Sami vourká dávvirat (Sami Museum), Museumsgate 17 (tel. 78-46-99-50), is an open-air museum devoted to the Sami people, their history, and their culture. There are other Sami exhibitions, but this venue is the only one to be called a national museum of Sami culture. Most intriguing is the exhibition of old dwellings and such artifacts as an old hunting trap for wild reindeer, showing how people earned their living. Of special interest are the examples of regional dress used in these subfreezing conditions. Also on display are works by local artists. Admission is NOK75 ($15/£7.50). From January 1 to June 4, open Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 3pm; June 5 to August 20, hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 6pm. In the off season, hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 3pm.
Since 2000, the Sametinget (Sami Parliament), Sámediggi (tel. 78-47-40-00), has had its headquarters at this impressive piece of modern architecture encased in Siberian lark wood. To carry out this far-north theme, the interior is also filled with native woods such as pine and birch. Unique among parliament buildings, the assembly hall was constructed in the shape of a gamma (Sami tent). Tiny bulbs, evoking the Northern Lights, illuminate the 35,000-volume Sami library. Free tours are conducted Monday to Friday in summer from 8:30am to 2:30pm.
Samisk Kunstnersenter (Sami Artists Center), Jeagilvármádii 54 (tel. 75-46-99-40), is an art gallery devoted to Sami painters, with new exhibitions every month. This is not just about folk art; many Sami painters are as modern as the 21st century. Sami art and handicrafts are also sold here. Admission is free, and it is open Monday to Wednesday and Friday 10am to 3pm, Thursday 10am to 7pm, and on Sunday from noon to 5pm. In summer, it is also open on Saturday from 10am to 3pm.
Finally, Karasjok Opplevelser (tel. 78-46-88-10) organizes adventures in the area, including everything from visits to a Sami camp to gold-panning and riverboat trips. In winter, you can even go reindeer sledding like Santa Claus. If you're coming into the area, call in advance to see what type of adventure might be offered at the time of your visit.
Many visitors come from all over the world to hunt and fish in the area. If you'd like some fishing trips and wilderness adventure tours, the guide to call is Nils Rolf Johnsen, Svenskebakken 35 (tel. 78-46-63-02), who makes arrangements for such outings. He can arrange for you to stay in lavvu (Sami tents) beside Finnmark's largest lake, Lesjavri, which is excellent for fishing.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.