Arctic Dreams

“Through the ages Lapland has been a centre of myths and legends; a strangely alluring Ultima Thule. For a long time the area was known mainly through the stories brought back by explorers and adventurers. It was not until the early 1900s, as infrastructure improved, that tourism as such to Lapland began”, exhibition curator Harri Hautajärvi says.

“As Finland gained its independence and the Arctic Ocean Highway was constructed, travelling to Lapland became an important national and governmental project. Tourism to Lapland was marketed  on the local landscape and architecture, which also came to form its base. Architects and interior designers were engaged to design grand Functionalist hotels and homely tourist hostels and cabins steeped in National Romanticism. At their very best, these became works of art and attractions in themselves.”

The Finnish Tourist Association hired photographers to immortalize their new venues. These pictures made their way around the globe in postcards, magazine articles and books. Hotels and hostels in Lapland were depicted as havens of progress and civilisation from which one could go on day excursions into the wonderful nature to then return to spend the evening in smartly furnished accommodation, complete with a warm fire and service in the lounge.

Travelling to Lapland remained a pastime for the few, and predominantly wealthy, up until the 1950s. Since the 1960s, tourism has grown into a substantial industry; during the last decades the largest fell resorts have grown more or less into towns.

The earliest tourist accommodations planned for Lapland evoke the era when travelling here was still surrounded by a lustre of luxury and Arctic romance.

Exhibition curator Harri Hautajärvi, Architect, Doctor of Science.
Exhibition is touring exhibition from MFA (Museum of Finnish Architecture).



Finland on the coast of the Arctic Ocean

Renewed permanent exhibition by the Regional Museum of Lapland about the history of Pechenga (1920-1944)


Arctic in Change

Everyday life and stories of the Arctic.

Northern Ways

What is life like in the world’s northernmost regions?

Polar Opposites

Video presentation of the changing seasons in the north.



Artist Anu Osva’s installations of human-animal interaction


The beginning of the Arctic Era

Exhibition tells the story of how the international Arctic cooperation originated in Rovaniemi


Arctic Dreams

Architecture for Tourists in Lapland, 1930–1950


A Light in the Darkness

Northern Lights Photography Exhibition by Risto Leskinen

Adults 13 €
Seniors, unemployed and students 9 €
Children (7–15 years) 6 €
Children under 7 years free of charge
Admission to temporary exhibitions 6 €
Family ticket 30 €

Price includes entry for 2 adults + 2 children aged 7-15 years + children under 7 years

Museum Card 68,00 €

The Museum Card allows you entry into more than 250 museums throughout Finland; valid for one year beginning on date of first use.

Culture Pass

Adults 20 € (norm. 29€)
Seniors, unemployed, students 15 € (norm. 21€)
Children (7-15 yrs.) 10 € (norm. 16€)

Rovaniemi's top cultural attractions in a single ticket!

The Culture Pass opens the door to three exceptional culture locations in Rovaniemi. Journey through Lappish history and explore Arctic research at Arktikum, immerse yourself into the contemporary art of the north at Korundi, discover the importance of the northern forest and what powers the bio-economy at Science Centre Pilke.

The Culture Pass is valid for 7 days.