Rovaniemi is the administrative capital and the centre of commerce of Finland\'s northernmost Province, Lapland. It is situated close to the Arctic Circle and between the hills of Ounasvaara and Korkalovaara, at the confluence of the Kemijoki River and its tributary, the Ounasjoki River. Rovaniemi has about 60.000 inhabitants.
Since Rovaniemi represents the capital of the Province of Lapland, many government institutions have their offices there. About 10,000 of the inhabitants are students. Rovaniemi is home to not only the University of Lapland but also the Rovaniemi Polytechnic (also known as the Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences), which comprises institutes of information and traditional technology, business, health and social care, culinary studies, forestry, rural studies and sports.
The residence of Santa Claus, Santa Claus Village and Santapark, is located 8 km north of the centre. Rovaniemi is also home to the world's most northern branch of McDonald's. The Arktikum is a very comprehensive museum of Finland's Arctic region.
Directly across the river from the town is the Ounasvaara ski center. The top of the Ounasvaara hill bears the site of some of the earliest known human settlements in the area.
A phenomenon also attracting numerous tourists is the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. In Finnish Lapland the number of auroral displays can be as high as 200 a year whereas in southern Finland the number is usually fewer than 20.