Kemi On a Budget
SightsThe SnowCastle is by far one of the most popular and visited sights in Kemi. Pure white snow walls surround the gigantic SnowCastle, the artwork of ice and snow can be found right by the sea near the city center from the end of January until beginning of April. The world's largest SnowRestaurant seats over 200 guests, SnowChapel with mystical atmosphere is a memorable venue for wedding ceremonies, SnowHotel with unique beautifully decorated snow rooms offers a true arctic adventure. All made entirely of snow and ice from the sea water. The enormous SnowCastle is a highly unique venue for visitors offering various activities in the weekly program. SnowHotel is the World Luxury Hotel Global Award Winner and the best Ecofriendly hotel in Finland. The first SnowCastle was built in the city in 1996 as a present to all the children in the world. In 2017 SnowCastle of Kemi took part in celebrating the 100 years of independence in Finland and the theme was Finland 100 years. Great light-effects add charm to the snow and ice-sculpting as well as to the structures about the SnowCastle. The SnowRestaurant, SnowChapel and SnowHotel are all situated in the SnowCastle area, only 1 km from the city center.
Kemi Lutheran Church is a Gothic Revival structure with an ornate, red-brick exterior. It is a Finnish Evangelical Lutheran church of the Diocese of Oulu. The church is located in the center of the town of Kemi in Northern Finland.
To the north, Bothnian Bay National Park has old fishing huts, rare plants and abundant birds, including Arctic terns.
NeighborhoodsThe city center is the main area of interest in Kemi. It is here where you will find all of the major attractions like the SnowCastle, Gemstone Gallery, Santa's port office, and the harbor where the icebreaker is located. It is also here where all of the restaurants and shops can be found.
ActivitiesVisit Santa Claus in Kemi. Now Santa Claus has opened his official port office in Kemi Inner harbor. Santa Claus and his Elves love spending time in Kemi by the sea enjoying the fresh air and the easy living that the city offers. Traditional Sea Lappish cottage by the sea is open in the Summer and Winter time. Excellent place for the whole family to stop for a coffee and of course meeting Santa! Outside terrace with a lovely sea view is the place to enjoy in the summer time. Surprise yourself or your love ones and purchase a Santa´s secret present.
Visit the Gemstone Gallery, a large collection of gemstones and minerals with great diversity. The spectacular crown designed for the King of Finland, a replica of the Imperial State Crown of Great Britain, a replica of the lavish 647-diamond necklace of Marie Antoinette and much more. Definitely worth a visit and open throughout the year. The Gemstone Gallery celebrated its 30th year in 2016.
Kemi is one of the few places in the world where the sea freezes and creates a unique playground for locals and travelers to feel the arctic freedom. You can find a wide range of unique things to do here: the only passenger Icebreaker in the world, the only Ice driving location on the sea, the Adventure Island, Arctic Snow Dogs, incredibly huge SnowCastle made of sea water, Olokolo safaris and much more. Experience the White Night Magic in the Summer time and enjoy the fresh air. Take a refreshing swim, try canoeing on the sea or go fishing and prepare your dinner on the open fire. Sail your way to the Adventure Island in the summer time with a traditional sailing ship. Enjoy the silence and the midnight sun by picking the berries while hiking around the Arctic Adventure Island or taking the Midnight Sun Cruise. In the winter time, the total darkness and being away from the city, the Island offers the perfect spot for Aurora Hunting comfortably in the Olokolo nest.
Food and DiningKemi offers local, fresh food in its unique restaurants using the ingredients that nature offers. The sea and rivers offer fish all-year round. Enjoy delicacies from Sea Lapland in the Seaside Lodge or Santa´s Official Port Office. Seaside Hut and Arctic Island Hut with open fire are the places to enjoy the lappish food and atmosphere as well as the silence. In the spectacular SnowRestaurant one enjoys the freshly prepared meal by the ice tables, the Ice Bar offers juice made of the local berries.
In the city there is a good variety of restaurants from international cuisine to traditional Finnish food. Do like Finns do and take a break with coffee and pastries in local cafeterias, like the one on the top floor of the City Hall - the highest building in Lapland, or many in the Kemi Inner harbor which is the living room for the locals during the Summer.
TransportationThe best prices for buses and trains in Finland can be found on Omio (formerly GoEuro). They let you search across all train, bus, and plane routes throughout Europe.
Kemi-Tornio Airport is the closest airport, located 6km from the city. It is one hour by plane from Helsinki. The airport is used by Finncomm and Flybe Airlines. Kemi is the end of the rail line if heading west, towards Sweden, because there are no passenger services across, as the rail gauge is different. Within Finland, trains to Rovaniemi take about 1.5 hours, while a trip all the way to Helsinki is 9 hours. It is easy to get around the city center and main highlights on foot.
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