Home » Top Holiday Destinations » Europe Travel Blog » Iceland Travel Blog » 21 Places to see the Northern Lights in the world

21 Places to see the Northern Lights in the world

Viewing the Northern Lights is on everyone’s bucket list. To many it is a dream to feel the cold against their cheeks and gaze up at the unearthly colours dance to a ballet against the dark starry sky. The mystical phenomenon is explained by the scientists as a result of collision between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the Earth’s atmosphere. These night lights are known as Aurora Borealis in the north while in the South they are called Aurora Australis. Here are 21 places to see the Northern Lights in the world – Many in Norway, some stunning ones in Iceland and even so far as Russia – all through the eyes of Instagram travellers!

At Pickyourtrail we help you get those super-customized vacations. So, don’t forget to drop us a note!

#1 Tromso City, Norway

Shot of Tromsø taken by @eventyr | Norway 🇳🇴

A post shared by Planet Wanderers (@planetwanderers) on

There are quite a lot of places dotted around Norway’s map where you get to view the Northern Lights. For the natives, it is an everyday thing. Tromso is a bustling and alluring city that has the highest probability of seeing the lights due to the Northern Lights Oval. If you want to go dog-sledding or whale watching excursion, Tromso city is the place.

 mid-November to mid-January

#2 Lofoten Islands, Norway

The Northern Lights dancing over Reine, Lofoten

A post shared by Neil Bloem (@coldxneil) on

Feel peace and tranquility while you watch the Northern Lights in the Lofoten Islands. It has colourful fishing villages, local handicrafts and a rich history that dates back to the Vikings. The wild nature of the island is just as beautiful in winter as the rest of the year, especially when the northern lights come out at night. The coastal areas of Lofoten are often the best locations for shooting the Northern Lights. Take a safari by RIB boat for a unique experience. Wondering if Norway is a good place to go? Here are some stunning pictures of Norway at its best!

 September to March

#3 Narvik, Norway

 It is the ideal holiday destination! Get an authentic and arctic impression in Narvik while on a cable car that carries you atop the mountain to view the Northern Lights. You can also go on a scenic train journey with the Ofotbanen railway towards the Swedish border. At the Polar Park Wildlife Centre you can visit the bears, wolves, wolverine, lynx, moose, reindeer, musk oxen and Arctic foxes. In 2016. a cabin called “wolf lodge” has been constructed to sleep within one of the wolf enclosure. Now, that would be a terrifying yet exhilarating experience!

 September to March

#4 Lyngenfjord, Norway

In the dry Lyngenfjord region you can experience the Aurora Borealis within its beautiful landscapes. Their very nature is unspoiled with thick fauna surrounding it. You can go Northern Lights hunting with a renowned photographer and sleeping in a glass-ceiling Crystal Lavvo designed for gazing at the night’s sky. The mountains are great for downhill skiing too! Here are a few places where you can go on a road trip.

 September to mid April

#5 North Cape, Norway

This is known as the northernmost point of Europe. For a breathtaking scenery of wild beauty visit North Cape and go snowmobiling while looking out for the Northern Lights. This ethereal experience will be like balm to your soul. You can explore the ruggard beauty of the landscapes while ice fishing or ATV driving. This is a once in a lifetime adventure!

 September to April

#6 Svalbard, Norway

Visit Svalbard- the winter wonderland when the nights are dark and dry and it is the only place where you can go on an aurora hunt in daylight. During the polar night, the Aurora Borealis may even appear at lunchtime. Dog sledding in Spitsbergen and glacial ice caving are special experiences to add to your never ending list. Do not forget shopping is TAX-FREE!!!

 November to February

#7 Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

The Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden and the Aurora Sky Station work together and offer package deals to view the Northern Lights in Abisko and visit the beautiful Ice Hotel. The best time to see is from September to March, away from the city lights and in the wilderness as the aurora favours clear skies. We guarantee you, it will be a breathtaking and life altering experience as you are drawn into its endless pit.

September to March

#8 Reykjavik, Iceland

Northern lights over the cottage Photo by @lebackpacker #icelandtoday 💙

A post shared by Discover Iceland🐑 (@icelandtoday) on

Ever thought of sleeping inside a transparent bubble while you wait for the Northern Lights to make its appearance? Yes, in Reykjavik this is possible. You can also visit the hot geyser in Strokkur where it sprouts hot spring every 5 minutes and soak or float in the Secret Lagoon at Fludir. The best season to see the Northern Lights in Iceland is from September to mid-April where full dark nights are guaranteed. Here are other reasons on why you should visit Iceland.

September to mid April

#9 Yukon, Canada

Whitehorse in Yukon with its natural beauty is one such place in Canada that has the privilege of showcasing the Northern Lights. Watch the flickering Northern Lights burst into thousands of colours that present a visual enjoyment of contrasts, hues and tones. A heated cozy cabin, wall tent, or a seat beside the campfire? Which is your choice?

 October to April

#10 Alberta, Canada

Get treated to a dazzling display of Aurora Borealis in Alberta. It is also home to the world’s two largest dark sky preserves. Experience the crisp night air at Fort McMurray while you stay warm in your winter gears excited to watch the northern lights at last! You can also snowboard or ski across the Albertan landscapes. Don’t forget to visit the National and Provincial parks in town to see the natural predators and many more! Here are a few places to encounter wildlife.

 September to mid May

#11 Yellowknife, Canada

OK, one more and then as incredible as the Northern Lights are, it might be time to move on. If you haven’t yet we’d REALLY appreciate if you read our blog post about seeing the Northern Lights in Yellowknife at www.zentravellers.com. Feedback welcome and appreciated in the comments! #yellowknife #northwestterritories #spectacularnwt #nwt #adventurecollective #travelmoreworryless #thankyoucanada #truenorthstrongandfree #northerncanada #arctic #thenorth #explorenwt #sonyimages #sonyalpha #wideangle #ig_great_shots_canada #ipulledoverforthis #tourcanada #imagesofcanada #getoutstayout #greatoutdoors #travelblogger #travelblog #northernlights #auroraborealis #nightsky #longexposure #astrophotography #darksky #astrophoto

A post shared by ZenTravellers (@zentravellers) on

Image credit: Zen travellers

There is a 90 per cent chance of viewing the northern lights in Yellowknife in the Northern Territories of Canada as the province is less populated. The city and surrounding area is situated directly beneath the aurora oval. Due to clear skies and darkness the below mentioned seasons are best to view them.

 From mid-August to the end of September and from mid-November to mid-April

#12 Kakslauttanen, Finland

On the edge of the world, when the night falls the sky lights up. // #kakslauttanen #northernlights #glassigloos // Photo credit: Biut

A post shared by Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort (@kakslauttanen_arctic_resort) on

Watch the natural phenomena from the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland. The neon green colour will light up the sky through your igloo’s glass roof or you can chase the colors unfurl on a horseback or horse drawn carriages. Isn’t that the most exciting experience? Have a look at the perfect Finland itinerary here.

 late August to late April

#13 Ivalo, Finland

You can also view this pulsating chorus of neon colors from Ivalo where you are offered safaris and various kinds of outdoor winter activities. Hire an Aurora Hunter if you want to find the perfect spot to view the lights. You can also go trekking, ice-fishing or snowmobiling.

 December to February

#14 Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

One of the biggest feelings I can transmit about visiting some places in the world are the noises/the ambient noise. Mostly in the silence, in the night time even more, in some places the sound shows very particular things. As I used to hear like in Argentina, in the forest, many insects and animal noises as well as the branches and trees moving on. In Greenland for example, you see some action but maybe what you hear is just proper silence for the situation. But this silence is accompained of some personal noises, the clothes brushing, some camera clicks and more. But there is a very special ambient sound in some places that I love to hear. It brings me a strong feeling and need to be out there, up in the cold/or not. But even when Brighton, New Zealand was great, it was not this kind of calmness. The Greenlandic silence is just amazing, others were in Norway and Iceland. The silence in the Faroe Islands was somehow better/particular, because of its weather you can hear many things, wind, rain, snow, you hear the brave sea far away but somehow close, the many little water canals and waterfalls everywhere, etc. I took a photo from myself here in Kangerlussuaq in Greenland, under the spectacular display from the Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis. I remember that night like it was yesterday. So it’s crazy how we see many things are happening with a permanent silence showing like “everything is still happening, just a short standby”, the flickers of the stars or even the more spectacular Northern Lights dancing up. That night was very cold, believe me, about -25 or so, unbelievable, not even the greenlander that wanted to follow me up the hill was able to avoid to say “hey better we go back to the hotel”, he said that after 2 minutes up there… Tenacity is something I learned a long time ago but the artic destinations have brought me to push my limits even further. #kangerlussuaq #greenland #kalaallitnunaat #inuit #sondrestromfjord #grønland #arctic #circle #polar #winter #snow #travelgram #northamerica #northernlights #auroraborealis #polarlights #me

A post shared by Nicolás Vera-Ortiz (@nico_veraortiz) on

Kangerlussuaq, meaning ‘Big Fjord’ in Greenlandic serves as the main gateway to the island. You can experience the multi-coloured light show at Kangerlussuaq too. Want to experience wilderness and the Aurora Borealis? Then Kangerlussuaq is the place! It is also home to an array of wildlife including musk oxen, caribou, and gyrfalcons which regularly roam the Arctic countryside.

 September to April

#15 Ilulissat, Greenland

Ilulissat means “iceberg” Aurora Borealis is one of the great surprises of the Arctic night, and you can experience this at Ilulissat. It is also known for its winter sports particularly husky sledding. Ilulissat attracts tourists for its ice fjord, it is one of the fastest moving and active glaciers in the world.

 September to April

#16 Nuuk, Greenland

A well-known legend relates that when the northern lights dance in the night sky, it means that the dead are playing football with a walrus skull. Northern lights are part of the visual, physical characteristics of Greenland, you can watch them in Nuuk.

 September to April

 #17 Severodvinsk, Russia

 The northern lights, is Russia’s way of adding an extra bonus to the adventures of winter. Severodvinsk is renowned for having some of the brightest lights in Russia, with red and green glows even visible from inside the city. Severodvinsk that claims the status of Russia’s science city, offers guided tours during the winter months to see the northern lights.

 December to January

#18 Kola peninsula, Russia

Про полярное сияние на Кольском полуострове. После пасмурного заката улеглись спать. В два часа ночи все слышат крик “А оно светит!” До рассвета не сколько снимали, сколько просто любовались… #vladimirpitersky #kolapeninsula #night_captures #nightsphotography #night #nightsky #color_of_night #ig_shotz_landscape #ig_color #igrefined #nightphotography_exclusive #nightphoto #worldprime #worlds_beautiful_photos #travel_cool #travelrussia #russiatravel #lovesrussia #loves_united_nightcolors #loves_united_russia #rgtv #infinity_worldshoot

A post shared by Владимир Колесников (@vladimir_pitersky) on

The Northern Lights appear every winter over Lake Lovozero in Kola Peninsula. Russia being the largest country below the north pole, it houses several “spots” for watching the northern lights. In the north of the Kola Peninsula the Northern Lights can be seen up to 200 times a year.

 February to March or September to October.

#19 Fairbanks, Alaska

When the nights become cooler and longer the aurora takes its cue to begin the lights show. But in Alaska you need not worry about the perfect spot to view the lights for they can be seen all over the state especially in Fairbanks where they are frequently seen.

 mid September to late April

#20 Dunree, Ireland

Since the ancient times the Aurora Borealis beckoned the people by its mystical mysterious light, many legends and tales were created on this phenomenon. One can never get enough of the blazing colors in the sky. The best spot to hunt the Northern Lights in Ireland is Dunree.

 October to March

#21 Malin Head, Ireland

Love this picture by another Ronan Mc Laughlin #nothernlights #malinhead #stars

A post shared by Ronan Mc Laughlin (@ronanmclaughlin18) on

There’s no light show in the world like it. No amount of modern shimmering screens, zapping lasers or spinning disco balls can match mother nature’s sky show. Malin Head is known as Ireland’s northerly point place where you are more likely to view the northern lights. Be sure to sip on an Irish coffee after your excursion.

 October to March

Catch these views for yourself with Pickyourtrail.

For more travel inspiration, follow Pickyourtrail.


Facebook Comments