Their eyes shining with joy, thousands of children around the world are currently writing their Christmas wish lists. But where do they send their letters? In Germany and many other countries, special Christmas post offices have been set up, but you can also send your letter directly to Santa Claus – this is not a fairy tale! The city of Rovaniemi in the Lapland region of northern Finland is the self-proclaimed Official Hometown of Santa Claus – but the title is based on more than merely clever marketing. 

A few kilometres outside Rovaniemi, a year-round “Santa Claus Village” was opened in 1985. This is where Santa Claus lives and receives around 500,000 visitors from around the world every year. One month before Christmas, he declares the Christmas season opened in a special ceremony held in Rovaniemi. If you send a letter or postcard with sufficient postage to “Santa Claus’ Main Post Office, Tähtikuja 1, 96930 Rovaniemi, Finland”, you will receive a standardised reply letter with an Arctic Circle postmark stamp not available anywhere else.

All year round, men and women in elf costumes sort letters and postcards – mostly sent by children. Santa Claus’ Main Post Office is part of the Finnish postal services. According to the Post Office, it has already received around 15 million letters from 198 countries. Santa Claus Village is Lapland’s most famous attraction and an independent holiday resort. Apart from the famous Post Office, it also hosts shops, restaurants and cafés. Activity providers organise husky and reindeer sleigh rides, snow scooter tours and overnight stays in glass igloos, where you can watch the starlit sky and, if you are lucky, see the Northern Lights.

Rovaniemi – home to 36,000 inhabitants – is also an ideal location to explore hiking areas and national parks in Lapland. TUI offers flights to the city on the Arctic Circle, operated by TUI Airlines Nederlandand TUI Airways. Package tours, hotels, holiday homes, round trips to Finland and Lapland can be booked here. You can also book excursions, including visits to Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, where Santa Claus does not only live during the festive season.