Kemi is a bustling harbour town set on the ice-blue waters of Bothnian Bay. It’s a great introduction to Lapland and combines family-friendly attractions with stunning scenery. Set sail on an enormous icebreaker ship, marvel at one of Europe’s most beautiful snow castles and visit a pristine national park.
Things to do in Kemi
Built in 1996, enchanting Lumilinna is one of Finland’s most magical attractions. The snow castle is rebuilt every winter and features fairy-tale turrets, soaring walls and cavernous halls. Sink into a fur-covered seat and enjoy a meal at the restaurant, or head to the ice bar to sip a glass of mulled wine.
Kemi is a launchpad for icebreaker cruises on the sub-zero waters of the Bothnian Sea. The legendary Arctic Icebreaker Sampo departs from the harbour and ploughs through the ice. In addition to peering into the captain’s bridge and engine room, you’ll get a chance to slip into a survival suit and swim in the ice-cold sea.
Step inside Jalokivigalleria to admire thousands of sparkling gemstones from around the world. The museum occupies a historic building and showcases shimmering amethyst crystals, colourful agate slabs and other treasures.
Santa's Seaside Office is set on the waterfront and will delight kids of all ages. Meet Santa himself and take part in activities like gingerbread decorating workshops, then head to the cute on-site cafe for milk and cookies.
Just north of the town centre, Bothnian Bay National Park is a sanctuary for marine birds. The park can only be accessed by boat, with tours available through local operators. In addition to historic fishing huts, you can also spot Arctic terns, velvet scoters and ruddy turnstones.
Getting around Kemi
Kemi is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. The city is a 1.5-hour drive from Oulu, the closest major city. Oulu Airport is a 1.5-hour drive south.