Where to see the Northern LightsEverything you need for your ultimate Northern Lights experience in the Arctic
Asking where to see the Northern Lights? We got all the answers you need to plan your ultimate Northern Lights holiday!
While there are several destinations to see the Northern Lights in the world, there are a few that truly stand up to the others. According to National Geographic, Tromsø, Norway is one of the top destinations on the planet to watch this natural phenomenon. This is because Tromsø is in the absolute middle of the aurora belt. Other destinations like Iceland, Finland and Alaska are other great destinations but one may have to travel several hours after reaching the airport. Tromsø is 10 minutes away from downtown and great Northern Lights watching areas with no light pollution are within an hours drive.
The Northern Lights appear in the ‘Aurora Zone’ or ‘Aurora Oval” which is a belt centered around the North Pole. The ‘zone’ includes Northern Scandinavia, specifically Tromsø because we are luckily located in the middle of the Aurora zone, which gives us the highest chance to see the lights.
Some things to consider when understanding where would be the best place to see the northern lights are:
The weather has an impact to your ability to see the Northern Lights. Even if the Northern Lights are activity in the sky you need clear skies to see them. Normally the weather is either good on the coast or inland – we picked Tromsø as our favorite northern lights destination because it has both, and this really helps you increase your chances of seeing the Northern Lights.
The further north you are, the higher are the chances of strong Northern Lights activity. During parts of the year the sun does not rise above the Arctic circle, and from September to March it becomes dark early in the evening, this creates optimal conditions to see the Northern Lights. In comparison to for example Iceland, Tromsø is located on a higher latitude and increase the chances of Northern Lights to appear.
Escaping Light Pollution
When choosing a good location for your Northern Lights experience, it’s important to keep in mind that you want to be able access dark spots, preferably in nature, that does not have any light pollution to disturb your view of the magnificent nature phenomenon. We love Tromsø because the accessibility to both dark spots and nature is absolutely unique. The airport is only 10 minutes away for the city center, and within 30-60 minutes you have the perfect nature conditions for Northern Lights.
Availability of tours and guides
When you found your perfect Northern Lights destination, you will make the most of your experience by joining a professional Northern Lights guide, whom can show you the best spots for seeing the Northern Lights and helping you take photos for lifelong memories. In Tromsø we offer a range of tours to provide you with memories that will last a lifetime.
Tips for when researching Where to See The Northern Lights
- Choose a destination North of the Arctic circle. The KP indexes and aurora forecasts state there are much higher chances when in areas of high latitude, such as Tromsø, Norway
- The best destinations have areas with zero light pollution close by
- Choose a destination with other tours and guides such as fjord sailing, whale watching, snow shoe hiking & dog sledding.
- Make sure there are affordable hotels or apartments nearby
- Stay more than 1 or 2 days incase the weather is not on your side
- Research between September and March, the darker months are when you can see the Northern Lights
- Our favorite destination to watch the Northern Lights? Tromsø, Norway.