The Northern Lights are incredible but spotting them is not as easy as some think. You need to visit the best places and visit during the year’s darkest times. Even then you will need some luck. The aurora borealis is best seen between September and April so be sure that you plan your trip accordingly. If you want to increase the possibility of actually seeing the Northern Lights, consider the best places presented below. We carefully picked them based on the experience of countless travelers from all around the world.
Tromso – Norway
Locally, Tromso is referred to as “Gateway to the Arctic”, one of the underrated Norway travel destinations. The town is located at the exact same latitude as Siberia and Alaska, making it prime location for Northern Lights hunting. If you visit during winter, not much daylight will be present. Darkness will surround you close to 24 hours per day between November and January.
If you do get to enjoy some daylight, you can treat yourself to cross country skiing, ice-fishing and even dog sledding. As an extra tip, consider visiting during February, on the first Sunday of the month. This is because you get to see the local tradition of Reindeer Racing Championship. The event is quite unique, featuring people that stay on skis and are pulled by reindeer at speeds that can even reach 60 kilometers per hour. Fun during the day and Northern Lights during the night.
Lake Laberge – Canada
Located in the Yukon Territory, Lake Laberge is a simply beautiful location that showcases Canadian wilderness. You can stay in log cabins right close to icy water and get the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights. When thinking about what you want to do during the day, a great option is Whitehorse. This is a city that is located forty minutes away. You want to visit because of its hot springs complex, which is open every single day of the year. Also, you can visit various museums during the afternoon, right before the aurora borealis trip.
Abisko – Sweden
This is the very best option for those that want to visit Sweden and see the Northern Lights. The Abisko Mountain Station is actually located around 100 miles deep into the Arctic circle, so the possibility to see the lights is quite high. You would be visiting the driest spot in the country, with little clouds, making it a top destination for aurora borealis seekers. Actually, many travelers consider this to be the best place to see the Northern Lights in the entire world.
If you want to do even more, you can visit the Ice Hotel, a famous part of the country. Sitting in a suite that is entirely carved out of ice, by hand, is a stunning experience. Also, you can enjoy some challenging off-piste cross-country and even snowboarding or downhill skiing. Those that want to relax can just rent a husky musher that will guide you through the wilderness.
Fairbanks – Alaska
You surely already know that the Northern Lights can be seen in various parts of Alaska but you need to know that the best months for your visit are December to March. Skies are dark and nights are long then. When you want to be sure that you have a great experience, consider Ester Dome, which is a local Fairbanks hill. If you decide to visit Fairbanks during the summer, the Northern Lights can still be seen but such an event is quite rare.
If you want to be entertained during the days and have some Instagram picture-taking opportunities, Fairbanks offers winter cycling, a great hot springs experience and some classes on how to sculpt ice. Art lovers can choose out of some lovely galleries and if you love to dance, you should know that the locals really love Tango.
Rovaniemi – Finland
Rovaniemi is the country’s gateway to Lapland. It boasts around 200 nights per year when you can see the Northern Lights. According to the locals, in Lapland the aurora shows up one night out of 3, when the sky is clear, of course. Just stay for a week and you are guaranteed a sighting.
Since you visit, do make your way east to the Salla Reindeer Park. This is where you can get your official reindeer driver license for just around 10 EUR. Also, it is quite obvious that you want to visit SantaPark if you come with your children.
Where Did You See The Northern Lights?
The 5 places to see the Northern Lights mentioned above are just those that we recommend but there are many others that can give you the experience you are looking for. If you saw the aurora borealis, where did you enjoy it? Let others know about the experience. If you never did, the spots above should be on your list of considered travel destinations since there is always a high possibility you will actually see the lights.