Lapland has no capital as such It is a region in northern Europe along the arctic circle and not a country, Nonetheless, the cities of Rovaniemi, Luleå, or Tromsø are all sometimes cited as the “capital of Lapland”.
Lapland: country or region ?
The situation of Lapland is quite strange. It is a region that stretches across four countries, northern Norway, Sweden, and Finland, and into the Kola Peninsula of Russia. Lapland has a flag (often attributed to the Sámis) and no less than three unofficial capitals !
Rovaniemi, the capitale of Finnish Lapland
Rovaniemi is the administrative capital and commercial center of Finnish Lapland. It is located about 4 miles south of the Arctic Circle and is the home of Santa Claus. It is a city that can be enjoyed and discovered all year round, even if most travelers visit Rovaniemi in winter to meet the white-bearded man known as Santa Claus. In the summer, you can enjoy the beaches along the Ounasjoki River, canoeing, biking, and hiking, all under the midnight sun.
Luleå, the capital of Swedish Lapland
Luleå is a coastal city and the capital of Swedish Lapland. It is situated in the Gulf of Bothnia, the northern part of the Baltic Sea. Offshore, a group of about 1,312 islands is known as the Luleå archipelago. In winter, you can walk between them on the ice and go ice skating or ride a snow scooter (it’s quite unusual!). And don’t miss a visit to the church town of Gammelstad, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tromsø, the capital of the Arctic and Norwegian Lapland
The Gateway to the Far North, Tromsø is the capital of Norwegian Lapland but also the capital of the Arctic. It also proclaims itself the “Capital of the Northern Lights“. Tromsø is 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It has preserved many of its century-old wooden houses, and the old buildings are now used as stores, galleries, or restaurants. The oldest house dates from 1789. The Norwegian Fjords are, without doubt, the first places to visit during a stay in Tromsø.
Lapland may not have a capital, but it’s well-endowed in terms of air transport, and every major city in Lapland – Rovaniemi in Finland, Luleå in Sweden and Tromsø in Norway – is served by an airport. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide that explores the different airport options for getting to Lapland. This guide will provide you with detailed information on each airport, as well as their advantages and disadvantages, to help you plan your perfect trip to Lapland.