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Kemi

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Kemi [1] is a town in Finnish Lapland, at the northernmost tip of the Gulf of Bothnia.

Understand[edit]

Kemi is an industrial town dominated by pulp mills. Most of its tourists are drawn by two wintery sights: its world famous Lumilinna Snow Castle & Hotel [2] and the unique chance to cruise on the Sampo icebreaker [3]. By its character, Kemi is far more like a Finnish town than a Lappish town. The city also boasts an array of shops, restaurants and bars.

Kemi City Centre in the summer

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Kemi-Tornio Airport (IATA: KEM) (ICAO: EFKE), 6km from the city,[4]. One hour by plane from Helsinki. Airport is used by Finncomm Airlines.

By train[edit]

Kemi is the end of the line if heading west, towards Sweden because there are no passenger services across, as the rail gauge is different. Within Finland, trains to Rovaniemi take about 1.5 hours, while a trip all the way to Helsinki, fairly painless if done in a sleeper overnight, is 9 hours.

By bus[edit]

Buses head towards the Swedish border at Tornio/Haparanda (30 min) and onward to Luleå (2.5h), where you can reboard a train. Buses on this segment are free with most railpasses.

Get around[edit]

Easily by walking.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Kemi Snow Castle, [5]. The biggest snow castle in the world, built yearly in Kemi, Finland since 1996. About 300,000 people visited the first snow castle. The area covered by the castle has varied from 13,000 to over 20,000 square meters. The highest towers have been over 20 meters high and longest walls over 1,000 meters long, and the castle has had up to three stories. The SnowRestaurant has ice tables and seats covered with reindeer fur, as well as ice sculptures. The ecumenical SnowChapel with 50-100 seats has seen numerous weddings, of couples from as far as Japan and Hong Kong. There is also a SnowHotel in the snow castle, with double rooms and a honeymoon suite. The SnowCastle of Kemi also hosts such things as an adventure land for kids, theatre and ice art exhibitions with lights and sound effects. Many opera singers and dancers have performed in the SnowCastle of Kemi.
Kemi Snow Castle
  • Kemi Church, [6]. Gothic revival church completed in 1902. Church enthustiastics should notice that about 12 kilometres from the city in the neighbouring muncipality Keminmaa is located medieval Keminmaa old church [7] build between years 1519 and 1521. In the church the undecomposed body of priest Nicolaus Rungius (died 1629) can be seen.
  • Gemstone Gallery, [8]. The largest collection of gemstones in Europe. The well known speciality is the crown designed for the King of Finland in 1918. Tickets 8€/adult or 4€ for children.
  • City hall is the most visible building in the town. It has 13 floors and is 51 meters tall. Cafeteria is located on the top of the building.

Do[edit][add listing]

Kemi offers the world's only Arctic Icebreaker (Sampo) only for tourist cruises.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Reindeer skin rugs are available year round in speciallity stores from around €60.

The city centre has a number of shops, including supermarkets, clothes, sports and photography shops.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Ravintola Merihovi
  • Ravintola Samaani
  • Ravintola Pursiseura
  • Hoa Phong Lan-Orkidean kukka (Vietnamese), [9].

All are located in the city centre of Kemi and are within 5 minutes walk from the Railway station and all hotels.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Kemi has a varied selection of bars, pubs and nightclubs with students often filling them midweek, and locals each weekend.

The most popular bars in Kemi include:

  • Hemingways, [10].
  • Punainen Kukko
  • Koodi

Nightclub choice is reasonably good:

  • Corner Inn. 4 bars within one, with the rooms including Suomi Pop, Karaoke, Pub and Club.
  • Club Ilona. [11]


In Corner Inn Bar and Nightclub, entrance is free with Beer typically costing €4 per glass (40ml) although in some Karaoke bars it is available for as little as €2,50. Cider is around €5 while Alcopops and spirit based drinks will cost from €7.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Cumulus Hotel, Hahtisaarenkatu, [12].
  • Merihovi Hotel, Keskuspuistokatu, [13].
  • Palomestari Hotel, Valtakatu, [14].
  • Törmä Camping, Approximately 15km outside of the City centre, [15].

Get out[edit]

The City of Rovaniemi and its world famous Santa Claus Village are approximately 80 minutes drive North from the city, using Highway 4.

  • Tornio-Haparanda Golf Club is an internationally known course which has holes starting and finishing in both Finland and Sweden. The course is approximately 20 minutes drive North in the City of Tornio. A round costs €30 in summer, while snow golf is also available in winter.
  • Kemi Kings football team plays their Division 1 games in the City centre football stadium. 1 hour drive South Finnish SM-Liiga Elite League ice hockey is contested by current Finnish champions Kärpät in the City of Oulu.


Routes through Kemi
TromsøTornio  W noframe E  OuluTurku
VardøRovaniemi  N noframe S  OuluHelsinki




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