101 Questions about traveling in Lapland

Before we left for Finnish Lapland, I had dozens of questions that haunted my mind, especially while packing my suitcase. I wrote down all these questions and I will answer them in this blog! Do you have a question that is not listed here? Let me know via a comment!


Is Lapland worth a visit?

The first question is immediately the most important: is Lapland worth a visit? It easy to answer this question, since Lapland is definitly worth a visit!!! Finnish Lapland was one of the coolest places I have ever been, I would love to go back one day! The beautiful nature, amazing animals and the most spectacular, the northern lights, made this trip the best (and I am not even talking about our friends joining us and the biggest surprise ever…)Giellajohka

Where is Lapland?

Lapland is the northern part of Norway, Sweden, Finland and even a small part of Russia. In Finland you have a region that is also called Lapland, in Sweden there is the Swedish landscape Lapland. Lapland is so close to the polar region that it is freezing cold in winter and hardly light. Lapland is seen as the last piece of wilderness in Europe.

Did you know that Lapland is not officially a state? It is the name for the area where the Lapps live. Lapps denotes the inhabitants of the Northern Sami and Swedish Sápmi, Lule Sami Sábme, South Sami Saemie and Norwegian Sameland. The inhabitants of these regions, see the name “Lapps” or “Laplanders” as offensive. They prefer the name Sami.

Where to go: Norway, Sweden or Finland in Lapland?

Because Lapland is spread over different countries you have the choice which part of Lapland you visit. We chose Finland. Norway dropped out pretty quickly for us because it is a lot more expensive than Sweden or Finland. We then saw reasonably cheap flights to northern Finland and therefore decided to go to Finland. Afterwards, we are very happy with this decision. Finland turned out to be very affordable (read here what we spend on this trip) and also very quiet in terms of tourism.

The northern lights can be seen in both Norway, Sweden and Finland. The same applies to all of the special activities and the beautiful landscape, it can all be found in all three countries.Drone shot Lapland - Finland

How cold is it in Lapland?

Because Lapland is so close to the polar region, the winters are very cold here. In extreme circumstances, it can be down to 50 degrees below zero. Luckily it wasn’t that cold with us, we were already pretty chilly with -13 to sometimes -20. At night the lowest temperature was 30 degrees below zero. However, the week after we left it was 0 degrees.

Those temperatures might sound horrible but weren’t that bad. There is little moisture in the air which makes it feel less cold. In addition, you dress warmly and the Finnish houses are well insulated. When we were in Lapland, it was hardly windy, if there is wind, it can feel much colder.

Do batteries and electronics work in the cold of Lapland?

This was not too bad for us, most batteries continued to do well. We work with quite a lot of camera equipment and a drone, but these all did well. The batteries did not last as long as normal, for example, 15 minutes of using the drone instead of 20 minutes as usual. Unfortunately, one thing did not do well in this cold: my old iPhone SE. The battery is very bad and ran out quickly.

Tip: use heat packs to stay warm yourself and to keep your batteries warm as well. This way they don’t freeze. Another option is to wear them close to your body.

In what period should you visit Lapland?

Lapland is worth visiting all year round. In the summer you can enjoy the beautiful rugged nature, thousands of lakes and peace and quietness. The summers in Lapland are very bright: the sun doesn’t even set on the longest day. It will be a maximum of 16 degrees in the summer. You can do lots of activities like hiking, fishing, canoeing and camping.
Tip: Keep in mind there are many mosquitoes in the summer.

In winter everything is covered by a thick layer of snow and Lapland is a real fairy tale. The nights are long, especially in December and January. The northern lights can best be seen in February and March, then there are fewer clouds (there is less snow) and the nights are still long enough. Winter activities include husky riding, snowmobiling, ice fishing and snowshoeing.

High season

End of December to March and June and July.

During the holidays Lapland is busiest. The following months are also a favorite because of the high chance of seeing the northern lights. June and July are the summer months. [/ red_one_third]

Shoulder-season

April and May, August

Spring in Lapland falls during April and May. The days are getting longer but it can still be quite cold. August is the tail of summer and the beginning of autumn. [/ red_one_third]

Low season

September to early December

These are the darkest days in Lapland. It is very quiet. Early October is a good time for the northern lights, there is sometimes no snow yet that can reflect light! [/ Red_one_third]

Do you always see the northern lights in Lapland?

The northern lights are always present to a greater or lesser extent, but this doesn’t mean that you always can see it. For example, it must be clear, you should have little to no light pollution and there must also be a high geomagnetic activity. It helps to sit as northerly as possible, here is more geomagnetic activity. In the summer it is almost impossible to see the northern lights because it is too light.

Read all about the northern lights here!Northern Lights

What is in your suitcase to Lapland?

Thick jackets, snow boots and a lot of thermal clothing! In addition, there were also some crazy things in our suitcase such as coffee, wine and an engagement ring ;-). Curious about the latter? Then read this blog!

Read here what I packed for Lapland

How do you dress in Lapland?

Indoors it is nice and warm everywhere. We brought separate clothing for inside but didn’t actually wear this. Usually, we were dressed in thermo pants and a thermo shirt. If you go outside, dress warmly and wear lots of layers. I wore the following:

sports brasports shirtthermal shirtfleece pulloverski jacket
↣ underwear – thermal pantswool socksski pants

And what do you wear when you go to a restaurant in Lapland?

Well, I had fancy clothing with me, but every time we went out for dinner, I just wore my ski pants and sweater. It turned out to be a lot more practical to put on our normal clothes instead of putting on something nice. Also because we sometimes planned activities after dinner. Even in the luxury restaurant where we celebrated our engagement, we wore thermal clothing and socks. Not weird at all, everyone walks around like that.

What do you wear on the plane?

Yes, I found this a difficult question in advance. It is not cold at all during the flight and at the airports. So I wore normal clothing and, to be sure, I had thermo stockings, a scarf, a hat and an extra sweater with me. In the end, we only had to walk from the plane to the arrival hall (100 meters) and from the airport to the car (10 meters) so that extra clothing was not needed.Husky safari Finland - Lapland

Do I have to bring special skin care to Lapland?

Bring thick lotion/créme for your face and skin. We dried up considerably due to the cold outside and the warmth inside. Now, a month later, my skin is finally back to normal. In addition, you won’t believe this, it is smart to bring some sunscreen. We were tanned a bit by the bright sun during the day. Please note that the créme’s you use may not be ‘water-based’. This freezes when you go outside. Also, don’t wash your hair in the morning, but wash it the night before. There is otherwise too much moisture in your hair, which also freezes.

Do people speak good English in Lapland?

Yes everyone speaks English. People are generally a little stiffer than in southern Europe, but when you talk to them for longer they are very friendly and kind.

How is the internet connection in Lapland? Does one have 4G?

We have had good internet everywhere. Even in remote places, in the middle of the wilderness, we still had a connection! There is 4G everywhere.

Is Finnish Lapland expensive?

I thought the prices of Lapland and the cost of our trip were not too bad. We expected it to be more expensive, especially in the area of food and drink. Wondering what we spend in total in Lapland? Read our budget blog here.

Which currency do people have in Lapland?

In Finnish Lapland, they use the Euro. In Norway the Norwegian Krone and in Sweden the Swedish Krona.

Lapland

How long is a flight to Lapland?

We flew with Finnair from Amsterdam to Helsinki, where we flew onwards to Ivalo after a short transfer. In total, we were in the air for four hours and we had a one-hour transfer. Off course if you are coming from further away, it will take more time.

Did you know that in the winter you can fly directly from the Netherlands, Germany and the UK to Lapland with tour operators such as Tui and Corendon? However, the tickets are generally a lot more expensive than when you fly with Finnair.

How do you travel around Lapland?

Most people who travel to Lapland have booked a package trip or stay in the same place. This means that they are transported by bus or taxi between locations.

We arranged our trip ourselves, without a tour operator, and visited different places in Lapland. Not many people do this, so we asked ourselves in advance whether this was possible. It turned out that this is more than possible and we believe it is the ultimate way to visit Lapland!

Is driving a car dangerous in Lapland?

For not much money we rented a car (with winter tires) for five days. The roads are well maintained in Finnish Lapland. Snow is shoved every day. Most roads are fairly white with ice and snow but have ‘tracks’ that you drive in with your car. Here, the road surface is free of snow and ice, so you can drive without any danger. There is good signage and people drive very slowly! We have never felt unsafe driving a car in Finnish Lapland.

The only ‘danger’ on the road in Lapland, are moose. If you hit such an animal, your car will be completely wrinkled. Chances are very small that you will hit a moose, but I secretly looked around that first night in the car.

Is there good public transport in Finnish Lapland?

It is also possible to travel around Finnish Lapland by public transport. In the south of Finnish Lapland, many trains run, more in the north, the villages are connected by buses. A little more puzzling perhaps but a good way to travel around on a smaller budget. A single ticket from Ivalo to Inari costs € 8.20.


Do you have any other questions about (Finnish) Lapland? Ask them via a comment and I will get back to you with an answer!


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101 questions and answer on traveling through Lapland


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