These Are The Best Places To See The Northern Lights This Year

Image credit: Milamai/Getty Images

Catching the glorious colours of the northern lights in the night sky takes planning, patience, and a dose of luck. But the one factor that can best elevate your chances for a spectacular spotting is going to the right place. So as part of Expedia’s Northern Lights Guide, the travel booking site has revealed its top 10 trending northern lights destinations.

The best places to see Northern Lights according 

best places to see northern lights
Image credit: Stein Egil Liland/Pexels

Based on annual growth of searches, the top destination expected to be the most popular for lights-chasing travellers is Lapland, Finland, which saw a staggering 370 percent growth.

In fact, the entire Scandinavian country was a top choice for Americans with a 215 percent growth from 2022 to 2023, especially for popular aurora-hunting sites, Rovaniemi and Inari. Those looking to save should hone in on October. Not only is it the beginning of the late September to late March peak period, but Lapland hotels average USD 216 (HKD 1,689) per night, which is USD 250 (HKD 1,954) less a night than in December.


Book your stay at Lapland Hotels Saaga via Booking.com


Book your stay at Lapland Hotels Saaga via agoda.com

In second place was Churchill, Canada, which had a 110 percent growth in searches. But it wasn’t the nation’s only city on the list. Banff claimed the fifth spot with an 80 percent growth, and Jasper in the seventh spot with a 70 percent growth.


Book your stay at Churchill Hotel via Booking.com


Book your stay at Fairmont Banff Springs via Booking.com


Book your stay at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge via agoda.com

The third and fourth spots went to a pair of Norwegian cities, Alta — the world’s northernmost city — with 100 percent growth, and Narvik with 90 percent. With the aurora season running from fall to spring here, the most strategic times tend to be March, April, September, and October, Expedia said.


Book your stay at Scandic Narvik via Booking.com


Book your stay at Scandic Narvik via agoda.com

Kalfafell, Iceland, tied Banff for the fifth place spot, also with 80 percent growth, while the United Kingdom’s Isle of Skye came in eighth with 75 percent growth.


Book your stay at The Reykjavik EDITION via Booking.com

Finally, two Swedish cities rounded out the list, with Abisko with 65 percent growth and Kiruna with 55 percent.

While no US destinations made the top 10, several did also see more interest. Searches for Michigan, where peak months are April, October, and November went up 20 percent, as did Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota, near the Canadian border, which shows its best lights in fall and winter. And of course, the popular northern lights-chasing state, Alaska, with a lengthy season from late August through mid-April saw a 15 percent growth.

Expedia’s all-encompassing guide also includes the best places to stay, key times to go, and tips for getting the best northern lights photos to capture the experience.

“Patience is key and experimenting with your camera settings is the secret sauce to capturing the Northern Lights,” nature photographer Dave Sandford said in the Expedia release, shared with Travel + Leisure. “That said, don’t forget to savour the moment. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve been fortunate to see them in person, I always make a point to put the camera down and lose myself in the extraordinary experience of the Northern Lights.”


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All currency conversions were done at the time of writing

(Feature Image Credit: Milamai/Getty Images) 

This story first appeared on travelandleisure.com

Related: My Green Adventure: How I Chased The Northern Lights In Norway






Written By

Rachel Chang

Rachel Chang

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