Norway is home to several places with unparalleled natural beauty, but that’s not all it offers. During winter, it also provides plenty of opportunities for seeing the Northern Lights painting the Scandinavian sky. So, if you want to blend some great aurora views with exploring amazing landscapes, Norway is the place to be. Below, we’ll take you on a journey to the 30 most idyllic spots for seeing the Northern Lights in Norway, starting in the south and gradually guiding you towards the north.
Best Places for Seeing the Northern Lights in Southern Norway
Seeing the Northern Lights in Southern Norway is unusual but not impossible. Sometimes they even appear in Oslo! When that happens, you really want to seize the moment and be at the right place to see it.
This small coastal getaway town occasionally offers glimpses of the Northern Lights. Kristiansand is one of the most beautiful towns to visit in Southern Norway. So, it is a great place to catch this rare phenomenon, and see the lights against the backdrop of the sea and stunning Norwegian landscapes.
2) FJORDS NEAR STAVANGER
You can take a fjord cruise near Stavanger, and have a dreamlike Northern Lights experience. As the lights reflect on calm waters, you’ll feel like you’re sailing through a mystical world painted by nature. Just make sure to visit during winter, when the odds of the Northern Lights appearing are not against you.
3) JOTUNHEIMEN NATIONAL PARK
You can enjoy the Northern Lights in Norway’s largest national park. Jotunheimen is full of snow-capped peaks and frozen lakes. Imagine being part of this untouched wilderness, where the lights create an otherworldly spectacle in the sky. You have the option of camping in the park, or renting a room in a cabin.
Even Bergen, known for its charming harbor, gets occasional visits from the Northern Lights. So if you are lucky, you can stand by the waterfront and see the lights shimmer above the historic docks. Additionally. you can find some great spots in the fjords near Bergen.
5) LAKES OF GÅLÅ
Gålå is a small village in southern Norway surrounded by lakes and mountains. The tranquil lakes of Gålå offer a picturesque setting for possible Northern Lights sightings. On clear winter nights, you can see the transition from lakeside serenity to a crazy Northern Lights show. You can see the auroras in the village or by the shores of the lake.
6) HEMSEDAL SKI RESORT
Hemsedal is among the best ski resorts and one of the highest points in Norway. Hemsedal’s mountainous terrain and remote location offer clear, dark skies and a perfect setting to see the Northern Lights in Southern Norway. That’s a great choice if you want to combine Northern Lights chasing with skiing or hiking.
7) RONDANE NATIONAL PARK
The oldest national park in Norway could not be missing from this list. Amidst Rondane National Park’s wilderness, the Northern Lights usually appear in the winter. When that happens, they create an extraordinary display in the heart of Norwegian nature.
Best Places for Seeing the Northern Lights in Central Norway
As we move into Central Norway, the chances of seeing the Northern Lights increase. And guess what? The wild scenery and natural sights keep getting more awesome too. It’s like an exciting adventure where everything keeps getting better.
Røros is an old mountain village famous for its wooden buildings. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The charming wooden houses of Røros are some of the best spots to see the Northern Lights in Norway.
Further north, Trondheim offers a higher chance of spotting the Northern Lights. Picture this: wandering through the city’s historic streets, then looking up to see the night sky adorned with celestial lights—a blend of history and wonder.
10) HARDANGERVIDDA NATIONAL PARK
Hardangervidda is Norway’s largest national park. Amidst a vast plateau, you can see the Northern Lights light up the Norwegian sky without the interference of city lights. It’s hard to describe the silence and awe of being in this Arctic oasis, gazing at the lights in the darkness.
On the island of Inner-Vikna, you can find a small port town with colorful houses. Along Rørvik’s coastal setting, the Northern Lights occasionally shine, adding a touch of magic to the sea. It is a unique and alternative spot to see the Northern Lights in Norway.
12) SYLAN MOUNTAINS
Sylan or Sylarna is a mountain range on the borders between Norway and Sweden. Up the Sylan Mountains, chances of seeing the Northern Lights are high during winter. Moreover, the snowy landscape is a bonus if you want a more special Northern Lights experience.
13) DOVREFJELL NATIONAL PARK
This massive national park occupies 1700 square kilometers in Central Norway. In addition to being one of the best places to encounter Scandinavian wildlife, it is also one of the best places in Norway for Northern Lights viewing.
Positioned along the Trondheimsfjord, Steinkjer boasts a coastal charm that pairs well with the Northern Lights. The dance of the lights above Steinkjer’s waters adds an extra layer of enchantment to the maritime scenery, making it a serene and captivating spot for aurora-watching. You can either stay in a hotel within Steinkjer, or camp in designated areas in the fjord,
Surrounded by valleys and hills, Oppdal is a picturesque village known for its natural beauty. The Northern Lights occasionally decorate its night skies, painting a divine display above the rolling landscapes. It is also one of the largest alpine ski resorts in Norway.
16) VERDAL RIVER
Positioned near the Verdal River and fjords, Verdal offers a mix of water and land beauty. It is a small town with all the necessary facilities to spend a few days there. The occasional appearance of the Northern Lights in the Verdal River adds a touch of magic to the natural setting.
17) SNÅSA LAKE
Snåsa Lake is definitely one of the best natural spots to see the Northern Lights in Norway. It is the sixth largest out of 65000 lakes in Norway. Many small picturesque villages, such as Snåsa, Følling, and Sunnan, lie nearby the lake, so you can use them as a base to explore it. The lake’s expansive surface offers unobstructed views of the night sky. It also creates a mirror-like effect, which is perfect for Aurora viewing.
Best Places for Seeing the Northern Lights in Northern Norway
Northern Norway is one of the best places in the world for spotting the Northern Lights. Not only this place offers the ideal conditions for the Northern Lights to appear, but it also showcases breathtaking natural beauty.
18) LOFOTEN ISLANDS
The Lofoten Archipelago is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, which extend to its numerous islands. One of the reasons for their popularity is also the frequent appearance of the Northern Lights. You can see them in a unique landscape that includes mountains, fjords, and the Norwegian sea.
Karasjok, situated in the heart of Norway’s northernmost region, Finnmark, is a captivating destination known for its unique blend of Arctic wilderness and rich Sami culture. The town’s serene landscapes include vast tundras, snow-covered forests, and meandering rivers. In the heart of Sami culture, Karasjok’s wide open spaces and Arctic wilderness make it a serene spot to experience the auroras in Norway.
20) SENJA ISLAND
Senja Island is also known as “Norway in Miniature.” It is a beautiful island within the Arctic Circle that encapsulates the breathtaking diversity of Norway’s landscapes. Senja’s mix of fishing villages, high mountains, and wild beaches creates diverse settings to enjoy the Northern Lights display.
Thousands of people visit Tromsø every year, each one for a different reason. You can explore fjords, climb mountains, see whales, admire the Arctic landscape, learn about the Sami culture, experience the Polar Nights, and many others. Seeing the Northern Lights on this beautiful island is a magical addition to an already captivating place.
Nordkapp, or “North Cape,” is a legendary and iconic destination located at the northernmost point of mainland Europe. Its exposed position and unique geographical features make it an exceptional spot for experiencing the Northern Lights in Norway. You can stand on a cliff and enjoy the auroras while overlooking the expanse of the Arctic Sea.
23) NORDLAND RAILWAY
Have you considered catching the Northern Lights in Norway while moving? Nordland Railway can provide this unique experience. Nordlandsbanen is an exciting train journey that goes through the stunning landscapes of Northern Norway. Starting from Trondheim, this journey offers the opportunity for passengers to enjoy the Northern Lights from their window during the winter season.
24) VARANGER PENINSULA
The Varanger Peninsula in far northeastern Norway is where untouched natural beauty meets Arctic wonder. This remote region’s coastal cliffs, Arctic tundra, and minimal light pollution provide a unique setting to witness the Northern Lights. If you are a fan of adventure, you can also find there some of the best wild camping spots in Norway to pitch your tent.
This charming Arctic town in the northeastern corner of Norway is a gateway to the Barents Sea and a realm of Arctic exploration. Kirkenes offers minimal light pollution and wild Arctic landscapes, making it a prime spot for aurora viewing. Also, its proximity to Russia adds a unique cultural element.
26) KVALØYA ISLAND
Near Tromsø, Kvaløya’s diverse terrain, including lakes and mountains, offers excellent opportunities to capture the lights against striking natural backgrounds. It is an island with diverse landscapes and rich wildlife, which is also known as “Whale Island.”
Alta is a small town along the banks of the Alta fjord, with beautiful nature and rich culture. Alta’s high latitude and relatively clear skies enhance the chances of spotting the Northern Lights. The town’s location near the Arctic Ocean provides a stunning coastal backdrop.
Hammerfest is a town that embodies the spirit of the Arctic. It offers natural beauty, rich history, and a unique sense of isolation. Its Arctic location and dark winters make it a promising destination for seeing the Northern Lights in Norway.
Båtsfjord is a picturesque fishing village offering an intimate connection to the Arctic wilderness. Its location within the Arctic Circle puts it in the heart of the Northern Lights territory. In winter, you can see an image of the Northern Lights dancing over colorful fishing boats resting on calm waters.
We’re closing the list with the best place to see the Northern Lights in Norway. Svalbard is officially a part of the Kingdom of Norway, but most of its population consists of Russians and Ukrainians. This group of islands is located between Norway and the North Pole and is one of the northernmost inhabited places in the world. So, there’s no need to explain why seeing the Northern Lights there is an experience like no other!
No matter where you go – South, Central, or North Norway – the Northern Lights make the sky shine. Our list can go on and on, but it’s mainly up to you to discover your favorite spot to see the Northern Lights in Norway and create everlasting memories.
Finally, to get some extra ideas, you can also check our shorter list here: Where to see the Aurora Borealis in Norway.