Traveling To Norway

Northern Norway’s Aurora Borealis: Where To Stay And How To View

The mesmerizing dance of the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, has captivated people for centuries. In northern Norway, the fjord views and sea views make this natural spectacle a breathtaking display that draws visitors from around the world. To fully experience this wonder of nature, knowing where to stay and how to view it is crucial for whale watching, travel, and bookable excursions. This blog post will guide you through the best accommodations in Tromso, northern Norway for witnessing the Aurora Borealis and provide tips on finding optimal viewing locations. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or planning your first adventure to witness this ethereal phenomenon, Northern Lights tours will enhance your journey into the heart of one of nature’s most enchanting displays.

Understanding The Phenomenon Of The Northern Lights

Natural Phenomenon

The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, are a captivating natural phenomenon that graces the Earth’s sky. This breathtaking light show occurs when charged particles from the sun collide with atoms and molecules in our planet’s atmosphere. As these particles interact in Tromso, they emit light, creating stunning displays of color and movement across the night sky.

The vibrant hues of the Northern Lights in Tromso are determined by different gases present in the Earth’s atmosphere. For instance, collisions with oxygen in Tromso produce green and red colors, while interactions with nitrogen result in purples, blues, and pinks. These mesmerizing displays can vary widely in intensity and duration based on solar activity levels.

Where To Stay And How To View

When planning to witness this awe-inspiring display firsthand, it’s essential for guests to choose an optimal location, such as a lodge in Tromso, for viewing. Northern Norway, specifically Tromso, is renowned for offering some of the best opportunities for guests to experience this natural wonder up close at a lodge. The region boasts several lodges strategically positioned for optimal aurora viewing experiences.

One such example is Tromsø, a city located within Norway’s Arctic Circle. Here guests can find numerous hotels in Tromso equipped with amenities designed specifically for those seeking to witness nature’s dazzling light show. Various tour operators offer guided excursions into remote areas ideal for experiencing unobstructed views of the Aurora Borealis.

To fully immerse oneself in this unique spectacle, travelers have options ranging from cozy lodges nestled amidst snow-covered landscapes to glass igloos providing uninterrupted panoramic views of the night sky overhead.

Optimal Season For Witnessing The Northern Lights In Norway

Winter Months

The best time to see the Northern Lights in Norway is during the winter months, from September to March. The long nights and clear skies of winter provide ideal conditions for viewing the Aurora Borealis. During this period, darkness prevails for a significant portion of each day, offering ample opportunities to witness the magical dance of colors across the Norwegian sky.

Late autumn and early spring are also good times to see the Northern Lights in Norway. Although not as consistent as during peak winter months, these transitional seasons still offer favorable conditions for experiencing this natural wonder.

Ideal Conditions

In northern Norway, particularly above the Arctic Circle, where towns like Tromsø and Alta are located, there is an increased likelihood of witnessing vibrant displays of auroras due to their proximity to the magnetic North Pole. The combination of low light pollution and stable weather patterns enhances visibility and creates optimal conditions for observing this celestial spectacle.

During these months, visitors have several options. Many hotels offer wake-up services or even dedicated Aurora alarms that alert guests when activity is spotted overhead.

Planning Your Visit

When planning a trip to witness this awe-inspiring phenomenon in northern Norway’s remote regions such as Tromsø or Lofoten Islands during these prime viewing months, it’s essential to book accommodations well in advance due to high demand. Visitors can opt for traditional hotels with panoramic views or more unique lodging experiences such as glass igloos or wilderness cabins situated away from city lights.

For those seeking a more adventurous experience under nature’s light show, outdoor activities like dog sledding or snowshoeing expeditions are available through local tour operators who guide participants into areas with minimal artificial light interference—maximizing their chances of encountering unobstructed views of dancing auroras against a pristine Arctic backdrop.

Best Accommodation For Viewing Northern Lights In Northern Norway


Tromsø is a popular destination for viewing the Northern Lights in northern Norway. The city offers various accommodation options, from cozy guesthouses to modern hotels. For example, visitors can stay at the Tromsø Lodge & Camping or the Clarion Hotel The Edge. Both of these places provide comfortable stays and convenient access to tours and excursions designed specifically for witnessing the Aurora Borealis.

Staying in Tromsø allows travelers to explore other attractions during their visit. They can experience dog sledding, whale watching, and scenic fjord cruises while waiting for the optimal time to witness this natural phenomenon.


Kirkenes is known for its unique accommodation options and prime location to witness the Aurora Borealis. Visitors have the opportunity to stay in extraordinary lodgings such as the Snowhotel Kirkenes or even book a night at the Kirkenes Snow Hotel – both offering an unforgettable experience of sleeping in rooms entirely made of snow and ice.

Moreover, some accommodations arrange activities like king crab safaris and visits to nearby Russian border areas that enhance visitors’ experiences beyond just seeing the Northern Lights.


Alta is another great place to stay when aiming to see the Northern Lights with various accommodations available. Travelers can choose from traditional hotels like Thon Hotel Alta or opt for more unique experiences at Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel where they get a chance to sleep in igloos made entirely of snow and ice.

Alta provides opportunities for engaging in winter activities such as cross-country skiing under starry skies or exploring UNESCO World Heritage rock art sites during daylight hours before embarking on an evening adventure chasing after the Aurora Borealis.

Unique Accommodations To Experience The Northern Lights In Norway

Ice Hotels: Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel And Kirkenes Snowhotel

Imagine staying in a hotel made entirely of ice while witnessing the mesmerizing northern lights dance across the sky. At Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel or Kirkenes Snowhotel, guests can immerse themselves in this extraordinary experience. These unique accommodations offer cozy sleeping bags on ice beds and provide an unparalleled opportunity to witness the Aurora Borealis from within the comfort of these frozen structures.

The magical ambiance created by the shimmering ice walls combined with nature’s light show makes for an unforgettable experience. Guests at these hotels can enjoy guided tours, warm meals, and even optional activities such as dog sledding during their stay.

Glass Igloos And Panoramic Cabins

For those seeking uninterrupted views of the Northern Lights, booking a stay at a glass igloo or panoramic cabin is an excellent choice. These accommodations provide guests with ceiling-to-floor windows that allow for breathtaking views of the night sky without having to step outside into the cold.

Imagine lying in bed watching vibrant hues dancing across the heavens above or enjoying a warm drink while gazing at this natural wonder through your window. This type of lodging offers both comfort and proximity to nature’s stunning light display, creating a truly enchanting experience for visitors.

Northern Lights Tours Aboard Cruise Ships

Embarking on a cruise ship that offers dedicated northern lights tours provides another remarkable way to witness this celestial spectacle. Guests not only have access to comfortable amenities but also get to chase after the elusive Aurora Borealis as they sail through Norway’s coastal waters.

Cruise ships equipped for northern lights excursions often feature spacious lounges with panoramic windows, ensuring passengers have prime viewing spots throughout their journey. Some ships offer hot tubs on deck where travelers can relax under starry skies while waiting for nature’s light show to unfold before them.

Factors Affecting Visibility Of The Aurora Borealis

Weather Conditions

Clear skies are crucial for optimal visibility of the Aurora Borealis. Without any clouds obstructing the view, it’s easier to witness this natural wonder in all its glory. When planning a trip to Northern Norway to see the Northern Lights, it’s essential to check and monitor weather forecasts regularly. Choosing a time when there is minimal cloud cover increases the chances of experiencing this breathtaking phenomenon.

Finding remote locations away from urban areas is beneficial due to reduced light pollution. Urban settings tend to have more artificial lights, which can obscure or diminish the visibility of the Aurora Borealis. By staying in secluded areas or choosing accommodations that offer unobstructed views of the night sky, such as glass igloos or wilderness cabins, visitors can enhance their opportunities to witness this spectacular display.

Solar Activity

The strength of geomagnetic storms resulting from solar activity directly impacts both the intensity and visibility levels of the Northern Lights. Keeping track of solar flares and sunspot activity through reliable sources enables travelers to plan their trips during periods with higher auroral activity. Understanding these patterns helps maximize chances for an unforgettable experience.

Planning a stay at unique accommodations like treehouses or ice hotels not only provides comfort but also offers an extraordinary way to appreciate nature’s light show without disturbances caused by conventional lighting sources.

Guide To Capturing Photos Of The Northern Lights

Using A Tripod

When capturing photos of the Aurora Borealis in northern Norway, it’s crucial to use a tripod. This helps keep your camera steady, preventing blurry images. By stabilizing your camera on a tripod, you can achieve clear and sharp shots even during longer exposure times.

The stability provided by the tripod is especially important when photographing the Northern Lights because the exposure time is usually extended to capture their ethereal movement across the night sky. Without a tripod, these long exposures would likely result in shaky and indistinct images due to hand movements.

Experiment with different compositions and foreground elements to add interest to your Northern Lights photographs.

Adjusting Camera Settings

To effectively capture stunning photos of the Aurora Borealis in northern Norway, adjusting your camera settings is essential. Firstly, set a high ISO on your camera; this makes it more sensitive to light and allows for better visibility of faint details present in the Northern Lights.

Using a wide aperture lets more light into your lens, enhancing the brightness and vividness of colors in your photographs. Lastly, extend your exposure time for several seconds or even minutes depending on lighting conditions. This prolonged duration enables you to capture intricate patterns and movements displayed by the Aurora Borealis.

Remember that these adjustments are necessary due to low light conditions prevalent during aurora sightings; therefore, they are vital for obtaining clear and vibrant photos.

Composition & Foreground Elements

When photographing the spectacular display of lights known as the Aurora Borealis in northern Norway, consider experimenting with various compositions and incorporating captivating foreground elements into your shots. These elements could range from natural features like trees or mountains silhouetted against colorful skies or man-made structures such as cabins or boats under an aurora-lit horizon.

Essential Tips For Maximizing Chances Of Seeing The Northern Lights

Check Forecast Regularly

To maximize your chances of witnessing the Aurora Borealis in northern Norway, it’s crucial to check the aurora forecast regularly. This will help you plan your viewing sessions during periods of high activity. By staying updated on the forecast, you can increase the likelihood of experiencing this breathtaking natural phenomenon. Imagine being able to anticipate when the sky will be at its most mesmerizing and vibrant.

When planning your trip, consider using reliable apps or websites that provide real-time updates on aurora activity. These tools can offer valuable insights into when and where the lights are likely to appear. By keeping an eye on these forecasts, you’ll be better equipped to schedule your outings for optimal viewing opportunities.

Dress Warmly And Be Patient

Another essential tip is to dress warmly in layers and bring hand warmers with you when venturing out to see the Northern Lights. The nights in northern Norway can get extremely cold, especially during peak aurora season. Wearing multiple layers ensures that you stay comfortable while spending long hours outside gazing at the night sky. Having hand warmers handy can make a significant difference in how enjoyable your experience is.

Moreover, patience is key when seeking out this awe-inspiring spectacle. It’s important to allow yourself enough time in Norway as part of your travel plans so that you have ample opportunities to witness the Aurora Borealis. Remember that nature operates on its own timeline; sometimes all it takes is a little extra time under those starry skies before they light up with vivid colors.

Exploring Northern Norway’s Prime Aurora Locations And Activities

Tromsø: Mount Storsteinen

When visiting Tromsø, taking a cable car up Mount Storsteinen is a must. The breathtaking views of the city and potential sightings of the Aurora Borealis make it an ideal location for experiencing this natural wonder. Once at the top, visitors can marvel at the stunning fjord views while keeping an eye out for the mesmerizing dancing lights in the night sky. Travelers have ample opportunities to engage in outdoor activities such as hiking to fully immerse themselves in this unique experience.

Exploring Tromsø presents not only an opportunity to witness the enchanting Northern Lights but also offers various excursions and tours that cater to adventure seekers. Engaging in these activities increases one’s chances of experiencing nature’s light show while enjoying other winter pursuits like dog sledding or snowmobiling. These thrilling experiences add depth and excitement to any visit, making it truly unforgettable.

Lofoten Islands: Picturesque Landscapes

The Lofoten Islands are renowned for their picturesque landscapes and offer excellent opportunities to witness the captivating display of the Aurora Borealis against a backdrop of stunning sea views. Travelers can explore charming fishing villages or embark on whale-watching excursions during their stay on these islands, enhancing their overall experience with unique cultural encounters and remarkable natural beauty.

Visiting these islands doesn’t just promise a chance to see the Northern Lights; it also provides endless opportunities for outdoor adventures such as hiking through majestic mountains or indulging in invigorating sea-based activities like fishing trips. These diverse experiences ensure that visitors get more than just glimpses of nature’s wonders; they create memories that will last a lifetime.

Practical Tips For Choosing A Northern Lights Hotel In Norway

Wake-Up Calls And Alerts

When selecting a hotel to witness the Aurora Borealis in northern Norway, prioritize accommodations offering Northern Lights wake-up calls or alerts. This ensures you don’t miss any sightings, especially during the late hours when the phenomenon is most active. Imagine being gently woken up from a peaceful slumber to witness nature’s mesmerizing light show dancing across the sky.

Staying at a hotel that provides these services can significantly enhance your chances of experiencing this natural wonder without having to constantly stay awake or worry about missing out on the spectacle. It’s like having your assistant dedicated solely to ensuring you catch every breathtaking moment of the Northern Lights.

Consider staying in remote areas away from light pollution for better chances of experiencing the full beauty of the Aurora Borealis.

Remote Locations

Opting for hotels located in remote areas away from urban centers and light pollution is crucial when planning to view the Aurora Borealis. By choosing such accommodations, you increase your likelihood of witnessing unobstructed views of this celestial marvel. Picture yourself nestled within untouched landscapes far removed from city lights, where darkness prevails and allows nature’s grandeur to unfold before your eyes.

These secluded settings not only offer optimal conditions for viewing but also provide an opportunity for an immersive experience surrounded by pristine wilderness. You’ll find yourself enveloped by tranquility and natural beauty while eagerly anticipating each appearance of this awe-inspiring atmospheric display.

Read reviews from previous guests to ensure that the hotel provides comfortable amenities and knowledgeable staff regarding the Northern Lights.

Guest Reviews

Before finalizing your choice, take time to peruse reviews left by previous guests who have experienced staying at potential hotels under consideration in northern Norway. These first-hand accounts can offer valuable insights into whether these accommodations truly deliver what they promise concerning comfort, hospitality, and most importantly—knowledgeable guidance on observing the Northern Lights.

By reading through guest feedback, you gain access to authentic perspectives on how well-equipped each establishment is. Look out for mentions of attentive staff members who are well-versed in providing information about local aurora forecasts and ideal viewing spots—essential factors that significantly enhance your overall experience.


Congratulations! You’ve now gained a comprehensive understanding of the enchanting phenomenon of the Northern Lights in Norway. From learning about the optimal season for witnessing this natural wonder to discovering the best accommodations and essential tips for maximizing your chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis, you’re well-equipped to embark on an unforgettable adventure. Now, armed with practical advice for choosing a Northern Lights hotel and capturing stunning photos, it’s time to plan your trip and experience the magic firsthand. So, pack your bags, keep an eye on the forecast, and get ready to be awestruck by nature’s mesmerizing light show in northern Norway!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights In Norway?

The optimal season for witnessing the Northern Lights in Norway is from late September to late March. During this period, there are longer hours of darkness and clearer skies, increasing your chances of experiencing this natural wonder.

2. How Can I Maximize My Chances Of Seeing The Northern Lights?

To maximize your chances of seeing the Northern Lights, choose accommodations away from light pollution, stay for a few nights to increase opportunities, and monitor aurora forecasts. Engage in outdoor activities during nighttime as they provide more viewing opportunities.

3. What Factors Affect The Visibility Of The Aurora Borealis?

Visibility of the Aurora Borealis can be affected by weather conditions such as cloud cover and precipitation. Light pollution from nearby cities or towns can also diminish visibility. Considering these factors when planning your trip to view the Northern Lights is essential.

4. Where Are Some Prime Locations For Viewing The Aurora Borealis In Northern Norway?

Northern Norway offers prime locations like Tromsø, Lofoten Islands, and Finnmark for viewing the Aurora Borealis. These regions boast clear skies and minimal light pollution, providing ideal conditions for experiencing this breathtaking phenomenon.

5. How Do I Capture Stunning Photos Of The Northern Lights?

Capturing photos of the Northern Lights requires a sturdy tripod, long exposure settings on your camera, and patience. Experiment with different shutter speeds and ISO settings to find what works best based on current lighting conditions.



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