What to do when visiting Kemijärvi?

What to do when visiting Kemijärvi?

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Have you been in Finnish Lapland and been in Rovaniemi but wanted to go some other place close by? Then Kemijärvi is a place to visit.

What to do when visiting Kemijärvi especially if you are a family with small kids? There are many different places to explore may it be winter or summer.

How far is Kemijärvi from Rovaniemi?

Kemijärvi is about 86 kilometer from Rovaniemi and it takes you an hour to drive. There are also busses and train to use since Kemijärvi has own train station too that is located just beside the beautiful lake.

What is Kemijärvi?

Kemijärvi is a city located north of the arctic circle in Finnish Lapland. This is a very beautiful lake place surrounded with mountains and arctic hills. That makes it a place to visit during winter for a winter vacation who loves to have the outdoor experience in Lapland.

Why not in summer time too, fishing, swimming and walking in its beautiful nature is a relaxing thing to do.

Kemijärvi during winter time

When we went there during summertime, we didn’t manage to explore as much as when we were during the winter holiday.

What to do when visiting Kemijärvi?

1. Exploring the beauty of the city center and the lake side

The lake and the hill makes the place magical. Walking around the center in both season is an easy way to enjoy and get to know the city.

Kemijärvi lake during winter

There are different restaurants and of course a grill place where you can have the delicacy of the Finnish Lapland.

walking around the center

If you do not want to go to restaurant, they have the normal grocery or supermarkets in there where you can get almost everything what you need. I was even suprised to see some asian products I do not see often in the city where we live.

We also visits the second hand store just in the heart of the city and to my surprise I have seen the traditional Finnish cultural clothes. It was still very pricey even from the second hand store.

Also we were unexpected to find out that there is a gym inside the apartment we rented. It is only small but we had been there and use the gym too.

Kemijärvi kirppis

2. Swimming hall

Kemijärvi uimahalli / swimming hall

Their swimming hall is not just a simple swimming hall. They have a very nice place for family with small kids. What is best is the long water slide! Kids were enjoying a lot and it is easy to have snacks because there is a cafeteria connected to the swimming area. You can order anything without going out of the swimming area.

3. Skating & sledding outdoor


The apartment we rented during our stay there for two weeks is just beside the school and there is the ice skating rink outdoor and beside it, there is also sledding place. The whole family was enjoying a lot of outdoor while our youngest is sleeping so nicely in his pram. Do you know that in Finland, you can put your baby sleep outside during minus degrees?

Skating and sledding in Kemijärvi

4. Suomutunturi


If you like going downhill skiing, Suomutunturi is a great place to go. It is between Kemijärvi city and Salla. Salla we also visit there during this holiday and fed the reindeers.

Separate blog post about Suomutunturi soon.

5. Pyhätunturi

Pyhätunturi Pelkoseniemi

Pyhätunturi is another famous place during winter time specially during winter holiday. It is the busiest time, there are plenty of people all over the place and having downhill skiing.

Separate blog post about Pyhätunturi soon.

6. Watch for the Northern Lights

Our experience to see the northern lights was unexpected. We were just about to go to bed, kids were sleeping and we had the sleeping clothes on. Somehow during this trip I hope I can see Northern lights, after all we are in Lapland. I know the fact that the apartment is located in the area where there are road lights so its very lights outside.

There are places a little farther from our accommodation where it is best to watch the Northern lights but having a small baby, I do not want to bring them there at night. So I just closed the lights inside the apartment, and to my surprise, outside is having the northern lights.

I was like a child excitedly watching and took some few photos while inside the house. It wasn’t so well photos because it is behind the window. I stayed there for a long time admiring the scene until I decided to go out to see more. Finally, when I am outside, it wasn’t so strong anymore as it was when I am inside.

This is like the highlights of the list on what to do when visiting Kemijärvi. If you do not have very small kids, find where is the best place for the Northern lights to see.

Kemijärvi Northern Lights

Our trip in Kemijärvi overall experience was amazing! Everyone had fun and this year we planned to go back there but it seems we will come back there some other time, most probably next year.

I hope you find this blog post useful on what to do when visiting Kemijärvi.

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