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Rovaniemi is a city in the north of Finland. It is the capital of the Finnish province of Lapland and the last big city that you encounter when travelling north to the cape. The claims to fame of this city are the Santa Park just outside the city, and delivering the winners of the Eurovision in 2006: Lordi. Tourism is on the rise in Rovaniemi, as it makes a good base for trips into the unspoiled nature that you can still find here.
Santa Village and Santa Park lie just to the north of the city. From Rovaniemi you can follow the number 4 motorway, and after a few kilometres you will see the park. The park is not only opened during the winter. (in 2010/2011, from November 27 daily until January 8), but also in summer for a couple of weeks between the end of June and the middle of August. Expect cues during the weeks leading up to Christmas. The prices of the tickets are steep, but valid for 2 days. For families it is interesting to inform for family tickets.
The Arktikum is a museum of Finland's and the world's Arctic regions. Besides a museum it is a science center and a conference centre. The permanent exhibitions focus on the Sámi culture, the development of Rovaniemi, since the first settles came here, and the changes that are taking place in Artic regions. Check the website for temporary exhibitions and special events.
Across the river on the Ounasvaara hills lies the Ounasvaara ski center. With snow on the ground for around 180 days a year, it's a sure bet for having snow.
Another sight many people want to see is the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. Whether you will witness this phenomenon of nature or not, depends on the activity of the sun, but it is sure that you make a much better chance here to see it, than further south.
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Rovaniemi Airport (IATA: RVN, ICAO: EFRO) is the fourth biggest airport in Finland and is located about 10 kilometres north of the city centre. Besides daily flights to/from Helsinki, Riga, and Tampere, there are also many seasonal charter flights in the winter with flights from/to Amsterdam, Milan, Zurich, Birmingham, Bristol, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Durham/Tees Valley, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Hull, Glasgow, Leeds-Bradford, London (Gatwick), Newcastle upon Tyne, Belfast, Dublin, Manchester, Paris, Madrid, Cork, Budapest, Katowice, Prague and Warsaw.
VR Group operates direct daytime and overnight passenger trains from Rovaniemi Station to Oulu, Tampere, Helsinki and Turku. Diesel-powered passenger trains operate north-east of Rovaniemi to Kemijärvi.
If you want to reach Rovaniemi from Helsinki, you can simply follow the Number 4 motorway.
|Hostel Rudolf||Koskikatu 41 Korkalonkatu 29||Hostel||75|
Internet is usually always broadband and fast. Most libraries have a free internet connection, so look for a sign "kirjasto" for a library. Internet cafes are not hugely popular, as most Finns have internet at home. Wifi hotspots are also increasingly common. 4G networks cover the capital region and major cities. You'll find wifi in many restaurants, cafes and in stations and on public transport.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The general emergency number is 112. Finland's country code is +358. The prefix for international calls (from local land lines) is 00, as in the rest of EU.
As you'd expect from Nokia's home country, mobile phones are ubiquitous in Finland. GSM and WCDMA (3G) networks blanket all of the country, although it's still possible to find wilderness areas with poor signal, typically in Lapland and the outer archipelago. The largest operators are Sonera and Elisa, a Vodafone partner, but travellers who want a local number may wish to opt for DNA's Prepaid package, which can cost as little as €6. Ask at any convenience store for a list of prices and special offers.
Public telephones are close to extinction in Finland, although a few can still be found at airports, major train/bus stations and the like. It's best to bring along a phone or buy one. A simple GSM model can cost less than €40.
Post is fast and reliable in Finland. You can receive mail simply by marking it Poste Restante, and the postal code of the town (check with the particular post office). First class stamps can be bought from machines or inside the office, and the fare is the same anywhere in the world up to 20 grams, so your postcards will be fine. The current rate for a stamp is €0.75. Heavier letters and postcards have different prices though, you can check them online at the Posti Website. There is also a 'track and trace' system available. Stamps are widely available and sold with the postcards, in kiosks, stationary shops and souvinier shops. Parcels abroad are expensive. You can buy all the packing from the post office, including boxes, tapes etc. For sending parcels internationally, you can also check companies like FedEx, TNT, UPS or DHL.
The Santa Park has a special post office, the letter or postcard will be stamped with a special Santa stamp.
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