Arktikum museum & science centre

When visiting Rovaniemi you will find lots of things the city has to offer. A must-see place would be the Arktikum Museum.

In addition to being one of the most important museums in Lapland, it is also a Science and Congress Centre for conferences and a city icon.

Arktikum was opened to the public on 6th December 1992, which was the 75th anniversary of Finland’s independence. The most visible part of the museum, built by Bonderup and Lehtipalo, is the glass corridor. It is 172 metres long in all. Tube serves as the “Gateway to the North”.

The museum is at about 10-15 minutes walking distance from the hotels located in the city center, and it is situated on the banks of the Ounasjoki River.

Arktikum Museum summer outdoors

Arktikum museum on the bank of Kemijoki River (Source: Arktikum Museum)

At the entrance hall you will find the library with free internet, the coffee shop and the souvenir shop where you can buy lots of gifts to remember your time in northern Lapland.

The admission ticket will be given along with a brochure containing some Museum information as well as an audio guide, being optional the latter one. This way customers can enjoy their visit and experience in a most attractive and thorough way.

Here you will find all Museum schedules and entrance fees.

Click Here if you are interested on the different tours that are offered and the languages used.

The museum has two different floors with two permanent exhibitions about life in Lapland, Lapland’s history and its’ flora and fauna.

  1. The paths of the north end.
  2. The Arctic at the time of the change.

There are also temporary exhibitions. The temporary exhibitions currently open to public are:

  1. The encounters of Germans and Finns in Lapland during 1940-1944.
  2. The story of trees in the Arctic.
  3. The Land of Snow and Northern Lights.

Permanent exhibitions

Exhibition: The paths of the north end

The visitor will be able to see broadly the history, survival and Lappish culture focusing on 3 different regions: northern Lapland, southern Lapland and Rovaniemi. The visitor will get to know the Sami people, the indigenous inhabitants of these lands, and their traditional costumes, songs and traditions.

Sami traditional clothing

Traditional Sami customes (Source: Arktikum Museum)

Come to know the fascinating history of Rovaniemi. The causes and consequences of cultural shocks, or  how Rovaniemi looked after the Second World War, when the city burst into fire.

You will learn about Lappish history with the help of models, videos, sounds, lots of pictures and thrilling readings.

Exhibition: The Arctic at the time of the change

In this exhibition you can see the current change that is occurring due to climate change interacting with nature, animals, and ultimately, the environment. You can also observe the evolution suffered by indigenous peoples or how they have gone adapting to extreme temperatures.

This permanent exhibition has also a “cold room”, to really feel being in the Arctic. There is also a small theatre where guests can relax and enjoy lying down while watching a 3D Animation  about Nortern Lights and its myths : a fire fox or a football played with walrus skull in the sea.

Temporary exhibitions

Exhibition: The encounters of Germans and Finns in Lapland during 1940-1944

Visitors can enjoy this wonderful exhibition from 27th of April 2015 to 10th of January 2016.

You will know how Finns and Germans interacted for the period 1940-1944 and how Rovaniemi gradually turned into a headquarters of the German army. There were 210,000 German soldiers in Lapland, and about 60,000 in Rovaniemi, almost as much as there were local inhabitants.

The exhibition presents photographs and paintings never seen before.

Rovaniemi was gradually turning into a headquarters of the German army

German traffic sign in Rovaniemi (Picture by: Carlos Gómez)

Exhibition: The story of trees in the arctic

The story of the trees in the Arctic is a new exhibition of the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland which is open until 10.4.2016 . You are very welcome to learn wooden facts, see delightful illustrations, hug a tree and laugh at some silly jokes.

Exhibition: The land of snow and Northern Lights

You can enjoy daily videos and multivision sessions produced by Kimmo Kuure about Lapland and the amazing and wonderful northern Lights at Polarium hall. This performance will be cancelled when the Polarium is reserved for some other event.

shapes and moves of Aurora Borealisin the sky

Amazing and wonderful Northern Lights (Picture by: Antonio Ontangas)


Author: Carlos Gómez

Young native from Spain who began his adventure in Lapland 2014. Marketing and Marketing research graduated and working as Digital Marketing Assistant at Lapland Safaris (Rovaniemi). Enjoying this atmosphere and nature!

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