The aurora borealis is one of the most impressive natural creations in the world and it can be seen from many different places on Earth. The more common name for the aurora borealis is the northern lights. The northern lights are a series of lights that travel across the Northern Hemisphere and come in different shapes and colors. The most common colors for the northern lights to take is a shade of green, but other shades like reds, purples, yellows, and blues are also possible.
Them being named the northern lights gives you a pretty good indication as to where you can travel to see these lights. As you travel further north, the better your chances are of seeing the northern lights. There are several spots in the world that make for great opportunities to see the northern lights in all their beauty. While there are way more than 25, these are by far the best spots to catch a glimpse of this natural wonder. The best time to go is during the winter months, and when you see the northern lights you can't help but feel like its Christmas time.
25 Anywhere In Scotland
Scotland seems like the last place on this list that would be good for viewing the northern lights. This is because Scotland is usually covered in clouds and is usually always raining. However, this is mostly during the summer months there, and if you are lucky during the winter you will catch a very clear night where you can see the northern lights. The closer you get to the coast the better chances you have to see the northern lights but anywhere in Scotland will do. We have a few specific places for better viewing located in Scotland later on in the list.
24 Fairbanks, Alaska
As mentioned before, you will have to travel during the colder months of the year to catch a glimpse of the northern lights. This means you won't only have to be out in the middle of the night, but it will likely be colder than most people are used to. However, if you visit Fairbanks located in Alaska then you can get a warmer option of seeing the northern lights. Fairbanks has accommodations for people traveling to see the lights like lodges and hot springs to help warm people up.
23 The Faroe Islands, Denmark
The Faroe Islands are part of Denmark and are north of Scotland so they make a great place to see the northern lights. The islands are very popular to visit in the summer months so booking a trip to the islands in the winter to see the northern lights shouldn't present too much of a problem. Due to the island's locations, it makes for one of the best locations to see the northern lights up close and personal. The Faroe Islands were voted one of the best places to see the northern islands in 2018.
22 Luosto, Finland
Finland’s Lapland region is a great place to view the northern lights no matter where you are on it. What makes the area so great is it is wide open and there is no light pollution from any nearby cities. However, this does mean you will have to travel far out of the beaten path to get the best view of the northern lights. If you do want the ease of travel and the best view of the lights from a town then you should definitely consider Luosto. The small town offers an aurora alarm that will tell you when it is the best time to see the lights.
21 Thingvellir National Park, Iceland
Iceland is a country in which you are likely to see the northern lights from anywhere in the country. However, as with many countries, there is a place inside the country that allows for the best views of the northern lights, and for Iceland that place is known as Reykjavik. After heading there you should be near Thingvellir National Park which is a great national park that offers much for you to do during the daytime like hiking the many trails. At the end of the day just look up into the great big blue sky and see the northern lights.
20 Tromso, Norway
Tromso located in Norway is a prime spot to see the northern lights. As we mentioned before, the further north you travel the better views of the northern lights you get. Tromso is so far north that it is part of the Arctic Circle. Tromso isn't only a great place to see the northern lights but it is a great spot to entertain yourself with several activities like a local brewery and a planetarium. The best way to see the northern lights is by boat which is available in the form of tours.
19 Iqaluit, Canada
If you want to avoid the crowds while trying to see the northern lights then you should head to Iqaluit as it is one of the least densely populated cities in the world. It is also the capital of the Canadian province of Nunavut. The skies of Iqaluit are typically pretty dark and the small town doesn't provide much light pollution so you wouldn't even have to leave your hotel room to see the lights. Be wary as in the summer months it can remain daylight for 21 hours of the day.
18 Abisko National Park, Sweden
Abisko National Park located in Sweden has more than simple nominations for being a great place to view the lights as it has been scientifically proven to be one of the best places to view the northern lights. The Abisko National Park has a large lake that causes a phenomenon known as a micro-climate, where no matter what the weather is the area above the lake will remain clear. That means no matter what the weather is outside you will still be able to see the northern lights crystal clear.
17 Murmansk, Russia
Russia is known to be one of the coldest places on Earth housing Siberia which is just a large field of permafrost. This means that Russia is always going to be a prime spot to see the northern lights. If we get more specific the area known as Murmansk is a great place for viewing the lights. It gives a beautiful look at the lights over a large lake. If you want to visit this location you will have to be dedicated to traversing the Russian wilderness and the harsh climate.
16 Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Greenland is another great place to find spots to view the northern lights. This is especially true because of how many clear nights are above Greenland. Specifically, Kangerlussuaq is a great spot to see the lights as the area is known to have clear weather mostly year round. It is recorded that on average 300 days of the year will be clear in Kangerlussuaq. If you are a fan of clear skies and good weather, then you may want to consider moving to Kangerlussuaq with the added advantage of seeing the northern lights whenever they come around.
15 Yellowknife, Canada
Yellowknife is prepared for the many people coming to see the northern lights as they have prepared a campground for people to camp out and wait for the northern lights to appear. Yellowknife is the capital of the Northwest Territories in Canada and the campground is a short half hour journey from the city. Inside the tents, there are heated chairs to keep you warm in the harsh cold. This is one of the few places in the world where you can sleep under the northern lights.
14 Grotta Lighthouse, Iceland
The northern lights are mostly visible from anywhere in Iceland, but there are certainly better spots than others to see the northern lights. One of these spots is the Grotta Lighthouse. The Grotta Lighthouse is a great spot because it is already located in a large flat area near the ocean. From here you get a great plane of visibility from the lighthouse. Not to mention, you can climb the lighthouse to get one of the most spectacular views of the northern lights. The area is also known to get clear skies for most of the year.
13 Cairngorms National Park, UK
The Cairngorms National Park is the largest national park in the United Kingdom and it offers great views of the northern lights if the weather permits. The best place to see the northern lights is out underneath them in the park, but they are visible from most hotel rooms in the surrounding cities. There is a lot to do in Cairngorms National Park like hike the many trails and enjoy the wildlife during the day. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the many towns near the National Park that have things to do like breweries and castle tours.
12 Muonio, Finland
Muonio is a small town located in the Finnish Lapland area of Finland. The small town offers great views of the northern lights and it is located to a number of other great places for viewing that include Olos, Levi, and Pallas. Nearby is the Pallas-Yllastunturi National Park which is another great opportunity for seeing the lights without any light pollution from the nearby towns. There are also many hiking and skiing trails in the Pallas-Yllastunturi National Park which you can enjoy during the day while you wait for the northern lights to show up.
11 Churchill, Canada
Many of the places on this list are only visible from the months of January to March which is primarily winter months. However, as for the area known as Churchill in Canada, the northern lights are visible mostly year round. Similar to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland the weather in Churchill is clear most of the year. The area is a great spot to set up a tent and see the northern lights and even sleep below them. You may even get to see Churchill's famous polar bears (let's just hope they don't come too close).
10 Lofoten, Norway
The Lofoten Islands in Norway is a group of small islands that present an astonishing view of the northern lights. However, that isn't the only thing they have going on in the winter time. They have an event that is held on the island that is known as Lofoten Masters surfing championship. This championship challenges surfers from all around the world to surf on the icy waters of the Lofoten Islands. The championship is more of a festival and features several holiday attractions. A perfect event to see the northern lights in.
9 Kejimkujik National Park, Canada
The northern lights in the Kejimkujik National Park may look a little different than seeing them in other places of the world. That depends on what time of year you visit and where in the park but the park is known to be darker than most other places that feature the northern lights. While it isn't always guaranteed to see the northern lights here, you will get a great perspective on the night sky and you will be able to see things like the moon and the stars clearer than you ever have anywhere else. This can be great for a night hike and with the chance of seeing the northern lights it is a guaranteed good time.
8 Jokulsarlon, Iceland
Iceland has already proved itself to be one of the best places to see the northern lights and it is back to add yet another great place to see the northern lights. That place is known as Jokulsarlon which is a glacier lagoon where it almost mirrors the sky in the water. You can find many great places to view the northern lights upon the glaciers and you will be blown away by the different ice structures in the area. The area is also great for hiking and camping, not to mention seeing a wonderful light show.
7 Kiruna, Sweden
The Abisko National Park can be daunting for anyone to tackle, much less when it is cold and dark. That is why it is recommended that many try and visit the town of Kiruna instead of risking things hiking the Abisko National Park. While the town of Kiruna is an hour away from Abisko National Park, it still provides breathtaking views of the northern lights. There are plenty of winter activities to do in the small town and you can even learn about its history while you are visiting.
6 Sisimiut, Greenland
Out of all the many towns and places to see the northern lights the town of Sisimiut located in Greenland is a great place. Not only does it make for a great viewing ground of the lights but it makes a beautiful backdrop for the small town. The town is located in the mountains which gives it even more benefits when it comes to picture taking. You can even rent snowmobiles to travel out into the wilderness to get closer to the northern lights and experience them up close.
5 Reykjavik, Iceland
As mentioned before, the town of Reykjavik is a great place to see the northern lights even if there are better places to see the lights around the town. If you are looking to share your experience with civilization, then Reykjavik is a great place to do so. There is a fair bit of light pollution that comes from the town at night, but if you aren't looking to hike out in the cold darkness then this is probably your best bet in Iceland. There are several tours that take you closer to the northern lights in the town so that is always an option as well.
4 Moray Coast, Scotland
One of the best places to see the northern lights is on the coast. This allows for phenomenal views because of how flat the land is under the lights. One of these places is the Moray Coast located in Scotland where you even have a good chance of spotting dolphins. The coastal area is very inviting when it comes to Aurora hunters (people who seek out great places to witness the northern lights). They even have Moray Astronomy Club where you can get a good look into the night sky and learn more about space.
3 Yukon, Canada
Yukon located in Canada offers spectacular views of the northern lights and a unique opportunity to different colors of the lights. With the green of the lights and the orange of the leaves on the trees, it adds great color contraction creating a beautiful sight. There are several accommodations in Yukon to help people stay warm. You can lodge up near the northern lights and look at them all night long. You can also take a dip into a hot tub and be warm while looking up at the light show.
2 Muckle Roe, Scotland
Muckle Roe is a bit off the beaten path when it comes to viewing the northern lights. Therefore, if you want to see the lights and avoid the crowds of other popular places then you may want to consider Muckle Roe in Scotland. The lights have been able to be seen in other months than in winter. They can even appear as soon as dusk allowing for beautiful views for people hiking through Muckle Roe. The small town of Muckle Roe doesn't have much to offer in accommodations as it only has 130 people living in it.
1 Kulusuk, Greenland
Kulusuk is a small island located in Greenland that offers great views of the northern lights no matter where you are on the island. There is a lot to do around the island as the website describes, "Hiking trips make the island accessible along gravel roads which connect the airport with the settlement and even continue on up to a nearby hill, the 300-meter tall Isikajia Mountain. From the top of the hill, there is a great view of the Denmark Strait, icebergs, the fjord system, Tasiilaq island and much of the area’s jagged coastline."