Visiting the Santa Claus Village was one of the highlights of my visit to Finland (and my Europe trip!) Visiting had been a bucket list item of mine for years and after watching countless vlog’s on YouTube… it lived up to it’s expectations!
Things to see and do at the Santa Claus Village
- Visit the post office – you can reply to children’s letter’s from all over the world, mail a letter home or even send a letter to your future self for next Christmas
- Visit the husky farm – there are almost 100 huskies of all ages (they’re usually born in summer)
- Do a husky ride
- Visit Elf’s Farm Yard petting zoo – why would you visit a petting zoo? Baby reindeer, adorable furry rabbits, woolly sheep etc.
- See reindeer – you can feed them, pat them, take a photo with them and there’s more than one in the enclosure
- Meet Santa
4 degrees in the middle of September (autumn)… would hate to be here in winter
The petting zoo had baby reindeer which you can feed / pat through the fence (just don’t touch their antlers)
Or you can feed / pat fully grown reindeer. They were about the size of a donkey or small horse (very strong when hungry!)
Is it worth visiting if there’s no snow?
Yes! You can still do most things without snow, the only thing you might miss out on is a husky ride (it’ll be on an ATV type thing if there’s no snow, just as long as the temperature doesn’t exceed 15 degrees).
While it certainly looks more magical with snow, if you go during off-peak:
- You can walk straight in and see Santa rather than queue for hours
- There are limited husky rides / runs per day – if you go off peak you have more time to pat the dogs afterwards, talk to the trainers etc
- Easier to take photos with no one in them
- You might have seen photos of the main building in the village – in the snow you can’t see the line on the pavement marking the arctic circle
- There is a tiny food court and very limited dining options – I doubt you’ll be able to get a table in peak times
- Good luck trying to buy something – the shops are tiny and crowded with stock, you’d barely be able to move in winter
- It was 4 degrees the day I visited the Santa Claus Village… in mid-September. It starts snowing in October. Cold weather = lots of layers you have to fit in your suitcase and if you feel the cold like I do it won’t be enjoyable (most of the activities are outside)
- In winter the days are very short e.g. 6 hours of sunlight
The cutest rabbit at the petting zoo! (you get to feed them too)
One of the highlights – a husky ride (and getting to meet / pat the huskies afterwards)
How to get there
Santa Clause Village is located outside Rovaniemi on the edge of the arctic circle in Finland.
You can choose to stay in huts or igloo’s at the village, or stay in Rovaniemi and catch the Santa Express Bus or Local Bus Number 8 to Santa’s Claus Village.
I stayed in Rovaniemi and am glad I did. If you stay at the Santa Village you’ll probably end up eating there (convenient)… but also very expensive.
It’s free to enter the Santa Claus Village but once you get there, be ready to open your wallet. You’ll need to pay to:
- Enter the Husky Farm
- Do a husky ride (from memory this was about $65 AUD)
- Meet / feed / pat reindeer
- Enter the petting zoo
- Pay for your food
- Pay if you want to post a letter
- Pay for your photo with Santa (it cost 30 euro for 1 photo!)
Free things to do at the village:
- Meet Santa
- Enter the buildings e.g. post office, gift shops etc.
The Post Office where you can see all the letters from various countries around the world
Tips for visiting Santa Claus Village
- Visit the husky farm as soon as it opens if you want to do a husky ride / run (there are limited times per day – you’ll get given a time to come back for the ride)
- If you want to see Santa, do this first thing to avoid spending hours in a queue at peak times (I had to wait about 10 minutes in September)
- One day is enough time to see everything – even if you go during peak times I think one day would be enough. During my off-peak times visit I arrived at 10am and left around 2 – 3pm
- Check the bus timetable if getting the bus back into town (from memory I think they were 20 – 30 min apart)
And now I’ll spam you with lots of photos of huskies!
You can put your hand through the gap in the fencing of most of the enclosures – the dogs love it, they’ll come right up to you!
They had one dog out on a leash that you could pat and take photos with – had the most piercing blue eyes
If you do a husky ride you get to meet and greet the dogs
So it is worth visiting if there’s no snow?
More Finland posts:
- Favorite stationery shops in Finland (Helsinki & Rovaniemi)
- Best of Helsinki in One Day (Photo Stops, Attractions & Scheduled Itinerary)
- Guide to visiting Rovaneimi in Lapland, Finland (the home of Santa Claus!)
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