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This is part of a series of question on public transport in Finland. It has been suggested by a mod that I ask separate questions for each location I intend to visit.

I intend to see the Midnight Sun, and more in general visit Finland. I will start from Ivalo, the location of the northernmost airport in Finland, a few kilometers above the arctic circle.

I would like to also visit the capital of the municipality, Inari and its Sami museum.

Is it possible to reach Inari from Ivalo via public transport (bus, I guess, there does not seem to be any railway in Ivalo)? If not, are there alternatives for a foreigner that does not intend to rent a car?

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Yes, it's possible, they're only about 40 minutes apart and there are around four buses per day. See schedule on Matkahuolto, the central site for most bus bookings in Finland.

That said, sticking to public transport will limit your life greatly in Lapland, particularly if you intend to venture outside ski resorts like Saariselkä. Distances are long and services are limited, sparse and expensive.

Also, Ivalo is almost 300km north of the Arctic Circle. You may be thinking of Rovaniemi Airport, home to Santa Claus and the largest airport in the area, which sits pretty much directly on it.

  • No no, I mistakenly referred to 300 as "a few" :D. As for sticking to public transport, I am ready to pay the price for it, but thanks for the insight :) – Federico Apr 6 '18 at 10:50
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As long as you stay within Finland and travel between inhabited areas, you will be able to travel by public transport, although services may run only once per (week)day in some cases and you may need to take quite circuitous routes (travelling via a central town rather than directly from village A to B). You need to plan carefully to avoid potentially multi-day waits.

If you want to cross the border to Norway, Sweden, or Russia you are even more limited. There are some seasonal buses into Norway and Russia. Out of season, you're out of luck and a border crossing would require a potentially very time-consuming hitch-hike or very expensive taxi if you'd want to get into Troms or Finnmark. There are no border-crossing buses to Sweden. There are towns or villages that straddle both sides of the border, such as in Tornio/Haparanda or Karesuando, where you can reach both sides of the border with national buses and only a short walk in-between (or in some cases the bus drives maybe 1 km into the other country), but timetables are not at all connected. I remember trying to get from northern Sweden to the Käsivarsi region of Finland and giving up after realising I'd have to wait 23 hours for my next bus after walking the 500 metre from Sweden into Finland, so I brought a bicycle on the bus and cycled the final 100 km instead. The timetables are simply not designed with international travellers in mind, which may be reasonable for international bus travellers are very rare out of season.

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