You plan a trip to Lapland and are on the search for things to do in the North of Finland? Don´t look any further, I got you covered. I have listed all the things I had on my bucket-list during my time in Lapland. Grab a piece of paper and make some notes, let’s get straight to it.
Watch an ice hockey match
Ice hockey is more than just a sport in Finland, it´s a passion, almost a religion. The Finnish national team is one of the best teams worldwide. To watch an ice hockey game and experience the atmosphere inside the area is a MUST when you visit Finland!
Try the national sweet
Finns love their salty liquorice. You can find it in different salt intensity, various styles and almost everywhere. I know a lot of people who don´t like it, but it´s my favourite kind of sweets. You should try it at least once.
Guide the huskies
Driving a husky sledge was one of my personal highlights during my stay in Lapland. Hearing how exited the dogs are and feeling the power one of these “little” animas have is astonishing. It is a great experience and there are a lot of companies who offer such tours.
Driving a snowmobile
Rush trough the snowy nature, over bumpy piste, with a lot of power underneath your bum is an amazing feeling. You see beautiful nature, discover your inner race driver and just have a lot of great fun.
See the northern lights
One of the main reasons why so many people come to Lapland year after year. The magical green, purple, yellow and pink lights at the dark sky. You need a bit of luck (good weather conditions, high KP-index, and a good spot) but if you have seen them once you want to see them again and again. Their magic bewitches you and doesn´t let go.
Grill sausages in a Laavu
These wooden huts are everywhere. On top of a mountain, in the middle of a forest or next to a lake or river. Grab your friends, some sausages and a hot dink you enjoy an evening in a Laavu. Maybe you meet some locals who teach you how to make a fire or cut the sausage in a special Finnish way.
Take a picture of a reindeer
Seeing a reindeer is not that hard in Finland. You just need to drive through Lapland´s beautiful nature and sooner or later you will find one in front or next to your car. Once we met a herd in the forest in the middle of the night which was funny. First, we did just hear a jingle of their bells and suddenly we saw some reflecting eyes in the cone of light of our torch.
Try Karjalan Piirakka
This Finnish “pie” is typically filled with salty rice pudding and is served with a mixture of boiled eggs and butter, called egg-butter. This dish may sound a little strange, but it tastes really good and it is proper Finnish. You should definitely try it.
Feel the heat of a Finnish Sauna
I can´t think of anything that is more Finnish than a sauna. Everyone has one, and if not, they know one who has a sauna. Enjoying the heat of a Finnish Sauna is an amazing thig itself. I can be even better if you roll in the snow or jump into a lake or river afterwards!
Eat pancakes in Oulu
Inside a red wooden house, close to the market hall you can find the Pannukakkutalo, a restaurant that serves sweet and salty pancakes. I never had pancakes as delicious as these once. Two times I had the pleasure to eat at the pancake house and I would go a third time if I am in the area again!
Hug Santa Claus
Every child loves the big man, with the white beard and the calm voice. In Rovaniemi you have the chance to meet him in person. Visit his post office, write a card to a friend, get a stamp for you passport, cross the arctic circle and give Santa a big hug.
Discover Sami history in Inari
Inari is a community in the very north of Finland where you can find the national Sámi museum Siida. It shows visitors the life and traditions of Finland’s indigenous people trough exhibitions and publications. It is worth a visit for young and old and maybe lets you understand the Lapish people a bit better.
Hike tough a National Park
Lapland, or Finland in general has plenty of National Parks. Just choose one, grab your boots, your camera and a friend. Lapplands nature is so beautiful and surprises you over and over again. I can recommend the National Park Pyhä-Luosto. There you have the chance to meet some really cheeky birds.
Try a Salmon dish
A dish with salmon like Lohikeitto (salmon soup), Graavilohi (cured salmon), or Savulohi (warm, smoked salmon) are really common in Finland. I think salmon is one of the best tasting fish and Finnish people are great in preparing a good salmon meal. So make sure to order one the next time you are in a restaurant.
Drink a mustikka or salmiakki shot with a local
Finns are really good in drinking alcohol. You don´t want to challenge one for a “who can drink more”. Especially not in a sauna! But one shot should be fine. Go to a bar, order a mustikka or salmiakki and clink glasses with a local next to you.