Have you ever seen the northern lights? If you had to think about it for even a second, the answer is no. The northern lights, or aurora borealis, turn the sky into a spectacular light show. Various shades of bright colors including green, blue, yellow, pink, purple, and orange light up the entire sky. It’s a dramatic sight that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. Once you do, you’ll never forget it.
These amazing sky shows are usually put on from late November to March when solar particles collide with atmospheric gasses to create colorful curtains. The months vary slightly depending on where you are in the world. Now that brings me to the popular question: Where are the best places to see the northern lights? We’ve got you covered! Below you will find a list of the top 10 places you can visit to catch this jaw-dropping view.
You may want to pack your bags and move to Finland after you hear this statistic — the northern lights fill up Finland’s sky about 200 nights out of the year. Visitors can view the aurora borealis sky from a romantic glass igloo resort (shown in the photo below) or you can even take an evening sleigh ride (just make sure to look up)!
Also, if you visit the town of Luosto in Northern Finland, you will be given an “Aurora Alarm,” which beeps when the lights appear.
The peak season to see the light show in Iceland is from August through the first day of May. If you want to catch a sneak peak before booking a trip, you can check out Hotel Ranga’s live webcam. On any given evening you will find the sky filled with vibrant shades of green, pink, and purple!
3) Tromsø, Norway
Tromsø actually has a nine-day Northern Lights Festival at the beginning of the year. During the celebration, you can watch the spectacular light show and listen to more than 40 bands perform. Expect to hear everything from classical to jazz and even electronic music.
The Aurora Sky Station in Abisko, Sweden is one of the best places to see the northern lights. Open from November 30th to March 30th, the Sky Station sees little light pollution and remains pretty quiet (perfect sky-watching conditions)! To make the night even more spectacular, you can indulge in a delicious four-course meal while riding along a chairlift. Once your ride is over, take a guided tour and continue checking out the gorgeous sky.
If you’re booking a trip to Greenland between the months of September to April you can expect to see the aurora borealis sky. Greenland’s sky is known for displaying beautiful shades of green.
In Scotland, the phenomenal light display is referred to as “the Merry Dancers.” For your best chance at seeing the aurora borealis sky in Scotland, plan a trip to the Northern Highlands in January.
If you can stand the below freezing temperatures, Northern Russia is a great viewing destination. Chances of seeing a light show are extremely high in the town of Murmansk.
8) Yukon, Canada
From August to mid-April, the northern span across Canada’s sky. One of the country’s best locations for spotting this miracle is in the Yukon Territory. Although, you can see it in various parts of the country.
Alaska is located right in the northern lights “zone,” meaning your pretty much guaranteed a spectacular view. Check the University of Alaska‘s Northern Lights forecast tool to help figure out the best place to spot a show.
10) Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania
While there are far fewer sightings in this rural part of Pennsylvania than there are overseas, it’s still a spot where people can experience a light show. The area is classified as a Gold Level International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association. As you can probably guess, darkness is key for the colors to shine.
Now go call your travel agent and view the stunning northern lights in person!