finnish lapland snowshoeing fun inari

Top 10 Things to do in Lapland

Home Destinations Nordic Europe Lapland Top 10 Things to do in Lapland

Lapland covers the northern areas of Sweden, Finland, Norway and part of Russia’s Kola Peninsula. It’s a region of great natural beauty with an allure all of its own, whether you visit in summer or winter. Here are our top 10 recommended experiences in Lapland.

1. Search for the northern lights

You have excellent chances of seeing the northern lights anywhere in Lapland as the region sits underneath the ‘auroral oval’. Incredible to witness but impossible to guarantee, seeing the aurora borealis is on many travellers’ wish lists. Our top locations for seeing the northern lights in Lapland are at the Aurora Sky Station in Abisko National Park, Swedish Lapland, and just outside Tromso in Norway.

Take me there: Northern lights holidays

lapland multi coloured aurora istk

2. Experience sleeping on ice at the Icehotel

The Icehotel in Swedish Lapland is one of the most unique and unusual hotels in the world. Every winter it’s rebuilt from ice taken from the River Torne, and offers guests the chance to sleep on ice at -5C in beautifully designed Art Suites. There’s comfortable warm accommodation too, and a range of winter activities to try over a long weekend break – including husky sledding, snowmobiling, ice sculpture and ice-driving.

Take me there: See all our Icehotel holidays

sweden lapland icehotel21 art suite fridge

3. Get cosy in log cabins and lodges

Log cabins are one of the most iconic sights in Lapland and are an important part of the heritage of the region. There are few cosier place to stay and there’s a cabin to suit whether you’re travelling as a couple, a family or a group of friends. The cabins we use nestled in idyllic forests are equipped with modern comforts and conveniences, roaring fires and private saunas.

Suggested itinerary: Iso-Syöte Log Cabin Hideaway, Finland

finnish lapland iso syote kelo cottage exterior

4. Explore under the midnight sun

Experience the energising effect of the midnight sun phenomenon. During the height of summer, the sun doesn’t set in Lapland, meaning 24 hours of golden daylight for you to explore the Arctic wilderness around you. A great time of year for a self-drive, the long days allow you to linger longer and travel at a leisurely pace. You might also consider a rail holiday – the ultimate slow travel option.

Suggest itinerary: Above the Arctic Circle

Midnight sun over lake in Sweden

5. Take a festive break in a winter wonderland

Celebrate the festive season in style with an escape to the picture-perfect snow-covered landscapes of Lapland. Choose a break packed full of winter activities or opt for saunas and relaxing in front of an open fire. Families with young children may like to pay a visit to Santa in an authentic winter setting. Maybe the idea of celebrating New Year in the world’s coolest hotel is more to your liking. Whatever, there’s nowhere like Lapland at Christmas.

Take me there: Christmas and New Year holidays

finland atmospheric lights at santa claus village rovaniemi astk

6. Ride a husky sled or mush your own dog team

Imagine whooshing across the snowy landscapes of Lapland behind an excited team of huskies. The only sound that of the runners over snow and the rhythmic panting of the dogs. You can choose to learn the art of mushing a dog sled and taking care of your team – or relax as a passenger and watch the scenery unfold while an experienced guide navigates the trail.

Suggested itinerary: Inari Wilderness Adventure, Finland

sweden lapland husky sledding rth

7. Go snowmobiling

If horsepower is more to your taste than paw-power, head out to explore Lapland on a snowmobile. Whether you choose to explore by daylight or search out the northern lights, a snowmobiling excursion is sure to be one of the highlights of your holiday. Drive these fun machines through forest trails and across frozen lakes, grinning all the way.

Please note all drivers will need a valid driving licence to participate in these excursions.

Suggested itinerary: Winter Adventure at Muotka Lodge, Finland

snowmobiling through forest istk

8. Try a whole range of other winter activities

It’s not just husky sledding and snowmobiling, Lapland has a wide range of activities and excursions on offer from reindeer safaris to snow-shoeing, northern lights photography to ice-sculpture workshops. You’ll never be short of ways to enjoy your holiday in Lapland. We offer packages where a range of fantastic winter activities are included in the price of your holiday, as well as itineraries where you pick and mix the things you’d like to try. Contact our team of Travel Specialist to discuss which itinerary is right for you.

Take me there: See all Lapland holidays

finnish lapland ice fishing inari whs

9. Delve into the indigenous Sami culture

Lapland’s indigenous people are the Sami. Over 60,000 Sami live still live here, and their influence and customs very much evident throughout the region. The village of Inari near Lake Menesjarvi has been an important meeting place for the Sami for many generations – a visit here gives a fascinating insight into the Sami history and way of life.

You may also like to read our guide on the 8 Seasons of the Sami »

Suggested itinerary: Alta Arctic Adventure, Norway

lapland sami herder winter arceur

10. Sample a sauna

Saunas are absolutely integral to Finnish culture, but this wonderfully warming experience is important all over Lapland. Traditional ‘smoke’ saunas are wood-fired, but modern saunas can be powered by electricity – making them quicker to heat up and easier to control. It’s a great way to relax at the end of a day exploring the Scandinavian countryside.

Suggested itinerary: Nellim Wilderness Adventure, Finland

finland interior of traditional sauna astk