The magic of the Northern Lights
The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are one of the most awe-inspiring natural phenomena on Earth. The spectacle occurs when solar particles collide with gases in Earth’s atmosphere, creating ribbons of light that dance across the night sky.
Tromsø, located above the Arctic Circle in Norway, is a prime viewing spot due to its position beneath the Northern Lights oval.
Where to see the Northern Lights: Tromsø, a prime location
Tromsø’s geographical location makes it one of the best places on Earth to witness the Northern Lights. It is situated directly under the Northern Lights oval, a continuous ring of auroral activity centered over the Earth’s geomagnetic North Pole.
This optimal location means that the Northern Lights are often visible in Tromsø, even when auroral activity is low.
Best time to see the Northern Lights in Tromsø
We get these questions a lot:
- What are the best month to see the northern lights?
- Is it better in January or February?
- Where can I see the northern lights in Tromsø?
- What are the best places in Tromsø to see the northern lights?
The prime period to view the Northern Lights in Tromsø is from mid-September to April. During these months, the sky is sufficiently dark to allow for optimal viewing of this natural light show.
The Polar Night, which lasts from mid-November to mid-January, offers particularly remarkable viewing opportunities, with the Northern Lights often visible even during the daytime.
Enhancing your chances of seeing the Northern Lights
While Tromsø’s location offers a high probability of Northern Lights sightings, several factors further influence your chances:
Auroral activity is directly related to solar activity. The Northern Lights are particularly vibrant during periods of high solar activity, known as solar maximums, which occur roughly every 11 years.
However, Tromsø’s position beneath the Northern Lights oval means that there is still a strong chance of sightings even during periods of low solar activity.
Between 2022 and 2024-25 the chances to see amazing and strong Northern Lights will be higher due to the Solar Maximum, which is expected to peak in 2024/2025. Read more about the Solar Maximum and its impact on the northern light display in Tromsø for the upcoming years here.
Clear, cloudless skies provide the best conditions for viewing the Northern Lights. Tromsø’s relatively stable weather increases your chances of finding clear skies. However, weather in the Arctic can be unpredictable, and patience may be required as you wait for the ideal conditions.
The Northern Lights are best viewed away from artificial light. Therefore, consider venturing outside of Tromsø’s city center to areas with minimal light pollution.
Maximizing your Northern Lights experience
To make the most of your Northern Lights quest in Tromsø, consider the following tips:
Stay for several nights
The longer your stay in Tromsø, the better your chances of witnessing the Northern Lights. A stay of between four and seven nights is recommended to maximize your viewing opportunities.
Join a Northern Lights guided tour
Joining a guided tour can greatly enhance your Northern Lights experience. Guides are experts in Arctic conditions and have in-depth knowledge of the best viewing locations. They also monitor weather conditions and auroral activity, further increasing your chances of a successful sighting. Check all Best Arctic northern light tours here.
What if you don’t see the northern lights on the first try?
Unfortunately, it can happen that the weather won’t allow you to see the northern lights display. Either because the weather changed and it started snowing or raining, or it got cloudy, or just because the northern light activity decreased at that moment. We can’t control any of these factors, but we will always try our best to find the best places with the higher chances.
If you choose one of our Aurora Safari Camp or Aurora Safari Minibus tours and are unlucky and don’t see the northern lights, we offer you a 25% discount card that you can use on one of these two tours again.
Best Arctic Tours in Tromsø
One of the premier tour operators in Tromsø is Best Arctic. We offer a variety of tours designed to provide you with the ultimate Northern Lights experience. More information about our northern light tours can be found here.
Experiencing the Northern Lights is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. By choosing Tromsø as your destination, planning your trip between September and April, and joining a guided tour with Best Arctic, you’re significantly enhancing your chances of seeing the Northern Lights.
Remember, patience is key, and the reward is an unforgettable spectacle that will remain etched in your memory forever.