How to get around
Although in small towns like Kemi, Rovaniemi and Tornio all the services are in the center, within walking distance, a bicycle is a nice way to familiarize with the surroundings of the towns. There is also a possibility to buy a buss card and use the public transportation for moving around towns.
Travelling by bus from Kemi to Tornio or vice versa costs you 6,90 €. If you need to take a bus daily, it is worth buying a monthly card. It is valid for 30 days from the date you buy the ticket within the Kemi-Tornio transport area and costs 69 euros + a renewable card 6,50 euros (deposit). The card can be purchased at bus stations and it can be renewed on buses. Local buses depart from the bus stations in Kemi and Tornio. Timetables are available at the bus stations, the Matkahuolto office and on buses. In Rovaniemi the bus card at student price is 31€/month and you can buy it from Osviitta (located in the city hall of Rovaniemi) or Matkahuolto (Lapinkävijäntie 2). Don’t forget to take Lapland UAS attendance certificate and pass-port with you.
If you take a bus ride to a destination of a distance of 80 km or more, you are entitled to a special student rate. The discount is 50 % for a one-way or return ticket. You need to present your Student Union membership card (SAMOK student card) or a special Matkahuolto/ VR discount card when purchasing the ticket.
Travelling by train you are entitled to a special student rate. Beginning on June 3rd 2013 the student discount percentage for Basic and Extra class tickets has started to vary between 45 to 55 per cent. What this means is that students receive the highest discount for tickets with low demand, while more popular tickets entitle to a lower discount. VR has convinced the student organisations that the reform will, on average, make travelling by train more affordable for students – even despite the slight increase in the prices of the most popular departures.
You need to present your Student Union membership card (SAMOK student card) or a special Matkahuolto/ VR discount card when purchasing the ticket. Train connections in Finland: www.vr.fi/
With some good luck you may find and buy a decent bicycle for a reasonable price from a bicycle repair shop, recycling center (kierrätyskeskus), flea market (kirpputori) or your fellow student. When you park your bicycle always remember to lock it and preferably fasten it to a bicycle rack or some other solid structure to avoid anyone steeling your bike. You can buy bicycle locks from wellstocked stores.
Please remember to also purchase a light for your bike, because the Finnish law demands you to have one. Light helps other traffic users to see you better and makes it easier to drive your bike when it’s dark. It is also good to have a bicycle helmet.
These shops sell used bikes and are located in the city centre of Rovaniemi:
- Mountain Bike Center, Ruokasenkatu 10
- Tuhattori, Harrikatu 2
With good luck you can find used bikes in Kemi and Tornio from:
- Viikkotori, Keskuspuistokatu 17, Kemi
- Monitarmo Kierrätys, Asemakatu 4, Kemi
- Tositori, Länsiranta 13, Tornio
Rovaniemi offers variety of shopping possibilities. There are many supermarkets, grocery stores, home-furnishing and clothing shops. In downtown you can shop in three shopping malls: Sampokeskus, Revontulikeskus and Rinteenkulma, which are only a short walking distance away from each other. Another great place to shop and visit is Santa Claus Village at the Arctic Circle. There are many specialty shops and souvenir shop in the center of Kemi and Tornio, as well as a mall in Tornio. You can also enjoy a mall and lots of other shops in Haparanda, Sweden. In Sweden the currency is Swedish krona, but in Finland the currency is Euro.
Shopping hours are generally 9 a.m. to 6 or 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 or 3 p.m. Saturday. Stores are typically closed on Sundays, but grocery stores are usually open every day.
Second hand shops
Second-hand stores are ideal for lowbudget shopping. You can find many second-hand shops in Rovaniemi:
- Tuhattori, Harrikatu 2
- Varastotien kirppis, Varastotie 8
- Rovaniemen Kontti, Kierrätystavaratalo, Teollisuustie 13
- Vintikki, Varastotie 2
- Toivon Tori, Lapinkävijäntie 23
There are many second-hand shops also in Kemi and Tornio:
- Viikkotori, Keskuspuistokatu 17, Kemi
- Aseman tori, Rautatiekatu 9, Kemi
- Meriva, Valtakatu 27-29, Kemi
- Vaarin Vintti, Länsiranta 13, Tornio
- Tositori, Länsiranta 13, Tornio
- IHA Lähetyspuoti, Kauppakatu 11, Tornio
With Sports Pass you can enjoy of culture or sports. The provided benefits vary depending on the town, please check details below. You can use the same Sports Pass in Rovaniemi, Kemi and Tornio.
Sports Pass in Kemi-Tornio area
In Kemi-Tornio area Sports Pass gives you the opportunity to participate in different kinds of cultural or sport activities with no cost at all or with a discount. With the Sports Pass you can enjoy of multiple exercise locations in the school premises and on private sector. Different group exercises e.g. zumba and ball games such as volleyball, basketball and football have been popular options. There are also many opportunities to exercise for free without the Sports Pass. You can get the card against the payment receipt from the Students Affairs’ Offices.
Further information on the Pass and the payment will be given by the Instructor of Leisure Activities Mr Jukka Ikäläinen jukka.ikalainen and from student union ROTKO palvelukoordinaattori(at)lapinrotko.fi.
Sports Pass in Rovaniemi
In Rovaniemi you can enjoy of the sport services intended for students with Sports Pass. You can get some the services free of charge or against a small fee. You can choose from variety of outdoor and indoor activities.
Learn more about Sports Pass and the services in Rovaniemi at:
For more information contact the Sports coordinator Mika Vettainen. mika. vettainen
FREE-TIME ACTIVITIES IN KEMI AND TORNIO
The following places are worth checking out in the Kemi-Tornio area:
In Sweden, Kalix and Luleå are so close that you can make a day trip there. On the Finnish side of the Torniojoki river, as you go northward you find the town of Ylitornio, which is home to the Aavasaksa hill, from which you can see far into Sweden, and the town of Pello, which is located within the arctic circle.
If you go 100 km northeast from Keminmaa, you get to the city of Rovaniemi, where Santa Claus has built his own tourist trap. From Rovaniemi you should continue on toward Ranua and stop by the Ranua zoo to say hello to Jaska, a talking raven.
Also not too far is Oulu, which is a little over 100 km from Kemi. Before you get to Oulu there is a stone age village in the town of Ii. There are some natural sights we recommend that you check out: Between Simo and Keminmaa is the nature preserve of Martimoaava – Lumiaava – Penikat. It provides visitors with hiking trails, night lodging in wilderness huts, bird watching, and eating in lean-to shelters.
The coastal region is home to the Perämeri National Park, where visitors can become familiar with the marine habitat of Bothnian Bay (Perämeri) as well as the fishing outposts and traditional landscapes produced by the traditional fishing industry.
In the bird watching tower of Alkunkari in Puuluoto of Tornio, visitors can watch the lives of birds and enjoy campfire coffee at the campfire area, which is large enough for twenty visitors at a time.
Another place worth visiting near Tornio is Kukkolankoski rapids, where you can watch and admire living traditional fishing culture of the Tornionlaakso Valley.
On the Swedish side, the island of Seskarö is famous for its great beaches. People in the Arctic like winter swimming and ice fishing in the winter time. The coastal region of Kemi and the Torniojoki river provide excellent opportunities for both of these activities.
FREE-TIME ACTIVITIES IN ROVANIEMI
There are many possibilities to spend your spare time in Rovaniemi. Nature is not far away from the city and it is easy to go enjoy it throughout the year. You can do many outdoor activities: skiing, swimming, ice skating, cycling, snow shoeing, hiking and fishing… If a rainy (or a very cold) day comes by, you can always turn to the services that gyms and sport centers provide. Gather your friends and go for example climbing, bowling or swimming.
A good place for outdoor activities is Ounasvaara, which is not far away from the city. It is a recreational area that has well-maintained trails with signposts which are ideal for hiking and skiing. Ounasvaara is a hill and it gives you a chance to enjoy of amazing views and landscape. Be sure to visit the Ounasvaara’s observation tower because the view up there is mesmerizing! During winter it is possible to go snowshoeing or downhill and cross-country skiing. Hiking, playing golf and enjoying the ride on a summer bobsleigh are fun summertime activities. And these mentioned activities are just few of the possibilities; there are many more activities available.
There is also a possibility to go explore city’s cultural life. For example at House of Culture, Korundi, you can see contemporary art, enjoy concerts or attend a lecture of the current art theme. You can also go see the Provincial Museum of Lapland in Arktikum and its exhibitions, or drop by on one of the smaller art galleries downtown. You can also lend a book or read papers at the library, watch a movie at the cinema or see a play on one of the theatres. To see more information about cultural activities check Cultural Services
Rovaniemi is a tourist destination and therefore it provides many exotic things to experience. You can pay a visit to Santa Claus or reindeers. There is also a possibility to enjoy of outdoors with husky sleigh rides or snowmobiling. You can find more information about these and many other services from the local safari companies. More information www.visitrovaniemi.fi and www.nationalparks.fi