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14th August 2009
Rovaniemi is the city of Midnight Sun and Santa... is there anything else?



Worlddendro 2010 takes place in Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland. The city is associated with office of Santa Claus, snow, midnight sun, reindeers, and the most popular monsters in Europe, Eurovision song contest winner Lordi. There is more in the city - some conference organizers and Rovaniemi citizens share their favourites.


Sunshine in midnight. © City of Rovaniem
Ounasvaara hill has a beutifully located golf course. © City of Rovaniem
A boat trip on the river. © City of Rovaniem


Kari Mielikäinen 


Kari Mielikäinen is Professor of growth and yield in Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla). He is the chairman of both organizing and scientific committees of Worlddendro 2010. He has never been living in Rovaniemi, but he likes to visit the town at work and leisure.


What is best about Rovaniemi?

The best in Rovaniemi, as in the whole Lapland, are the changing seasons. The darkness is truly dark and light is bright. Also the air of Rovaniemi is easy to breathe - you can best feel it in Autumn, when jogging on Ounasvaara hill treats both body and soul.

Do you have any recommendations for a visitor?

For a visitor, a morning stroll by the rivers is worthwhile. Slowly flowing river and thinking about its history, which is tightly connected to forest, sets a brainworker's mind to a new day.


Mauri Timonen


Mauri Timonen works as a Senior Researcher in the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) in Rovaniemi. His research is focused on dendrochronology and he has an active part in organizing WorldDendro 2010. Timonen has been living in Rovaniemi since 1977.


What is best about Rovaniemi?

- It is small city, so it is quick to move from one place to another. Midnight Sun seen from the junction of rivers Kemijoki and Ounasjoki is very beautiful, you can see it during the WorldDendro 2010. Also, the tracks at Ounasvaara hill are great for a run or a walk.


Do you have any recommendations for a visitor?

There is an ample supply of culture, and the architecture by Alvar Aalto is worth seeing. For a dinner, try Lordi's Rocktaurant or Pohjanhovi. Rovaniemi is also good for shopping.



Marja-Liisa Sutinen


Marja-Liisa Sutinen works as a Senior Researcher in Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) in Rovaniemi, where she has been living for almost 30 years.

What is best about Rovaniemi?

Great possibilities for outdoor activities in all seasons, Kemijoki and Ounasjoki rivers and Ounasvaara and Pöyliövaara hills.

Do you have any recommendations for a visitor?

Things to see: Arktikum exhibition centre, Santa Claus Office, arboretum in Kirkkolammenpuisto, and the Forestry Museum of Lapland.

To eat: Restaurants Nili and Pohjanhovi for local delicacies, and also Valdemari, Fransmanni, and Amarillo.

To do: Ounasvaara hill provides tracks for hiking or nordic walking, and on the hill there is also a golf course and a summer tobogganing track. You can try a refreshing swim and fishing in river Kemijoki.

Raija Kivilahti


Ms. Raija Kivilahti works as a communcation and congress secretary at the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland. She has been living in Rovaniemi since 1981.


What is best in Rovaniemi?

The best in Rovaniemi is the city's northern location. The city is surrounded by northern nature but still Rovaniemi has a lively culture scene. There is high quality chamber music, folk dance, and also the city citizens are active performers and event organizers themselves. Rovaniemi is the center of the Arctic region of the Nordic countries, so it is well connected and easy to come to.


Do you have any recommendations for a visitor? 

Arktikum is definately worth a visit: There are exhibitions, library, and multimedia shows which tell about history of the arctic region and its changing nature. The exhibitions are based on the latest research results.


It is worthwhile to get to know the nature of Rovaniemi by hiking on the routes of hills Ounasvaara and Pöyliönvaara. The terrain and views are great and you can do it free any time you want. Also, a boat cruise on rivers Kemijoki and Ounasjoki is an experience.


Of the cultural sights, I recommend at least seeing architecture by Alvar Aalto. For example the Rovaniemi city library is a good and multifaceted place, where you can also see changing art exhibitions in addition to the architecture.


More information

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Comments: Sanna Kettunen, Firstname.lastname @ metla.fi