Boom town of the Arctic region

Measures in a number of different ways, Rovaniemi is the beating heart of Lapland and an international boom town. Logistically, the town is located in the centre of North Finland, offering trade connections to the significant North Calotte markets in North Russia, Sweden and Norway. In the future, the Arctic rail route and sea cable will connect Rovaniemi with the expanding Asian markets.

A reliable and versatile service structure has made Rovaniemi become one of the most significant business centres in the whole of the Arctic region.  Rovaniemi welcomes over 600,000 international visitors every year. Rovaniemi’s unique location on the Arctic Circle has long attracted visitors from all over the world looking for meaningful experiences. The majority of visitors come from Europe, but the numbers of travellers arriving from Asia is experiencing even faster growth.


Rovaniemi is an appealing boom town

Rovaniemi’s business structure mainly comprises services. This explains Rovaniemi’s position as the administrative capital of Lapland and why Rovaniemi is Finland's second-most active international tourism town after Finland’s capital Helsinki.

Business structure, five largest sectors
26195Total jobs in 2017
22,2 %Other service production
21,8 %Health and social services
10,2 %Wholesale and retail
8,6 % Education
8,6 % Public administration and national defence
Accommodation capacity
1 739Rooms, registered capacity
4 126Beds, registered capacity
670 - 900Airbnb apartments
Registered overnight stays in 2019
738 191Registered overnight stays in 2019 (excludes Airbnb)
259 119 (35 %)Domestic tourists
479 072 (65 %)Foreign tourists


Rovaniemi is located at the junction of three regional main roads and the European road E75 travels through the town. The northernmost terminal of Finland’s electrified rail network is located in Rovaniemi.  Rovaniemi Airport is one of the busiest in Finland. The airport has a runway that is three kilometres long, which along with the runway of the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport is Finland’s longest runway. There are a number of daily rail and flight connections from Rovaniemi to Southern Finland as well as a comprehensive bus network to neighbouring municipalities.


Rail times

Rovaniemi–Oulu                                                    approximately 2 hours 30 minutes

Rovaniemi–Tampere                                            approximately 7 hours 30 minutes

Rovaniemi–Helsinki                                              approximately 9 hours 40 minutes


Flight times

Rovaniemi–Helsinki                                              approximately 1 hour 10 minutes

Rovaniemi–Murmansk                                         approximately 1 hour 25 minutes

Helsinki–Berlin                            approximately 1 hour 50 minutes

Helsinki–Vienna                                                     approximately 2 hours 30 minutes

Helsinki–Paris                              approximately 3 hours

Helsinki–London                                                    approximately 3 hours 10 minutes

Helsinki–Rome                            approximately 3 hours 30 minutes

As a university town, Rovaniemi has seen a significant influx of students arriving from other localities in Finland and from abroad. There are a number of educational programmes for foreign students available in English that are provided by the Lapland University of Applied Sciences and the University of Lapland. High school students can choose the International Baccalaureate educational programme (IB high school). Rovaniemi also has an international play school for children under school age. The Rovala Adult Education Centre not only teaches handicrafts and practical skills, but also Finnish language, a number of other European languages and Japanese.


Number of pupils and students:

Elementary school and high school

approximately 3,000 junior school pupils (years 1–6)

approximately 1,500 joint school pupils (years 1–9)

approximately 1,500 senior school pupils (years 7–9)

approximately 1,300 high school students


approximately 4,500 basic degree students

approximately 850 foreign students

approximately 6,700 adult students

Vocational high school

approximately 3,200 students

Vocational college

approximately 4,300 students




The Rovaniemi folk are active nature and sports enthusiasts. The town has a wide range of sports available, as well as an extensive network of trails throughout the town for traversing nature. The Ounasvaara sports centre, downhill skiing slopes, fitness trails and cross-country skiing trails are all located within walking distance of the town centre. From each housing area of the town it is only a short journey to illuminated sports fields and fitness trails. In addition to town services, Rovaniemi also has a number of sports centres and gyms, and hundreds of different sports clubs.

On the cultural side, Rovaniemi Theatre acts as the Regional Theatre of Lapland. Theatrical performances are also shown by smaller amateur and professional theatres. The complete range of artistic and cultural activities is very popular. For example, dance and music pastimes are easily continued with the numerous associations, ballet or music academies or adult education centre courses.

Rovaniemi is home to the Lapland Central Hospital of the Lapland Hospital District. In addition to municipal social and health care facilities, Rovaniemi has numerous other private health care facilities and health care companies.

Municipal health care services, for example:

Doctor on call/medical care

Emergency medical services

Dental care

Child health care clinics

Healthcare for schools and students

Mental health and substance abuse services


Occupational health care service

Environmental health care service

Veterinary services

Food laboratory


Private health care services, for example:



Outpatient surgical treatments


Occupational health care


Veterinary surgeons


Finland’s most renowned architect, Alvar Aalto, has designed a number of entireties in Rovaniemi. These include the Library, Lappia House, various commercial premises in the central town area, as well as the Korkalorinne apartment block district.  The street plan that was designed in the shape of a reindeer’s head and antlers is also the work of Aalto.


Rovaniemi has a number of shopping centres in the town centre. Revontuli Shopping Centre, Rinteenkulma Shopping Centre, Sampokeskus and Kalotinlinna. The town centre shops are concentrated along the Koskikatu and Rovakatu streets, as well as in the pedestrian precincts.  Just outside the town centre there are two more retail areas, Eteläkeskus and Saarenkylä. On the northern side of the town is the Santa Claus Village that is very popular with tourists.


Shopping centres


Banking & Insurance Services

All the large Finnish and Scandinavian banks and insurance companies have branches in Rovaniemi.



The Northern Customs District Office is located in Rovaniemi.


IT connections

Fast broadband connections, availability of connections, and the functioning of mobile networks are taken for granted in the town area, as well as in all Rovaniemi accommodation establishments. Housing properties from small houses to apartment blocks are connected to the popular cable television network. Cable and terrestrial broadcasts have been entirely digitised throughout Finland.