Aberdeen were drawn against Finnish side RoPS Rovaniemi today in our opening qualifier for the Europa League.
We guide you about the town with the same name, Rovaniemi.
Rovaniemi is the provincial centre of Lapland, located right on the Arctic Circle. The town lies at the confluence of the rivers Ounasjoki and Kemijoki, and is a historical meeting point for trade, people and cultures of the north.
Rovaniemi is a lively university town and a popular travel destination, as well as the regional, commercial, administrative, educational, cultural and sports capital of Finnish Lapland. In terms of geographic area, Rovaniemi (8 017 km²) is one of the largest towns in Europe. With approximately 60,000 inhabitants, it is the 15th biggest town in Finland.
We have one thing in common – red – because Rovaniemi is officially the hometown of Santa Claus – we always knew Santa Claus was a Don!
Rovaniemi is situated in Finnish Lapland, right on the Arctic Circle.
The town is easiest to get to by plane via Helsinki. Inside Finland, Rovaniemi can be reached by plane, train, coach or car.
Rovaniemi is easy to reach by rail from many Finnish towns, with several trains running to and from Helsinki every day. Rail tickets can be purchased here.
The coach services are available with Matkahuolto and cover most of Finland’s road network. They provide an easy option for reaching Rovaniemi from the south, but also a means of public transport that connect the town with the northern parts of Lapland.
In the summer season, there is a daily bus connection from Rovaniemi to Tromsø (Norway) and from Rovaniemi to North Cape (Norway) as well as from Rovaniemi to Vadsø (Norway).
Buses and trains operate all year from Rovaniemi via Kemi and Tornio to Harparanda (Sweden)
Public Transport in Rovaniemi
Buses are the only form of public transport in Rovaniemi. Timetables, routes and ticket prices can be found here.
The following taxi companies are recommended:
Taxi Lähitaksi Rovaniemi, tel: +358 200 88 000; email: [email protected]
Rovaniemi Taxi Service, tel: +358 60 030 030 / +358 29 009 1090; email: [email protected]
Airport Taxi Shuttle Service
Fares for the Airport taxi shuttle service to Finnair and Norwegian flights start from 7 euro per person.
Central Bus Station – Hotel Scandic Rovaniemi City – Hotel Santa Claus – Arctic City Hotel – Sokos Hotel Vaakuna – Hotel Scandic Pohjanhovi – Arctic Light Hotel – Airport.
The shuttle bus leaves from the central bus station 1 hour and 20 minutes before the departure of the next flight.
Exception: If the departure time between two flights is 20 min or less, the route will be driven according to the earlier one.
After the arrival of Finnair (AY) and Norwegian (DY) flights, the shuttle bus departs from the airport to the town centre. On the way, it stops at hotels when necessary. Stops at private addresses are possible on request.
The important bit first – drink!
The legal age for the possession and purchase of alcoholic beverages up to 22% ABV is 18 years, and 20 years for spirits containing more than 22% ABV. Beers and ciders up to 5.5% ABV are sold in supermarkets and kiosks from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Drinks stronger than 5.5% ABV are only sold at Alko shops. There are three Alko shops in Rovaniemi: one at the Rinteenkulma shopping centre, one at Citymarket and one in Prisma. Opening hours are 9am – 9pm from Monday to Friday and 9am to 6pm on Saturdays. Alko shops are closed on Sundays.
Card payments and cash
Debit and credit cards are widely used in Finland, and the most common cards (Visa, MC and Maestro) are accepted pretty much everywhere. Some places might ask for personal identification, so it’s recommended to have your passport or other official ID with you.
Carrying a bit of cash on you might come in handy when using local buses, for example. There are several cash machines in central Rovaniemi, marked either OTTO or NOSTO.
What to wear
In the summer, dressing in layers is not necessary. Quite the contrary – it regularly gets very warm in Rovaniemi in July and August. However, packing long trousers and long-sleeved shirts might be a good idea if nature excursions are on your list: while they’re not a nuisance in town, there are plenty of mosquitoes in the forests, and long garments are the best protection. But never mind if you forget something at home – Rovaniemi is a great place for shopping!
Finland’s currency is the Euro (€). Unlike many other Euro countries, Finland does not use one and two cent coins. The smallest coin in circulation is the five cent coin.
The only place that change currency in Rovaniemi is Pohjolan Osuuspankki bank. The customer service is open Monday to Friday at 10 AM and close at 14. They accept the most common currencies.
Finnish water is very clean and tap water is drinkable everywhere. Bottled water is sold in supermarkets and kiosks.
The mains voltage in Finland is 230V and frequency 50 Hz. As in most central European countries, the sockets are types C and F with two round pins. If you bring electrical and electronic devices, kindly check in advance whether you need an adapter, transformer or converter.
In case of emergency
The general emergency number is 112 and can be called from any telephone. Call this number in any emergency that requires the police, an ambulance or the fire department.
While there are no specific internet cafés in Rovaniemi, many establishments and hotels offer free Wi-Fi for customers. You can also buy a prepaid mobile data connection from kiosks. If you do not have an access device of your own, you can use the public computers at Rovaniemi Tourist Information and the City Library.
There are two official languages in Finland: Finnish and Swedish. Finnish is spoken by 92% of the population and Swedish by 5.5%. In Lapland, Sami is spoken as well. Most Finns speak good English and often other languages as well.
Lost and stolen items
If you need to report lost or stolen goods, please contact the Lapland Police Department in Rovaniemi by phone +358 295 460 321.
Rovaniemi has two post offices – one of them is in the Revontuli shopping centre and is open 8am – 8pm from Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm on Saturdays. The other is, of course, Santa Claus’ Main Post Office in Santa Claus Village at the Arctic Circle, and is open daily all year round. In the summer (June-August), opening hours are 9am and 6pm.
Letters and postcards can be dropped in the orange mailboxes all over town, which are emptied every weekday. Stamps are sold at post offices, kiosks, tourist information desks, book shops, most supermarkets and hotels.
Generally, department stores and supermarkets are open daily at 9am to 9pm. Boutiques and smaller shops are open 10am – 6pm from Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm on Saturdays and midday – 4pm on Sundays. Please note that some shops’ opening hours may vary.
Smoking indoors is forbidden in all public spaces, including cafés and restaurants. Some bars have separate smoking rooms.
Tax free shopping is available for visitors from outside the EU and Norway. This service along with information and advice is restricted to shops marked with the “Tax Free” logo.
There are no public telephones in Rovaniemi. Prepaid SIM cards for your mobile phone are sold at “R-kiosks”. The international access code for Finland is +358 (leave out the first zero of the regular phone number when dialing from abroad). You will notice that many businesses give their phone numbers in international format, which can be used as is. If calling abroad from Finland, start with double zero followed by the respective international access code.
Finnish time is UTC+2 (UTC+3 during daylight saving time). Daylight saving time is in use from the last Sunday of March until the last Sunday of October.
In Finland, tips are neither common nor expected. However, it is not unheard of to leave a tip if you are pleased with the service.
No special vaccination is required when travelling to Finland.
A tourist map is available here.
And a summer map and 50 tips for summertime holidaymakers is available here.
What to see and do
There is lots of activities, events, sights and attractions – you can find some of them here.
Where to stay
There are plenty of places to stay in Rovaniemi. From hotels, guesthouses and hostels. You can find a place to stay here.