Suddenly, they appear. In the brightest colors, breathtaking shapes and patterns, they dance across the night sky. Of course, we’re talking about the northern lights. Just to see this natural spectacle once in their lives is a dream for many travelers. We’ll tell you the most beautiful places to observe this natural phenomenon from up close.

Norway: Tromsø

Tromsø, the painterly city in northern Norway, is a perfect location to view this natural spectacle with your own eyes. First, Tromsø is relatively easy to get to: there are multiple daily flight connections to Oslo. Second, in meteorological terms, the location couldn’t be better. When the sky is clear in the Polar Light season, you can see the colorful lights in the night sky almost every night. In addition, the city is big enough that you can grab a drink in the evening, but it’s still quite close to untouched nature.

Lastly, if you want to view the northern lights it’s necessary to have the best possible view of the night sky. One opportunity worth mentioning is the multi-day tours from Chasing Lights: you’ll find offerings from dogsled rides under the colorful night sky to snowmobile rides, a wide selection o make your Polar Light experience truly unforgettable.

Foto: iStock/Nitrogliserin
Photo: iStock/Nitrogliserin

Sweden: Abisko National Park

When a place claims to be the best place in the world to experience the northern lights, you know it must be remarkable. Aurora Sky Station is the name of this magical place in the Abisko National Park, located in northern Sweden. Thanks to the region’s dry air and clear sky, the view of this colorful natural spectacle from here in Swedish Lapland proves particularly spectacular.

You’ll reach the 900-meter-high Aurora Sky Station via a 20-minute ride on the chair lift. Visits are only possible at night. To help you handle the freezing Nordic temperatures, you’ll be equipped with a pair of warm overalls. In summary: an experience you’ll never forget.

Foto: flickr, Béatrice Karjalainen
Photo: flickr, Béatrice Karjalainen, CC BY-ND 2.0 license

Iceland: Mývatn and Reykjavík

Without a doubt, Iceland is one of the most popular countries for viewing the Aurora Borealis. Flights to the capital city of Reykjavík are as plentiful as grains of sand at the beach. Although for the best views of the Polar Lights it’s best to leave the city behind you, the fascinating lights can even be seen faintly in the night sky above Reykjavík. One noteworthy opportunity is the 4-hour Mini Bus Tour (bookable through GetYourGuide), where you’ll head out in a small group on the hunt for the best views of the dancing Polar Lights.

A particularly impressive place to experience the natural phenomenon is in the region around the lake of Mývatn, one of the most breathtaking landscapes in the country. It’s thanks to the high level of geothermic and volcanic activity that the craggy cliffs of the areas surrounding the lake appear unlike any others in Iceland. In addition to the obligatory hunt for the Polar Lights, it’s also worthwhile to experience the region in a more extensive way. How about a snowmobile tour across the frozen lake? Thrills guaranteed!

Foto: iStock/pping_bip
Photo: iStock/pping_bip

By the way: if you want to see the northern lights, it’s best to plan your trip between November and March. And it’s not just Norway, Sweden and Iceland where you can view the colors in the sky. Greenland, Canada, Alaska and Finland also make the list of Polar Light hotspots. And with that, we’ll wish you plenty of success on the hunt for this magnificent light display.

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