Northern Lights in Norway
by Ola Berg, 02 July, 2022
Where in Norway can the northern lights be seen?
Theoretically, the northern lights can be seen in all of Norway. It is, however, a longshot to not travel above the arctic circle if the northern lights are your primary reason to go.
Tromsø is considered the main hub for travelers seeking the northern lights. Tromsø is called “the capital of the north” due to it being the biggest (most populated) city in Arctic Norway. From Tromsø you will find various activities and attractions as well as connecting travel options to more remote aurora destinations like the glass igloo hotel Lyngen North .
More than often, travelers seeking the northern lights will combine their stay in Northern Norway with many different destinations like Tromsø, Lyngen, Alta and Kirkenes.
When can you see the northern lights in Norway?
The northern lights can be seen from the very end of August to the beginning of April. The nights aren’t really pitch dark until mid-september, so it is wise to wait until then if you have the possibility. The amount of darkness at night will follow a almost fixed seasonal pattern while the aurora can vary immensely in intensity. The brighter the aurora is, the less darkness you’ll need to see it. If you have the chance, always go for dark nights and hope for intense auroras.
To see the aurora, you will need Astronomical Twilight or Night. See the sun graph for Tromsø .
Northern Lights season in Norway
What is the best time to visit Norway for northern lights?
As mentioned above, you will need dark nights and clear skies to see the aurora. If you book sometime between mid-September to late-March, your chances are great. Below is a description on what to expect at different times throughout the aurora season at the glass igloo hotel Lyngen North.
September - October:
The nights will be noticeably longer and darker every night. The days can be beautiful with bright sunshine and snow covered mountain tops. It can be snow on the ground at this time, but it is not common to be able to do snow activities like dog sledding and snowshoeing during this period.
Temperatures between +15ºc and -4ºc
Aurora window of opportunity on the 1st of September: 2 hours
Aurora window of opportunity on the 31st of October: 12 hours
November - December:
The nights are at their longest during the period, in fact, after the 28th of November, there is no more daylight until the 22nd of January. The snow usually settles on the ground for the winter in this period, allowing for outdoor activities like dog sledding , snowshoeing , snowmobiling and more.
Towards the end of November, just before the sun disappears you can experience beautiful pink sunsets above the Lyngen Alps.
Temperatures between +8ºc and -12ºc
Aurora window of opportunity on the 1st of November: 12 hours
Aurora window of opportunity on the 31st of December: 16 hours
January - February:
The days will once more start to get brighter until the sun finally appears again around the 22nd of January.
There is usually a thick layer of snow on the ground allowing for exciting outdoor activities. It is probably the most beautiful time to visit during the winter. That is, if you like a mix of snow, northern lights and sunshine.
Temperature: between +1ºc and -15ºc
Aurora window of opportunity on the 1st of January: 13 hours
Aurora window of opportunity on the 28th of February: 10 hours
This is usually the last month travelers with aurora on their minds will visit Norway. The days are comfortably long and you can expect excellent snow conditions for doing outdoor activities. The northern lights can be visible until mid-April, although, when there is no more night you will have a brighter horizon making the less intense aurora become invisible.
Temperature: between +8ºc and -10ºc
Aurora window of opportunity on the 1st of March: 10 hours
Aurora window of opportunity on the 31st of March: 5 hours
Northern Lights igloos in Norway