Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; SemrushBot/2~bl; +http://www.semrush.com/bot.html) The Santa Claus Express Night Train: An Arctic Adventure The Santa Claus Express Night Train: An Arctic Adventure
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$$$

ITINERARY (Full Day)

Santa Claus ExpressBathroomStroller friendlyWheelchair friendly

Arctic Circle CrossingFree parking

Sledding at Santa Claus Village

nugget’s Advice

Prepare in advance
Prepare in advance

If traveling in December, buy tickets for the sleeper compartment on the night train to Rovaniemi as soon as possible. Calling is the best way to ensure you book the right compartment. The actual compartment will be assigned no more than 60 days in advance. VR (Finnish Rail) will then email your tickets.

Good to know
Good to know

While there is food on some of the trains, it's helpful to bring snacks. Though the train ride is smooth and sleeping is comfortable, the sleeping compartments are small. Store what you don't need in the storage car. There is access to it during the trip if needed.

Recommended day/time
Recommended day/time

Any time of the year is a good time to go to Lapland. If you want to see snow and go sledding, then winter is a must.

Save Money
Save Money

Children ages 10 and younger travel free of charge on night trains with a parent in the same sleeping compartment if a berth is not booked for the child. You must inform VR that a child will travel with you when buying your tickets. Children under the age of four do not need tickets, but they do need a pass (which will be issued with your tickets). VR can email them to you.

About This Day

All aboard the Santa Claus Express! What better way to travel from Helsinki to Santa Claus Village than on an overnight train (often referred to as the Santa Claus Express). Enjoy a comfortable berth, take in the Finnish countryside and rest, while traveling north to Rovaniemi. The night train is only the beginning of your Lapland adventures. Upon arrival, hop on a bus to Santa Claus Village and head to the Arctic Circle Crossing. After wandering into the Arctic, enjoy the winter wonderland by playing in the snow or sledding down the many hills in the area.

 

 

  • : Train lovers

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Santa Claus Express
1

Santa Claus Express

1 Kaivokatu, Helsinki
$$$
BathroomStroller friendlyWheelchair friendly
This train ride from Central Railway Station in Helsinki to Rovaniemi is affectionately known as the Santa Claus Express night train, and it's probably equal to or more than the cost of a flight. However, the night train from Helsinki to Rovaniemi is such a memorable part of this adventure, and the kids are certain to enjoy it. A sleeper compartment (some of which have a bunk bed and a private bathroom) is big enough for one kid with one adult to sleep comfortably. The compartment has reading lights, places to hold water bottles, storage for small hand luggage or backpacks, and Wi-Fi. Pillows and blankets are provided too. A small table near the window provides glimpses of the Finnish countryside during the trip. The ride is smooth, with stops along the way. The novelty of the Santa Claus Express adds to the adventure. In the morning, wake up in a winter wonderland. Then, grab some food, take in the last few miles of scenery from the compartment, and it's off to Santa Claus Village.
DIRECTIONS Head to the Central Railway Station in the heart of Helsinki to board the night train to Rovaniemi.
TIP Bring snacks, but remember the dining car is a fun way to venture out of the cabin.
Arctic Circle Crossing
2

Arctic Circle Crossing

736 Sodankyläntie, Rovaniemi
FREE
Free parking
The Arctic Circle is a line visible on the map. North of the crossing, the sun can be seen above the horizon even at midnight during the summertime, and during the winter, the sun stays below the horizon for most of the day. Depending on where you stay in Rovaniemi, your resort may have a "Crossing Ceremony" and give you a certificate to signify your crossing into the Arctic Circle. Regardless, it's a fun opportunity to cross the line, take lots of pictures and generally enjoy your official entry into the Arctic Circle region.
DIRECTIONS Buses depart hourly from the Rovaniemi Railway Station every day. Take bus number 8. At the Santa Claus Village, the Arctic Circle crossing is well marked and easy to find.
TIP There is a store that will (for a fee) stamp your passport with an Arctic Circle crossing. However, be aware that having such an unofficial stamp in your passport may cause problems. Do some research before getting the stamp. There are many other ways that you can mark the occasion of your crossing in the various gift shops throughout the village.
Sledding at Santa Claus Village
3

Sledding at Santa Claus Village

736 Sodankyläntie, Rovaniemi
FREE
Throughout the Santa Claus Village (and really, anywhere in Rovaniemi) there are sledding hills during the winter. Most of the hotels or activities in the area will have sleds for guests to use on a complimentary basis, or they can be rented for a small fee. The snow in Lapland offers perfect sledding conditions, and there are many piles of snow where you won't even need a sled since "slides" have been worn into them. When finished, use the sleds to pull the kids from one activity to another, rather than making them walk. Even the gentlest of slopes provides lots of entertainment for the little ones. We had fun scouting around, looking for other places to try to see which was the "best" or "fastest" or even the "slowest" at times. Be sure to go down a few slides yourself, this activity isn't just for kids.
TIP For pulling around kids, we found that sleds with the longer handles were more comfortable. Our oldest weighed about 60 lb (27 kg) at the time, and it was easy to pull. When you leave your sled outside of the shops, restaurants, etc., it is entirely possible that someone will take "your" sled - just grab another one. If you have a child that is very attached to "yours," hide it well.

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