Visit Santa Claus Village Finland at Christmas time truly a dream, a magical journey. We’ve packed our suitcase with this complete guide with detailed information on how to get there, opening hours, things to do… Come on, we’ll tell you all about it!
Santa Claus Village information
Although started out as just a hut, today Santa Claus village has become a small tourist village with a Father Christmas office, a post office, but also several shops and restaurants. It even has a petrol station.
So, although it is isolated from everything, here is also ready to receive visitors from all over the world, with the option, if you want to stay overnight.
Santa Claus village location
Location: You know he lives in Lapland, but you’re probably wondering where exactly is? To visit Santa Claus village, you’ll have to get to Joulumaantie 1 (Rovaniemi), located in northern Finland and very near the Arctic Circle.
Something you should know if you want to visit Santa Claus village in Lapland, is that it is not exactly in the modern city where most travellers stay. Father Christmas Village is located in the middle of the forest, 8 kilometres from Rovaniemi and just over 3 kilometres from the airport.
Santa Claus village opening hours
The shops and restaurants in Santa Claus village in Lapland open every day at 10am, and it’s important to know that they close at 5pm. There are some that even open a little later, from 11:00 hours onwards. So, as you can see, getting up early in Santa Claus village is not the norm.
On the other hand, although here does not close at any time, as it is not a fenced enclosure, after 5.30pm there is not much else to do there, except go for dinner.
How long does it take to visit Santa Claus Village?
Actually 1 day is enough to visit Santa Claus Village in Lapland, but we think it will be too short if you also intend to do some activities. In our experience, if you want to enjoy this dream in peace and quiet, 2 days is the perfect time, especially if you are going to see Santa Claus with kids.
Just by going into his office to chat with him for a few minutes, it will take you quite a while. But you should know that if you visit Father Christmas in Lapland in December (the month when he receives the most people), in that case, it will take you at least 2 to 3 hours of waiting time.
On the other hand, keep in mind that at 5 pm they close everything, and there is not much else to do there. So we recommend booking a night at Father Christmas Village, a great way to make the most of your time, especially if you’re visiting with kids at Christmas.
From Rovaniemi to Santa Claus Village
To get to Santa Claus Village from Rovaniemi by public transport, there is a city bus that makes several stops, and in this simple way, you can get to Father Christmas Village on your own in just half an hour.
Once you get on bus 8, just wait for the last stop, Napapiiri, which is the Finnish name for the Arctic Circle. Don’t tell us it’s not cool to take a bus to the North Pole.
The ticket is paid to the driver, and you can pay in cash or by card. The price is 3,60 euros.
An important thing to bear in mind is to check the timetables at the bus stop, as they can change depending on the time of year.
Another thing you should know is that they are punctual to the minute, so you’d better be at the bus stop a little early, so you don’t miss the bus by the skin of your teeth, because they don’t delay or wait. Especially if you are going to in December and Christmas, when there are most tourists, because the bus is most likely to be full at that time of year.
Recommend Santa Claus Village hotel
Where to sleep at Christmas? If in addition to going to see Father Christmas in his office at the North Pole, you want to fulfil your travel dream and stay overnight in Santa’s village in Lapland, here are all the options:
Nova Skyland Hotel: It has both Nordic cabins and rooms. If you are going to Santa’s village with your family, there are cabins for up to 8 people. But there are also suites perfect for a honeymoon in Father Christmas’ village (Lapland), with a huge window to see the landscape and, if you are lucky, the northern lights. A real treat.
Father Christmas Holiday Village: Beautiful wooden cabins only 5 minutes walk from the Post Office. They are available with sauna and in different sizes, so they are also a good option if you are going to visit Father Christmas’ village with children. We went to have a look and have already made a note of them for our next visit. Besides, waking up surrounded by snow in winter must be amazing.
Glass Resort: Apartments in the village of Father Christmas (Lapland) with sauna and private outdoor hot tub.
Great for couples, but they also have deluxe villas for up to 9 people.
Santa’s Igloos Arctic Circle: Stay in a glass-roofed igloo in Santa’s village in Lapland, another dream come true in the Arctic Circle.
How to enter Santa’s house in Finland?
Once you arrive at Santa’s village, just go to the Father Christmas Office and open the door. The first thing you will see there is a souvenir shop where the elves are working, and an access to enter to visit Joulupukki, the reason for this trip to Lapland.
Along the way you can see containers of gifts, shelves full of wrapped packages, and even, if you look through the peepholes of some of the doors, the elves preparing everything! Even if you’re not looking forward, it’s a dream come true. If you’re visiting Father Christmas in Lapland with children, they’re in for a real treat.
What to see in Santa Claus Village?
So what can you see in here? Make a note, because apart from visiting Santa Claus at Christmas, there’s so much more.
Arctic Circle Tourist Information
- Map: Joulupukin Pajakylä, Sodankyläntie 736, Rovaniemi
- Open: 11 am – 4 pm. Sunday closed
The first thing we recommend, once you arrive at Father Christmas Village in Lapland, is to find your way around on a map. You can get it at Joulupukin Lahjatalo, the first place you will find in Father Christmas Village. Once inside, look for Arctic Circle Information.
It’s actually a shopping arcade full of small shops with souvenirs and a café where you can have a hot drink overlooking Santa’s house (especially if you want to warm up before you go in or to recover from the illusion when you come out).
World’s biggest Father Christmas scarf
And before you leave Joulupukin Lahjatalo, find a corner with a chair, wool and two knitting needles. This is where the world’s longest Father Christmas scarf is.
You can take part like us, and make it grow a little bit longer by being part of this cool winter accessory in Lapland.
Arctic Circle Line in Lapland (Napapiiri)
If, like us, you’ve been dreaming of visiting Father Christmas’ house in Lapland for a long time, crossing the Arctic Circle is a great moment. It’s also very easy, because in the central square of Santa’s village (if it hasn’t snowed too much) you’ll see it perfectly signposted with the exact location coordinates: 66°32′35″.
If you want, you can even take your certificate of having crossed the Polar Circle with you. For a fee, of course.
The main square of Santa Claus village Village
A must for souvenirs and beautiful photos if you are going to visit Father Christmas’ village in Lapland. In Central Square you have the office building of Joulupukki, the Finnish name given to Father Christmas, and if you visit from November onwards, a huge decorated Christmas tree.
Here you can also find the Father Christmas Village webcam, where you can be seen live from anywhere in the world (with a few seconds delay, of course).
Santa Claus Office
- Map: Joulumaantie 1, 96930 Rovaniemi
- Open: 10 am – 5 pm
This is the main building and where Father Christmas receives all his visitors. But you will also find other things:
- When you enter you will see that there is a shelf with a lot of information and brochures of activities.
- There are bathrooms on the ground floor, and free of charge.
- Official Father Christmas shop where you can buy souvenirs of your visit to Santa’s village in Lapland.
- Upstairs, you have another cheaper, but more bazaar-style shop.
- Tables where you can write your letters to Father Christmas before you go in to see him. In case there’s something you remembered at the last minute.
Santa Claus Reindeer
According to Christmas mythology, there are nine reindeer pull the magic sleigh with which Santa Claus travels around the world delivering presents on the night of 24 December. So, Reindeer sleigh rides are one of the most popular activities in Lapland. Here the ride is short (1 km or 400 metres). It is open from 10am to 4pm, at a price of 30 euros per person.
If you’re not keen on sledge bread, you can still visit their farm. If you buy a ticket (5 euros per person) you can see Santa’s reindeer up close, feed them and take photos. They also explain the daily use they have had in Finland (especially in Lapland) and how these animals are cared for.
Typical Finnish teepee
If you want to know what the Sami used to live in and look after their reindeer, you can also see it in Father Christmas’ village in Lapland.
The old Arctic Circle house, also known as Roosevelt Hut, is the wooden hut where the Father Christmas village we are visiting today in Lapland was born.
You might pass it by, because today it’s a souvenir shop selling handmade reindeer antler souvenirs. Here you’ll find everything from a whistle to a can opener engraved with your name for free. But the real curiosity of this cabin lies in its history, as this is the origin of Father Christmas Village.
In 1950 Eleanor Roosevelt visited Finland, almost as a surprise, to check out the application of UNRRA funds (the predecessor of UNICEF). From then on, tourists began arriving here to cross the Arctic Circle (as did the First Lady of the United States), also seeking to see where Father Christmas lives. Gradually the village grew into what we see today.
What to do in Santa Claus Village?
This is the big question we asked ourselves before visiting Father Christmas Village (Lapland) at Christmas. And the truth is that there are many options, but let’s start with the most important one:
Seeing Santa Claus
The first thing you should know is that Santa Claus is working in his office every day from 10 am to 5 pm. Once you arrive at the door of his office, an elf asks you what country you come from, and so Joulupukki greets you with a hello, but….
You should know that during the visit, you cannot take photos or record videos.
The images are taken by an elf who takes a couple of beautiful photos and records the whole meeting, from beginning to end. If you want to have it as a souvenir, in addition to the one you keep in your memory, there is another elf who offers you the complete package. They give you a link for which you pay 45 euros, and from which you can download this moment with Santa Claus on various devices for a year.
Give your letter at Santa’s Main Post Office
- Map: Tähtikuja 1, 96930 Rovaniemi
- Open: 10 am – 5 pm
But you will also see the elves working hard to receive and send the mail to Father Christmas. Every year, around 500,000 letters arrive at Santa’s Lapland Post Office from 200 countries. And his helpers have to open and read about 20 million wishes. Hardly anything, eh?
There you have two mailboxes, an orange one, which is for normal mail, and a red one, for letters to arrive at Christmas. Both are stamped with the special Arctic Circle stamp in either case.
If you also want Santa Claus to send you a letter home or an email, they also have a form that you fill in with your personal details and an email address. This way you will receive Santa’s mail from his home in Lapland. Full service, they call 🙂
Riding a snowmobile
In Santa Claus village there is also Arctic Circle Snowmobile Park, a small snowmobile track for children. If you’re visiting at Christmas, this is another great activity to do in Lapland.
And so, with our suitcases full of dreams fulfilled and the illusion of having made them possible, we finish this guide to visit Santa Claus village in Lapland at Christmas. What do you think? We are waiting for your comments! In return, we leave you more information that will come in handy if you like to make Christmas trips. Nothing can stop us from enjoying the finest time of the year.