• Icy Architecture

    Frosty Flare

    Santa and his reindeer immortalised. Well, until summer comes along, anyway.

  • Sweat Lodge

    Ice saunas are exotic even for Finns.

  • Fine Dining

    Ice restaurants rarely have dress codes. Smart casual beneath your thermal overalls is always a safe bet, though.

  • Dearly Bewildered

    The chapel at Lainio Snow Village provides a cosy setting for quiet moments and exotic weddings.

  • Dare Thee Enter?

    Large snow castles are an adventure in their own right.

  • Cathedral of Coldness

    Another replica of a Finnish landmark; this time the Helsinki Cathedral.

  • Brother’s Keeper

    If you’ve ever been to Helsinki railway station you should be familiar with these guys.

  • At the Gates

    Icium – Wonderworld of Ice in Levi was sculpted by Chinese professionals, making it a mix of Chinese mystique and Lappish enchantment.

  • Precision

    Chiselling ice is no joke; just ask the Chinese professionals that fly halfway across the world to Finland to practise their profession.

  • Got Hot?

    Quite exceptionally, “a cold beer” isn’t the most popular order at this bar.

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Icy Architecture

For many, elaborate structures carved out of ice and snow are the stuff of fairy tales and fantasy. Seeing them with your own eyes might convince you they’re real, but it doesn’t make them any less extraordinary.

In Finland, there’s no shortage of materials when it comes to building out of snow and ice. As a result, there are no limits to what you can construct, and the size and detail of the creations often leave beholders awestruck.


The larger constructions are situated in the northern parts of Finland, namely Lapland. The Icium in Levi is something between a theme park and an art gallery, while the Snow Village in Lainio and the Snowcastle in Kemi offer accommodation, ice restaurants, bars and chapels among other attractions.

A number of hotels also build their own igloos to offer customers a chance for a true Arctic overnight experience, while ice saunas, a veritable oxymoron, are built all around Finland in the winter.


Snow slides and other playground attractions for children are common in or around every major ice and snow construction. However, it’s not uncommon to find adults enjoying them just as much.

The snow for building usually comes from the vicinity of the construction, and big blocks of ice are hauled from lakes and the Bothnian Sea. Machines do the heavy lifting, and skilled sculptors make sure every little detail is tended to with finesse.


In just a few minutes, you can leave behind the hustle and bustle of a ski resort or a city and arrive in the peace and quiet of the wilderness.

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