One of the most popular attractions in Kemi, Finland during the winter is the SnowCastle.
Each year the SnowCastle is completely rebuilt with a different theme during the winter only lasting from January to April. The construction starts in December and takes about five weeks to build with over 50 people building the snowcastle. This year the theme was fantasy and it’s the 18th time they’ve built a snowcastle here. Other themes included fire, sports, travel, design, the sea, and comics. When it first started in 1996, it was the worlds first SnowCastle with the longest snow-walls. Since then, they’ve started building bigger and better snowcastle including adding a SnowChapel to get married, a SnowRestaurant, and a SnowHotel.
This year the SnowCastle has multiple rooms each with a different theme related to fantasy. One room in particular that I enjoyed was the Angry Birds room. The dining rooms were also super impressive. All of the snow and ice-sculptures had amazing details.
The SnowRestaurant is unique and as you can imagine, the restaurant is located inside the snowcastle. The tables are made completely out of ice but the top layer is plexiglass to make it easier to serve food and in case someone spills on the ice. The room was chilly but nothing a regular jacket couldn’t handle. The meals were delicious and usually selected a few days before as part of the reservation. I had a soup of cold-smoked salmon, then wrapped in foil was fillet of reindeer with potatoes and root vegetables with sauce and lingonberries, and for dessert strawberry mousse.
Outside of the SnowCastle, they had a few activities for kids and adults like a slide for tubing. Originally the larger one was made for kids but adults liked it so much that they made another section smaller for kids. I liked it so much I ended up attaching my GoPro and going down a dozen times. A simple slide but so much fun. There’s also a stage where they hold concert events.
Lastly, there’s the Castle Lounge which is not made out of snow but more for a place to hang out and warm up. It’s a very cozy room and goes perfect with a nice hot chocolate.
- SnowCastle entrance is only 10€ for adults
- Dinner is between 38€ to 47€
- SnowHotel ranges from 115€/night for a double to €275/night for a honeymoon suite. Most people only stay for one night to experience it.
I was invited by Visit Finland and Visit Kemi on a press trip as part of a Navigate Media Group project. All opinions are my own.