Dynamic Variation:
Offers
x

There was not an exact match for the language you toggled to. You have been redirected to the nearest matching page within this section.

Choose Language
Toggling to another language will take you to the matching page or nearest matching page within that selection.
Search & Book Sponsored Links
Search
or search all of Norway
A man sitting on a cliff whilst looking at the northern lights over Andøya in Vesterålen, Northern Norway
Northern lights in Lofoten.
Photo: Lise Haug Halvorsen

Where on earth are the top places to see the northern lights? The locals who grew up with the magic, reveal their secret spots and viewpoints.

Fed up with the usual travel experts? The ones who are eager to point you in the direction of the northern lights? What happens if you ask local wise Arctic people instead?

Northern Norway counts nearly 500,000 people, and here you’ll meet seven of them: a kayak paddler, a reindeer herder, a local radio employee, a surfer, a cultural coordinator at a hospital, a musician, and a taxi driver.

Dynamic Variation:
Dynamic Variation:
Aggie Frost with large pink sunglasses in Tromsø in Northern Norway
Aggie Frost, Tromsø.
Photo: Aggie Frost

The taxi driver in Svalbard

Wiggo Antonsen is a busy taxi driver in Longyearbyen, the administrative settlement of the Svalbard Islands which are situated halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. He is not only a local personality but also an international celebrity thanks to his stout participation in the popular BBC documentary series Life on the Edge.

”Some tourists believe they must travel to the end of the world to see the northern lights, but my motto is that there is no reason to go further than necessary. In the encompassing dark of Svalbard, the magic experience will be the same everywhere”, he says with a laugh inside his big, luxuriant beard.

Wiggo Antonsen recommends the northern lights app alert (Aurora Forecast 3D), "to avoid hits and misses.” Whilst you’re at it, he thinks you should prepare well to be able to take decent photographs of the northern lights. He strongly recommends bringing a tripod, “which will make a huge impact on the result. Trying to capture the northern lights is like striving to take a portrait of hyperactive children”, he says.

“But don’t ask me to help you. I am a taxi driver, not a photo specialist”, Wiggo states with another laugh.

"I get funny requests all the time, like when a tourist from India asked me to drive him to see a polar bear”, he tells.

“The profession of taxi driving hasn’t made me rich, but I’m here to stay.”

Wiggo Antonsen with a pipe in his mouth on Svalbard in Northern Norway
Wiggo Antonsen, Svalbard.
Photo: BBC World
Dynamic Variation:

“The colder the better. When the temperatures are low, chances of a cloud-free sky are good”, he states.

Although both cold and compact, Karasjok has three hotels and camping alternatives with modern winter-friendly lodges. Norway’s main road E6 also runs through it.

“A one hour drive towards the city of Lakselv, you will find a signposted viewing point that is also a really good spot for seeing the northern lights”, Jon Mikkel says.

“In the other direction towards Finland, still by the E6 main road, you will stumble across similarly good viewpoints”, he adds, whilst pointing out that the locals never get tired of the northern lights. Although in January, when the sun finally marks the beginning of the end of the polar night, is considered as a greater happening.

Jon Mikkel Eira, Karasjok.
Photo: Jil Yngland

The kayak paddler around Lofoten and Kvaløya

In the daytime, Anita Andresen has an ordinary administrative office job. But as soon as she is off duty, she joins a group she simply calls her “paddling friends”.

All year round, sometimes several times a week, they gather to share their passion for kayaking. It can happen around the island of Kvaløya or in the archipelago of Lofoten.

“But few things beat the sensation of kayaking whilst you see the northern lights above you and at the same time beneath you in the water, the luminous effect of what we in Norwegian call ‘morild’”, Anita explains.

Morild is a so-called milky sea effect, a glowing phosphorescent phenomenon caused by bioluminescent planktons.

Dynamic Variation:
Anita Andresen on a kayak below the Northern Lights close to Tromsø in Northern Norway
Anita Andresen, Tromsø.
Photo: Elements Arctic Camp
Dynamic Variation:
Anders Stave, Andøya.
Photo: Anders Stave

The radio employee at the radio of The North Cape

Nature photographer Kjell Bendik Pedersen works at Radio Nordkapp, a radio station full of charming, local stories with a loyal audience in the larger area around the world-famous viewpoint at The North Cape.

Dynamic Variation:

“At the beautiful Seibukta bay, there is a parking spot along the E69 road that is cleared of snow during winter. There, you can observe the northern lights in peaceful surroundings”, Kjell Bendik explains.

“I’m also a fan of the fjord of Tufjorden on the coast of the island of Magerøya, a viewpoint on the way to The North Cape, because the undisturbed landscape lets me work with time lapse without interruption”, he says.

Kjell Bendik lives in the area’s far biggest city, Honningsvåg with a population of around 2,000 people. But around The North Cape, you’ll also find small towns and places like Kåfjord, Repvåg, Skarsvåg, Nordvågen, Kjelvik, Valan, Gjesvær, and Kamøyvær.

Dynamic Variation:

Inger Lise’s lights in Troms county

In the vast county of Troms, you’ll find native Inger Lise Ebeltoft, a cultural coordinator at Tromsø’s hospital and former international top model in Milan, Paris, and New York. She has reunited with Tromsø and the northern lights of her childhood and youth.

Inger Lise sees a lot of opportunities to go to the countryside around Tromsø to avoid disturbing her northern light experience with urban lightings.

“For seeing the northern lights right northwest of Tromsø, I recommend driving approximately one hour to the charming, small village of Hansnes, and eventually to jump on the ferry to the large island of Vannøya or to the peaceful, smaller island of Karlsøy”, Inger Lise says.

“In the west of Tromsø you can go by car or bus to the vast island of Kvaløya, which has plenty of good, crowd-free spots, like the small towns of Kvaløyvågen and Skulsfjord, and the outermost beautiful peninsula of Sommarøy”, she continues.

In the opposite direction eastwards, you will find the fjord of Balsfjord, which is reachable within an hour even when you go all the way to its inner end and the village of Nordkjosbotn.

Inger Lise grew up lying on her back in the garden outside of her family’s house by the waterfront staring at the lights. “And for sure, I still find the northern lights mysteriously interesting, because they appear different every time”, she says.

Inger Lise Ebeltoft in Tromsø  in Northern Norway
Inger Lise Ebeltoft, Tromsø.
Photo: Private
Download the NorwayLights app

A northern lights forecast that helps you find the best time to see the lights.

iPhone: Download NorwayLights
Android: Download NorwayLights
Windows: Download NorwayLights

Dynamic Variation:

Top places to go

Check out some of the best places to see the northern lights.

The best places to see the northern lights
Cross the Arctic Circle and get access to Helgeland’s thousands of islands and fairytale-like mountain formations and pristine snowsure… Read more
Northern lights in Helgeland
Select
    Show Details
    Statens Kartverk, Geovekst og kommuner - Geodata AS

    Best deals from our partners

    Book your next Norwegian holiday adventure now.

    • Winter adventure and northern light by Expa Travel
      Credits
      Winter adventure and northern light by Expa Travel
      Photo: Skaarungen
      A Winter fairytale in Norway
      Experience the northern lights? Travel Vesterålen and Lofoten in Northern Norway and Oslo in the South.

      Lofoten and Vesterålen are magical during the winter. From January to March, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the unique light in Lofoten – hopefully the northern lights too! We offer a range of great experiences every day. You can end the day with a sauna, hot tub or jacuzzi with a view out over the sea. | Expa Travel

    • 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

    • Aurora Dinner Cruise by Brim Explorer
      Credits
      Aurora Dinner Cruise by Brim Explorer
      Photo: Romain Charrier
      Aurora Dinner Cruise
      Arctic tapas under the Northern Lights

      Join our Northern Lights Cruise and enjoy a delicious arctic tapas menu from our local partner in Tromsø while we look for the Northern Lights! | Brim Explorer.

    • Crystal Lavvu Stay with Whale Watching and Northern Lights by Book Nordics
      Credits
      Crystal Lavvu Stay with Whale Watching and Northern Lights by Book Nordics
      Photo: Book Nordics
      Crystal Lavvu Stay with Whale Watching and Northern Lights
      Spend your night in a Crystal Lavvu under the Northern Lights

      Spend your night in a Crystal Lavvo in the Lyngen Alps. We pick you up in Tromsø and take you out on an adventure of a lifetime! Dinner, breakfast, transportation and whale watching included. | Book Nordics

    • Sleigh Ride Under the Northern
      Credits
      Sleigh Ride Under the Northern
      Photo: Book Nordics
      5-Day Northern Lights and Winter Adventure in Lyngen
      Exciting winter activities and northern lights

      Want to gaze up at the northern lights dancing in the pitch black sky? Or swing crampons and an ice axe deep into a frozen waterfall? How about a cross-country skiing course followed by a trip in remote mountains? Or dog sledding? This trip lets you experience all of these activities and more! | Hvitserk

    • Lofoten & Northern Lights by 50 Degrees North
      Credits
      Lofoten & Northern Lights by 50 Degrees North
      Photo: Piotr Krzeslak / Shutterstock
      Lofoten & Northern Lights by 50 Degrees North
      Authentic experience in the Lofoten Archipelago

      4-day tour with Aurora Chase Guided tour, RIB boat tour,  and accommodation  in a traditional fisherman's cabin. | 50 Degrees North

    • 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

    • Northern Lights Stay at Lyngen Lodge by 50 Degrees North
      Credits
      Northern Lights Stay at Lyngen Lodge by 50 Degrees North
      Photo: Graham Austick / Lyngen Lodge
      Northern Lights Stay at Lyngen Lodge
      Mountain Lodge and winter adventures under the Northern Lights

      5-day stay in boutique lodge with transfers, dog sledding, all meals, snowmobiling, and sea safari. | 50 Degrees North

    • Magical Northern Light by Up Norway
      Credits
      Magical Northern Light by Up Norway
      Photo: Sorrisniva
      Magical Northern Lights
      Go dogsledding and whalewatching

      This journey encourages you to create your own magical connection in Alta, going on adventures such as dogsledding, snowmobiling and ice-fishing, and seeking the illuminations of the polar night. | Up Norway.

    • Tromsø
      Credits
      Tromsø
      Photo: Truls Tiller
      Tromsø Winter Break
      Tromsø, Northern Lights and Dog Sledding

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

    • Tromsø Wildlife & Northern Lights by Authentic Scandinavia
      Credits
      Tromsø Wildlife & Northern Lights by Authentic Scandinavia
      Photo: Brim Explorer
      Tromsø Wildlife & Northern Lights
      Tromsø City Break with a Wildlife Cruise

      4-day break to Tromsø including a wildlife cruise and hunt for the northern lights. With one day free, you will have the opportunity to add additional winter activities like dog sledding, a reindeer safari, and more. | Authentic Scandinavia

    See it for yourself

    More things to do under the northern lights

    Filter your search and check out the offers below.

    ×
    • Filters
      Filter Your Search
      TripAdvisor Symbol
      • Show More
      • No available filters
      • Show More
      • No available filters
      Clear Filters
    • View
    • Sort By
    Filter Your Search
    TripAdvisor Symbol
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    Clear Filters
    Back To Top
    Your Recently Viewed Pages

    Back to top