Lapland Weather December Averages, Finland
What's The Weather Like in December in Lapland?
December is the peak of the winter season in Lapland and is one of the best times to visit. The snowy weather that the region is so famous for arrives and the Christmas spirit gets into full swing.
What's Lapland Like At Christmas?
Lapland epitomizes all that is Christmas in December: guaranteed snow, reindeer, skiing and cozy accommodation. December can be very cold though, so travellers should be aware of this and pack accordingly with warm layers, coats, and boots.
The average temperature in Lapland in December is -6°C though these vary during the month; highs reach -3°C but lows can fall to -9°C, especially on evenings. Make sure to wrap up warm when exploring the region
Will It Snow in Lapland in December?
With temperatures constantly below freezing, snow is very common in December. There's a 72% chance of snowfall throughout the month while the chance of rain drops to just 28%. You're almost guaranteed a blanket of fresh white snow when you visit Lapland in December.
Climate Change and Snow at Christmas in Lapland
Finland had an unseasonably hot summer and autumn in 2018, and in Lapland snowfall is common between October and April. By November, there's usually a heavy blanket of snow that lasts until mid-March. But in 2018 the snow didn't arrive until mid-December, much later than usual and it didn't stick because of the warmer ground conditions.
Unseasonably mild conditions are likely to become more common as climate changes cause global temperatures to rise.
Lapland Snow Forecast for Christmas 2019
Snow flurries are forecast for mid-December with heavier falls around Christmas. The good news if you're on holiday with young children is that even if heavy snow isn't guaranteed to make an appearance - Santa Claus definitely will!
What is Polar Night in Lapland?
While summer sees the Midnight Sun, winter in Lapland is the complete opposite. There's a maximum of three hours of sunlight a day, with the end of December seeing almost no sunlight at all.
These low-light periods are known as polar night when the sun never fully rises. The effect is not pitch black, but almost like twilight.
Can you see the Northern Lights in Lapland at Christmas?
The dark days can feel a little strange but offer the perfect opportunity to see the famous Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis.
This natural phenomenon is visible in Lapland when the sky is clear. There's a 74% chance of a cloudy day in December but this often clears at night time.
Where to stay in Lapland in December
There's plenty of magical places to stay in Lapland in December. Here's some of the most popular:
Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi
If you're visiting Lapland with children who're excited to visit Santa's village, you can make the trip even more exciting by staying in the village itself.
Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi is home to a holiday resort where guests can stay in private apartments just a two minute walk from Santa Claus Village. Choose the Santa Claus accommodation package and Santa will visit your apartment with gifts!
Northern Lights Igloo Resort in Saariselkä
Saariselkä is a village located 250 km north of Rovaniemi, where you'll find shops and activities such as bowling, skiing, hiking and a spa. It's also home to the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort which offers accommodation in amazing igloo rooms with glass roofs.
Choose from either a standard glass igloo with a bed or, for an even more special stay, go for the Kelo-glass igloos which combine an igloo with the comfort of a traditional log cabin. These cabins sleep up to six people and house a kitchenette, a private sauna and a fireplace.
Levi Ski Resort
Levi is Lapland's most popular choice for an active adventure trip. Famous for its winter ski slopes and views of the Northern Lights, this winter paradise also offers lively nightlife, shops, a spa, and many child-friendly activities. Snowmobile safaris, snowshoe and cross country skiing trips in the beautiful fell scenery are some of the highlights of the area.
Where To Eat and Drink
Visitors to Lapland will find an array of fabulous restaurants, cafés and bars, many of them serving traditional Finnish cuisine.
Restaurant Huippu sits north of the village of Saariselkä and is rather remotely located, but worth the journey. The location of this restaurant, on top of a hill, offers amazing views over the landscape.
The food receives great reviews, with delicacies such as reindeer, smoked fish and the specialty munki which is like a huge donut. An ideal place for lunch if you're heading north.
Santa Claus Village has a range of great eating options if you're staying or spending the day there. One of the most unique restaurants here is the Ice Restaurant at Snowman World which is made entirely of ice and is the only ice restaurant in the world located on the Arctic Circle.
Guests can admire the amazing ice sculptures and enjoy a delicious dinner, with a menu of authentic Lappish fare.
Last but not least, enjoy a tasty meal at Ravintola Luoston Kerttuli. Located in Luosto, the food here is of the highest quality, beautifully presented and served in a cosy and spacious dining room.
Things To Do
Visit Santa Claus
As December is the month of Christmas, the most popular attraction at the time of year is Santa himself. Whether you're travelling with children or you're just a big kid yourself, the region is full of festive attractions which are extremely popular at this time of the year.
The main one is Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. This huge winter wonderland features everything from Santa Claus' post office and Santa Park to a range of restaurants and shops. You can even meet Santa and have your photo taken with him. A magical day out for kids.
For an unforgettable Lapland experience, take part in an amazing husky sledging day. Companies such as Inghams offer packages which include a wonderful winter ride through the forest, where you'll be pulled by a team of huskies.
On the visit to the husky farm, you'll learn more about husky life and meet the dogs. If you'd prefer to ride by reindeer, you can do that too. Inghams also offer traditional ice fishing and sleigh rides ride over the snow. Reindeer and husky trips are available in Levi, Ylläs, and Saariselkä.
See The Northern Lights
One reason for hoping there isn't much snow in December is that clear skies make for excellent Aurora viewing conditions. There are plenty of dedicated excursions and night-time adventures to be had, and you could end up getting some pretty spectacular views.
Arktikum and Siida Museums
Rovaniemi is home to the Arktikum Museum and Science Centre where you can learn all about the Arctic Circle. And the Siida is a museum is situated on a lake in the village of Inari, and is dedicated to Sami culture and the nature of Northern Lapland.