12 Most beautiful places in Lapland (Finland) to Visit

Jon Miksis Jon Miksis clock Updated July 4, 2024 tourism Dream Destinations
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Most Beautiful Places in Lapland
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Are you thinking about visiting Lapland this year? Here are some of the most beautiful places to visit in Lapland. These lovely locations and vistas will definitely ‘wow’ you.

Ah, Lapland. The last great wilderness of Europe, a place where the Northern Lights dance across the sky and reindeer roam freely. Picture this: you’re bundled up in layers of cozy, thermal wear, sipping on a cup of steaming Finnish coffee, as you gaze upon otherwordly landscapes. Welcome to the Arctic wonderland that is Lapland, Finland’s northernmost region. This is a place where the air is crisp, the people are warm, and the adventures are endless.

From the moment you step off the plane, you’ll feel as though you’ve entered a fairy tale. The towering pine trees are blanketed in snow, creating a serene, almost magical atmosphere. The locals greet you with a genuine smile, their eyes twinkling like the stars that fill the night sky in this remote part of the world. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a hopeless romantic yearning for a cozy log cabin complete with a roaring fire—Lapland has something for everyone.

So, charge your camera and prepare to fall in love with these beautiful places of Lapland. After all – Lapland isn’t just a destination. It’s an experience that will touch your soul and stay with you long after you’ve returned to the realm of Wi-Fi and fast food. Are you ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime? Let’s go!

The most beautiful places in Lapland right now
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The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Lapland

Ready to immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of Lapland? As highlighted, this northern gem offers diverse attractions for every traveler. Dive deeper to uncover the mesmerizing landscapes and wonders of Lapland.

Are you drawn to the allure of the Arctic cities and rich Sami culture? Or perhaps you’re dreaming of a serene escape amidst snow-covered forests and the Northern Lights? No matter your preference, Lapland stands ready to exceed your expectations. Here are the must-visit spots in Lapland that you shouldn’t miss:

1. Arktikum

Stepping into Arktikum is like opening a doorway to the Arctic’s soul. This museum and science center in Rovaniemi offers a deep dive into the history, culture, and wonders of the Arctic region. From the indigenous Sámi culture to the mesmerizing phenomena of the northern lights, every exhibit tells a story that captivates the heart and mind.

The modern architecture of Arktikum, with its stunning glass corridor, reflects the beauty of the Arctic. It truly mirrors the shimmering waters and snowy landscapes. As you wander through the exhibits, you’ll discover the rich biodiversity of the region, the challenges of climate change, and the age-old traditions that have shaped the lives of its inhabitants. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Lapland, offering both education and inspiration.

For travelers eager to understand the essence of the Arctic, Arktikum is a must-visit. It’s not merely a museum; it’s an experience, a journey that unveils the mysteries and magic of the Arctic world. So, when you’re visiting Lapland, make sure Arktikum is on your list. It’s a testament to the region’s beauty, history, and resilience.

A spacious and modern interior of the Arktikum museum, one of the most beautiful places in Lapland
The spacious and modern interior of the Arktikum Museum, one of the most beautiful places in Lapland

2. Autti

In the heart of Finnish Lapland lies Autti, a serene haven that captures the essence of the Arctic’s untouched beauty. With its sprawling river canyons and dense pine forests, Autti offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s one of those pretty places in Lapland where nature sings its most melodious tunes.

The charm of Autti is in its simplicity. The gentle flow of the river, the whispering pines, and the soft crunch of snow underfoot create a harmonious backdrop for a range of activities. From leisurely walks along the riverbanks to exhilarating husky rides, there’s something for every kind of traveler. And as the sun sets, the village transforms into a cozy retreat, with the aroma of traditional Finnish cuisine wafting through the air.

Autti is a must-see for any traveler interested in experiencing authentic Lapland. Traditions are highly valued, nature is respected, and every day is a cause for joy. So, if you’re wondering where to go in Lapland, let Autti be your answer. It promises memories that will last a lifetime.

Escape to Autti's tranquil wilderness, where the whispers of the forest soothe the soul
Escape to Autti’s tranquil wilderness, where the whispers of the forest soothe the soul

3. Inari

Inari stands as a beacon of culture and tradition in the vast landscapes of Finnish Lapland. As the cultural hub for the indigenous Sámi people, this enchanting town offers a rich tapestry of history, art, and natural beauty. It’s one of the most scenic places in Lapland, where the past and present coalesce in a harmonious dance.

The heart of Inari beats at the Siida Museum, a window into the life, traditions, and challenges of the Sámi people. Here, intricate handicrafts, vibrant costumes, and age-old artifacts narrate tales of resilience, adaptation, and unity. As you stroll through the town, the serene waters of Lake Inari beckon. It truly reflects the azure skies and offering a tranquil setting for reflection and relaxation.

Adventure seekers can embark on treks to explore the remnants of the Ice Age or indulge in fishing expeditions, while those looking for spiritual solace can find it in the ancient Sámi rituals and ceremonies. As your day in Inari draws to a close, the shimmering Northern Lights often make a grand appearance. They often paint the night sky in a riot of colors. If you’re making a list of where to go in Lapland, you should prioritize seeing Inari since it is so much more than a simple settlement. This truly makes it a must see in Lapland!

A majestic deer in the pristine wilderness of Inari
A majestic deer in the pristine wilderness of Inari

4. Ivalo

Tucked away in the northern reaches of Finland, Ivalo is a pristine paradise that captures the very essence of Arctic wilderness. It’s one of those beautiful places in Lapland where time seems to stand still, and nature reigns supreme. The vast Lappish landscapes stretch as far as the eye can see. This offers a serene backdrop for a myriad of adventures.

Ivalo’s charm lies in its versatility. During the winter months, the town transforms into a snowy wonderland, perfect for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. The frozen rivers and lakes become playgrounds for ice fishing enthusiasts, while the dense forests beckon with promises of husky rides and reindeer safaris. As the seasons change, Ivalo reveals another side of its beauty. The snow melts to unveil lush green meadows, teeming with wildlife and dotted with wildflowers. Hiking, canoeing, and bird watching become the activities of choice, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in the natural splendor of the region.

As the day fades and the Arctic night descends, Ivalo often treats its visitors to the mesmerizing dance of the Northern Lights. It’s a sight that leaves one spellbound, a magical end to a day in one of the most beautiful cities in Lapland. Ivalo is more than just a destination; it’s a celebration of nature in its purest form.

Journey into the Arctic wilderness of Ivalo, where adventure meets breathtaking landscapes
Journey into the Arctic wilderness of Ivalo, where adventure meets breathtaking landscapes

5. Kemi

Kemi, perched on the shores of the Gulf of Bothnia, is a shimmering jewel in the crown of Finnish Lapland. It’s one of the stunning locations in Lapland that effortlessly blends the magic of winter with the warmth of Finnish hospitality. As the sea freezes over, Kemi unveils its most iconic attraction: the majestic SnowCastle.

Every winter, artists and architects come together to craft this icy marvel. With its intricate sculptures, grand archways, and even a chapel, the SnowCastle is a testament to human ingenuity and the ethereal beauty of ice. But Kemi’s allure doesn’t end there. The town is also home to the Icebreaker Sampo, a vessel that offers unique cruises, cutting through the thick ice and offering travelers an unparalleled Arctic experience.

Beyond its icy wonders, Kemi boasts a rich cultural tapestry. The gemstone museum dazzles with its collection of precious stones, while the Gothic revival church stands as a beacon of history and architecture. As you wander through the town, the aroma of Finnish delicacies fills the air. It definitely invites you to indulge in culinary delights.

In your quest for Lapland beauty, Kemi promises a blend of adventure, culture, and sheer wonder. It’s a destination that enchants, surprises, and stays with you long after you’ve left. It’s easy to see why this is one of the most beautiful places in Lapland!

Kemi: Where the sea meets the sky in a harmonious blend of blue hues
Kemi: Where the sea meets the sky in a harmonious blend of blue hues

6. Levi

High up in the Arctic Circle, Levi sparkles as one of the best places to visit in Lapland. Renowned for its world-class ski slopes and vibrant après-ski scene, this premier ski resort town is a haven for winter sports enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. With its snow-capped fells and pristine landscapes, Levi offers an authentic Lapland experience that’s hard to match.

The thrill of descending down the 43 ski slopes, the serenity of cross-country skiing through silent forests, and the magic of snowmobile safaris are just a few of the adventures that await in Levi. And when night falls, the town comes alive with music, dance, and laughter. This is when visitors and locals gather to celebrate the joys of winter.

But Levi’s charm isn’t confined to its snowy terrains. The resort town also offers unique accommodations that elevate the Arctic experience. Imagine sleeping under a canopy of stars in a luxurious igloo hotel or warming up in a traditional Finnish sauna after a day on the slopes. It’s these little moments that make Levi truly special.

Levi stands out as a must-visit for people planning their Lapland destinations. Every day is an opportunity to create a new memory, and this is a place where the wonder of winter is honored in all its forms.

Experience the thrill of northern lights in Levi, as the sky comes alive with dancing auroras
Experience the thrill of northern lights in Levi, as the sky comes alive with dancing auroras

7. Levin Lapinkylä

Nestled in the shadows of the mighty Levi fells, Levin Lapinkylä offers a unique blend of tradition and adventure. It’s one of those pretty places in Lapland where the spirit of the Arctic is palpable in every nook and cranny. From traditional wooden cabins to the rhythmic beat of Sámi drums, Levin Lapinkylä is a celebration of Lappish culture and heritage.

The village provides a rare opportunity to immerse oneself in the daily life of the Arctic. Here, you can experience the age-old traditions of reindeer herding, learn the art of Lappish handicrafts, or simply enjoy the tranquility of the Arctic wilderness. As you wander through the village, the aroma of freshly baked bread and smoked fish fills the air, inviting you to indulge in the culinary delights of the region.

Discover the captivating allure of Levin Lapinkylä, where tradition seamlessly intertwines with modernity. The village also serves as a gateway to a range of Arctic adventures. From husky safaris to snowshoe hikes, there’s no shortage of thrilling experiences to be had. And as the day draws to a close, the village comes alive with stories, songs, and dances, celebrating the magic of the Arctic night.

Visit Levin Lapinkylä in Lapland if you want to feel like you’re really in the Arctic. Everyday is an opportunity to make new memories and honor old ones.

Welcome to Levin Lapinkylä, a cozy winter retreat nestled in the heart of Lapland's snowy wilderness
Welcome to Levin Lapinkylä, a cozy winter retreat nestled in the heart of Lapland’s snowy wilderness

8. Nuorgam

Nuorgam, perched at the very tip of Finland, holds the distinction of being the northernmost point of the European Union. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Lapland, where the Teno River flows gracefully, marking the border between Finland and Norway. The vast, untouched landscapes of Nuorgam offer a serene escape, where the Arctic’s raw beauty is on full display.

The allure of Nuorgam lies in its pristine wilderness. Here, the midnight sun shines bright during summer, casting a golden hue over the landscapes, while winter brings with it the mesmerizing dance of the Northern Lights. Anglers from around the world are drawn to the Teno River, renowned for its abundant salmon, making it a fishing paradise.

Beyond its natural wonders, Nuorgam offers a glimpse into the life and traditions of the Sámi people. The local handicrafts, vibrant festivals, and traditional cuisine provide a rich tapestry of cultural experiences. From staying in cozy cabins to enjoying a traditional Lappish meal by the fireside, every moment in Nuorgam is a celebration of Arctic life.

For travelers charting their journey through the Arctic, Nuorgam stands out as a destination that promises both adventure and tranquility. It’s one of those Lapland destinations that leaves an indelible mark on the heart, beckoning one to return time and again.

A serene river flowing through the pristine landscape of Nuorgam
A serene river flowing through the pristine landscape of Nuorgam

9. Riisitunturi National Park

Riisitunturi National Park, with its undulating fells and ancient forests, is a dream come true for nature enthusiasts. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Lapland, offering a mesmerizing blend of natural beauty and Arctic wonders. As you step into this protected area, you’re greeted by a landscape that seems to have sprung straight out of a fairy tale.

The park is renowned for its unique ‘tykky’ trees, which are cloaked in a thick layer of snow and ice during the winter months. These ghostly figures stand tall against the backdrop of the park’s snow-covered fells, creating a surreal and enchanting atmosphere. As seasons change, Riisitunturi comes alive with vibrant hues, with wildflowers dotting the meadows and birdsong filling the air.

Hiking trails wind their way through the park, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Each trail provides a unique perspective, from the breathtaking vistas atop the fells to the serene beauty of the park’s wetlands and lakes. And as night descends, the clear Arctic skies often play host to the ethereal dance of the Northern Lights.

Riisitunturi National Park in Lapland is a must-see for people looking for a deep connection with nature. Every day is a festival honoring the Arctic’s raw, untamed splendor.

Riisitunturi National Park: A pristine winter wonderland blanketed in snow and serenity
Riisitunturi National Park: A pristine winter wonderland blanketed in snow and serenity

10. Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi, often hailed as the official hometown of Santa Claus, is a vibrant city that embodies the magic and wonder of Finnish Lapland. It’s one of the prettiest places in Lapland, where urban sophistication meets Arctic wilderness. This creates a mosaic of experiences that cater to travelers of all ages.

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The city’s most iconic attraction is, without a doubt, the Santa Claus Village. Here, the spirit of Christmas is alive all year round, with elves, reindeer, and the jolly old man himself welcoming visitors with open arms. Beyond the festive allure, Rovaniemi boasts a rich cultural scene. The Arktikum Museum offers insights into the Arctic’s history and culture, while the Korundi House of Culture showcases contemporary art and music.

As the sun dips below the horizon, Rovaniemi reveals another facet of its charm. The Northern Lights often illuminate the night sky, casting ethereal glows over the snow-covered landscapes. And for those seeking adventure, the surrounding wilderness beckons with promises of husky safaris, snowmobile tours, and ice fishing expeditions.

In your quest for Lapland’s beautiful places, Rovaniemi stands out as a destination that offers both enchantment and excitement. It’s a city that celebrates the joys of the Arctic, ensuring memories that linger long after the journey ends. So, if you’re looking for a top place to visit for Christmas, Rovaniemi is it!

A snowy landscape in Rovaniemi, Finland, with a cozy cabin nestled in the woods
A snowy landscape in Rovaniemi, Finland, with a cozy cabin nestled in the woods

11. Saariselkä

Saariselkä, with its rolling fells and dense pine forests, is a haven for those seeking solace in nature’s embrace. It’s one of the most beautiful places of Lapland, where the wilderness sings a lullaby and the Northern Lights dance in the night sky. This picturesque village, located in the heart of the Urho Kekkonen National Park, offers a serene backdrop for a myriad of Arctic adventures.

The allure of Saariselkä lies in its vast landscapes and the myriad activities they offer.

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In the winter, the snow-covered fells become a playground for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. The well-marked trails invite hikers and trekkers to explore the region’s natural wonders, from cascading waterfalls to serene lakes that mirror the azure skies.

Saariselkä, however, is not limited to its natural surroundings. After a day of adventuring, visitors can relax in one of the village’s authentic Lappish saunas. Enjoy authentic Finnish cuisine at one of the many local restaurants for a memory-making experience that rivals the country’s stunning natural beauty.

Saariselkä, a town in Lapland, is a must-see for anyone planning a trip to the Arctic, as it is a haven of peace and adventure that will leave visitors with stories to tell for years to come.

Saariselkä: A winter wonderland where the snow-covered forests beckon to be explored
Saariselkä: A winter wonderland where the snow-covered forests beckon to be explored

12. Ylläs Ski Resort

High in the Finnish Arctic, Ylläs Ski Resort emerges as a winter wonderland, drawing visitors with its pristine slopes and alpine charm. It’s one of the Lapland destinations that seamlessly blends exhilarating sports with the serene beauty of the Arctic wilderness. With its 63 slopes and over 330 km of cross-country skiing trails, Ylläs promises an unmatched skiing experience.

The resort is not just about skiing, though. Snowboarding, snowshoeing, and ice climbing are just a few of the many winter activities that Ylläs offers. And for those who prefer a slower pace, the surrounding landscapes beckon with promises of serene winter walks and reindeer safaris.

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The panoramic views from the top of the Ylläs fell are nothing short of breathtaking. This offers a bird’s eye view of the Arctic in all its glory.

As evening descends, the resort comes alive with vibrant après-ski activities. Cozy cafes and restaurants serve up delicious Lappish cuisine, while the local bars offer a chance to unwind and share tales of the day’s adventures.

One of the most beautiful spots in all of Lapland, Ylläs Ski Resort is ideal for those in need of a tranquil getaway after a day of adrenaline-pumping fun. It’s a place where you may experience a little bit of the enchantment of the Alps in the middle of the Arctic.

Ylläs Ski Resort's main building in a snowy landscape, welcoming visitors with its cozy charm
Ylläs Ski Resort’s main building in a snowy landscape, welcoming visitors with its cozy charm

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Visiting the Beautiful Places in Lapland

Looking to expand your knowledge about the most scenic spots in Lapland? Here are some common questions I get a lot about the best Lapland attractions and activities.

Which part of Lapland is best?

Lapland is a vast region with diverse attractions, and the “best” part often depends on individual preferences. For those seeking a blend of urban sophistication and Arctic wilderness, Rovaniemi stands out as a top choice. It’s the official hometown of Santa Claus and offers a mix of cultural attractions like Arktikum. For ski enthusiasts, Ylläs Ski Resort and Levi are top picks. Meanwhile, those looking to immerse themselves in authentic Lappish culture might find Levin Lapinkylä or Inari to be the best. Each area has its unique charm, making Lapland destinations varied and appealing for different reasons.

What is Lapland Finland best known for?

Lapland Finland is best known for its stunning Arctic landscapes, the Northern Lights, and being the official home of Santa Claus. It’s a region where the midnight sun shines in summer, and polar nights envelop the land in winter. The rich Sami culture, reindeer herding, and unique phenomena like the polar nights and midnight sun are also significant attractions. Moreover, Lapland’s beautiful places, from its fells to its dense forests, make it a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

How can I experience the Northern Lights in Lapland?

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are one of the most sought-after experiences in Lapland. The best time to witness this natural spectacle is during the winter months, from September to March. Rovaniemi, Saariselkä, and Levi are popular spots. However, venturing to more remote areas like Nuorgam can increase your chances of a clear sighting. Remember, the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, so sightings can’t be guaranteed, but Lapland scenery offers some of the best opportunities to witness them.

Are there unique culinary experiences in Lapland?

Absolutely! Lapland offers a rich culinary scene influenced by its natural surroundings. Reindeer meat, cloudberries, and freshly caught fish are staples. Traditional dishes like sautéed reindeer, Lappish cheese with cloudberry jam, and salmon soup are a must-try when visiting Lapland. Many local restaurants and eateries pride themselves on using fresh, local ingredients, ensuring an authentic taste of the Arctic.

Experience the northren lights of Lapland, where winter dreams come to life in a snowy wonderland
Experience the northren lights of Lapland, where winter dreams come to life in a snowy wonderland

What activities can I enjoy in Lapland during summer?

While Lapland is often associated with winter activities, summer in this Arctic paradise is equally enchanting. Hiking, fishing, and canoeing are popular pastimes. The phenomenon of the midnight sun, where the sun doesn’t set for several weeks, is a unique experience. This allows for night-time activities under a sunlit sky, truly one of the best parts of Lapland during the warmer months.

Where is the most Christmassy place in Lapland?

The most Christmassy place in Lapland is Rovaniemi, which is often referred to as the “Official Hometown of Santa Claus.” Here’s why:

  1. Santa Claus Village: Located right on the Arctic Circle, this village is where you can meet Santa Claus any day of the year. It’s a magical place filled with twinkling lights, snowy landscapes, and the festive spirit of Christmas.
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  2. Santa Claus Post Office: Send a letter with a special Arctic Circle postmark. This post office handles letters addressed to Santa and also replies to children’s letters from around the world.
  3. Santa Claus Main Office: Here, you can see Santa’s busy elves at work. You can even get a glimpse of Santa’s secret command center.
  4. Reindeer and Husky Rides: Experience a traditional mode of Lappish transportation by taking a sleigh ride pulled by reindeer or huskies through the snowy forests.
  5. Northern Lights: Lapland offers one of the best chances to witness the mesmerizing Aurora Borealis. This definitely adds to the magical Christmas atmosphere.
  6. Snow Activities: From snowmobiling to ice fishing and cross-country skiing, there’s a winter activity for everyone.
  7. Stay in Ice Hotels or Glass Igloos: Unique accommodations allow visitors to immerse themselves in the Arctic environment. There’s often a good chance to gaze at the Northern Lights right from their beds.

Is it possible to meet the Sami people and learn about their culture?

Yes, the Sami are the indigenous people of Lapland, and there are several cultural centers and villages, like Inari, where visitors can learn about their traditions, folklore, and way of life. Engaging in activities like reindeer herding or staying in a traditional Sami tent (lavvu) offers a deeper understanding of Lapland’s beauty rooted in its people and culture.

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Is Lapland really worth it?

Absolutely, Lapland is worth visiting, but the experience can vary depending on individual preferences. Here’s why many travelers find Lapland to be a unique and enchanting destination:

  1. Santa Claus Village: For those who cherish the magic of Christmas, meeting Santa Claus in his official hometown in Rovaniemi is a dream come true. It’s a festive experience regardless of age.
  2. Northern Lights: Lapland offers one of the best opportunities in the world to witness the mesmerizing Aurora Borealis. The natural light display in the Earth’s sky is predominantly seen in high-latitude regions around the Arctic and Antarctic.
  3. Midnight Sun: During summer, Lapland experiences the phenomenon where the sun doesn’t set for several weeks, offering a unique experience and extended hours to explore.
  4. Unique Accommodations: From ice hotels to glass igloos, staying in Lapland can be an adventure in itself.
  5. Winter Activities: Snowmobiling, dog sledding, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing are just a few of the activities that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the Lappish environment.
  6. Sámi Culture: Lapland provides an opportunity to learn about the indigenous Sámi people, their traditions, and their relationship with nature.
  7. Stunning Nature: The pristine wilderness, national parks, and serene landscapes offer a peaceful retreat. It’s truly a haven for nature lovers.

Final Thoughts on Visiting Beautiful Places in Lapland

Lapland is a destination that beckons travelers from all corners of the globe. It’s a place where the wonders of nature, from the mesmerizing Northern Lights to the endless horizons of the midnight sun, intertwine seamlessly with age-old traditions and modern comforts. As we’ve journeyed through some of the most beautiful places in Lapland, it’s evident that this Arctic paradise offers more than just picturesque views. It’s an experience, a feeling, a connection to a land that remains untamed and pure.

Whether you’re an adventurer seeking the thrill of husky sledding, a culture enthusiast keen on diving into the Sami way of life, or simply someone looking to find solace in the vast, serene landscapes, Lapland has something for everyone. Each destination tells a story, waiting to be discovered and cherished.

As you chart your own journey through this Arctic wonderland, remember that Lapland is not just a place on the map. It’s a realm of dreams, magic, and memories waiting to be made. So, pack your bags, set your spirit free, and let the enchanting beauty of Lapland fill your heart and soul.

The most beautiful places in Lapland for all types of travelers
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