With 718 lakes, 2053 saunas, and more than 20 kilometers of winter walking and fat tire biking trails in addition to the more than 15 ski lifts, there’s plenty of things to do in Levi Finland in winter that aren’t downhill skiing or snowboarding.

This little ski town lives winter out loud in the best way possible. With some of the cleanest air in the world, mountains, frozen lakes, and the elusive northern lights, Levi just might make you fall in love with winter. 

Plan your trip with these 8 unforgettable outdoorsy things to do in Levi Finland in winter, including the best places to stay and eat in Levi!

Text: Unforgettable Outdoorsy Things to Do in Winter Levi, Finland. Background is a snow-covered hiking trail lines with pine trees with the sun hitting the trees on the left hand side of the trail in Levi Finland.

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Where is Levi?

Just over 600 miles (or 1000 km) north of Helsinki, and well above the Arctic Circle, is the adorable ski town called Levi. While driving certainly is an option, it’ll take you more than 12 hours to get from Helsinki to Levi. With no train service between the two cities, I recommend taking an affordable 2-½ hour flight.

Pro Tip: Can’t decide between visiting Rovaniemi and Levi? Check out my post about the best place to visit in Lapland Finland in winter!

There are numerous daily flights to Levi (Kittila – KTT) Airport from Helsinki. Flights to Levi from other countries in Europe are mostly only available in winter months. Finnair appears to have the most affordable options and flexible schedules.

A map shows Norway, Sweden, and Finland with a marker showing Helsinki in the south and Levi in the north of Finland.
Levi is located in the Arctic Circle in northern Finland.

Getting Around Levi

Levi’s city centre and ski village is compact, making it easy to get around without a vehicle. It took me about 15 minutes to walk across the city center in winter.

Kittila Airport is a 15 minute drive from the city center of Levi. Both rental cars and a shuttle are available to get to the city center. 

A map of the town of Levi has a blue square over the city center, showing how compact the city is and the central location of the ski lifts. Also, the city-center pickup and dropoff location for Europcar car rental is located in the Lapland Hotel Sirkantahti.
Levi’s city center is shown in the blue square.

The shuttle is conveniently scheduled to leave shortly after each arriving flight and a couple of hours before each departing flight. Tickets are available with a credit card on the shuttle upon arrival or you can purchase your ticket in advance (8€ one-way, 14€ return). The shuttle stops at several dropoff points in Levi city center. Check to see where the nearest one is to your accommodation on the map on the left hand side of this page.

Pro Tip: Buy a return shuttle ticket to save 2€ but be sure to keep your paper receipt for your ride back to the airport.

Car Rental in Levi City Center

If you’re like me and want to rent a car for a short trip over to Rovaniemi, save both time and money by renting through Europcar through the pickup and dropoff service at Lapland Hotel Sirkantahti. This hotel is conveniently located right in Levi city center (see the map above). 

Me, a woman, resting on a wooden bench wearing a green puffy ankle length winter coat and grey hat. The sun is hitting my face, snow is covering the ground and tall pine trees are in the background.
There’s no shortage of incredible things to do in Levi Finland in winter! Taking a break during a hike along a frozen lake at sunrise.

What’s the best place to stay in Levi?

There really is something for everyone when it comes to places to stay in Levi. It actually can be a little overwhelming to try and choose where to stay, so here’s a few tips to help you decide.

  • Book early if you plan to visit in winter as this is primarily a winter destination and places book up!
  • Do you want to be able to walk to everything or are you ok renting a car?
  • How important is it to have a full kitchen so you can prepare your own meals? Or do you prefer to have meals like breakfast included in your rate?
  • Very importantly, do you want to have a sauna in your room?

Break Sokos – Worth the splurge!

Top: Two twin beds, wood floor, and pale green walls looking out on a snow-covered balcony and pine trees. Lower left: A white bowl with thick rim filled with two types of yogurt, granola, fresh fruit and blueberry powder from the breakfast buffet at Break Sokos Levi. Lower Right: In-room sauna lined with wood with a glass of white wine sitting on a towel on the bench.
Top: Superior Room Twin with balcony. Lower Left: Smoothie bowl made as part of the breakfast buffet included with the room. Lower Right: In-room sauna to warm up in at the end of a day outdoors.

This place was my sanctuary for a few nights and well worth the splurge. Located right in the heart of the city center, all of the restaurants, shops, and activities are right outside your door. The rooms are modern but comfortable, some even have an in-room sauna to warm up in after a long day of outdoor adventures! An impressive breakfast buffet is included.

Pro Tip: Book a Superior Room Twin for an in-room sauna like mine!

Hotel Hullu Poro – Budget-friendly and brilliant breakfast!

Looking for something a little more budget friendly? Hotel Hullu Poro offers fairly basic and somewhat dated rooms, but has an incredible breakfast and one of the only gyms in Levi city center. Grab a drink at the lobby bar to wind down after a long day!

This is also conveniently one of the stops for the airport shuttle.

// Check availability at Hotel Hullu Poro now!

Booking.com

Top Outdoorsy Things to Do in Levi Finland in Winter

Downhill skiing not your thing? I get it. While Levi is a downhill skiing and snowboarding destination, there is so much more to do outdoors while you’re there!

Pro Tip: At the main traffic circle in town, you’ll find the Visit Levi Tourist Information Center. The staff there are super helpful in answering your questions. Be sure to grab a trail map while you’re there!

1 | Chase the northern lights on an exhilarating snowmobile safari.

Red snowmobiles lined up on a frozen lake outside of Levi Finland during a nighttime snowmobile safari. Chasing the northern lights on a snowmobile is one of the best things to do in Levi Finland in winter.
A northern lights snowmobile safari is one of the best things to do in Levi Finland in winter!

Imagine zooming across the Arctic countryside on a snowmobile with the snow gently falling all around you. Now imagine doing that at night with the northern lights dancing above you. In-cred-ible!

Just a short walk from the city center is Lapland Safaris office where they suit you up in all the warm gear for your ride. The gear includes a jumpsuit, wool socks, boots, balaclava, helmet, mittens and all of it was freshly laundered and cleaned. Seriously, you will not be cold! 

Me standing wearing a puffy red and black jumpsuit and boots provided by Lapland Safaris before the nighttime snowmobile safari in Levi Finland. Behind me are wooden containers used to store the gear for the tours.
All suited up and ready to go – just add a balaclava, gloves and helmet! Clean gear is provided by Lapland Safaris as part of the tour price.

Once suited up, head off into the night in search of the aurora! Our group of 14 split into two groups – those who wanted to go fast and those who wanted to take their time. This was a nice option to meet everyone’s needs! We all met up at a Kota hut for hot drinks and sausages over the fire. 

Cost: ~140€ per person

// Book a Northern Lights snowmobile safari now!

Pro Tip: Snowmobiling is a risky activity so I strongly recommend reading the reviews of any tour company prior to booking and to inquire about the insurance options. Damage to the snowmobile may not be covered on your personal travel insurance policy but you may be able to add coverage when you book the tour.

2 | Hike across a frozen lake at sunrise.

The sun peeks through the tall pine trees that line Immeljarvi in Levi Finland, just after sunrise. The shadows of the tall trees is visible in the untouched snow covering the ground.
Sun peeking through the trees that line Immeljarvi, just after sunrise in Levi Finland.

Just behind the Visitor Center is a trail that leads to Immeljarvi, which by mid-winter is a frozen lake with groomed trails for hikers, cross-country skiers and snowmobiles. Follow the path to the far end of the lake where it transitions to a small road for a short period before turning back into the woods. From this section of the trail take in the incredible views of Immeljarvi and Levi from above. The trail is approximately 4 km (2.5 miles) round trip.

On cold days, there is a warming hut stocked with wood where you can enjoy a fire and use a primitive toilet. 

Sure, you can do this hike at any time of day. There’s something magical, though about being there shortly after sunrise. You’ll likely have the place all to yourself! 

Cost: Free

Pro Tip: If you do this hike later in the morning, enjoy a cup of coffee at the little coffee shop, called Riihi, on the far end of the lake. 

3 | Enjoy the Arctic countryside on snowshoes.

I, a woman, is bundled up in a puffy green ankle length coat and grey winter hat standing on snow on top of a frozen lake in Levi Finland. Behind me stands Katka Fell, a mountain that's popular for snowshoeing.
The snowshoe trail to climb Katka Fell is just behind me, accessible from Immeljarvi.

Overlooking Immeljarvi is Katka which is a mountain (or fell) that’s perfect for snowshoeing. Take the same trail towards Immeljarvi from behind the Visitor Center. After a short walk across a corner of the frozen lake, the trail will veer up towards the summit. 

Snowshoeing doesn’t require a lot of technique though it can feel a bit strange the first time you do it. There are many tour companies offering guided snowshoe tours up Katka, but if you prefer to save some money or go solo you can rent snowshoes as well. This route is 4.5 km (2.8 miles) roundtrip.

Cost: ~20€ for 3 hours

// Rent snowshoes at Levi Ski Rental or Elan Ski Shop and Rental now!

4 | Take your cross-country skiing to the next level.

I, a woman, am wearing a plaid jacket and black leggings on cross-country skis with poles. I'm standing on a groomed cross-country ski path with snow covering the ground and a forest of pine trees behind me in Levi Finland.
Me discovering that I’m a natural at cross-country skiing during my private lesson.

Since this trip to Finland was part of my DNA travel journey, I decided to invest in a few experiences that would help me connect with Finnish culture. One of those experiences was a cross-country skiing lesson and I am so glad that I did! 

Lessons and rentals can be booked through Zero Point ski school which is right at the base of the ski slopes in the city center. It’s best to book a lesson in advance, but I was able to book a private lesson for the next day. Cross-country skiing rentals are available in the same building and there are lockers to store your personal items. 

My instructor was friendly and knowledgeable. We started by practicing basic technique on a practice run in front of the ski school. Before long she told me I had graduated and we went for a ski through the forest. It turns out, I’m a natural at cross-country skiing!

Pro Tip: Wear layers as you will seriously work up a sweat while cross-country skiing. I ended up removing several layers as we swished our way through the forest near the ski school! 

Cost: 80€ for 90 minute lesson, ~25€ for gear rental

// Book a private cross-country skiing lesson now through Zero Point Ski School!

5 | Explore Levi’s trails on a fat tire bike. 

Whether you want to follow the same hiking path across Immeljarvi or venture out a bit further, renting a fat tire back is a fun way to explore Levi in winter!

From Levi city center, there is a 10 km (6.2 miles) trail that follows the base of the ski mountain to Loimulohi. Bikers can do this as an out and back, 20 km (12.4 miles) round trip, or finish the loop back to Levi city center with a section along the main road, closer to 17 km (10.4 miles) total. 

Cost: 28€ for 3 hours

Pro Tip: Upgrade to an e-fat bike for some extra oomph on the trail!

// Rent a fat tire bike at Levi Hill Ski Rent or Levi Ski School now!

6 | Try your hand at ice fishing.

An ice fishing pole rests over a hole drilled through the ice on top of Immeljarvi lake in Levi Finland. In the distance is a line of pine trees on the shore of the lake and a wood cabin with construction equipment next to it.
Locals and visitors love ice fishing while in Levi Finland!

As you make your way from Kittila Airport into Levi, you’ll see the frozen lakes dotted with people huddled above a hole in the ice anxiously waiting for a fish to bite their line. Ice fishing has long been a part of life in Finland and a unique way to experience winter in Levi. 

For those interested in ice fishing on their own, stop by the Visitor Center in town to purchase a permit. If you’ve never tried ice fishing, it’s best to go as part of a tour so you can learn the basics. 

Cost: Varies depending on the tour, ice fishing is often combined with other activities like snowmobiling.

8 | Channel your inner Mario with ice karting.

Do you have a need for speed? Ice karting is for you! Drive a go-kart fitted with studded tires around the ice for a thrilling and unique experience. The karts go up to 60 km/hr as you wind around the 500 meter long track. Don’t worry, warm gear and driving lessons are included!

Cost: 65€ per person for 90 minutes

// Book an ice karting experience now!

Other Things to Do in Levi Finland in Winter

The interior of St Marys Chapel in Levi Finland has wood chairs in a pale color, lines of circular pale wood arches overhead, and beautifully intricate tiles forming a cross behind the altar. To the right is a pale wood organ with exposed metal. And above are simple white circular lights hanging from the ceiling.
Peace and quiet inside St. Mary’s Chapel right across from Zero Point Ski School in Levi, Finland.

While these may not be unique to Levi, here are some other things to do while you’re in Levi!

  • Enjoy a peaceful moment at St. Mary’s Chapel.
  • Chase the northern lights on something other than a snowmobile.
  • Ride through the countryside on a reindeer safari.
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Buy or rent a Skyroam portable wifi hotspot device for your next adventure. Click the image and use code THISBIGWILDWORLD for 10% off!

Where to eat in Levi Finland?

When I travel solo, I tend to buy most of my food at the supermarket so I can save money and eat on the go. Levi city center has two grocery stores where you can stock up and most accommodations have a fridge and a microwave in the room.

But, a big part of travel is the food! Here are a few notable places to eat in Levi.

NiliPoro Restaurant | Website

NiliPoro Restaurant is located in the heart of Levi. The walkway in front is covered in packed snow. The restaurant is on the ground level, lined with windows and traditional decorations of the Sami people.
NiliPoro Restaurant has incredible food representative of the Sami people indigenous to Levi. The menu features locally sourced reindeer dishes from the owner own herd!

Owned by a local reindeer herder, the menu and decor represent the Sami people who are indigenous to the land. All of the reindeer dishes served are locally processed and from the owner’s own herd – truly farm to table. The restaurant is tiny and fills up quickly so be prepared to wait or go early, but it’s worth it. This was hands down the best meal I had my entire time in Finland.  Try the reindeer meatballs!

King Crab House Finland Oy | Website

Salmon or fish soup is a staple Finnish food, available almost anywhere you go in Finland. But, good fish soup is a bit hard to find. Every day for lunch, King Crab House offers their fish soup of the day with delicious fresh bread. This was the perfect warm-me-up meal after a morning of being out in the cold. If fish isn’t your thing, the menu features options for any sort of diet. 

Panimo A la Carte Restaurant | Website

Sliced reindeer sausage and chips with a side of pickles served in a basket at Panimo ala Carte Restaurant in Levi Finland.
Reindeer sausage and chips at Panimo ala carte Restaurant in Levi.

This place caught my eye because it’s adjacent to the supermarket in town. The upstairs portion closes for a few hours in midday, but if you walk around the building there’s a lower level entrance that’s open in the afternoon. There are more lively restaurants in Levi, but personally I enjoyed the quiet and quick service. Try the reindeer sausage and chips!

Profinlandia Levi Wine Cellar (Levin Viinikellari) | Website

Wherever I go I seem to happen upon a wine tasting room of some sort and Levi was no different. As I wandered around Levi I saw a small sign that appeared to be for wine tasting, so of course I had to peek inside. The unassuming little storefront is a wine cellar featuring Finnish wines and liquor made from Lapland berries. Stop in for a tasting and stay for the home-cooked food in the attached restaurant. 

While purchasing a bottle of wine, I noticed a Minnesota Vikings jersey hanging on the wall and tried explaining to the man that I live in Minnesota. His eyes lit up with excitement as he poured me an extra tasting. It’s like I was meant to discover this place!

Are you ready for a winter trip to Levi Finland?

So, are you ready to book your winter adventure to Levi Finland yet? Seriously, I could’ve spent another week here exploring! The hardest part is deciding what activities to add to your itinerary.

For more on Finland, check out my posts on the best place to visit in Lapland in winter, things to do in Rovaniemi, and my DNA travel journey about Finland!

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Text: Unforgettable Outdoorsy Things to Do in Winter Levi, Finland. Background is a snow-covered hiking trail lines with pine trees with the sun hitting the trees on the left hand side of the trail in Levi Finland.
Text: Winter in Levi Finland A Non-Skiers Guide. Also Text in green circle: Northern Lights, hiking, cross-country skiing and more! Background is a line of red snowmobiles resting in front of snow-covered pin trees in Levi Finland.

24 Comments

  1. This is awesome! I love a good winter adventure, and would gladly try any of these activities as long as I had a warm bed to come home to in the evenings. Hopefully, I’ll get to Finland some day.

    • This Big Wild World Reply

      Exactly, Tara! A warm bed and sauna after a long day of winter adventures is absolute perfection. I think you’d love Finland, especially the northern part!

  2. Squee I am loving all your posts about winter wonderlands!! I would be very keen to go skiing, but all of this sounds like a blast (and so different to my normal adventure holidays!)

    i often see people riding those fat tired bikes in the sun…it makes so much sense that they are supposed to be for on snow! Was it hard to cycle (I’d be worried about skidding)

    I am also loving the idea of trying reindeer sausage and kind crab. Crab is always tastiest when it’s cold- so that must be reeeeally good!

    • This Big Wild World Reply

      I’m gonna get you to love winter adventures, Josy! Fat tire biking is a good workout but I didn’t have any issues with skidding. The good news is that you don’t have to worry about feeling cold while fat tire biking!

  3. Reindeer Sausage sounds delicious! Did you notice much of a difference in flavor or texture? Finland is definately on my list of places to visit!

    • This Big Wild World Reply

      It was really delicious – especially the sauce combined with the pickles (sounds weird but really tasty!). The main difference to me was a slightly game-y taste, but in a good way. Would definitely eat it again!

  4. I really hope we can travel again by winter as well! I’ve never been to Finland but would love to go someday! I want to hike/explore + see the Northern lights! :]

    • This Big Wild World Reply

      Me too, Farrah! The biggest decision you’ll have to make is HOW you want to see the Northern Lights – hiking, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, car – there are really endless options!

      • Ohhh that’s gonna be hard to choose, hahaha. I’ve never gone snowshoeing and would love to try, so maybe I’ll start there! 😛 Mind subject to change easily though–so many options!

        • This Big Wild World Reply

          Great choice, Farrah! Snowshoeing is super easy to pick up and a fun way to get off the beaten path in winter without sinking your legs down into the deep snow. Whatever you choose, you really can’t go wrong!

  5. What a great list of things to do that all seem to be family friendly! Thank you so much fro sharing your fun experience and adventures!

    • This Big Wild World Reply

      Levi is definitely family-friendly! I happened to be there during a school holiday so there were tons of families enjoying all things outdoors 🙂

  6. It all looks great to me. I like to downhill ski but I like to mix it up with other things. This is a great guide to those things. I’d like to try reindeer sausage too. So beautiful.

    • This Big Wild World Reply

      You would love Levi, Karen! Tons of downhill skiing AND other outdoors adventures. The reindeer sausage was surprisingly good – especially with some mustard 🙂

  7. Katy | Photospired Reply

    I will always remember visiting Lapland in the winter (I was in oulu) and the first thing we did at the end of each day was going into the bathroom of our rental apartment and turning on the sauna lol! I can only imagine how much more magical it is all the way up north in Levi! Definitely looking forward to another visit and trying ice fishing 😀

    • This Big Wild World Reply

      Yesss! Don’t saunas feel SO good after a long day of winter adventures?! Ha ha hope you make it back to try ice fishing… and more.

  8. Vanessa Shields Reply

    What a fun post with so many cool winter activities! I’ve never done cross country skiing, ride a snowmobile or gone ice fishing. I would love to try them and Levi looks like an excellent place to do so!

    • This Big Wild World Reply

      Oh my gosh, yes! Levi is the place for you to try all these new things. Be careful though, you might just fall in love with winter 🙂

  9. I’m kind of a weenie about the cold so didn’t have a huge urge to visit Lapland. Your post on Levi, Finland changed my mind. With so many fun things to do in the snow (plus outfitters that will give you the best warm gear!), I know I’d absolutely *love* to visit.

    • This Big Wild World Reply

      Yay! I understand! They really do outfit you to help you stay as warm as possible. For several of the activities (snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and hiking), I was actually HOT! You just might fall in love with winter like I did 😉

    • This Big Wild World Reply

      Right?! The northern lights snowmobile safari was my favorite experience of the entire trip!

  10. I love getting outdoors when I travel and this looks like such a spectacular place to get outdoors!

    • This Big Wild World Reply

      This would be a perfect place for you to visit, Kim! So many ways to be outdoors in Levi Finland!

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