture. Obviously the most popular attraction is the Santa Claus Village, but this city is also popular for its winter sports activities and cool cafes and restaurants. And with a little effort, you can find the coolest places to stay in Rovaniemi and have a really memorable trip.
This isn’t a large city, so most of the best Rovaniemi accommodation options are in the City Center itself. This is the best choice if you’re deciding where to stay in Rovaniemi for nightlife or if you want to experience the beauty and atmosphere of the city. But there are also other options if you’d like to experience a more authentic side of this beautiful city.
If you want to be close to the city center but in a more local area, then try Ratantaus. You can walk from this area to the city center and it’s one of the best areas to stay in Rovaniemi for local flavor as well as convenience.
The final area to stay in is Santa Claus Village. You can actually stay really close to the workshop, which is the best option if you’re in Rovaniemi mostly to see this fun landmark.
Rovaniemi ’s 3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Whether you want to be close to Santa or experience the city in all its glory, here are the best places in Rovaniemi to stay
The City Center is the best neighborhood in Rovaniemi to stay in if you want convenient and easy access to everything. This is where you’ll find lots of hotels and accommodation options and the center is small enough that you can walk everywhere. Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Rovaniemi for nightlife or for the food and atmosphere, this area will suit your needs.
The City Center is filled with restaurants, clubs, and cafes that will keep you entertained. It’s also well connected to Santa Claus Village and the rest of the country through the fast, efficient train system. And if you’re visiting Rovaniemi to do tours and other outdoor activities, you’ll find lots of day trips you can join that start from the City Center.
Things to See and Do in City Center
- Book tours out into the countryside.
- Head up to Santa Claus Village for the day.
- Visit the Arktikum, the Science Museum of Rovaniemi.
- See the Northern Lights from beside the river.
- Explore the local shops and restaurants.
- Go skiing, hiking, snowmobiling, or basically find somewhere you can do any winter sport you enjoy.
Best Airbnb in City Center: Private Room in Central Apartment
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Rovaniemi on a budget, this is a good choice. It offers a private room in an apartment located right in the heart of the city. The host offers a private room as well as a shared bathroom, kitchen and living room. The apartment is only a short walk from the bus station and the attractions of the city.
Best Hostel in City Center: Wherever Boutique Hostel
This hostel in Rovaniemi is located right in the city center and close to shops, cafes, and restaurants. You can book a bed in one of the dorm rooms or the family room and have the use of the shared kitchen. Breakfast is included in the price and so is Wi-Fi and bed linen. The train and bus stations are close as well, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting around.
Best Hotel in City Center: Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna Rovaniemi
This hotel is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Rovaniemi for nightlife because it’s close to local bars and clubs. It also offers amenities like a sauna and airport shuttle and has 159 rooms with all the essential equipment. The hotel offers two restaurants where you can eat delicious local and foreign food and it’s close to one of the most famous shopping areas in the city.
Ratantaus is the best area in Rovaniemi to stay in if you want to be close to the center but in a more local neighborhood. This part of the city is so close to the center that you can walk there, but it has fewer hotels and is more of a local area. This means it’s quieter and doesn’t usually have the crush of tourists you’ll find in more popular areas.
Ratantaus is still well connected to Santa’s Village and to the City Center by bus and train if you don’t want to walk. The combination of quiet and convenience makes it an essential addition to any Rovaniemi neighborhood guide, and the slightly cheaper prices make it perfect for travelers backpacking Scandinavia on a budget.
Things to See and Do in Ratantaus
- Head up to Santa’s Village to see all the magic.
- Head into the center to book tours or go clubbing with friends.
- Just wander the streets and see how the locals live.
- Look for local restaurants and eat like a local.
- Get out and do some winter sports.
Best Airbnb in Ratantaus: Scandinavian Home
Located in the best neighborhood to stay in Rovaniemi to be close to everything, this apartment would suit a family or group of friends. It’s spacious, within walking distance of everything, and includes a private bathroom and bedroom with room for up to 4 guests.
Best Hotel in Ratantaus: GuestHouse Arctic Heart
This hotel in Rovaniemi is within 10 minutes’ walk from the bus station and offers 13 rooms with attached bathrooms. The rooms contain all the essentials for a comfortable stay and lots of top city attractions are within reach of the hotel. It also offers luggage storage, bicycle rental, and ski lockers.
Best Luxury Hotel in Ratantaus: Scandic Rovaniemi City
Located in the best area in Rovaniemi to stay in, this hotel provides a comfortable, convenient base for any trip. The hotel has a sauna, and meeting rooms and is close to clubs, bars and restaurants. And the spacious rooms include private bathrooms, minibars, and a fridge.
One of the best investments you can make is a worldwide travel adapter that will work anywhere! The one featured here is tough, reliable and a solid buy – Don’t leave home without one.
Buy your travel adapter on Amazon now.
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Rovaniemi with kids, then this is where to look. Santa Claus Village is the official home of the famous man and his workshop and it’s located just 15 minutes from Rovaniemi’s city center. It’s also one of Rovaniemi’s best neighborhoods for quirky accommodation options, which means you can stay in an igloo!
Santa’s village obviously has very good connections with the center of the city and you can take the bus or train in to explore the city’s attractions. But there’s a lot to do in this general area as well, which means you might not have to travel into the city at all. And if you want to experience Rovaniemi’s outdoor activities, this is one of the best neighborhoods for it.
Things to See and Do in Santa Claus Holiday Village
- Visit the reindeer farm.
- Take the kids to the petting zoo.
- Book an Arctic tour and experience one of the last wild places on earth.
- Go for a ride on a snowmobile.
- Post a Christmas card from the Santa Claus Post Office.
- Visit the Arctic Circle Husky Park and take husky sled rides in winter or just pet these amazing animals in summer.
- Experience a whole world made of snow at Snowman World.
- Try some of the many restaurants around to experience real Scandinavian food.
Best Airbnb in Santa Claus Village: Studio close to Santa Claus Village
This definitely isn’t the area to choose when you’re deciding where to stay in Rovaniemi on a budget, but there are some reasonable options. And they include this studio apartment, which is suitable for 2 people and is close to the village. It has a bright terrace, fully equipped kitchen, and a bus stop outside so you can get around easily.
Best Hotel in Santa Claus Village: Santa’s Igloo Arctic Circle
You can’t pass up the chance to stay in a modern version of an igloo while you’re visiting Santa’s Village. Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Rovaniemi for one night or for a longer visit, this is a not to be missed experience.
The hotel is within walking distance of local landmarks, including Santa’s village, and has 32 rooms with all the essentials. Breakfast is offered every morning and there’s a lounge bar where you can enjoy a drink at the end of the day.
Best Luxury Hotel in Santa Claus Village: Santa Claus Holiday Village
This hotel in Rovaniemi is located a short walk from Santa Claus Village. It offers a huge range of amenities including a day spa, free Wi-Fi, babysitting services, and a playground. This all makes it a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Rovaniemi for families. The rooms are comfortable and include a private terrace, kitchenette, and a private bathroom.
Final Thoughts Where to Stay in Rovaniemi
Rovaniemi is the ideal base whether you want to explore Santa’s village or go deeper into the icy heart of the region. This city is a little warmer than other options, so it’s a good introduction to the Arctic. It’s also incredibly lively, quirky, and friendly, with lots of outdoor activities available.
When you’re looking for the best places to stay in Rovaniemi, you’ll probably end up spending more than you expect. This part of the world isn’t cheap, but it is beautiful, interesting, and well worth seeing.
And don’t forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.
“Find out how YOU can support the site. We work hard to put out the best backpacker resources on the web, for free! It’s all about helping out our tribe of awesome backpacker readers [that’s you!]. Please visit the link to find out how you can help keep the site going 🙂
For the sake of transparency, some of the links in our content are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a book or sort your insurance, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only link to stuff I’ve actually used and never endorse products or services that are not up to scratch. Thanks for your support.