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How much does it cost to go to Lapland? 4-day budget breakdown

A trip to Santa’s snowy winter wonderland is a dream for kids big and small. But how much does it cost to go to Lapland? This budget post breaks down the costs of four days in Rovaniemi, Finland.

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How much does it cost to go to Lapland? 4-day trip budget breakdown

If you’re looking for a winter long weekend break that ticks all the boxes – snow, Santa, saunas and sleigh rides included – then a trip inside the Arctic Circle to Lapland is just what you need. This part of the world is like a Christmas card come to life.

But Scandinavia has a reputation for being one of the most expensive places to visit in Europe, so how much does it cost to go to Lapland? Here’s my budget breakdown for a four-night trip to Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland, which shows the costs for accommodation, transport, activities and food to help you plan your own trip.

Note: these costs are based on my mid-range travel style – keeping costs down where I can to splash out on special experiences. This post was first published in 2019 but prices have been updated where possible to costs as of November 2021.

Sunrise in Rovaniemi, Finland
Pink skies in Lapland

What does accommodation in Lapland cost?

Accommodation prices in Lapland are really mixed. On one end of the spectrum you can find an inexpensive hotel room in central Rovaniemi for around €110 a night. And at the other there’s an array of bucket-list-worthy places to stay like log cabins in the forest and glass-roofed igloos, where you won’t get much change from €500 a night.

Prices vary hugely through the winter too. The period leading up to Christmas is peak season in Lapland so you’ll pay a premium versus visiting between January and March. We travelled straight after New Year and found most of the festive attractions stay open until the end of the season so you don’t miss out if you visit after Christmas.

Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi, Finland
Santa Claus Village

House or apartment rentals are good value if you’re travelling as a group, and mean you can cook some of your meals. We were a group of eight and rented a five-bedroom house through AirBnB which was only 10-minutes’ walk to Santa Claus Village with its activities and restaurants and cost €1789/£1510/$2020 for four nights (including fees).

The house currently isn’t available for rent but there are other similarly priced properties in the same area including this three-bedroom house and this four-bedroom house.

Accommodation total: €224/£189/$253 per person – €56/£47/$63 a day each.

AirBnB rental house in Rovaniemi, Finland
Our Rovaniemi rental

How much is transport in Lapland?

We travelled to Lapland from the UK, where there are direct flights from London Gatwick to Rovaniemi with easyJet, and indirect Finnair flights via Helsinki. We paid £106 for return flights with easyJet, booked three months in advance. But prices rose to over £300 a month before, so it’s good to book as early as you can as flights are limited.

Rovaniemi airport is only around 9km outside of town and 3km from Santa Claus Holiday Village. There’s a bus service connecting all three and an airport shuttle, but we pre-booked a minibus taxi for eight to take us to our rental house, costing €23 each way.

To travel into central Rovaniemi from Santa Claus Holiday Village you can either catch the Santa’s Express or number 8 buses or take a taxi. We did each once, with bus tickets costing €3.50 each way per person and a taxi costing €25 each way for four people.

Transport total: €150/£127/$170 per person – €38/£32/$43 a day each.

Reindeer sleigh ride in Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland
The best way to travel

What’s the price of activities in Lapland?

I don’t usually spend a lot on activities when I travel, but Lapland is one of those places with a ton of great things to do to tempt you – snowmobiling, husky or reindeer sledding, Northern Lights tours, ice fishing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

None of them are cheap though (think €109 per person for a half-day excursion or €55 for a 30-minute snowmobile safari) and prices can really add up if you want to try everything. So we picked a couple of things we really wanted to do – visit the Husky Park (€10) with a short 500m ride on a husky sled (€30) and a 15-minute reindeer sleigh ride (€29).

Siberian huskies at the Husky Park, one of the activities in Rovaniemi, Lapland
Rovaniemi’s Husky Park

We also visited the Moomin Snowcastle ice sculpture park (€30) and the Arktikum culture and environment museum in Rovaniemi (€15). Unfortunately we missed out on seeing the Northern Lights because of the weather, but a tour would’ve cost €109 per person.

There are lots of free things to do in Lapland too – cross the Arctic Circle, meet Santa Claus and visit the Christmas Museum, go for a walk through the forest, warm up in a sauna, sit by the campfire, watch one of the gorgeous pink sunrises or sunsets, go sledging (a lot of accommodation has sleds you can use), build a snowman or have a snowball fight.

Activities total: €114/£98/$130 per person – €29/£25/$33 a day each.

Arktikum Museum and Science Centre in Rovaniemi, Finland
The Arktikum Museum

What does food and drink cost in Lapland?

Our original plan was to mix self-catering and eating out in the evenings, but we didn’t take into account how hard it would be to drag ourselves back out in the cold after it’d been dark since 3pm and we had a roaring fire going! So instead we mainly self-catered.

We did a big shop at the large K-Citymarket superstore in Rovaniemi at the start of the week. This cost €456/£383/$514 for supplies for eight people and gave us enough food to make four breakfasts and four dinners as well as a few snacks.

Our house came with an amazing BBQ hut in the garden, so we cooked a side of salmon over the fire out there one night. We did eat out for lunch and warmed up with a hot chocolate a few times when we were out and about (total €34/£29/$38 per person).

Cooking in an BBQ hut in an AirBnB rental house in Rovaniemi, Finland
Cooking in the BBQ hut

If you want to eat out more, an average main course at the restaurants in Santa Claus Village will set you back €25–€35 in the evenings. It’s usually cheaper to eat out lunchtime when there are often special offers, with simple dishes like burgers around €15.

This wasn’t my first trip to Scandinavia, so I knew that alcohol was going to be pricey and stocked up on a couple of bottles of wine in duty free on the way out (€18/£16/$21). Finland sells alcohol through state-run Alko shops, which are the only place you can buy spirits, wine and beer over 5.5%. Or a bottle of wine in a restaurant costs around €30.

Food and drink total: €109/£93/$123 per person – €27/£23/$31 a day each.

Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Finland
Dusk in Santa Claus Village

The grand total

So how much does it cost to go to Lapland? The overall cost for our four-night trip to Rovaniemi in January came in at €597/£507/$676 per person, including flights from the UK. This works out at around €149/£127/$169 per person per night.

Being a group of eight helped make it more affordable as we could split costs, but even with a group of four it should’ve been possible to do a similar trip under £600. It was a magical holiday with some of the most beautiful scenery I’d ever seen, so was well worth it.

Rovaniemi's Santa Claus Village at night
Santa Claus Village at night

Lower budget? Lapland’s not easy to visit on a very low budget. Rovaniemi has a hostel but dorm beds are €50 a night, so unless you’re travelling solo, apartment rentals are likely to be cheaper. You could save by cooking all your own food and avoiding alcohol.

Higher budget? If you’ve got cash to splash Lapland is a great place to do it. You can sleep under the stars (and Northern Lights if you’re lucky) in a glass-roofed igloo*, spend a day on the slopes at Ounasvaara Ski Resort or take a private aurora hunting or husky tour.

Reindeer at Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi Finland
Rovaniemi reindeer

Looking for somewhere to stay in Rovaniemi?*

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A trip to Santa’s snowy winter wonderland is a dream for kids big and small. But how much does it cost to go to Lapland? This budget post breaks down the costs for accommodation, transport, activities and food and drink in Rovaniemi, Finland, to help you plan your own trip | How much is it to go to Lapland? | How much is it to go to Rovaniemi? | Cost of visiting Lapland | Trip to Lapland costLapland budget breakdown – what much does it cost for 4 days in the snowy winter wonderland of Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland, including transport, accommodation, activities and food  | How much is it to go to Lapland? | How much is it to go to Rovaniemi? | Cost of visiting Lapland | Trip to Lapland cost

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S

Friday 17th of December 2021

Great post! I'm planning to visit Lapland this winter, but debating whether Dec/ Jan would be a good time or Feb/ Mar. Seeing the northern lights is high on my list of things to do there, but from everything I've read so far it seems like Dec/ Jan might be too cloudy compared to Feb/ Mar. Since the sun is up for just 2.5 - 3 hours in late Dec/ Jan, is there enough time for activities during the 'day'? Would you also mind sharing what dates exactly were you there in January?

Lucy Dodsworth

Monday 20th of December 2021

Thanks, I was there in early January (left the UK on the 2nd) and we did have enough time in the day for activities – although it's only 'light' for a few hours there's quite a long dawn and dusk so some lovely sunrises/sunsets. The cold means it's hard to stay out for long too so we were happy to get by the fire in the evenings. It's definitely a fingers crossed situation for the Northern Lights though whenever you go though as the weather is so unpredictable!

B

Friday 29th of November 2019

Great report! Did you manage to see the northern lights whilst there and if so, how? Would you recommend late December or late March? Really want to try see northern light!

Lucy

Thursday 12th of December 2019

We didn't unfortunately – they were only visible for one night and that was cloudy so we missed out. They can be difficult to see as you never know what the weather is like but I imagine December would have longer nights so a better chance.

Jenny chong

Monday 8th of April 2019

Hi. Thank you for your kind reply ;) I’ll travelling to Rovaniemi on Dec so I just walk in to Santa Claus Village to book all this activities ? Will it fully booked ?

Lucy

Monday 15th of April 2019

Hi it does get busy in December but for the main activities like the husky and reindeer sleds you can't book so you should be fine to just go along, though might be good to go early in the day to avoid queuing.

Jenny chong

Monday 25th of March 2019

Hello. Lucy . May I know which website can I pre booking / advance booking for all this activities such as husky farm (€10), a short 500m ride on a husky sled (€30) and a 15-minute reindeer sleigh ride (€29) ? Is this all in Artic Circle ?

Lucy

Saturday 30th of March 2019

Hi these were all at the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi – you don't need to book in advance and can just turn up on the day.

thedriftingmillennialblog

Sunday 3rd of March 2019

I’ve been here, this brought back some great memories! So magical isn’t it ✨

Lucy

Tuesday 5th of March 2019

It is a really magical place!