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Where to See the Aurora Borealis: Top 5 Places

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Is seeing the aurora borealis something on your bucket list? If so, there are a bunch of different places in Canada you can visit to check out the Northern Lights.

For example, you might want to pay a visit to Jasper National Park in Alberta, which is the second-biggest Dark Sky Preserve in the entire world. It has virtually no low light pollution and will prove to be such a fantastic place to look up and watch the aurora borealis.

But Canada is far from the only country you should consider when you’re trying to figure out how to see the aurora borealis. There are also other places around the globe you might want to visit, so you can cross “See the aurora borealis” off your bucket list.

Here are five of the best destinations for those interested in seeing the Northern Lights/aurora borealis soon.

1. Tromsø, Norway

There are a bunch of different places in Norway that you can visit to see the Northern Lights. But Tromsø will be one of your best options.

Tromsø is situated more than 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, and the sun doesn’t rise in the city from September through March. This makes the conditions ideal for getting a glimpse of the aurora borealis.

If you’re able to make it to Tromsø in late January or February, you might even want to go as far as to attend the Northern Lights Festival. It’s a festival that’ll give you the opportunity to watch different musical acts perform while checking out the Northern Lights in the background.

If you’re a true adventure seeker, you might also want to give thought to possibly going on a husky-led guided tour outside of Tromsø. It should make it easier for you to see the Northern Lights since you’ll be out in the Arctic wilderness, where there won’t be any light pollution to get in your way.

Buy flights to Tromso Norway.

2. Orkney, Scotland

There are a few places where you can watch the aurora borealis in the UK, but none of them will be better options than Orkney. It consists of a small set of islands situated right off the northern coast of Scotland that provide perfect conditions for seeing the Northern Lights.

If you’re going to visit Orkney specifically to try to catch the aurora borealis, it would be best to visit in either the fall or winter. It gets very cold and dark at night in Orkney, which should put you in a great position to see the Northern Lights.

Buy flights to Orkney, Scotland.

3. Lapland, Finland

What if we told you that there is a place where you can see the Northern Lights and Santa Claus at the same time? If this appeals to you, you can do it in Lapland, which is located all the way at the top of Finland in the Arctic Circle.

You should be able to watch the aurora borealis on about 200 nights throughout the year in Lapland, mostly between August and April. You can also visit Santa in the town of Rovaniemi.

If you want to make your trip to Lapland extra special, you might want to go the extra mile and try to see the Northern Lights from the glass igloo that sits at the top of Hotel Aurora in the town of Luosto. It’ll be a truly magical experience that’ll make seeing the aurora borealis even more memorable than usual.

Buy flights to Lapland, Finland.

4. Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

Have you ever had the chance to stay at a hotel made entirely out of ice? Probably not. But that’s precisely what you’ll be able to do while you’re in Jukkasjärvi, which is home to the appropriately named Icehotel 365. This hotel consists of suites that only get up to 23 degrees Fahrenheit.

Staying at Icehotel 365 will be a truly one-of-a-kind experience. But believe it or not, it might not be the best experience that you have in Jukkasjärvi. You should also be able to set your sights on seeing the Northern Lights any time between early September and late March.

Buy flights to Jukkasjärvi, Sweden.

5. Reykjavik, Iceland

If your goal is to chase the Northern Lights, there won’t be any shortage of options where you can try to do it in Iceland. There are tons of national parks and other attractions that have been set up to help people see the aurora borealis from different angles.

But you might just be able to get the best view of the Northern Lights from Reykjavik, which is the capital of the country. If you’re able to make your way to Oskjuhlid, an area just outside of Reykjavik, you can avoid light pollution and find yourself perched about 200 feet above sea level, where you shouldn’t have any issues seeing the aurora borealis.

While you’re there, you might also want to pop up to nearby Perlan. It’s home to the very first indoor ice cave and glacier exploratorium in the world, and it has an observation deck that’ll let you look down on Reykjavik and everything that surrounds it. It’ll make your trip even more worthwhile than it’ll already be.

Buy flights to Reykjavik, Iceland through Keflavik Airport.

Take Trips to These Places to See the Aurora Borealis

Everyone should see the aurora borealis at least once in their lives. Whether you see the Northern Lights in Norway, Finland, Iceland, or one of the other locations on this list, you’ll be in for quite the treat.

Regardless of where you are while you’re trying to see the Northern Lights, our aurora forecasting app can help. It predicts when the aurora borealis will be visible, and it could allow you to plan a trip accordingly.

Check out the forecast and check back on our app early and often for the latest updates.

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