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.


Depending on location, winter in Finland begins in November and can last up to five months, with temperatures ranging from a balmy zero to a lung-freezing minus 35.