The Best Time and Place to see the Northern Lights in Norway

The Best Time and Place to see the Northern Lights in Norway


Are you seeking a northern lights adventure in Norway? This extraordinary country is perfect for travel enthusiasts and nature lovers looking for a thrilling combination of outdoor adventures chasing the fascinating aurora borealis across different regions of Norway.

With plenty of spots across the Arctic Circle that has little to no light pollution, Norway is among some of the world’s best places to see the northern lights in winter. Find the ribbons of vibrant greens and deep reds shooting across the star-lit skies by Tromsø northern lights tours or walk through the Lofoten Islands to see the best northern lights. With our expert knowledge and first-hand experience, we know the best places and best time in Norway for the northern lights.

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Best time to see the Northern Lights in Norway

The best time to see the northern lights in Norway is Polar Night, a time of year in the country where you can see the dance of the aurora at any time of the day. Polar Night lasts between late November and late January, when the sun does not rise, and the green ribbons can be seen both day and night. Whether you’re just waking up, sledding through the snow with a pack of husky’s or enjoying an evening cup of hot chocolate, there is a chance that you’ll see them across the winter sky.

Although you’re also likely to see the northern lights in springtime, the autumnal months are some of the best times of the year to see the northern lights in Norway. Between September and October, the activity of the aurora is at its highest, displaying a captivating show of neon green ribbons, purple bands, and vibrant corona across the night sky. Be sure to head out and catch them between 11 p.m and 2 a.m for the best show.

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Best places to see the Northern Lights in Norway

If you’re wondering where to go to see the northern lights, Norway is bursting with excellent spots, especially the Arctic Circle. As you travel further north, you’re more likely to see brighter activity and this region is packed with regions of unpolluted sky for you to see the aurora at its best. 

Norway is the country for the best outdoor adventures, with towns and cities offering unforgettable activities that make for an exceptional Norway holiday. But the staggering backdrops of rolling mountains and breathtaking Norwegian fjords are not the only attraction to these arctic cities. Each Norwegian city has its own spectacular show of phenomenal northern lights, and our travel experts can help you decide which region is perfect for your winter adventure.

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Tromsø, known as Norway’s Arctic capital, is located in the heart of the northern lights zone, and considered one of the best places in the world to see the mighty aurora borealis. Choosing a holiday in Tromsø during winter gives you the opportunity to see some of Norway’s most captivating northern lights, boasting a sighting success rate of over 90%!

During winter months, chase the northern lights in Tromsø either on land or at sea with expert tour guides, showing you to some of the best spots in the city. On land, you can enjoy an indulgent hot meal around a campfire with like-minded travellers whilst soaking up the enchanting views of the sky lit up in green, red and purple ribbons. If you choose to view the lights at sea, enjoy a boat trip aboard the hybrid electric catamaran, sailing you through the icy sea for excellent northern light views whilst dining on Nordic tapas.

Best place to stay in Tromsø:

Finding the right hotel for you is important to us at Regent. We want you to have the best adventure during your hunt for the northern lights, and some hotels in Tromsø can offer the perfect respite in between.

Radisson Blu Tromsø is the perfect base for your Norway escape, providing effortless access to surrounding Norwegian attractions and the quaint city of Tromsø. Not only do you have no limit to luxury in this hotel with traditional restaurants and welcoming bars, but you also have a rooftop fitness centre with a sauna and solarium that offer breathtaking views of Tromsø’s waterfront and framing mountains.

What to do in Tromsø:

Because the northern lights are so vibrant in Tromsø, there are plenty of opportunities around the city that makes for the perfect aurora-chasing adventure. You can even combine Tromsø with Spitsbergen for the ultimate northern lights tour with unique winter adventures included. Enjoy this Tromsø and Spitsbergen twin centre tour with Regent for cultural city tours, husky sledding, snowmobiling and more.

If you want to stay in Tromsø, the city enjoy a winter short break, discovering the natural wonders at the Aurora Basecamp Safari, and even ending your trip with skiing course.

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Oslo is known for being Norway’s cultural hub. As the capital city of Norway, you’ll be situated at the best starting point for many Norwegian holidays. Northern lights excursions are easy to embark on from Oslo, with surrounding areas with less light pollution, this arctic adventure is the excellent aurora hunting ground. Oslo is one of Norway’s popular regions to begin your northern lights chase.

See the spectacular dance of the aurora whilst enjoying other activities from Oslo. Not only can they make for a scenic backdrop, but you might see them crystal clear whilst sailing along the majestic Norwegian fjords with a twin centre escape.

Best place to stay in Oslo:

Your Norway holiday is elevated by an excellently situated, luxury hotel such as Thon Hotel Opera. Being located in the heart of Oslo is perfect for not only being put in the heart of the cultural capital of Norway, but you’ll have easy access to the Oslo Central Station, perfect if you’re looking to explore Norway further. Here, you can enjoy the traditional dishes at the Scala restaurant, and majestic Norwegian views whilst sipping on a drink of your choice at the outdoor terrace.  

Things to do in Oslo:

Enjoy the Oslo and Lofoten northern lights explorer and combine another arctic escape with your visit to the Norwegian capital city to get the best out of your northern lights adventure in the country. Opt to soak in the magic of the Lofoten Islands after embarking on your city break in Oslo. The Opera House and sculpture-clad Vigeland Park is the perfect starting place before heading to your mountainous adventure in the spectacular fjords of Lofoten.

Alternatively, enjoy a short break in the heart of Oslo before flying to Kirkenes for a dream-like winter wonderland holiday. Enjoy staying in ice rooms, dining on exquisite dishes and ultimate northern lights experiences.

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Lofoten Islands

Lofoten is known for being a picturesque archipelago of Norway, with quaint fishing villages at the hilt of the cascading snow-capped mountains, painted in red to contrast the earth toned giants. The Lofoten Islands are the perfect place for the weary traveller to reconnect with nature, as the islands are enclosed in Norwegian fjords alive with marine life such as sea eagles and majestic whales including orcas.

On your exciting journey to find the northern lights, Lofoten Islands are among some of the best places in Norway to see them. Lofoten is located on the auroral oval, which means you can see the belt of light around the geomagnetic poles whilst enjoying typical Norwegian fun from hiking to snow-sledding.

Where to stay in Lofoten:

Take to the Svolvaer Harbour with a stay at Svinoya Rorbuer, just a short walk away from the town centre. This unique accommodation is fully equipped with a kitchen and relaxing lounge area where you can relax after a long day exploring. You can even choose a cabin with a firepit to warm up during winter, and a balcony to spot the northern lights cascade through the star-lit sky.

Alternatively, you can stay in the idyllic centre of Svolvær, an arctic paradise in the heart of Lofoten. Thon Hotel Lofoten offers unparalleled views of the sweeping sea, and you can dine on local cuisine including stockfishk, cheese and local lamb.

Things to do in Lofoten:

For a unique adventure in the north of Norway, opt to voyage from Bergen (the capital of the fjords) to the cultural Trondheim, passing through the Lofoten Islands and many more Norwegian regions along the way. Not only will you be passing through some of the world’s most picturesque landscapes of Norway’s Glacial Fjords, but you’ll embark on a Havila cruise will be lit up in a magical display of greens each night.

On land, you can explore a collection of unusual things to do in Lofoten. Enjoy a game of golf in the midnight sun, go horse-back riding to explore the islands and even knit your own gloves under the northern lights!

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If you’re looking for a holiday that is unique to the rest of Norway and offers a remote atmosphere compared to the country’s busier regions, opt for a Kirkenes holiday. Immerse in the unspoilt feel of this far north-eastern corner of Norway, where you can encounter wild moose and reindeer that roam free, and embark on some of the most awe-inspiring fjord and northern lights trips during the winter months.

Kirkenes is so remote, you’ll feel as though you have travelled to the top of the world, elevated by the mystical sights of staggering mountains, snow-clad trees and star lit skies, vibrant in the unpolluted night sky.

Where to stay in Kirkenes:

Snowhotel Kirkenes is excellent for escaping the bustle of life and winding down in the soothing rhythms of the Norwegian forest and mountains, coated in a soothing blanket of pure-white snow. With the majestic views of the fjord sprawled in front of the hotel, you won’t be short of extraordinary views.

This hotel offers the unique option to spend a night in -4 °C room, as well as enjoying a warmer nights’ sleep in the Gamme Cabins. You’ll feel as though you’re in a traditional hunting hut found in the Sami areas, and with underfloor heating and a large window opening up to a panoramic view of the aurora borealis, you’ll experience nothing short of the true Norwegian experience.

Things to do in Kirkenes:

Board the Havila Winter Cruise to voyage though the Norwegian Fjords, perfect for chasing the aurora along the northern coast. Cruising through the ocean will allow you to see the northern lights, where the sky has less light pollution. Not only will you be seeing the aurora’s magnificent dance, but you’ll be immersed in the true nature of Norway, surrounded by dramatic landscapes of steep mountain sides and high mountain peaks as well as deep fjords.


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Is seeing the northern lights at their best on your bucket list?

Make your Norwegian trip the best it can be with the expert guidance from our travel specialists. From tailor-making your aurora borealis hunt with spectacular tours through Norway, get in touch with our Travel Specialists at Regent who can personalise your trip for you.

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