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Oslo Airport is located in Gardermoen, which is around 50 km to the northeast of Oslo itself. The Gardermoen Line trains run directly between the airport and the city centre, whilst the Flytoget airport express train operates to Oslo Central Station six times each hour. Alternatively, you can catch a taxi to take you from the city to Oslo Airport in just 42 minutes.
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Located in Finnish Lapland, the town of Kemi sits at the northern end of the Gulf of Bothnia. With more of a Finnish atmosphere than other destinations in Lapland, there are two major attractions that draw visitors to this part of the country, and you’ll also find a number of lesser-known things to see and do. Read on to discover more about the city and plan your visit with this Finnair travel guide to Kemi.
Sights in Kemi
Kemi boasts a true cornucopia of extreme experiences—where else in the world can you explore a snow castle, spend the night in a snow hotel and eat out at a snow restaurant? The wondrous Kemi Ice Castle is the largest ice castle in the world. Reconstructed every winter, the local ice castle traditions date back to 1996. Of course, the design is slightly different each year. Within the icy fortress you’ll find a Snow Hotel, a Snow Restaurant and a Snow Chapel. There’s also a play area for children, various exhibitions and a theatre. It’s definitely a unique and romantic experience. Don’t worry—reindeer furs provide plenty of warmth. While regular brick-and-cement buildings may pale in comparison, it’s worth seeing Kemi’s other interesting pieces of architecture while in the area. The 51-metre-tall City Hall is one of the city’s most noticeable buildings, dominating the skyline. There’s a café at the top from where you can enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding winter wonderland. The Gothic Kemi Church dates back to the early 1900s and it makes for a nice photo stop. Visit the Gemstone Gallery to see the biggest gemstone collection in Europe. One great way to take in the breathtaking beauty of the region is with a cruise on retired icebreaker Sampo—if you dare, you can even don a rescue suit and go for a swim in the icy water. Other winter activities include exploring the terrain by snowmobile, ice fishing and sleigh riding. Summers offer boat cruises and canoeing around the nearby islands and islets, and you can visit the various creatures that live at the animal centre of Arkadia. The local night scene is quite lively, with bars and clubs busy on most nights of the week.
Things to See and Do Near Kemi
- Keminmaa – The church in Keminmaa was built in the first quarter of the 16th century. This church houses quite an unusual sight: the undecomposed corpse of a priest who passed away in the late 1620s.
- Tornio-Haparanda Golf Club – This international-standard golf course is open in both summer and winter. A rather novel fact is that there are holes in both Finland and neighbouring Sweden!
- Rovaniemi – About an hour and a half’s drive away, Santa Claus Village is an iconic experience when in Lapland.
Shopping in Kemi
There’s a decent selection of shops in Kemi. While the city isn’t necessarily a shopping destination, you’ll still be able to find clothes, souvenirs, photography equipment, sports gear and anything else that would make your holiday in the area complete. Handmade items can be terrific gifts and souvenirs; reindeer skin rugs are an especially popular local product.
- Seppälä – This is a popular clothing store with a variety of garments and accessories for men and women as well as children.
- Rajalla Shopping Centre – Home to a selection of well-known international brands and Finnish retail outlets.
Food and Drink
- Reindeer soup – Reindeer meat is popular across Lapland and it can be used to make a hearty and warming soup. Some people add cheese to the soup for a combination of flavours, and it is usually served with bread.
- Moose stew – Another dish that makes use of the local natural resources, this stew contains moose meat and a variety of vegetables. It may contain potato, or a potato dish can be served on the side, such as mashed or baked potato.
- Seafood – Fish and seafood dishes are common. Menus may contain Arctic cod, salmon, king crab and others.
Transport in Kemi
While the wider area is connected by public transport, there is limited public transport available in the town itself. Luckily, Kemi is small enough to walk around with ease.
- By foot – All major attractions in Kemi, with the exception of the harbour, can be reached in just a few minutes’ walk. The town is small and easy to navigate.
- Buses – Two bus lines operate in the town, though they are perhaps most useful for people travelling outside of Kemi and to other places in the region. Combined tickets provide unlimited bus travel for 30 days between Ii, Kemi, Tornio, Tervola, Simo and Keminmaa.
- Taxis – Taxis can be ordered by telephone or by walking to the taxi stand in town. Distances covered in the town are usually short and so the standardized fare isn’t generally high.