10 Best Places to Capture the Amazing Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)

The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis is a natural light in the Earth’s sky that can be seen in the high-latitude regions in the northern hemisphere.

4 years ago
10 Best Places to Capture the Amazing Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)

Have you ever seen beautiful colored lights like ribbons swirling in the sky? Several times! These beautiful lights are visible at night, spring, and early winters. But do you know how these lights are caused?

An aurora or commonly referred to as the northern lights and polar lights are the result of the collision between the charged particles from the sun that enters the earth’s atmosphere and collide with nitrogen and oxygen. The lights are known as Aurora australis in the south and Aurora borealis in the north.

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The beautiful lights can be seen several times in the northern hemisphere. The vibrant hues of red, green, violent, and others dancing in the sky give a surreal experience. The northern lights show a natural phenomenon that can’t be missed and also rare to capture. Several places in the world show this beautiful dance of lights in the sky.

Have you visited any? If not, but wanted to visit, then check the below list that includes the places where you can see the northern lights.

1. Fairbanks, Alaska

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If you have never seen the northern lights, then visit Fairbanks in Alaska to capture this surreal moment. The city is situated inside the Auroral Oval around the north pole. You can expect this breathtaking view on the clear nights during aurora season, which falls from 21st August to May. Even the experts or locals can’t predict the exact time when you can see the northern lights.

So, it is advised to visitors to keep an eye on the clouds whenever they are out to enjoy. Several tour companies in Fairbanks offers the tour of seeing the northern lights. Enjoy this breathtaking view of the lights and also get tips about how to click the best pictures of this stunning Aurora Borealis.

Other activities that you can enjoy in the city are a ride on the Riverboat, a visit to Pioneer Park, Museum of the North, Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center, and others.

2. Lapland, Finland

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Capturing the beautiful view of the northern lights is an unforgettable experience. It can be visible nearly 200 nights a year or on any other clear night. Lapland is not the only location where you can click amazing pictures of the northern lights, but it is the best site to see it. According to travel experts, the right time to experience the northern lights in Finland is from October to April, and the right location is Northern Lapland.

You can find the northern lights at several places in Finland. Head towards snow-crowded pines, Saariselkä (a village in Finland), Ylläs (a resort), and Levi (ski resort with night wildlife). Plan your visit to Finland during autumn to see the magnificent northern lights. Also, don’t forget to watch the stunning light show from a glass igloo at Santa’s Hotel in Luosto.

3. Reykjavik, Iceland

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This particular phenomenon can be seen in Iceland during the wintertime, where they appear in several vibrant shades and intensity. The light twirl in the multi-shades across the night sky.

One of the common and the best places to see the northern lights in Iceland is Reykjavik. Capture the lights from the villas in Selfoss (a town in southern Iceland). September to April is the best time to see the aurora borealis.

The next thing that you can’t miss visiting in Iceland is the prominent landmark Perlan. It was earlier a cluster of hot water tanks and now converted to a building. It has a restaurant, a planetarium, and also hosts an exhibition.

From there, you can see Keilir Volcano and the mountain of Reykjavik, Esja. Being located on the top of the hill, it offers a stunning view of Iceland.

4. The Upper Peninsula, Michigan

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Capture the dazzling pictures of the northern lights from the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. Besides being the best place to click the northern lights, Michigan is home to over 300 waterfalls, 12000 inland lakes, and 3000 miles of trails.

Throughout the summer evenings, the visitors are entertained by the meteor showers. March is the best month to see the northern lights. Also, spring brings some solar activities when the temperature begins to warm. The upper peninsula provides amazing views due to the night skies.

Michigan is one of the best places to visit in 2019. It has a wide range of attractions where couples and families can enjoy themselves. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a great place to take the boat tour. Walk on the paved pathways and climb the stairs to catch the exotic view of the Tahquamenon Falls through different angles.

5. Tromso, Norway

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Tromso in Norway is a unique location situated over 300km North of the Arctic Circle and has stable weather, making it the best place to capture the northern lights. The locals suggest that the best time to visit Tromso to see this natural phenomenon is between October to March. It has a milder coast climate and also makes the winter relatively mild.

Reaching to Tromso is very easy. It has several connecting flights in a day from Oslo and overseas destinations like Stockholm and London. Additionally, you can combine your Northern lights tour with other adventures like snowshoeing and dog sledding. Tromso has several budget-friendly hotels to stay in.

If you love to explore different cultures and arts festivals of the country, talk to locals. They are proud of their history and culture and love sharing it with tourists. Don’t forget to attend the annual Northern Lights Festival where tourists and locals celebrate live music and other outdoor activities.

6. Orkney, Scotland

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Orkney in Scotland is full of festivals and events during the summer. The northern lights in Orkney attract millions of tourists from around the world every year.

These dancing lights in Orkney are called Merry Dancers. The lights in vibrant shades of blue, green, red, and yellow shifting in the sky look mesmerizing in the night.

If you ever visit Orkney, plan a visit to the top of Wideford Hill and the beach at Dingieshowe to click the dancing lights. Also, don’t forget to add the Heart of Neolithic Orkney on your list. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back 5000 years.

The best time to see the northern lights in Scotland is during autumn and winter seasons. Staying up till early morning can also help in seeing this beautiful phenomenon. If you are not a frequent traveler, then our guide to decide the best time to plan for a vacation might help you.

So when are you planning to visit Scotland to check off the northern lights on your bucket list?

7. The Kola Peninsula, Russia

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Russia has several places to visit. It has many museums, lakes, islands, and other exotic places to make your trip memorable. St. Basil Cathedral in Russia is well known for its unique architecture and paintings.

One of the best places to witness the unique phenomenon of Northern Lights is the Kola Peninsula in Russia. Murmansk, in the north-west near Finland with over 350,000 residents, has all the comforts that travelers want during their stay. The aurora season here starts from August to April. The appearance of Northern lights is rare to watch as it depends on several factors like solar activity, weather, and location.

Murmansk is a popular tourist destination. It has traditional Sami Villages, snowboard, and offers many adventurous sports. The temperature here in Winter is mild and around 10-15 celsius (in minus) from December and January. Kirovsk is another location in Russia popular for the northern lights. It is popular for skiing and has several beautiful resorts for a comfortable stay.

8. Alberta, Canada

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This magnificent phenomenon can be captured in Alberta during the night sky that blazes from September to April. Head towards Wood Buffalo National Park and Jasper National Park to see the Milky Way and the Northern Lights. Dazzling hues of blue, red, across the sky, are surreal to watch.

People here describe this phenomenon differently. Some people believe that these natural lights are spirits holding the torch that guides the visitors. Others think that they represent the souls of dead playing a game of soccer in the sky. Alberta is one of the finest locations for photographing and to capture stunning views.

Additionally, you can also visit Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Recreation Area and Elk Island National Park that organizes the show for visitors. Explore the most luxurious homes in Canada that not only do look beautiful from the outside but also have unique architecture and world-class amenities.

Fort McMurray in northern Alberta is also the best spot for Aurora viewing. It sits 1000kms north of Jasper and also features accommodation and several adventure activities. While you enjoy the night sky, you can also plan for a wild dog sled ride. No matter what you decide to do in Canada, you will always have an incredible trip.

9. Saadjärv, Estonia

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Saadjärv is the most recommended place by locals to see the northern lights. It has the most consistent views during the winter season. The town is located 14miles north of Tartu in Tartu County of Estonia and is situated on Lake Saadjärv, which is one of the largest and deepest lakes in the country. It covers over 700 hectares and is over 30 meters deep. It is a popular area and offers several activities throughout the area.

Saaremaa is located opposite of Saadjärv. This island is surrounded by waterways and cut down pollution. You can reach Saaremaa via ferry and car and hire several tour companies that can guide for an aurora trip.

10. Kulusuk, Greenland

Kulusuk was one of the largest towns in Greenland due to fishing grounds and hunting that covers the area. Today, it has very few people (300-350) but is still a great location to visit. Despite its small size, the place offers many adventurous activities like fishing, dog sledding, and others for tourists.

Come to Kulusuk and Tasiilaq during the spring season when the towns offer several adventurous activities for the visitors and welcome thousands of tourists annually. In Tasiilaq, you can get the best of both worlds. It not only features adventurous activities but excellent arts as well.

The winter season in Greenland is the perfect time to capture the northern lights. Click the amazing pictures of northern lights in shades of blue, green, and red and experience something rare to notice in other seasons.

Final Words

NASA believes that the northern lights appear to dance due to the way how magnetic fields are broken and reformed when they touch the thermosphere. It changes into shapes and directions according to the atmosphere and then brightens. The bad news is, the chances of witnessing the northern lights are decreasing by each passing day. This unique phenomenon will be visible until 2060.

 If you have added the northern lights on your wishlist, then you must visit the above places. Additionally, you can also add these things on the bucket list to make your life exciting. But before you pack your bag to visit these exotic locations, read the travel hacks that can save your time and money. (You can thank us later!)

Have you ever visited any of the places that show the northern light? How was your experience? Share your views below.


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