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 and the unusual chance to have an icebreaker cruise. The city also boasts an array of shops, restaurants and bars. By its character, Kemi is far more like an ordinary Finnish town than something Lappish.
- 1 Kemi-Tornio Airport (KEM IATA). 6 km (3.7 mi) from the city. Finnair has one or two daily flights from Helsinki, flights taking about one hour.
Kemi is the end of the line if heading west, towards Sweden; there are no passenger services across, as the rail gauge is different. Within Finland, trains to Rovaniemi take about 1½ hours, while a trip all the way to Helsinki, fairly comfortable if done in a sleeper overnight, is 9 hours.
2 Kemi train station (Kemin rautatieasema). There are a few lockers available inside the station. A sign also mentions luggage storage at the nearby cafe Hertta for (a more expensive) €5.
- Kemi Yachting Club, Luulajantie 11, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Guest marina at local sailing clubs: depth 2.4 m; electricity, water supply, WC, shower, laundry, waste bin, fuel. Restaurants nearby with sauna and Wi-Fi. €10/night, third night €5.
Kemi is a little north of the mid-point of highway 4 (part of E75) connecting Helsinki to Utsjoki (near Nuorgam at the northernmost point of the country); from either of these it's about 9 hours of driving depending on the road conditions. Oulu and Rovaniemi are both a little over an hour away along the same highway, and about half an hour to the west is Tornio with road connections from Sweden and Kilpisjärvi.
Easily by walking. Heiskasen Liikenne operates four local bus lines in Kemi with just a few departures a day, and aside of these your options for getting around without walking (or biking) are driving or taking a taxi.
- 1 Kemi Snow Castle (Lumilinna), Lumilinnankatu 15, Kemi. Jan 18 - Apr 15. 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 m². The highest towers have been over 20 m high and longest walls over 1,000 m long, and the castle has had up to three stories. The SnowRestaurant has ice tables, seats covered with reindeer fur, and 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 Snow Hotel in the snow castle, with double rooms and a honeymoon suite. The Snow Castle 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. €29.
- 2 Kemi Church (Kemin kirkko). Gothic revival church completed in 1902. Church enthustiastics should notice that about 12 kilometres from the city in the neighbouring municipality Keminmaa is located medieval Keminmaa old church built between 1519 and 1521. In the church the undecomposed body of priest Nicolaus Rungius (died 1629) can be seen.
- 3 [dead link] Gemstone Gallery (Kemin jalokivigalleria), Kauppakatu 29. The largest collection of gemstones in Europe. The well known speciality is the crown designed for the King of Finland in 1918. Tickets €7/adult or €4.5 for children..
- 4 City hall (Kaupungintalo). 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.
- 1 Icebreaker cruise (Ajos, 11 km from Kemi). approx Dec-Apr. In the winter, there are cruises of either 3 or 4 hours on board Sampo out into the Gulf of Bothnia. Depending on the ice conditions the cruise includes either walking on the sea ice or floating in the water wearing a survival suit. There's a restaurant on board the ship. In the summer the ship is anchored and open to visitors. A fun fact is that Sampo is the only Arctic icebreaker in the world solely used for tourist cruises. You can get to Ajos, where the ship departs from, by your own car or by the cruise company's bus from Kemi (an outrageous €39/return and has to be reserved at the same time you reserve your cruise). From €200.
- 2 Watch a football game. Summer. PS Kemi Kings football team plays their home games in the city centre football stadium.
- Satama Open Air: 2–3 August 2019. A rock festival in Kemi (date needs updating)
- Martimoaapa. Important mire protection and bird area, old-growth forests.
Reindeer skin rugs are available year round in speciality stores from around €60.
The city centre has a number of shops, including supermarkets, clothes, sports and photography shops.
- 1 Ravintola Merihovi, Keskuspuistokatu 6.
- 2 Ravintola Samaani, Valtakatu 1. x.
- 3 Ravintola Pursiseura, Luulajantie 11.
- 4 Hoa Phong Lan-Orkidean kukka (Vietnamese), Valtakatu 5.
All are located in the city centre of Kemi and are within 5 minutes walk from the railway station and all hotels.
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:
- 1 Punainen Kukko, Valtakatu.
Nightclub choice is reasonably good:
- 2 Corner Inn, Kauppakatu 10. 4 bars within one, with the rooms including Suomi Pop, Karaoke, Pub and Club. Entrance is free with beer typically costing €4 per glass (0.4 L) 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.
- 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 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.
|Routes through Kemi|
|Tromsø ← Tornio ←||W E||→ Ii → Turku|
|Vardø ← Rovaniemi ←||N S||→ Ii → Helsinki|