5 Things to Do and Places to See in Winter Scandinavia

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Last updated:
23.07.2015

If you haven’t seen Scandinavia during winters, you are still to experience the real beauty of Europe’s most magical corner!

Winter in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland is the best time to witness Aurora Borealis and get a taste of genuinely Scandinavian activities like reindeer sledding or visiting Santa in his estate in Lapland. Here’s our list of 5 Things to Do and Places to See in Winter Scandinavia

1. Seek Northern Lights

northern lights

The Northern Lights is a unique natural phenomenon of red, green, and yellow lights literally dancing in the sky. It’s caused by cosmic rays, solar wind, and magnetospheric plasma interacting with the upper layers of the atmosphere. October to February is considered the best time to witness Aurora Borealis and some of the best places to do that are Abisko Aurora Sky Station in Sweden, the Rovaniemi region in Finland, and Lofoten Islands or Tromsø in Norway.

Check out our Northern Lights package tour in Finland to get a better idea of the destination

The best time to see the Northern Lights:
October to February is considered the best time to witness Aurora Borealis.

2. Traditional Reindeer or Dog Sledding

reindeer sledding

One of the most popular and exciting winter activities in Scandinavia is dog or reindeer sledding. It can be found almost anywhere, but the most popular spots are the Santa Claus village in Finland and Tromsø in Norway.

Talk to your travel specialist to find out more

Where to enjoy reindeer or dog sledding?
The most popular spots are the Santa Claus village in Finland and Tromsø in Norway.

3. Stay in an Ice Hotel in Sweden, Norway or Finland

ice hotel sweden

Ice hotels are among the highlights of Scandinavian winter. Each year they are built from scratch using big ice blocks. Usually, ice hotel owners attract well-known designers to participate in the process and as a result, travelers get a unique opportunity to spend a night or two in a frozen masterpiece, sleeping on an ice bed covered with a reindeer skin and a special thermal blanket.

These hotels are usually booked out many months in advance, so don’t postpone and start making your travel plans for winter today

Did you know?
Each year Ice Hotels are built from scratch using big ice blocks. Usually, ice hotel owners attract well-known designers to participate in the process.

4. Embark a Cruise Ship Across the Arctic Circle

cruise ship

Scandinavian winter already sounds like a lot of fun, but there’s even more to explore! One of the most unforgettable experiences is joining a cruise across the Arctic Circle to visit an Art Nouveau town of Alesund, see the magnificent Trollfjord and meet indigenous Sami people nearby Kirkness.

Browse our unique land tour + cruise winter package

Quick Facts about the Arctic Circle

  • Location: Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Alaska, and Russia
  • The smallest ocean: the Arctic Ocean is the smallest in the world, it covers 41.1 million square miles
  • Home to wildlife: there are lots of polar bears, walruses, seals, whales, and artic foxes
  • Temperature: winter temperatures can drop below -58°F
  • The place of natural resources: the Arctic provides oil, numerous minerals, and natural gas

5. Meet Santa Claus in His Estate

santa claus

Did you know that Santa Claus actually lives in his own estate in the Finnish Lapland? Of course, you won’t find elves and fictional characters here. But sending a postcard from the official Santa Claus Office in Rovaniemi is a childish dream come true, isn’t it? Besides, you can dine in a Michelin restaurant and do some souvenir shopping along the way.

TIP: If you plan to visit Santa Claus Village, don't miss a chance to write a card to your dearests in Santa Claus Main Post Office!

As you can see travel to Scandinavia is well worth it! Apart from all unique winter activities, you will also enjoy less crowded museums and art galleries. But remember, if you would like to take a winter tour to Norway, Sweden or Finland, make sure to book it in advance due to limited availability!