Is this a ghost town?

Rovaniemi and the whole Lapland is known for its magical snowy winter scenes. But now that the high season (of tourists) is over, does it mean that there’s nothing to see, do or appreciate?

No way, the best season is only beginning!

Lapland's summer is it's own concept in Finland

I love Rovaniemi much better without the snow. It’s much easier to get around the town because you have many different cheap options to choose from. Obviously you can walk, but with clear steers you may enjoy also bicycling or renting an e-scooter to get around quicker. I managed to find a cheap old motor scooter which I love to ride around in the summer breeze.

Now that we know how to get around, what can we do? Well now that the temperatures are on a warmer side, it’s easy to enjoy perhaps an long night in the nature by the fire? Rovaniemi has over 100 different laavus (bonfire places) all over the city. You can find them all hereMy favourite is Kuninkaanlaavu, it has the most magnificent views to the Ounasjoki.

Views in Kuninkaanlaavu are breathtaking

And what is summer without swimming? Soon the ice will melt from the rivers and lakes, and you can enjoy a refreshing dip to the water. I’ll admit, that the water won’t get too warm, but you’ll get used to  the cold, and it’s good practice for the next winters ice swimming.

Great places to enjoy a beach day in Rovaniemi are: Ounasjoki beach (otherwise known as Valdemari’s beach), Norvajärvi beach, Alakorkalo Beach, And Tammanlaakso. Norvajärvi and Alakorkalo beaches have also laavus on them, so a perfect summer day is secured. Here you can see all official swimming spots and beaches of Rovaniemi.

Norvajärvi's scenery reminds me of Finland's lake region

Sonkajärvi is located 30min drive away

Another option for great summer activities, is to head to Roiske, which has a floating water park, wake boarding, e-surfing etc. But if swimming in the river doesn’t get your heart racing enough, I’d recommend heading to Ounasvaara ski resort. They have summer bobsleighing and bike park (downhill biking), so you’ll still get to feel the wind in your hair as you’re coming down the slopes with a bike or a sledge.

During Summer there is also few seasonal restaurants open, for example Kesärafla, which serves great BBQ food, and they have a public Sauna open the whole summer season. One place I especially want to visit this summer is Savurafla Kotisaari, which is a restaurant on an nearby island in Kemiriver. Café Bar 21 usually opens two gelato shops located in the center, which will serve their delicious handmade gelato. Pub Old Lättis at Kauppatori is also a great place to enjoy the never-ending midnight sun.

You can find very delicious and instagramable gelatos at Lordi's Square during summer

During summer you’ll have perhaps more time to visit also other parts of Lapland, and here I have listed some great event’s all over Lapland that you may want to take part in:

Silence Festival, contemporary classical music and contemporary circus, 8.-11.6.2023 Kaukonen Village, Kittilä

Midnight Sun Filmfestival, 14.–18.6.2023Sodankylä

Santa Open Air, music festival, 7.-8.7.2023 Rovaniemi

Luosto Soi! Classical music festival, 27.-30.7.2023 Luosto, Pyhä and Sodankylä

Sonka's Tar Celebration, date not confirmed yet, Oitolanranta, Rovaniemi

WaterCross, normally in early August (cancelled this year), Sodankylä

Pyhä Unplugged, music festival, 3.8.2023 - 6.8.2023 Pyhä Ski resort

Sime Rock, Music Festival, 11.-12.8.2023 Rovaniemi

IJAHIS IDJA, music festival concentrates on Sámi music, 18.-19.8.2023 Inari

Border Pride, 21-27.8.2023 Tornio-Haaparanta


I hope you managed to find something interesting to do or look forward doing in the summer season. If you have any recommendations, please comment them below, I’ll be spending my whole summer here, so I’d love to get new tips and places to visit!


- Henriikka, Faculty of Education


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