Rovaniemi is a city in Finland and the provincial center of Lapland, located near the Arctic Circle at the confluence of the Kemijoki and Ounasjoki rivers in Lapland. It is a provincial center, a university city and the center of commerce, administration and education in its area, as well as a city of sports and culture. Rovaniemi was separated from the rural municipality of Rovaniemi (then the municipality of Rovaniemi) in 1929, and in 1960 the Rovaniemi rural municipality became one of the first six so-called new cities in Finland. Rovaniemi, which merged with the Rovaniemi countryside at the beginning of 2006, is Finland's 17th largest city in terms of population (in 2020), but the largest in Finland and Europe. The city is also the second largest city in Northern Finland in terms of population after Oulu. Rovaniemi is the northernmost city in Finland.

The neighboring municipalities of Rovaniemi are Kittilä and Sodankylä in the north, Kolari, Pello and Ylitornio in the west, Tervola, Ranua and Posio in the south and Kemijärvi and Pelkosenniemi in the east.

The word rova ​​means wooded ridge or sparsely wooded plateau. The word is a loan from the Sámi language, where roavvi means an old fire area or a forest danger or ridge. The name of Rovaniemi in the Sámi languages ​​is: Ruávinjargâ in Inari Sámi, Roavvenjárga or Roavenjárga in Northern Sámi and Ruäʹvnjargg in Skolt Sámi.