11 days in Helsinki, Rovaniemi & Saariselka Itinerary

11 days in Helsinki, Rovaniemi & Saariselka Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Finland holiday planner

Make it your trip
1
Helsinki
— 3 nights
Fly
2
Rovaniemi
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Saariselka
— 3 nights

S M T W T F S
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1

Helsinki

— 3 nights

Daughter of the Baltic

Finland's largest and most populated metropolis, the maritime town of Helsinki boasts varied architecture, a lively cafe culture, and plethora of picturesque natural delights.
Get some historical perspective at Sea Fortress Suomenlinna and Temppeliaukio Church. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Helsinki Cathedral and Seurasaari Island and Open-Air Museum. Change things up with a short trip to Nuuksio National Park in Espoo (about 48 minutes away). And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Uspenskin Cathedral (Uspenskin Katedraali), admire the striking features of Helsinki Central Railway Station, and examine the collection at The Helsinki Fire Museum.

For ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Helsinki holiday tool.

If you are flying in from Italy, the closest major aiports are Helsinki Vantaa Airport, Turku Airport and Tampere-Pirkkala Airport. Expect a daytime high around 3°C in December, and nighttime lows around -3°C. On the 21st (Tue), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Rovaniemi.

Things to do in Helsinki

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 18 — 21:

Rovaniemi

— 4 nights

Official Hometown of Santa Claus

An urban center set amongst the great Arctic wilderness, Rovaniemi serves as the capital of Lapland province.
Get some historical perspective at Rovaniemi Church and Church of Sodankyla. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Arktikum and Christmas House Santa. Step out of Rovaniemi with an excursion to Museum - Gallery Alariesto in Sodankyla--about 1h 35 min away. There's still lots to do: don't miss a visit to Santa Claus Village, enjoy some diversion at Santa Claus Office, stop by LAURI Handicraft Shop & Atelier, and get in on the family fun at SantaPark - the Home Cavern of Santa Claus.

To see traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Rovaniemi online tour planner.

Traveling by flight from Helsinki to Rovaniemi takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In December, Rovaniemi is a bit cooler than Helsinki - with highs of -6°C and lows of -13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Saariselka.

Things to do in Rovaniemi

Theme Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 21 — 25:

Saariselka

— 3 nights
Outdoor pursuits--ranging from cross-country skiing and snowmobiling to reindeer safaris and chasing Northern Lights--draw the largest number of tourists to Saariselka.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Saint Tryphon Pechenga Orthodox Church and Pielpajarvi Wilderness Church. Get in touch with nature at Angeli Reindeer Farm and Saariselka Ski & Sport Resort. Change things up with these side-trips from Saariselka: Taatsin seita (in Kittila) and Siida - Sami Museum and Nature Center (in Inari). Next up on the itinerary: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Saariselka S:t Paulus Chapel and look for gifts at Hippupuoti Gift Shop.

To see where to stay and more tourist information, you can read our Saariselka trip planner.

Drive from Rovaniemi to Saariselka in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Rovaniemi in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Saariselka, with lows of -17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Saariselka

Outdoors · Parks · Winter Sports · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 25 — 28: