If you’re planning a trip to Lapland, the northernmost area of Finland, you’re in for a treat. The home of Santa Claus and enticing ice hotels, be sure to budget for the wonderful excursions and outstanding natural beauty that Lapland offers.
From a visit to Santa Claus Village and his reindeers in capital Rovaniemi, you’ll be able to explore Lapland in style on a snowmobile safari – where you’ll be assured of a warm welcome from the indigenous Sami people. With dramatic landscapes crying out for exploration and stunning glaciers and forests, you’ll also have a chance to see the elusive Northern Lights. The currency of Lapland is the Euro (EUR).
Dining out in Lapland
Some of Finland’s finest cuisine can be discovered in Lapland. Forming a delicious combination of traditional country fare and more contemporary style cooking, you’ll find fish and meat dishes in abundance – the most popular being pork, beef, chicken and duck. Traditional Finnish fare also includes milk and buttermilk, wholemeal grains and berries. A three-course meal for two people in a mid-range restaurant will cost you between £36-£72.
If you’re looking for an authentic Lappish dish, give reindeer stew or moose meat a try – they’re dark and rich, similar to beef or venison.
Grillimakkara are big fat grilled sausages served with mustard – perfect to enjoy in the Lappish summertime. Local salmon is a delicacy, usually served smoked, grilled or as tartare. Herrings are another staple on menus in Lapland.
Rapu is a gourmet crayfish dish adopted from Sweden – these small freshwater lobsters are a real treat for seafood lovers.
Another speciality is the doughnut-shaped ruisleipä – Finnish rye bread – that translates as ‘the bread with the hole’.
A main meal in an inexpensive restaurant will cost you between £8-£13.50.
The price of drinks
A 500 ml bottle of local beer in a restaurant will cost you around £5.50 and around £4.50 for imported versions.
A 750ml bottle of wine from a local supermarket will cost you around £9. Finnish wines are made with Arctic berries such as lingonberries, blueberries and cloudberries, not grapes! Try a glass of lingonberry – perfect with some reindeer meat.
Finland makes great vodka, too – spirit lovers should give Laplandia vodka a try.
A 1.5-litre bottle of water from the local supermarket will cost you around £1.20. Although, Finnish tap water is very safe to drink and is among the highest quality in the world.
Out and about
A trip to Lapland would not be complete without a visit to see Santa. Visit Santa Claus’s Office in Rovaniemi, the only official Santa Claus Post Office. Entry is free.
If your budget stretches and you’d like to spend some quality time with Santa and his reindeers in Lapland, try a six-hour excursion to the Santa Claus Village. You’ll take a snowmobile to Reindeer Farm from Rovaniemi from around £174. Meet Santa, ride on a snowmobile and enjoy reindeer sleigh, what’s not to enjoy? The trip includes lunch and complimentary hot drinks.
On a unique and inspiring visit to the Levi Ice Gallery. You’ll be captivated by fabulous ice sculptures, and there’s a restaurant and ice bar, too. Tickets to the gallery cost £11 for adults and £5.50 for children.
Levi Husky Park offers husky rides of varying lengths. You’ll hear interesting stories about the sledge dogs’ history and lifestyle. Winter offers visitors husky rides and guides, while summertime offers guided tours and nature programmes.
If you enjoy being out in nature, visit Riisitunturi National Park to admire the colourful hanging bogs on the slopes, and on the top of the fell savour the breathtaking scenery over the Lake Kitkajärvet and the landscapes of Posio. Out and about in the snowy forests, you’ll discover that the trees are covered with frozen snow deposits, known as tykky.
How much spending money should I take to Lapland?
If you’re visiting Lapland, budget for around £70 per person per day, or £490 per week, to include all food and excursions.
Tipping in Lapland
Tipping is not commonplace in Lapland but is widely accepted and will be appreciated by Lappish people. Service is generally included in restaurant bills. However, it is acceptable to add 10%-15% of the total bill as a tip.
Tipping is rare in hotels. It’s acceptable to tip the cleaner and leave a small tip for the porter; leave around the equivalent of a price of small beer. It’s also fine to leave small coins for bar staff.
Taxis do not expect a tip, but if you feel inclined, then rounding up to the nearest euro would be fine.
*Prices correct at the time blog was published and are subject to availability. T&C’s apply.