Why Every Christmas Lover Needs to Visit Rovaniemi, Finland

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Deal Expert, Chicago
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Snow-sprinkled trees, amazing auroras, rambunctious reindeer… Here’s why every Christmas lover needs to visit Rovaniemi, Finland.

It’s technically not on the North Pole, but Rovaniemi is known as “the official home of Santa Claus.”

A photo posted by Jurkkionpessi (@reissujussi) on

That’s right, all you have to do is head to the northwestern part of Finland (right by Sweden), and you can meet Santa Claus himself and cross the Arctic Circle any day of the year at Rovaniemi’s Santa Claus Village.

Remember writing letters to Santa? This is where they went!

The Santa Claus Main Post Office is a real-life post office that operates 365 days a year and happens to be the place where all letters to Santa are sent.

The village even has reindeer….

A photo posted by @sisi_zyun on

…that give you sleigh rides!

A photo posted by Lim En (@limen2000) on

Oh, and there are dogsled rides, too.

A photo posted by Aurélie (@aurelie_fp) on

If that isn’t magical enough, Rovaniemi has a subarctic climate that makes for long, snow-covered winters. So, for months on end, it looks like this:

A photo posted by Grigor (@grigoor) on

And this!

A photo posted by Safartica (@safartica) on

A photo posted by Ilkka Ruuska (@ilkkaruuska) on

Which makes it a wonderful place to go skiing, snowshoing or even snowmobiling.

A photo posted by Ville Puominen (@villeemeli) on

So you can cruise around scenery that looks like this…

A photo posted by Ilkka Ruuska (@ilkkaruuska) on

Or even visit the Kingdom of Snow and Ice, aka the Arctic SnowHotel, which is a real hotel you can stay in that looks like this:

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If you needed another excuse to visit, consider this — Rovaniemi is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights.

In Lapland (Roveniemi’s province), there can be as many as 200(!) auroral displays each year, while southern Finland usually sees fewer than 20.

A photo posted by Jani Ylinampa (@janiylinampa) on

Yep, Rovaniemi is just about as close to a real-life winter wonderland as you can get.

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See you in Finland!

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