The Best Place To See The Northern Lights

By , January 19, 2010 11:30 am

The northern lights are an unreal experience which should definitely be on your bucket list (if not already!). For most people, their journey to see the northern lights will be once in a lifetime. This means there is only one chance to get it right!

There are so many questions – where to go, when, how long for? These questions can ultimately completely change the experience for you. This post is solely dedicated to answering that first question. There are so many places to go, so which one to choose? We present the best places to see the northern lights


First up, Norway is undeniably one of the best places to see the northern lights in the world. While there are a few cities you may choose, we will focus on just one. Tromso, home of the northern lights festival, is a tourism center for holiday makers wanting to catch a glimpe of the auroras. Situated more than 300 kilometers inside the arctic circle, Tromso has so much to offer.

Here, the aurora borealis can generally be seen between 6pm and 1am every other day. Bear in mind that if you are planning a single night trip just so you can witness the lights and leave, you run the risk of missing out. A clear view of the lights is largely weather dependant and a cloudly night would spoil your entire holidays – so leave at least a couple of nights.

The best time of year for you to visit Tromso is easily Janurary. For most of the month, the arctic city lies in complete darkness as its northern location means the sun never quite breaks the horizon. Late January, the first dawn of the year is celebrated with the northern lights festival. This hosts a variety of international music and culture and provides great entertainment for all ages. If you’re into the party and nightclub scene, Tromso still has you sorted with a bustling nightlife, especially around this time of year!

Remember that Tromso is incredibly cold, and you will need to back some very warm clothing.


Over on the complete opposite side of the world, Canada provides another awesome destination for you to see the northern lights in canada. Ontario in particular has several dedicated aurora based activities such as professionally guided tours, taking you out of the city away from man made lights, where you will find a much more vivid display of the northern lights.

One of the best tours in Ontario is taking a snowmobile ride an hour north of Lake Superior. For this trip it is definitely advisable to take a guided tour, as getting yourself lost can easily result in a life threatening situation. Like Tromso, is incredibly cold and warm clothing is an absolute must. Check out the many tour providers in Ontario to find a tours interest you the most. You will almost definitely be able to find something that suits you perfectly.


Our final recommendation of northern lights destination is Iceland. In particular, the city of Reykjavik provides probably the best option in the country. Due to the size of the city, views of the northern lights are not as spectacular due to the amount of street lighting. Like the other cities, getting a way out of the center is your best option to get a stunning view.

Just like the Tromso and Ontario, Reykjavik have a tourism sector dedicated to the northern lights and hence have a variety of tours departing regularly in aurora season – sleds, busses, snow mobiles, you name it. One of the best parts of Reykjavik is the night life. Despite it being a relatively small city, the night life is suprisingly raucous, with many bars concentrated in one district. Pub crawls are operated by local guides for those happy drunks.

Iceland is dead in the middle of one of the most active regions of the Aurora Ovals (where the northern lights are formed). Good weather here means that the lights are almost always visible in season. Just like our competing cities, Reykjavik is cold, so be prepared!

We have presented three of the best places to see the northern lights in the world. We hope you make an awesome choice, not limited to just these three destinations. Other options are spread through Sweden, Finland, Lapland, and Alaska. All of these destinations have plenty of things to do other than seeing the lights, so why not take a bit of time out to enjoy the arctic atmosphere? It will be a holiday you will never forget.

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One Response to “The Best Place To See The Northern Lights”

  1. I remember seeing the northern lights up here in Canada when I was a kid. I have not seen them since, but recently became interested in seeing them again. Some great info here.

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