From the city center of Rovaniemi it takes about ten minutes driving until you arrive at the grounds of the ice restaurant. This restaurant is part of the icy Arctic Snow Hotel. Unfortunately the huge hotel that is carved out of snow and ice not be visited at this time of the year yet. The ice restaurant was already very impressive, so I can only imagine how amazing the snow hotel needs to be.
Giant igloo with a gorgeous interior
The parking doesn’t look very inviting and at first I was thinking we might’ve made a wrong turn somewhere, or perhaps we just slipped into the wrong location? But the great snow mountain that stood before us was indeed the ice restaurant of Rovaniemi.
When we arrived at the entrance, we could see a giant snow igloo looming before us. The colorful ice rods that were placed in the middle gave me -sort of- my aurora borealis after all! So today I would do both the ice restaurant and see the northernlights! Whoop whoop!
Once you enter this stunning freezer it doesn’t take long until your mouth falls open. Just make sure your tongue doesn’t fall out, because it could get stuck, frozen to one of the ice statues inside the iglo.
With -3°C (26.6 °F) the entire restaurant is perfectly preserved until it starts to warm up from the outside and when the ice restaurant slowly starts to dilapidate.
The entrance hall is adorned with a couple of beautiful ice sculptures and a royal-looking ice throne.
Everything is thought off here! All seats (the throne as well!) are covered with warm reindeer skins so that your buttocks won’t ever feel cold.
Once you are escorted into one of the four dining halls, you can sit at one of the many ice stools or ice benches, and wait until your food is served on the icy see-through tables.
Of course the food is not served on plates of ice or snow… But perhaps if you ask, they could make an exception?
A unique location like this, of course, cost a lot of money, so the food should be excellent. And fortunately it is!
Personally, I chose a spicy tomato soup as a starter, followed by a chateaubriand with potato gratin and as dessert a delicious slice of cheesecake.
Meanwhile, it seemed that I’m slowly turning into a polar bear because the negative temperatures didn’t bother me at all anymore… My fellow travelers on the other hand …
After a half hour in this delicious ice palace, it was time for me to get back to my hotel for the last time and say goodbye to Finnish Lapland.
One more stop before I go back to Belgium! Budapest, here I come!
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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.