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Top 10 Tips for Seeing the Northern Lights

Nordlys_over_ErsfjordenFollow our top ten northern lights tips and increase your chances of meeting the “tricky lady”.

Struggling to find the perfect northern lights holiday? Just fill in the customised booking form from Nordic Visitor and they will help you with your booking!

1. Go North

Whereas Northern Lights has been seen as far south as the Mediterranean, this is not something that happens very often. Instead – travel north, get inside the Arctic Circle and you’re way more likely to experience the Aurora Borealis.

Read more about Northern Lights Holidays, or find out how to plan your own tailor-made Northern Lights Trip to Northern Norway.

Find and book your perfect northern lights package at Nordic Visitor.

2. Watch the Time

Northern lights activity is the greatest between 6pm and 2am in Northern Norway - so make sure you don’t exhaust yourself in the daytime.

Also – in the summertime, the midnight sun makes it difficult to see the Aurora, aim to go in between October and March to avoid disappointment.

Read our guide on when to see the northern lights.

3. Get Away from the Lights

Light pollution will make the lights harder to spot and the experience less magical. Get out of town and head somewhere rural (shouldn’t bee too difficult in Northern Norway) and you will not regret it.


Many people say that moonlight is an important factor when hunting for the northern lights. And yes, a strong full moon will cause some light pollution, but in most cases you will still be able to see northern lights clearly if they come out to play, so there is no need to book your holiday around the moon cycle.

4. Wrap Up Warm

Needless to say, staying outdoors for hours in arctic temperatures can get quite cold. Wrap up warm – and I mean WARM. How annoyed would you be if the lights appeared just after you’d thrown in the towel and returned to the warmth of the hotel?

5. Check the Forecast

To see the lights it has to be clear skies. On an overcast day there is little chance of spotting the northern lights unfortunately. But remember that the weather changes quickly in the North so don’t be too upset if the forecast looks gloomy.

There is also a northern lights forecast available, which will indicate how much activity there will be that night in the area.

Check the northern lights forecast.

6. Go with a Guide

Many local guides and photographers have chased the lights for years, and have built up an incredible reputation for finding the Aurora even on days when clouds have hung low over the hotels in town. Many guides also offer something warming to drink and will take you around to several places in search of the “tricky lady”.

Read more about different northern lights activities in Tromso, Norway.

7. Avoid Disappointment – Get Active

Remember, even if the skies are clear and everything is looking right, there’s never any guarantees with the northern lights. To avoid disappointment it is a good idea to plan your activities around other things, and let the northern lights be a bonus. Dog sleighing trips in the mountains, cross country skiing or snow mobile excursions are all fun and memorable experiences which will only be made more magical if the northern lights appear.

Read more about different northern lights activities in Tromso, Norway.

8. Leave the Camera at Home

Many people waste their time trying to secure that all important holiday snap the minute the northern lights appear. Let me tell you – forget about it. Photographing the Aurora Borealis requires specialist equipment, and you are better off just enjoying the display than fiddling with something which is deemed for failure anyway. Some of the guides offer professional equipment rental and advice on northern lights photography if you are interested.

9. Be Patient

Seeing the northern lights wouldn’t be so special if it was easy to see them. Therefore, a bit of patience and not hedging all your bets on spotting the lights is a good approach. All good things come to those who wait.

10. No mocking!

Myth has it that pointing, waving at and mocking the northern lights is not only bad luck – but it might come down to take you.

Read more about northern lights myths and beliefs.

And Finally, One Not so Good Tip:

11. Start Smoking

I suppose one benefit of this otherwise disgusting habit is that smokers have to go out in the cold to light up in Norway. After a week’s holiday without a single glimpse of the northern lights – a cigarette break outside on the last evening proved a wise move for the English tourist where the “tricky lady” finally joined him


Struggling to find the perfect northern lights holiday? Just fill in the customised booking form from Nordic Visitor and they will help you with your booking!