We’ve all seen photos of this incredible light display, but how many of us have actually seen these colorful Aurorae in person? If experiencing the Northern Lights is on your bucket list, you’ve come to the right place. Discover all you need to know to witness this beautiful light show in Norway with our complete Northern Lights in Norway guide.
What are the Northern Lights?
The Northern Lights are caused by electrically charged particles from the Sun entering the atmosphere. As these particles are caught in the Earth’s magnetic field, they accelerate towards the North Pole to create the Northern Lights
Green, blue, pink and purple lights can be seen shining across the sky in wavy patterns that reflect the lines of force in the Earth’s magnetic field. The Aurora Borealis, as the Northern Lights are also known, can start from around 130 kilometers above the surface of the Earth.
Can You See the Northern Lights in Norway?
With the top part of the country sitting within the Arctic Circle, Norway is an excellent place to see the Northern Lights.
In fact, Norway has been heralded as one of the best places on Earth to watch the Northern Lights! The Norwegian city of Tromso is a famous location to experience the beautiful Aurora Borealis.
With dark skies and long winter nights, Norway is a top choice location to enjoy this spectacular dancing light show.
What Do You Need to See the Northern Lights in Norway?
In order to enjoy the natural wonder of the Northern Lights in Norway for yourself, conditions have to be favorable. Here’s the list of factors you’ll need to make your Norwegian Northern Lights viewing party happen:
- High solar activity. As the Northern Lights are caused by charged particles from the Sun reaching Earth, solar activity needs to be high enough to cause the light show. Let’s pray for a solar storm!
- Clear skies. Cloudless skies are a must to be able to see the Northern Lights in Norway.
- Nighttime hours. During the nighttime hours, the skies are dark enough to spot this stunning light show.
- Limited light pollution. Moving away from city lights is important to limit light pollution interfering with your view of the Norwegian skies.
We recommend checking a handy Northern Lights Norway forecast before heading out to search the skies. A forecasting tool will tell you the likelihood that you’ll be able to spot the Aurorae in the sky that night, with forecasts for different cities that span over the next three days, so you can plan your Norway Northern Lights adventure in advance.
Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Norway
You may be wondering ‘when is the best time to visit Norway for the Northern Lights?’. Well, although the Northern Lights are actually active all year, they can only be spotted when the skies are dark enough for the lights to show up.
Norway’s Northern Lights season is from late September to late March. Visiting Norway between these times will give you the best chance to spot the Northern Lights for yourself.
During these months, the skies are dark in Norway from early afternoon until late morning, giving you plenty of chance to go Northern Lights hunting.
Long nights, as well as dark skies, give you the best chance to see the Northern Lights glistening up above. Nights are at their longest during the winter months of November to February, with the darkest skies also occurring in the winter season.
The best weather conditions to see the Aurora Borealis in Norway are when it’s cold and dry, as the sky will be clear of clouds.
It’s important to note that it’s not possible to spot the Northern Lights in Norway during the summer months, due to the long daylight hours. The northern part of Norway that sits within the Arctic Circle actually experiences Midnight Sun, which is 24 hours of daylight. Not optimal viewing conditions for the Northern Lights!
Where Can You See the Northern Lights in Norway?
Norway extends from 57° to 78° latitude, so it’s important to consider where exactly in Norway to go to spot the Northern Lights.
While it’s possible to see the Northern Lights across all of Norway, it’s much rarer in the south of the country. On some days, you may be able to spot the Northern Lights in Oslo and other southern areas of Norway. However, it’s much more likely that you’ll see the Northern Lights if you make a trip up to Northern Norway.
Northern Norway is the most popular place for those seeking the Aurora Borealis. The further north you are, the more chance you’ll have of spotting these breathtaking ‘curtains of light’ in the sky. Therefore, Arctic Norway (the parts of Norway that lie within the Arctic Circle) is the best place in the country for viewing the Northern Lights.
Some of the best places to view the Northern Lights in Norway are:
- Tromso. Also known as ‘the Arctic Capital’. The northerly city of Tromso is world famous for being a particularly brilliant place to spot the Northern Lights. Whether you take a hike up Fjellheisen Mountain, or simply watch from ground level, Tromoso is a beautiful place for Aurora Borealis hunting.
- Narvik. Just below Tromso, the Narvik region is deep in Fjord Norway. Travel here for dark skies away from light pollution – perfect viewing conditions!
- Bodo – Located just south of Narvik, the Bodo region is situated just above the Arctic Circle, making Bodo city and its surrounding areas brilliant Northern Lights viewing locations.
- Lofoten. The Lofoten Islands are located within the Aurora Oval, which is an area where you’re most likely to be able to see the Northern Lights. On this collection of islands, it’s possible to see the Aurora Borealis for eight months of the year.
- Kirkenes. If you’re a keen adventurer, head to Kirkenes at the very top of Norway, in the far northeastern area of the country, for an amazing chance to see the Northern Lights.
If you’re up for traveling further afield, Svalbard is an amazing place to see the Northern Lights. This collection of Norwegian islands located between Norway and the Arctic is one of the northernmost inhabited areas in the world. Perfect for viewing the Northern Lights, Svalbard is one for the most intrepid of adventurers!
Ready For Your Northern Lights in Norway Adventure?
Feeling inspired to go Northern Lights hunting yourself? Pack your bags ready for the peak Northern Lights in Norway season from September to March! All you need is a Norway campervan rental and an appetite for adventure and you’re good to go!
Traveling by campervan will give you the ultimate freedom to travel across this incredibly scenic country, from fjords to mountains to beautiful coastal towns, in search of the Northern Lights. Make your dream Northern Lights in Norway trip a reality by reserving your vehicle today!