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Wanting to see the Northern Lights

I have just read through 8 pages of information on this site (Sweden) and can't find anything about the Northern Lights. My husband and I are senior citizens, and are looking for a way to see the them, as well as some of the countries. Does anyone have a suggestion? A tour possibly? Am I looking at the wrong country? I just ordered RS's Scandinavia book, so hopefully I'll be learning more, but I'd love some personal suggestions. Thanks!

Posted by
5146 posts

Is your priority seeing the Aurora borealis, or visiting Sweden? If its the former, then perhaps concentrate your research on the locations, and times of the year, with the highest probability of seeing them. Heres a link to get you started:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/top-10/7-aurora-destinations/

But even in the right place and season, there's absolutely NO guarantee that you'll see them at all. They aren't like Old Faithful. Alaska and Northern Canada are closer to home

Or go to Sweden, or Iceland, or Norway and enjoy visiting the country, and treat a possible Aurora Borealis sitting as a bonus.

Posted by
6113 posts

I read an article the other day suggesting that autumn is the best chance at seeing the lights as it’s usually less cloudy.

Generally, the further north you are, the greater the chance of success and I was told that you need to go for a week for a chance of seeing them once - this was absolutely accurate! Be prepared for some late, cold nights - we went out at 11pm and hung around for 2-3 hours most nights.

Posted by
6690 posts

To see the Northern lights you only need to go outdoors, look up, and have a bit of luck. In general, the further north you are, the better. Northern Sweden is a good place to watch them, the most popular place is probably Abisko for a number of reasons. It is along the rail line, so easy to reach with daily overnight trains from southern Sweden. It is far from any larger towns, so not a lot of light pollution. And the risk of clouds obstructing the view is low. And as a bonus, you can have dinner at the Sky station on top of the nearby mountain Nuolja (900 m.a.s.l.) while watching the lights. https://www.auroraskystation.se/en/

Posted by
5690 posts

I lived in Stockholm for 2 years and never saw the northern lights. To have a better chance, you would need to go north at the right time of year.

Posted by
10 posts

I worked in Haparanda 2001 to 2002 and the first time I saw Northern light up here was in December 2001. It was a big surprise for me. I just forgot everything and stared up in the sky. I think the time where about 16:00 in the afternoon. My workmates up here just laughed at me like I was an idiot. They asked me if I've never seent this before. They had a very good time. For me it looked like they often see Northern light up here during winter and mostly in November/December. I give you some tips on https://citygbg.nu/travel/bike/bicykle-tours/haparanda/restaurangkukkola.php

Posted by
63 posts

To have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights you need to go to a part of the world that falls within the strongest magnetic field of the earth, and you need to go in the winter. The strong magnetic field wraps around the earth through northern Canada, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Russia. There are lots of Northern Lights trips you can take, including a cruise that goes up the coast of Norway that sounds nice. I took a Northern Lights trip through Road Scholar that went to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, which is apparently one of the best places to see the lights because they don't have the problem with clouds that is common in Norway and Iceland. You might want to take a look at the Road Scholar website and look at that tour. You should know that in the northern climates in the winter it is very, very cold, though it is easy to deal with that by having the right clothing.