The Northern Lights

Travel Forums Europe The Northern Lights

1. Posted by bsong65 (Budding Member 50 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hello All.

Ok, I am a Yank and I will be in Scandinavia for business.. I will be there roughly 10 Days. Now, I would really like to see the Northern Lights.

Can someone tell me the best town to see them at? Are their tours? Any info wouldbe great!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks Mates

2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5672 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Well, there is not really a best town to see the northern lights. you just have to be lucky to see it but I think in general chances are higher when you go up north. So maybe try Tromso, Kiruna or Rovaniemi, depending on which country you are.

3. Posted by Ahila (Inactive 1529 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Brian,
As Michael said, to get to see the Aurora Borealis is purely a matter of luck. That said, Kiruna is a great place to be in to see the Northern lights because you also get several other attractions that you might consider visiting while you are waiting for the aurora.

Jukkasjarvi, where the ice-hotel is and which is just half-an-hour away from Kiruna, was the place I chose to be for my aurora-watch and despite the space station predicting a 90% chance of seeing the aurora that night and waiting for nearly 6 hours on a frozen river, I did not get to see it that day but rather the following year, unexpectedly, I saw the green aurora from my apartment in Stockholm. So, basically there is much to do with luck.

The ice-hotel arranges aurora tours in such a way that you won't be disappointed even if you don't get to see it: a snow mobile ride and dinner around an open fire and then waiting for the aurora.

There is also a very old church at Jukkasjarvi and a Sami Heritage museum. If you like, you can also go to the Kiruna Space Center and the Mines.

I stayed at the Yellow House in Kiruna, which has self-catering and catering facilities and might be a comfortably, warm place to crash into after a long aurora wait in the cold. They also arrange tours. The price back then in 2001 was about 200 Kr/ day. There were several hotels in the town center as well.

There is a direct train from Stockholm to Kiruna. I was told Tromso is also very beautiful and further up north but to reach there, you will anyway have to take the train from Stockholm to Narvik, passing through Kiruna and then a bus or train from Narvik.

Rovaniemi is supposed to be a lovely Finnish village (also the famous Santa Claus tourist village) and I had planned to visit it on our way up North to Kiruna but then had to let go as it meant a deviation into Finland on our journey up north and was more expensive.

My recommendation: Go to Kiruna!

There is a website I subscribe to for updates on the Kp Index, at which there is a probability of the aurora being sighted and if you are within that magnetic zone, you have a higher probability of viewing the aurora. They even will send the updates to your mobile, if you choose that option.
Good Luck with the aurora-chasing! ;)

P.S: If you would like to read more about my trip to Kiruna, you can visit here.

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 2, 2007, at 6:00 AM by Ahila ]