There are three main areas you can see the northern lights

Aurora and milky way at Thingvellir

“Where are the northern lights?” is a very common question. Most people imagine the northern lights are at the north pole. This is not the case as can be seen on the pictures above. There is something called Magnetic North Pole – a zone that goes through countries close to the Arctic Circle as you can see on the pictures. So when you want to see the northern lights you need to get as close as possible to this zone, but remember the zone is mainly in areas that are uninhabited and difficult to access. Only couple of countries / areas are known for being the best places to see the aurora borealis.

Northern Europe

In Northern Europe the main area is the northern part of the Scandinavian countries, Norway, Sweden and Finland, but also you can go to the amazing Iceland to see it. There are some differences between these countries, especially the price for travelling and accommodation, Norway being the far most expensive but also it really depends what else you want to do while traveling to these places. You can only see the northern lights late in the evening and you want to be able to do something else in the daytimee.g. see beautiful waterfalls, glaciers or volcanoes. You can either hunt for the lights by tour from Reykjavik or spend a few nights out in the country away from the city lights. You can see the lights in Reykjavík but they are much stronger and more visible when you get away from the city lights.


Alaska is another option. A lot of people go to Fairbanks that has some hotels and tours to service the tourists wanting to see the northern lights. It has a well known university researching the phenomena – the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska. They are well known for their northern lights Alaska forecast.

North America / Canada

The third option is to go to North America or more likely all the way up to Canada. The aurora borealis can be viewed frequently at the more northern latitudes of Canada – but not much further south than 53rd parallel. Great places for viewing it in Canada are Manitoba, Yellowknife, Blachford Lake, Whitehorse in Yukon, Marsh Lake in Whitehorse area. There are also some great aurora borealis tours operators over there.