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Northern Lights in Tromsø
A man is ski touring under the northern lights in Northern Norway
Northern Lights in Tromsø.
Photo: Ismaele Tortella / Visit Norway
Ski touring under the northern lights.
Photo: Lars Mathisen / Visit Tromsø
Watch the Auroras dance

Northern lights in Norway

To experience the starry, limitless sky, and the unbelievable colours that move across the Arctic sky, few places on earth offer more ways to witness the northern lights than Norway.

Where can you see the northern lights?

Between late September and late March, Northern Norway is dark from early afternoon until late morning, and the northern lights frequently soar across the sky. Our bold claim is that this part of Norway, with its multiple islands, deep fjords and steep mountains, is among the worlds most beautiful and interesting places to see the northern lights.

As hundreds of thousands of people live in this huge geographical area, the region of Northern Norway has everything from cities with a lively night scene and great museums to small fishing villages and vast, tranquil spaces without light pollution.

This means that in addition to hunting for the northern lights, you can go winter fishing, hiking, skiing, and dog sledding, experience the Sami culture, or join a whale or wildlife safari. Afterwards, you can relax in top-notch hotels and eat incredible local food. Or maybe you’ve joined a northern lights safari and get to eat your meal in a traditional lavvo?

A person snowshoeing under the northern lights in Tromsø, Northern Norway
Snowshoeing in Tromsø.
Photo: Kari Schibevaag / Visit Tromso

What are the northern lights?

On a very basic level, the phenomenon is quite simple to explain. It is created from a collision between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the atmosphere of the earth.

The lights, which are also called aurora borealis, show up at night when the sky is dark. It’s like a celestial ballet of light dancing across the night sky, with a colour palette of green, blue, and sometimes even pink and violet. 

But even though you can’t take the lights for granted – it is, after all, a natural phenomenon, just like the weather – you are still guaranteed to experience magical light in Northern Norway all through the polar night. On clear days, you can see beautiful sunset colours in the south while the sky to the north is a deep midnight blue. In “the blue hour” at twilight, the snowy landscape is bathed in a glassy, deep blue colour. And even if the Auroras don´t dance, experiencing the starry, limitless sky can make you reconnect with the universe...

Light pollution obscures the night sky in more than half of Europe. If you leave the lights of the city behind, you can see much more of our universe with the naked eye.

When can you see the auroras? 

The aurora borealis can be seen when the sky is clear and dark, and the optimal conditions are usually when the weather is cold and dry. Then, you just have to cross your fingers for a sun storm, sending out some magical particles in your direction... 

If you will have to wait a bit for The Green Diva to show up, don´t worry. There are plenty of other unforgettable things to do in Northern Norway 

NorwayLights

Install the NorwayLights app – and get access to a 3 day northern light forecast that helps you find the best time and place to see the northern lights. 

iPhone: NorwayLights for iOS 
Android: NorwayLights for Android

Northern lights forecast

More about the northern lights

Meet the people under the northern lights

Watch these cool activities 

Take advantage of top offers

See our selection of offers from companies that work hard to make you happy all through your trip.

  • Polarbear sign at Svalbard
    Credits
    Polarbear sign at Svalbard
    Photo: Hanne Feyling / Visit Norway
    Svalbard Break
    Experience winter & spring in Svalbard.

    Go on a 4-day break to Longyearbyen in Svalbard during winter and spring, including dog sledding and a snowmobile safari to Tempelfjorden. | Authentic Scandinavia

  • Northern Lights in Svolvær
    Credits
    Northern Lights in Svolvær
    Photo: Lofoten Lights
    Northern Lights Tour of the Lofoten
    Save 10% by joining our Adventure Club

    Join us for an evening of exploring the Lofoten islands after dark! See the northern lights from lookout points known only to locals, and take amazing photos in this location overflowing with natural beauty. | Book Nordics

  • Sailboat sailing at the northern sea
    Credits
    Sailboat sailing at the northern sea
    Photo: Arctic Cruise in Norway
    4-Day Whale Safari and Northern Lights Adventure
    Save 10% by joining our Adventure Club

    Join us on a magical 4-day adventure on the water to explore wild nature, magic mountains, and beautiful fjords. Experience the northern lights at sea, far away from the light pollution on land. | Book Nordics

  • Northern Lights seen from Camp Tamok - Bardufoss
    Credits
    Northern Lights seen from Camp Tamok - Bardufoss
    Photo: Lyngsfjord Adventure
    Northern Lights Visit at Camp Tamok
    Save 10% by joining our Adventure Club

    Join us for an evening at Camp Tamok, located a 75-minute scenic drive from Tromsø. Maximize your chances of seeing the northern lights at this remote wilderness camp featuring all the modern facilities. | Book Nordics

  • Northern lights seen from a crystal lavvu
    Credits
    Northern lights seen from a crystal lavvu
    Photo: Green Gold of Norway
    Overnight Crystal Lavvo Stay
    Save 10% by joining our Adventure Club

    Spend a night in a private crystal lavvu under the northern lights. Tromsø pick-up and return, dinner, breakfast, aurora borealis photo workshop, and whale watching tour included. | Book Nordics

  • Woman feeding a reindeer
    Credits
    Woman feeding a reindeer
    Photo: Tromsø Arctic Reindeer Experience
    Northern Lights Reindeer Sledding
    Save 10% by joining our Adventure Club

    Experience an authentic Sami reindeer safari at a remote wilderness camp, located a 75-minute scenic drive from Tromsø. Reindeer sledding, lasso throwing, Sami storytelling and reindeer feeding included. | Book Nordics

  • Hurtigruten and northern lights
    Credits
    Hurtigruten and the northern lights
    Photo: Visit Norway
    Northern Lights Cruise
    Visit Tromsø, the North Cape and Kirkenes

    6-day tour, including a return cruise from Tromsø to Kirkenes with Hurtigruten. Visit the North Cape and try winter activities including dog sledding and snowmobiling. | Authentic Scandinavia

  • A large bed in a snowhotel
    Credits
    A large bed in a snowhotel
    Photo: Visit Norway
    Kirkenes Snow Hotel
    Experience a snow hotel & winter fun

    3-day Norway winter break including an overnight stay at the Kirkenes Snow Hotel. Go on a dog sledding excursion, sample giant king crab, and more. | Authentic Scandinavia

  • Northern Lights in Svolvær
    Credits
    Northern Lights in Svolvær
    Photo: Lofoten Lights
    Northern Lights Photo Tour of the Lofoten
    Save 10% by joining our Adventure Club

    Capture the amazing northern lights against the dramatic vistas of the Lofoten Islands with your camera! Join our photo tour and explore Lofoten at night. | Book Nordics

  • Looking out from a glass dome in northern Norway
    Credits
    Camping in northern Norway
    Photo: Glød Explorer
    Aurora Canvas Dome
    Save 10% by joining our Adventure Club

    Spend a night in a glass dome under the northern lights. Wake up inside the remote pine forest of Alta overlooking majestic snow-covered mountains. Private bathroom and sauna facilities available. | Book Nordics

  • Kirkenes Snowhotel from the outside at nighttime
    Credits
    Kirkenes Snowhotel from the outside at nighttime
    Photo: Visit Norway
    Arctic Winter Adventure
    Snowhotel Kirkenes, Hurtigruten & Tromsø.

    6-day winter adventure tour including an overnight stay at Kirkenes Snow Hotel, a cruise with Hurtigruten to Tromsø, and a wide selection of optional winter activities. | Authentic Scandinavia

  • A snowhotel room in Alta
    Credits
    A snowhotel room in Alta
    Photo: Visit Norway
    Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel
    Experience Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, Alta

    3-day winter break to Alta in Northern Norway, including an overnight stay at the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel and a reindeer sledding experience. Additional winter activities can be added. | Authentic Scandinavia

  • Flåm
    Credits
    Flåm
    Photo: Berge / Knoff/Natural Light / Visitnorway.com
    A Frozen Fairytale
    A family adventure in stunning nature

    Let us take you on an adventure across our country from east to west, and north to south. Experience Norwegian-style luxury and the warmth of the northern people on this epic winter journey. | Up Norway

  • Reindeer relaxing at night with northern lights in the background
    Credits
    Reindeer relaxing at night with northern lights in the background
    Photo: Tromsø Lapland
    Overnight Reindeer and Northern Lights Tour
    Save 10% by joining our Adventure Club

    Join us for an amazing overnight reindeer sledding adventure. Spend a night in a Sami tent and see the northern lights from a secluded camp deep in the wilderness. | Book Nordics

  • Tromsø by night - winter
    Credits
    Tromsø by night - winter
    Photo: Simeone5544Foap / Visit Norway
    Tromsø Winter Break
    Tromsø, northern lights, dog sledding.

    4-day winter break to Tromsø in Northern Norway - including dog sledding and a northern lights hunt by minibus. Additional winter activities can be added. | Authentic Scandinavia

  • Woman feeding a reindeer
    Credits
    Woman feeding a reindeer
    Photo: Tromsø Arctic Reindeer Experience
    Reindeer and Northern Lights Adventure
    Save 10% by joining our Adventure Club

    Walk among 300 reindeer and join us on a sleigh ride under the northern lights. Three-course dinner in a candlelit Sami Gamme tent is included. Pick-up & drop-off in central Tromsø. | Book Nordics

  • A sami man on a sledge dragged by a reindeer. Vesterålen, Norway
    Credits
    Vesterålen
    Photo: Trym Ivar Bergsmo / nordnorge.com/Sortland
    A Frozen Adventure
    Discover the magic of everyday life

    Snowy adventures with magical animals and people await. Experience Norwegian-style luxury, authentic Sami culture, and epic winter activities that will turn your fairytale dreams into reality. | Up Norway

  • An electric fjord cruiser at the docks
    Credits
    An electric fjord cruiser at the docks
    Photo: Brim Explorer
    Aurora Dinner and Fjord Cruise
    Save 10% by joining our Adventure Club

    Join us on a quite electric ship for the northern lights cruise of a lifetime. See the aurora at sea, far away from the light pollution on land, and enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by award-winning Mathallen restaurant. | Book Nordics

  • Aurora borealis over Lyngenfjord, Northern Norway
    Credits
    Lyngenfjord with northern lights
    Photo: Jan R. Olsen
    Northern Lights in the Lyngen Alps
    Experience Arctic luxury and adventure

    Fill your days with adventures including a northern lights safari, dog sledding excursion, and a snowshoeing/ice fishing experience that showcases the full wonder of Norwegian nature. | Up Norway

  • Nordlys over reine i Lofoten
    Credits
    Nordlys over Reine i Lofoten
    Photo: Alex Conu / Visitnorway.com
    Lofoten from Top to Bottom
    Dive into the very best of Lofoten

    Stay in a modern version of a traditional fisherman's cabin, experience exclusive hiking and fishing adventures led by a professional instructor, and hunt the northern lights with a local photographer. | Up Norway

  • An amazing night on the bridge to Reine on Lofoten islands
    Credits
    Northern lights in Lofoten
    Photo: Johny Goerend / Unsplash
    Northern Lights and Lofoten Tour
    Authentic experiences in the Lofoten Archipelago

    Ready for an authentic experience in the Lofoten Archipelago - a secret gem in Northern Norway? This 4-day tour includes a RIB boat sea eagle safari, evening aurora hunt, and a stay in your very own fisherman's cabin by the sea. | 50 Degrees North

  • The northern lights in Sommarøy
    Credits
    Northern lights in Sommarøy - Tromsø
    Photo: Bjørn Are Andreassen - Unsplash
    Tromsø & the Northern Lights in Sommarøy
    City and oceanside stays

    Experience the magic of the Norwegian Arctic on this 6-day tour. Keep an eye out for aurora from your very own fisherman's cabin in the coastal village of Sommarøy, about an hour from the city. 2-nights in Tromsø, private transfers, dog sledding and northern lights safaris are included. | 50 Degrees North

  • Manshausen in Steigen on a sunny summer day
    Credits
    Manshausen, Steigen
    Photo: Thomas T. Kleiven
    Arctic Tranquility and Winter Panoramas
    Experience a luxury winter adventure

    Stay in a truly unique space boasting breathtaking vistas from panoramic windows. Discover spectacular natural landscapes and phenomenon during winter days and colourful polar nights. | Up Norway

  • Man standing on deck looking at the northern lights
    Credits
    Man standing on cruiseship - northern lights
    Photo: Visit Norway
    Short Winter Cruise
    Experience Tromsø and a Hurtigruten Cruise

    4-day tour including a cruise with Hurtigruten. Choose from a wide selection of winter activities, including dog sledding and northern lights excursions. | Authentic Scandinavia

  • Northern lights seen from Lyngen Alps
    Credits
    Northern lights seen from Lyngen Alps
    Photo: Lyngen Lodge - Graham Austick
    Lyngen Alps Northern Lights Adventure
    Save 10% by joining our Adventure Club

    From Tromsø, ride a snowmobile along the scenic Lyngenfjord and Lyngen Alps and spend a night in a private crystal lavvu under the northern lights. Dinner, breakfast, and aurora borealis photo workshop included. | Book Nordics

More things to do in Northern Norway

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