Things you need to know before visiting Finland, Lapland

Prior to the trip, there are not much information available in the web except articles saying that everyone must stay at the legendary glass igloo. Thus I have write up a list of things you need to know before heading over. Read my adventures here and here if you have missed out! 

Getting Around in Lapland, Rovaniemi & Levi
Airport to City
Taxi are quite expensive considering it is a short 15 minutes trip and it cost around 20-30 euro. Thankfully there are Airport Taxi for small group of travellers like us. We used airport taxi on both occasions Helsinki Airport to Helsinki City Area & Rovaniemi City Center to Rovaniemi Airport. We paid 30 Euro for a trip from helsinki city centre to helsinki Airport and 7 euro per pax for one way trip to airport from Rovaniemi city centre. Pretty reasonable for 2. If you are travelling in group, it is recommended to get a taxi. 

Intercity bus 
We flew to Rovaniemi from Helsinki by Finnair and took a bus to Levi. You can check the schedule here. Booking online is recommended but one can purchase the bus ticket on that day itself. The schedule will usually be out 1 month before the travel date. Do remember to print extra copies for return trip because the bus driver will collect them. Although the seats are barely filled up, we didn’t want to take chances as it was near to Christmas. 

Rovaniemi City Bus/Town Bus
Most attractions are accessible within the town itself. Bus 8 in Rovaniemi brings you from airport to Santa claus village, santa park and popular hotels in town. Likewise in Helsinki, there are bus, metro and tram to bring you around at affordable rate. You may want to check out the time table and route here 

Flight Delay 
We flew direct to Helsinki and took a domestic flight Rovaniemi via Finnair. Although the overall experience with Finnair is pretty good but on the downside, delays seems to be a common thing with them. Flight was delayed in Singapore and somehow delayed on our way from Helsinki to Rovaniemi. Thus it is important to include sufficient buffer time. Fortunately we made it on time for our bus to Levi!

Data SIM card in Finland
Data are considered to be affordable and good in Finland. We purchased our Elisa SIM card in K Supermarket for 6 euro and it serve us well. With only 0.99 euro unlimited data per day for 4G service, one is never afraid that you will not get lost in Lapland and Helsinki. 

Weather
Day time are short during winter. In 4 hours time, the skies turn dark. Also, the temperature in Finland can have drastic change. On normal days in Levi it was -17 degree, -30 when we were having fun with the huskies and on some night it get a little warm with temperature going up to -1 degree in Rovaniemi. Nonetheless according to our guide, he said this is the normal range.

Thus it is important to dress well for winter. Like every kiasu Singaporean, we layered ourselves with thermal, fleece jacket, down jacket and lots of heat pack! & thankfully it works because while we were having fun in the husky farm, we saw other tourist jumping around cause they were too cold.

Christmas in Finland 
Other than tourist roaming around the streets, you will find most shop (except restaurant) to be closed. The supermarket and kiosk will be close from christmas eve to boxing day. Thus it is advisable to not visit Rovaniemi during these period. 

Budget
A lot of people have been asking about us how much did we spent in total. Thus I have roughly breakdown the cost in Lapland 5 day 4 night. Do note that budget excludes all shopping expenses, domestic flight to Poland and expenses in Helsinki. Exchange rate at 1.56

Flight
Singapore - Helsinki - Rovaniemi 
Helsinki - Singapore 
Total: S$1500

Hotel
Levin & Pub - 87 Euro per night
Golden Crown Igloo - 530 Euro per night
Santa Hostel Rudolf - 120 Euro per night 
Sub-Total: 857 Euro aka 428.5 Euro per pax est S$668.50 per pax

Activity
5 Km Husky Ride - 65 Euro 
Aurora Catching - First night at 87 Euro, second at 59 Euro 
3 Km Reindeer Ride - 28 Euro
Photo taking with Santa - 30 Euro
Sub-Total: 269 Euro/ S$419.60

Transportation
Levi - Rovaniemi Transportation Return + Reservation Fee 80 Euro
Airport Taxi (return) - 14 Euro per pax 
Bus 8 Return - 7.20 Euro
Sub-Total: 101.2 Euro/ $157.90

Food
We will dine in restaurant once per day. Meal range from 15euro to 25 euro. 
Average 60 Euro per day for 2. 
30 Euro for 5 Day
Sub-Total: S$234.00

Total: S$2980

Hope it helps!

xoxo
Joanne



8 comments:

  1. Hi, i'm planning a trip to Finland this coming Christmas. Part of our itinerary is to visit Rovaniemi 22-24th & Levi igloo 25th-26th. And i understand fr ur blog that most shop will be closed during this period. Does this typically applies to safaris as well?

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  2. Hello KL! Most shop in Rovaniemi close on 24th Night to 26th but most safaris operator still work during this period as its their "peak" period. However you might want to book early as it is quite popular. Drop them an email to the safari operator to check on their availability and confirmation! They almost missed us out on the northern light tour!

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  3. Ikr. I'm so sad i didnt manage to secure the aurora & husky tours that i want. sobs T.T

    I'm really keen to join the Tundra Husky ride after reading ur post, but they only left with 2pm slots :( i understand that is gonna be polar night during the time of the year. Fr ur experience, would it be too dark (worth it) for husky activity after 2pm in Levi? Typically how much sunlight (as seen in ur photos) can we get in Levi & Rovaniemi? Would like to hear fr you :)

    lost soul

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  4. Hi KL!

    The sky had turn dark when we got back from the 10am slot. Thus there is a high chance you will be riding in semi-dark. Personally, i love the view in daylight and think riding in semi-dark is pretty cool too! Are you planning to visit lapland region any time soon? or do you have any other activities that you can do during that time? If not, perhaps you should try husky ride! Do share with me if you are trying it! I would love to hear your experience!

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  5. YES!!! Am so excited. I'll be visiting during Christmas too. Just like you, i definitely prefer the view in the daylight but riding in semi-dark sounds quite magical as well? Still struggling if i should go with 2pm slot. As i'm really worry that it might be too dark to take photo & all? Typically, what time to what time can i get decent sunlight in Levi? 9am-12noon?

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    Replies
    1. Haha yes thats a real struggle! Taking photos in the dark is a challenge. What's more in the husky cart! Daylight in levi is typically around 10pm - 1pm (3hours). Hope you have a fun time! Merry Christmas in advance!

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  6. Hello.. the prices you have like the ticket/activities prices is it for each pax or for two? Thanks a lot!!

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