Chasing the Northern Lights is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and something that draws many travelers to Norway's upper reaches. The country is the perfect setting to spot the colorful aurora borealis. This bucket-list experience can be easily combined with snowshoeing, dogsledding, reindeer feedings, cultural activities, or simply relaxing under the polar night sky.

Getting Oriented

Find the best spots to view the colorful winter sky in Norway.

Norway is an ideal country for viewing the Northern Lights. Much of its upper region is above the Arctic circle, which means the winter months are prepped with dark skies ready for colorful aurora borealis sightings. Although anywhere in the Arctic Circle will do, two of the best hubs are the Lofoten Islands and Tromsø. Both offer easy escapes into the countryside to avoid light pollution and catch the vibrant colors. You can also view them in the renowned Alta area, although you may want to read up on ways to avoid the crowds

Seeing the Northern Lights on their own is a bucket-list-worthy thing to do, but you can easily combine the experience with some cultural excursions. Watch the sky light up in streams of colors while snowshoeing, dogsledding, feeding reindeer, or eating dinner in a traditional hut of the region's indigenous people. 

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Best Experiences with the Northern Lights

Chase the Northern Lights in Svolvær

Find the Northern Lights in Svolvær.

Join the experts as you chase the world-famous natural phenomenon, the Northern Lights from the town of Svolvær in the Lofoten Islands. When you're far north in Norway, and away from the city lights, you have a better chance of catching the colorful sky. The guides know exactly where to go to find the best viewing and photographing spots in the area. Learn the science behind the aurora borealis while enjoying your surroundings. Read More

Northern Lights Snowshoe Experience in Lofoten

Enjoy snowshoeing under a colorful Norweigan winter sky.

Combine the winter Norwegian landscape with local customs and the Northern Lights! You'll join a cultural snowshoeing excursion that takes you out into the quiet wilderness, uninterrupted by city lights. Once you catch a glimpse of the colorful sky, you'll stop to learn a bit about this natural phenomenon and learn some photography techniques from your guides. Read More

Northern Lights Adventure in Tromsø

Tromsø is a great city for a Northern Lights adventure.

Tromsø is an ideal place to experience the Northern Lights. As the main city in northern Norway, it acts as a hub for many different adventures, including chasing aurora borealis. Local guides will take you into the countryside, help you set your camera for the perfect photo, and stop on the way back to light a campfire and roast marshmallows in a traditional Sami tent. Read More

Reindeer Feeding, Dinner & Northern Lights Experience near Tromsø

Feed the reindeer and enjoy dinner inside a traditional Sami lavvo hut.

Learn more about Scandinavia's indigenous people by experiencing a traditional lavvo hut of the Sami. You'll visit the indigenous locals, feed the reindeer, and learn about how they care for their animals and survive the frigid Arctic winters. Then, warm up inside a lavvo and enjoy a traditional dinner, popping out from time to time to catch views of the Northern Lights. Read More 

Dogsledding & Northern Lights Excursion in Alta

Learn how to dogsled before the sunset, then enjoy watching the Northern Lights.

Thanks to its prime location, Alta is one of the most famous areas to view the Northern Lights in Norway. You can easily combine some of the best sightings with a fun cultural excursion. Learn how to dogsled in the snowy countryside, controlling your own pack as you zip across the trails. You'll then relax around a campfire as you watch the Northern Lights dance across the sky. Read More

How to Create the Perfect Northern Lights Itinerary

Take in the colorful polar sky in Norway.

The most important piece of planning advice is the timing. Remember that winter to mid-spring is the best time to go, with the highest chance of seeing aurora borealis. The summer months have too much daylight to accommodate a sighting!

Many visitors plan a trip to Norway specifically to view the Northern Lights, so you can easily fit this experience into a short trip. A long weekend or 4-5 days is plenty of time; just make sure to give yourself at least a few days in case one night is cloudy. If you'd like to combine a couple of regions or enjoy a road trip, then try to give yourself one or two weeks.

Read more about how many days to spend in Norway

Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following trips that include excursions with the Northern Lights: