The Best Places To See Northern Lights

The 20 Best Places In The World To See The Northern Lights

The dancing Northern Lights in the night sky is one phenomenon that is on everyone’s travel bucket list.

Otherwise known as as ‘Aurora borealis’ in the north and ‘Aurora australis’ in the south (yes, you can see this amazing light in the southern hemisphere!).

Auroral displays appear in many colours although pale green and pink are the most common, while you’ll also spot shades of red, yellow, green, blue, and violet.

You can usually see the Northern Lights late August to mid April. Here’s the 20 best places in the world to gaze at them in wonder:

Best Northern lights spots

1. Fairbanks, Alaska, USA

Fairbanks’ location is ideal for Northern Lights viewing because it is under the “Auroral Oval,” a ring-shaped zone over the far north where aurora activity is concentrated.

More info here.

2. Yukon, Canada

In Canada’s Yukon territory, the Northern Lights can appear as soon as dark night skies begin to return, often before the first snowfall.

Its small population means that there is less light pollution, so chances of seeing the Aurora are high here.

More info here.

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Aurora boreal ?

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3. Reykjavik, Iceland

During winter there can be up to 20 hours of darkness a day in Reykjavik, making it ideal for spotting the Northern Lights.

Make your way to Þingvellir National Park on a clear night for the most vivid light show in the city.

More info here.

4. Tromsø, Norway

Tromsø is often referred to as “the mild Northern Lights area”, due to the warm currents of the Gulf Stream – so you won’t be freezing!

The city is also situated in the middle of the auroral oval, the area with the highest probability of seeing the Northern Lights.

More info here.

5. Kakslauttanen, Finland

This incredible igloo hotel resort in Lapland is 250 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle.

You can admire the Northern Lights from the comfort of your own bed as you look out through the glass roof of the igloos. A once-in-a-lifetime experience.

More info here.

6. Murmansk, Russia

If you want to experience the Northern Lights on a budget then Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula in Russia is perfect.

There’s over 40 days of uninterrupted night and the population is small, so you can enjoy pure darkness. The city offers budget accommodation and tours that are priced well under those found in other countries.

More info here.

7. Abisko, Sweden

Abisko is one of the premier destinations to view the Northern Lights in Sweden. While you are in the Abisko National Park or the surrounding Kiruna Mountains you have a very high likelihood of seeing the Northern Lights.

More info here.

8. Kirkenes, Norway

Close to the Russian border, Kirkenes is a prime spot for viewing the Northern Lights thanks to its dry and cool climate.

The region has over 200 aurora nights per year, and you have the option of hunting the lights via husky sleigh or snowmobile.

More info here.

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Kirkenes #YRno #weather #phenomen #Norway

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9. Scoresbysund, Greenland

The conditions in East Greenland are perfect for viewing the Northern Lights – but keep in mind it cannot be seen during the summer months in Greenland due to the midnight sun.

Not only will you see the Aurora Borealis above the icebergs in Scoresbysund, it’s also the best region for polar bear spotting.

More info here.

10. Moray Coast, Scotland

Did you know northern Scotland actually lies at the same latitude as Stavanger in Norway and Nunivak Island in Alaska?

The 50 mile-long coast stretches from Aberdeen to Inverness and is a beautifully rugged place to see the lights during winter.

More info here.

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I N S P I R A T I O N: Northern Lights. Did you know that as well as Iceland, the Northern Lights can also be visible in parts of Scotland and Northumberland? If you're staying UK based to see them, the best times to try are between October and March, when the sky is at its darkest. Its easy to check forecasts via Google to get the best time to go! Wouldn't this be an awesome Box of Twelve, and a chance to see some beautiful countryside too ? . . . . . #boxoftwelve #giftsforher #giftsforhim #recycledpackaging #northernlights #northumberland #northernlightsNorthumberland #northernlightsScotland #havelessdomorebemore #auroraborealis #bucketlisttrips #bucketlistplanning #livingmybestlife #buyexperiencesnotthings #bestgiftideas #collectmemoriesnotthings #plasticfreegifts #plasticfree #luxurygiftideas #christmasgiftideas #birthdaygiftideas #anniversarygiftideas #weddinggiftideas #adventureseeker #happinessiskey #inspiremyinstagram #feelingloved

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11. Sandgerdi, Iceland

From late September until the beginning of April, the Northern Lights can be seen in Iceland in most places but Sandgerdi is a top spot.

A fishing village on the Southern Peninsula, Sandgerdi is not far from the Blue Lagoon and you will see the Northern Lights reflecting off the surrounding sea.

More info here.

12. Inari, Finland

According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the northern lights blaze in the skies of Northern Lapland three nights out of four.

Inari, being close to the magnetic north pole, sits within the auroral zone and is a a fantastic place for Aurora viewing. The remote village is on the shores of Lake Inari and Inarin Kalakenttä has its own private beach for watching the Northern Lights.

More info here.

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? Finland. . ? Credits to @jsalonen , visit his gallery. ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖ ? Follow ➡ @shot_europe ? Tag ➡ #shot_europe ? Email ➡ [email protected] ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖ ? Shot Europe ? Your Europe ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖ ▶ Family Hub ◀ ?@shot_italia ?@shot_globe ?@shot_america ?@shot_asia ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖ #shot_europe #northernlights #auroraborealis #finland #ig_finland #visitfinland #finnishlapland #marvelshots #exquisiteearth #nature_perfection #igworldclub_longexp #amazing_longexpo #fantastic_universe #worldprime #supreme_nightshots #nightphotography #nature_wizards #master_gallery #worldaurora #yleluonto #loves_landscape #na_natures_art #pocket_allnature #nakedplanet #majestic_earth_ #earth_shotz #finland_photolovers #discoverfinland #beautyofsuomi #thebestoffinland

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13. Yellowknife, Canada

Widely known as one of the all-time best places to see the Northern Lights. Yellowknife lies on the north shore of Great Slave Lake.

Keep an eye out for Northern Lighthouses. These tiny lighthouses, located throughout the city, alert visitors and residents when active aurora is in the evening forecast.

More info here.

14. Donegal, Ireland

This remote and unspoiled landscape is Ireland’s most northerly point, and visitors to Malin Head on Inishowen Peninsula won’t be disappointed with the light display.

Clear skies to the north and no light pollution make it ideal, although you may have to go out more than once in order to see the Aurora.

More info here.

15. Naryan-Mar, Russia

In the Nenets Autonomous Region in northern Siberia, this is a remote and isolated place where you’ll find deep traditional culture and folklore.

Just remember: as they say in Naryan-Mar,  “Never whistle, if you see the northern lights! It will immediately disappear!” The Aurora here consists of numerous shadows and flickering.

More info here.

16. South Georgia Island

Here is where you will see the Southern Lights (known as Aurora Australis) in all their glory.

The island of South Georgia is known for its association with the Polar Explorer, Ernest Shackleton and is one of the few land masses on the Southern Aural Oval.

More info here.

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Lesson 11: Aurora aka The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) or The Southern Lights (Aurora Australis) and both of which are also referred to as The Polar Lights The bright dancing lights of the aurora which are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth's atmosphere. Although pale green and pink are the most common Auroral displays appear in many colours. Shades of red, yellow, green, blue, and violet have been reported. The lights do appear in many different formations, patches or scattered clouds of light, streamers, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting beams that light up the sky with an eerie glow. *** *** ?: photo courtesy of @j.diegoph *** *** #aurora #auroraborealis #auroraglowkit #auroras #auroraaustralis #northernlights #northernlightsiceland #northernlightsphotos #northernlightsfamily #southernlights #southernlightscapes #polarlight #polarlights #light #lights #dancinglights #magnetic #northernhemisphere #southernhemisphere #particle #particles #atmosphere #green #pink #blue #lightforce #bepartofsomethinggreat #bepartofit #dosomething #learnsomething

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17. Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania, an isolated island state off Australia’s south coast, has breathtaking views of the Southern Lights.

Mount Wellington’s 4,100-foot peak is the perfect front-row seat to wait for the magical lights to appear.

More info here.

18. Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia is located at the southernmost tip of South America, nicknamed the “End of the World.”

It’s closer to the Antarctic Circle than Tasmania, South Georgia and Stewart Island, and in the winter season, you can expect up to 17 hours of darkness.

More info here.

19. Antartica

Given that Antarctica is as far south as you can go, nothing beats seeing the Aurora Australias here. The colours are at their most vibrant and seeing the light reflect off the ice is unforgettable.

More info here.

20. Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Lake Tekapo is part of a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, making it the perfect spot for stargazing.

Drive to the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, which is one of only eight places in the world where light pollution is controlled, guaranteeing dark skies.

More info here.


Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

Contact [email protected]

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