It’s impossible to predict exactly where the Northern Lights will appear, but it’s possible to go where the Aurora Borealis is likely to appear. First, there are some external conditions that must be met so you’ll be able to watch this amazing natural light show. Go to an extremely dark area in one of the destinations listed below. Moonless nights are best, and you’ll definitely want to be away from city lights. Wear warm clothes. You’ll need protection for below zero temperatures. If possible, hire a tour company with access warm viewing stations, because it’s more difficult, if not impossible, to enjoy the scenery while freezing from the cold.

 

1.  Fairbanks, Alaska

In the USA, try going to Alaska. You can see the Northern Lights in Fairbanks, where you will have about an 80% chance of spotting the lights if you stay for at least three days, the Fairbanks Convention and Visitor’s Bureau reports. Strive to visit between August and April. Stay at the Chena Hot Springs Resort, a year-round resort with wake-up calls to get you up to see the Northern Lights. Chena is actually about 60 miles away from Fairbanks, but you get the bonus of using the hot springs and seeing the Northern Lights in Alaska if the night is clear enough.

 

2. Churchill, Canada

Northern Lights in Ontario Canadaby Joel Henner, CC

Northern Lights in Ontario Canada by Joel Henner, CC

Churchill is a good bet for seeing the Northern Lights in Canada. The town is also in a great place for seeing polar bears. Stay at the Tundra Lodge, a modified train with small sleeping bunks and shared showers and bathrooms. The lodge provides easy access  to see the Northern Lights if they are around. You can just look out of the windows from your room or dining car. Natural Habitats Adventures offers guests who purchase the Northern Lights and Arctic Cultures tour a warm viewing pod and a dome to see the Northern Lights in Canada.

 

3. Akureyri, Iceland

Visit Akureyri in Iceland or try Reykjavik to see the Aurora Borealis. Rent a car to drive away from the town’s lights and set up in a location in the early morning hours. Northice, a destination expert on Iceland, suggests that Northern Lights hunters visit a park in Akureyri bordered by Hamarstígur, Byggðavegur, Þingvallastræti and Þórunnarstræti sreets, because apparently, the park is relatively dark yet close to the city for people who are uncomfortable with searching for the lights on their own late at night or early in the morning. Try staying at the Icelandair Hotel Akureyri.

 

4. Tromoso, Norway

Tromoso in Norway is also one of the best locations to see the Northern Lights. Plan your trips to arrive between September 21 and March 21, according to Visit Norway. Tromoso is in Northern Norway, and Northern region in Norway is purported to be one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights. Visit Norway recommends the Loftofen Islands as well to view the lights. Check out the Best Western in Leknes for a standard, comfortable place that’s convenient to the town.

 

5. Ruka, Finland

Ruka Finland offers some opportunities to see the Northern Lights. Like all other places on this list, a sighting is hit or miss, though. No one can promise that you’ll see the Northern lights whenever or where ever you go, but there are some people who strongly suggest that you go to Juhannuskallio to see the majestic lights. Hotel Royal Ruka is one of the more comfortable hotels in the area, complete with a candle-lit sauna and jacuzzi.

Claudine Williams

Claudine Williams

Editor-in-Chief at Somewhere Luxurious
Claudine Williams has been published in the New York Times, the Miami Herald, Hotel Chatter, Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, the Huffington Post, and various other publications. Claudine has a master's degree in Information Design and Communications. She believes that everyone deserves a trip to Somewhere Luxurious.
Claudine Williams