Although the capital of Lapland is located almost on the very Arctic Circle, getting there is not so difficult, long-distance and international transport is well developed – there is an airport, a railway station and a bus station.
Finnair, Aeroflot, Air France and KL-M fly from Moscow, all routes with a change in Helsinki. The journey takes from 4 to 10 hours, ticket prices start from 210 EUR. For residents of St. Petersburg, the situation is almost the same – only connecting flights, travel time – 5-13 hours, the most budget flight is from Finnair (200 EUR both ways).
Many people prefer to take a direct flight to Helsinki (how to get there – read here), and from there go by land transport. A trip by bus (official website of the carrier in English) will take about 14 hours and will cost 64 EUR one way, by train (official website of the VR company) – about 10 hours and 68 EUR. There are also domestic flights – 100 EUR for round-trip tickets and 1.5 hours in flight. See MATERNITYETCHIC for Finland customs regulations and visa requirements.
Air service connects Rovaniemi with Krasnodar, Murmansk, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Ufa and other cities.
It is quite convenient to travel from St. Petersburg by your own car, the roads in Finland are excellent. First you need to move along the highway “Western high-speed diameter” (it is paid – 1.31-2.63 EUR), and after the village of Dyuny, turn onto E18 “Scandinavia”. Having passed Vyborg, we turn onto the highway 41K-182. After Svetogorsk we pass the border and go to the Finnish route 62, and in the Imatra region – to the State road 6, which passes through Parikkala and Joensuu. Before reaching Sotkamo, we take to the right – to highway 899, passing Jormua – to E63, and after 4 km – to State Road 22. Then the path runs through Paltamo, where you need to turn onto highway 78. On it through Pudasjärvi and Ranua we go to Rovaniemi. This journey will take 11 hours, it will take about 50 EUR for gasoline(it is better to refuel to the eyeballs in Russia, the Finns have much more expensive fuel).
Public transport in Rovaniemi is not very well developed, experienced travelers recommend using taxi services. All urban areas and suburbs are covered by 16 bus routes, most of which lie through the central street. Ruokasenkatu. The only advantage of public transport is that it runs on time. But it is designed in such a way that you can spend a good half an hour at the bus stop. Tickets are not cheap – 3-4 EUR in the city, the cost of a trip to the suburbs can reach up to 7-8 EUR – it depends on the day of the week, distance and other factors.
In order to save money, it is better to ask the receptionist to call a taxi or take a car in the parking lot – this way you won’t have to pay for an order by phone, which is 1-2 EUR.
There are no ski buses in the city. Bus A1 runs to the Ounasvaara ski resort, but only 2 times a day – in the evening, with an hour break. The rest of the time you can only get there by taxi. There is only one taxi service in Rovaniemi, official, there are no private drivers at all. All prices are fixed – 7.01 EUR per landing (up to 9 EUR at night and on weekends), the total amount depends on the number of passengers and distance – 1.86 EUR per km. For example, a trip to Santa Park will cost 18-23 EUR, to Ounasvaara – about 15-18 EUR.
In the warm season, it is comfortable to travel around Rovaniemi and its environs by bike. Many hotels have rental offices, some of them are free. In other places, rent costs from 20 EUR per day. For those who want to ride in winter, there are fat bikes – from 60 EUR per day.
More than half of the hotels in Rovaniemi are self-catering apartments, some of which include breakfast in the price. Cottages for 5 or more people are very popular among tourists. The savings are very significant – the cost for 1 person is from 30 EUR per day, for comparison – a double room – from 75 EUR.
The cozy igloos at Santa’s Igloos are ideal for viewing the Northern Lights. Pleasure is not cheap – 515 EUR per night in a double room.
The cost of living in Rovaniemi does not depend much on the location, with the exception of hotels near Santa’s Village, where prices are an order of magnitude higher. The most budget options in the city cost 60-100 EUR. A night in a middle-class hotel will cost 150-200 EUR. In all hotels, travelers are waiting for clean comfortable rooms, good service and polite staff. The difference is only in the set of additional amenities and options.
Rent a Car
Getting around Rovaniemi is more convenient by car, so renting a car is quite reasonable. In addition, many interesting sights are located in the suburbs or neighboring areas.
The roads in the city are good, driving is a pleasure. Local motorists follow the rules, and it is better for guests to follow their example – fines are high – from 140 EUR for speeding. The parking rules are quite confusing, but it’s not that hard to figure them out. First of all, you need to buy a “parking clock” for 2-3 EUR – a blue timer on which you need to set the time of arrival at the parking lot and leave it under the windshield. The city has a lot of free parking for 1-4 hours, most of the paid ones are municipal. The regular price is 0.20 EUR for 10 minutes or 1.20-1.40 per hour. There are several private paid parking lots where you can leave your car for a long time – from 20-30 EUR per day.
Most international car rental companies operate in Rovaniemi – Avis, Hertz, Europcar and others, as well as the Scandinavian Scandiarent. Renting an economy class car costs from 65-70 EUR per day.