Read on for all you need to know to get from Tromsø to Rovaniemi by public transport - in summer or winter!
Are you looking to combine a visit to Tromsø, the Gateway to the Arctic, with a stay in a glass igloo in Rovaniemi? You’re not alone! Each winter, I get emails from readers who can’t quite figure out how to get from Tromsø to Rovaniemi, and since they’ve now established a new winter bus route, I thought it was about time to give you the detailed rundown!
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Getting from Tromsø to Rovaniemi - in summer
Summertime used to be the best time to make your way from Tromsø to Rovaniemi, as it used to be the only time when there was a direct bus available (those times have now changed - find further information below).
Even though there’s now a direct bus in both, summer and winter, you shouldn’t forget about the advantages that come with visiting the Arctic in summer: 24 hours of daylight, being able to go for hikes in the mountains, not having to freeze (too much)... Summer in the Arctic can be amazing if the weather is great!
Now, if you think you’ve seen everything Tromsø has to offer and are ready to head on you Rovaniemi, this is all you need to know:
the direct bus between Tromsø and Rovaniemi in summer runs every day between early June and mid-September, and has a journey time of 8 1/2 hours
it departs from Tromsø Prostneset at 7:25 am and arrives in Rovaniemi at 5:35 pm
the bus also makes its way to Oulu with arrival there at 9:10 pm
on Saturdays, the bus also goes to Helsinki - arrival time then is 6:10 am the following morning at Helsinki Airport, and 6:45 am in the city centre
the standard fare for the journey from Tromsø to Rovaniemi is 102,20€ (one way)
This bus route is run by Eskelisen Lapin Linjat. You can find the detailed timetable with all stops here.
Getting from Tromsø to Rovaniemi - in winter
The winter season 2019/2020 will be the first with a direct bus connection between Tromsø and Rovaniemi. Here’s all you need to know about the journey:
the new direct bus connection between Tromsø and Rovaniemi in winter will be available between early December 2019 and late March 2020
it will be served by the company Bussring, however, as of May 2019, there is no information available on the actual timetable or price of the journey
this article will be updated as soon as the information is out there, however, you can also check the website of Bussring for updates in the meantime
Getting from Tromsø to Rovaniemi in off-season
If you’re looking to get from Tromsø to Rovaniemi between April and May, or October to November, these are the 2 options that are currently available:
1. Take the plane
This entails a stopover in either Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen or London, plus an additional stopover in Helsinki. Currently, you can get to Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen with SAS, and to Oslo and London with Norwegian. The route between Helsinki and Rovaniemi is served through Finnair, but you can book tickets via SAS.
As flights tend to be quite pricey, the journey quite long due to multiple stopovers, and the impact on the environment quite substantial, I personally don’t consider this the best way to go.
2. Go by bus and train via Swedish Lapland
You can take bus 100 from Tromsø to Narvik, and then the train from Narvik to Abisko, and further on to Rovaniemi with additional train changes in Luleå and Kemi or Haparanda/Tornio. This journey takes about 25 hours and costs approx. 100€.
The bus ticket from Tromsø to Narvik costs ca. 400 NOK, while the train ticket between Narvik and Haparanda/Tornio costs ca. 600 SEK, and train tickets between Tornio and Rovaniemi can be found for as little as 8€, and as much as 25€.
EuroRail tickets are also available but usually cost a lot more (a standard adult ticket that’s valid for 3 days costs 205€ at the time of writing this).
Further links about Tromsø
Tromsø Ice Domes - Visiting an Ice Hotel in the Lyngen Alps near Tromsø
Visiting Tromsø during Polar Night - What to expect
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