We have found the best value for a trip to Lapland is to extend your trip to four nights, travel via Helsinki and experience the Christmas Markets in this amazing city before heading North to Lapland to visit Santa Claus for a full day. Flights are not included, but you should plan to fly into Helsinki on Friday December 14th, and Finnair currently fly from Dublin from €268 return.
Having landed on Friday evening, a transfer will be ready to bring you directly to the comfort of your apartment in the city centre. This aparthotel has 24 hour reception available, and located in the hear of the city but with quiet and peaceful surroundings, and within walking distance of all the action.
It’s a few minute stroll to well-known attractions such as Parliament House, the National Museum, the Finlandia Hall and the Temple Church. There is a good choice of restaurants and shops nearby. The 43 apartments in the hotel are individually designed in Scandinavian style. All rooms are equipped with telephone, workstation with free internet connection, satellite TV with international channels, but also with a well equipped kitchenette.
On Saturday morning make the 10-15 walk to the train station, where your trip to Lapland will leave from this evening. In the basement you’ll find large lockers where you can store your luggage for the day for approximately €6, which leaves you free and clear to enjoy a day exploring Helsinki and the Christmas Markets all day Saturday.
The stalls at the Christmas Market, skating on the Ice Rink, Carousal, and the 40m high Sky Wheel, or observation wheel to get a completely different view of the city’s Christmas lights.
With plenty of choices for food and drink in the stalls, and countless restaurants, you are spoilt for choice of how to spend your day here.
On Saturday evening make your way back to the train station and collect your luggage, in plenty of time to board to Santa Overnight Express Train! This will be a cabin with a small sink, towel, water, little night light, alarm clock and blankets & pillows. Shared showers and toilets are in each car although the excitement of the day will probably mean the little ones just can’t wait to get to sleep so you can refresh when you get to the hotel tomorrow.
There is a dining car and lounge area too, if you need to stretch your legs, as well as hot porridge for breakfast included, so you should be nicely prepared for the day at Santa’s Village when you arrive approximately 12 hours later.
A shuttle from the train station will bring you to the hotel to drop your bags on Sunday morning, and it is within easy walking distance of everything in Rovaniemi, including shops, restaurants and playgrounds so you’ll be very comfortable here for the night.
All rooms have a bathroom, TV and free wireless internet, and in some rooms there is also a fridge. Hotel rooms, apartments and public areas of hotel has been renovated, and room price includes delicious buffet breakfast, evening sauna, and wireless internet connection.
Just a few minutes from the hotel you’ll find the Santa Express Bus, departing Rovaniemi Train Station every hour, which brings you to the centre of Santa’s Village just 8km away. It’s free entry to the village and to visit Santa Claus, and you pay for additional things such as professional pics and videos with Santa, Reindeer Rides, Snowman World and loads of other activities so you can pick and choose how to spend your time there, depending on your budget. See more activities here.
Pop in to Santa Claus Main Post Office! Welcome to the colourful Christmas world of beautiful cards, stamps and unique gifts. Sit by the fireplace and write to your friends all over the world. The cheerful Postal Elves will post your greetings for you, whether it’s Christmas or the middle of summer. Make friends and relatives happy by ordering a Santa Claus Letter, which will be sent by Santa Claus before Christmas. All post will be stamped by hand using the special postmark of the Santa Claus Post Office.
P.S. The secret behind the red post box; all letters put through here will be sent for Christmas.
There are Gift Shops everywhere, and from a little research you might think it’s a little expensive but it’s actually very comparable to the same items for sale in Rovaneimi and Helsinki. Free fun is plentiful though, with the snow of course being the star of the show. So many games, activities and a playground, even free plastic sleds for playing about in means that as long as you’re all well wrapped up you can spend hours making snow angels and building snow men.
Enjoy a meal in one of the many restaurants in and around Santa’s Village, or head back to the hotel in time for dinner. Daylight doesn’t last long this time of year, so you’ll find that it’s only light from about 10am until as early as 2-3pm when the sun sets, so this will do funny things to the little ones and their sleep schedule.
Another option while you’re at Santa’s Village is and underground Christmas world called Santa Park. It’s advertised as a theme park and has an entry fee, which entitles you to a ride on the Santa Train, visit Elf School and enjoy an acrobatic show while you’re there. There are numerous shopping and eating opportunities here, but it’s up to you if you need to add to the already magical experience for and if the additional cost if worth it.
You have two full days of Sunday and Monday, and one overnight Sunday night here in Rovaniemi to spend how you wish, so make the most of it before the last leg of the journey and the trip home. On Monday evening you’ll make your way back to the train station in plenty of time to catch your overnight Santa Express Train back to Helsinki, arriving at the airport in time for your early departure on Tuesday morning back to Dublin.
Included in Helsinki & Santa’s Village, December 14th:
- Transfer from Helsinki Airport Friday December 14th to city centre Aparthotel
- One night in studio Apartment Friday December 14th
- Saturday evening overnight Santa Express Train with hot porridge for breakfast
- Sunday morning transfer to hotel to drop luggage
- Sunday free to explore and visit Santa Village and/or Rovaniemi Town – Free Entry to Santa Village
- Sunday evening B&B in town-centre hotel
- Monday free to explore and visit Santa Village and/or Rovaniemi Town – Free Entry to Santa Village
- Monday evening Overnight Santa Express Train to Helsinki Airport with hot porridge
Price per family:
1 adult & 1 child – €650
1 adult & 2 children – €800
1 adult & 3 children – €950
Additional costs and NOT INCLUDED in the prices above would include; all meals except where included (breakfast on 3 mornings is included), drinks, snacks, shuttle from Rovaniemi to Santa Village, entry to Santa Park onsite, additional activities, souvenirs, official Santa photos while in the village