Kemijärvi is in Finnish Lapland. It is the north-eastern railhead for passenger traffic.


Kemijärvi can pride itself on being the northernmost city in Finland, and the only one with the city center north of the Arctic Circle. Formerly quite off the beaten path, opening of a new border crossing to Russia in nearby Salla has brought more international visitors to the city.

Get in

Lake Kemijärvi

By plane

The closest passenger airport is in Rovaniemi, some 80 km away.

By train

The daily overnight train from Helsinki to Lapland goes all the way to Kemijärvi. The car train station has been decommissioned, so if you are taking your car with you, you will only get as far as Rovaniemi.

By bus

There are buses from Rovaniemi, Kuusamo and Sodankylä as well as Kandalaksha in Russia.

By car

As is the case elsewhere in rural Finland, driving is probably the most practical way of getting in if you are in a hurry. The distance from Helsinki and elsewhere in southern Finland is about 1000 km, so prepare for a whole day of driving. From elsewhere in Lapland you can usually get to Kemijärvi in 4-5 hours by car. Remember to watch out for reindeer on the road regardless of the time of the year! From the Russian border at Salla you can drive to Kemijärvi in less than one hour.

Get around

The town isn't larger than that you can get from any place to another in less than 10 minutes by foot. You can get further out by intercity bus, and if your destination isn't next to a highway you will need to drive or take a taxi.


Kemijärvi church

There are also a couple of galleries and workshops by local artists.



Kemijärvi isn't really a shopping destination. Most shops are located along Vapaudenkatu street, and there you can find basic stuff that you might need on your trip.


The hotels in the town also serve as restaurants and pubs. In the budget segment, the service stations' cafés offer meals from hotdogs and pizzas to schnitzel and fries.



The "everyman's rights" and the fact that it isn't that hard to get out in the nature makes wilderness backpacking a viable option in the summer months. Needless to say, it's free, if not always comfortable accommodation.



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