There are so many things to enjoy on Lapland holidays, with everything from visiting Santa Claus and going on a snowmobile safari to cultural treats like visiting a reindeer farm.
One fantastic activity which we recommend to visitors to Lapland who are interested in the culture of the region is a day trip to the Siida Sami Museum.
Located on the shores of Lake Inari, in the village of Inari in Finnish Lapland, Siida is the home of the Northern Lapland Nature Centre and the Sami Museum. Additionally, in summer it has the open air Inari Sami Museum.
Siida is situated on land which has been inhabited by the Sami peoples for more than nine thousand years, with archaeological finds supporting that this is where Lapland’s earliest settlers lived. The Sami Museum holds collections which reflect the spiritual and historical culture of the indigenous Finnish Sami, with the objective of supporting the identity of these ancient people.
The Sami Museum was founded in 1959, with public opening in 1963. Exhibitions explore the following:
- Timeline of Northern nature and culture and how it interlaced with global history
- Archaeological history of the region
- Introduction to the Arctic Peoples as well as the Northern Eurasian Reindeer Herders
- Evolution of the Sami languages
- Sami culture
- Northern Lapland’s unique natural environment
- Survival in the Arctic extremes
- Seasonal cycles and natural phenomena in the region
- Sami identity
The Open Air Museum, which is operational during the Northern summer, includes:
- Sami dwellings
- Hunting and fishing practices
- Authentic Tirro Farm buildings
- Mirham Hut courthouse
- Sami lodges, tents, and sod huts
- Hunting traps
- Boats and sleds
Siida is located in the Lappish village of Inari, which is accessible by bus ride from Rovaniemi, Saariselka or Ivalo. There are places to stay overnight in Inari. Guided tours through the museum are available. There is a cosy cafe restaurant onsite, providing fresh and authentic Lappish food for lunch. The Nature Centre is also a great launch point for outdoor adventures such as trekking or fishing trips.
If you are able to spend a little extra time in the region during your Lapland trip, take the opportunity to explore the Siida Sami Museum to learn about the people who have inhabited this land for centuries.