Northern Lights in Sweden | Watch Aurora Borealis in Sweden

Sweden Northern Lights

Northern lights in Sweden is a mind-boggling astronomical phenomenon where riots of colours like green, pink, red, purple and blue are displayed across the sky. Northern Lights are also known as "Aurora Borealis" which roughly translates into "dawn of the north". So, what is the rationale behind the celestial phenomenon? When electrically charged particles from the Sun enter the Earth's atmosphere, they undergo collision and give rise to the eerie glow.

The best time to see Northern Lights in Sweden is between September and April i.e the winter months. To view them, the sky has to be pitch dark and devoid of clouds. Northern Lights display their magic for a stretch of 15-30 minutes at a time.

However, if lady luck is in your favour, you might end up seeing them dancing across the sky for a couple of hours. Interestingly, they are also visible from space. Northern Lights also make noises and the various types range from faint cracklings, light rustling, and hissings.

The best places to see northern lights in Sweden are Abisko National ParkKiruna, Jokkmokk, Jukkasjärvi , Luleå, Porjus, Tärendö. If you want to chase the Northern Lights on your trip to Sweden, you can stay at accommodations like IceHotel, Camp Ripan, Arctic Bath and Treehotel. Especially, IceHotel is a major highlight because of its ice-sculpted rooms. So, what are you waiting for? Come, fall in love with the celestial phenomenon and make memories for the lifetime.

Essential Information About Northern Lights in Sweden

01

What Are The Northern Lights?

What Are The Northern Lights?
Northern Lights which are also known as Aurora Borealis is an astronomical phenomenon predominantly seen in around the Arctic region. It is an ethereal display of lights in the Earth's sky and is most clearly seen at night.

Green and pink are the most common colours which appear in many forms like rippling curtains, streamers, arcs, and shooting rays. So, what is the logic behind such a mind-boggling occurrence? When electrically charged particles from the sun enter the earth's atmosphere, they undergo collision and give rise to the eerie glow. Certainly, it is one of the greatest creations of nature.
02

What Is The Best Time Of Year To See The Northern Lights In Sweden?

What Is The Best Time Of Year To See The Northern Lights In Sweden?
The best time of the year to see the Northern Lights in Sweden is between September to April. Especially, mid-winters i.e the months of December and January are the ideal months.

Around this time, travellers from all across the globe throng to the Swedish Lapland to witness the unique natural phenomenon. The enthralling display of riot of colours usually takes place between 6:00 AM - 2:00 PM and 10:00 PM -11:00 PM.
03

What Are The Required Conditions To Witness Northern Lights?

What Are The Required Conditions To Witness Northern Lights?
Northern Lights which paints the night sky with surreal colours appear under the following conditions:

The sky should be pitch dark and devoid of any clouds.

Head to Aurora Zones which is typically 3° to 6° wide in latitude and includes Reykjavik Tromsø, Swedish Laplands and other parts of Arctic countryside.

There should be zero occurrences of precipitation.

September- March/ April is the perfect time to spot the astronomical phenomenon. Especially, the months of  December and January are considered ideal because of the long hours of darkness.
04

How To Reach Sweden?

How To Reach Sweden?
- By Air: Sweden has four international airports i.e Stockholm Arlanda, Goteborg Landvetter, Stockholm Skavsta, Sturup Airport. Most of the international airlines including Qatar Airways and British Airways  offer direct flights to Sweden.

If you are planning to travel to Sweden from India, you can hop onto connecting flights from the metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. The only direct flight from India is operated by Air India and it takes 8 hours to reach the destination.

- By Water: W
hat is better than sailing on a cruise and reaching Sweden through its multiple channels and rivers? Travellers willing to visit Sweden via sea can sail from many European countries which offer cruises.

Nonetheless, there are no direct cruises from India. To indulge in a cruising experience, one has to fly to one of the European countries which offer the same to Sweden.
05

What Causes Northern Lights?

What Causes Northern Lights?
Since Earth revolves around the Sun, the electronically charged particles from the Sun leak through the Earth's upper atmosphere at high speed. Upon hitting the oxygen atoms and molecules in our atmosphere, the particles become excited for a short period and let out all the energy in the form of lights like green, pink, red and purple. Amazing, right?
06

How Can I Photograph The Northern Lights?

How Can I Photograph The Northern Lights?
Not only Northern Lights are spectacular to watch but they are equally gorgeous for photography. If you are planning to capture the sheer brilliance, carry the followings:

- Tripod
- Manual Mode Functionality Camera + 2-3 Extra Batteries
- Wide-angle Lens.

Fixate your camera on the tripod and make sure to place it on a stable place to avoid movements. Manually select high ISO & control the exposure, white balance and aperture in the camera.

Pro Tip: Dark & clear sky will help you capture the best photos.
07

Unknown Facts About Northern Lights

Unknown Facts About Northern Lights
- Northern Lights are visible from space and satellites can take pictures of them.

- The collision of electronically charged particles from the Sun with different oxygen atoms creates different colours.

- Other planets in our Solar System also experience this astronomical phenomenon.

- Northern Lights are dim to the human eye however, long-exposure cameras heighten chances of a better view.

Places to Stay For Northern Lights in Sweden

08

IceHotel

IceHotel
In the village of Jukkasjärvi in northern Sweden, IceHotel is the world's first ice hotel. Every winter, temporary rooms are constructed out of natural ice blocks which are taken from the nearby Torne River.

All the temporary rooms are made out of sculpted ice and offer platform beds, thermal sleeping bags, comfortable bathrooms and saunas. Additionally, IceHotel also houses permanent rooms/ suites / cabins. Cabins offer kitchenettes and living rooms.

Location: Marknadsvägen 63, 981 91 Jukkasjärvi, Sweden.

Opening Dates: IceHotel is open every day, year-round.
09

Camp Ripan

Camp Ripan
Image Credit : facebook.com/ripan.se
At the heart of Kiruna, the northernmost town in Sweden, Camp Ripan is one of the best places to stay for Northern Lights. It has a typical Arctic environment and is just 2.3 km from Luossajärvi Lake. Camp Ripan offers snuggly rooms, on-site restaurant, an indoor pool, a sauna and an outdoor hot tub.

Location: Campingvägen 5, 981 35 Kiruna, Sweden.

Opening Dates: 
Camp Ripan remains open in Summer and a good part into the autumn season.
10

Arctic Bath

Arctic Bath
Image Credit : facebook.com/arcticbath
Along the banks of Luleå River in Swedish Lapland, Arctic Bath floats on the water in the summertime and sits on the ice in the winter. How incredible! Along with pleasant rooms, it offers an on-site restaurant where you will get Arctic delicacies like Gahkku and Gompa. Moreover, Arctic Bath also has an in-house spa where travellers can rejuvenate their mind and soul.

Location: Ramdalsvägen 10, 960 24 Harads, Sweden.

Opening Dates: Arctic Bath opens in late November for the winter months and operates up to April.
11

Treehotel

Treehotel
Image Credit : treehotel.se
Nestled in the pine forest of Northern Sweden, Treehotel offers cabins on trees which are just perfect for experiencing the magic of ethereal Northern Lights.

Other amenities include an on-site restaurant, bar and a sauna.  Moreover, the Treehotel is situated near Bodträskån River where you can go fishing with your family. Activities like hiking and kayaking can also be enjoyed in the nearby area.

Location: Edeforsvägen 2A, 960 24 Harads, Sweden.

Opening Dates: Treehotel remains open during all the four seasons.
12

Pinebay Lodge

Pinebay Lodge
Image Credit : facebook.com/pinebaylodgeSL
On the coastal edge of the Luleå Archipelago, Pinebay Lodge is perfect for travellers who are seeking a comfortable stay, regional delicacies, impeccable hospitality and picturesque scenery.

All the rooms are equipped with contemporary facilities. Other amenities include an in-house restaurant, garden and a terrace and a sauna where guests can unwind after a long tiring day. Travellers can also take part in adventure activities like Skiing and Hiking in peripheral areas.

Location: Gussövägen 390, 975 98 Luleå, Sweden.

Opening Dates: Pinebay Lodge remains open throughout the year.
13

Pinetree Lodge

Pinetree Lodge
By a beautiful lake in Särimukka, Pinetree Lodge features spacious rooms and cottages. During the winter months, enjoy the lovely Northern Lights from the comfort of your room/ cottage and bask in the eerie glow.

On the other hand, if you are visiting in summer, enjoy the midnight sun where it is visible for the full 24 hours every day. Other amenities include an on-site restaurant, dining area and lounge bar.

Location: Särkimukka 27, 980 63 Kangos, Sweden.

Opening Dates: Pinetree Lodge remains open throughout the year.

Places to See Northern Lights in Sweden

14

Abisko National Park

Abisko National Park
In the Swedish province of Lapland near the Norwegian border, Abisko National Park was established in 1909 and is one of the most favoured locations for viewing Northern Lights.

Besides, it is eminent for its cross-country Skiing, Snowshoeing, and other winter sports. Numerous species of birds reside in the National Park. On the other hand, larger animals like Arctic foxes, lynx and bears and wolverines can be seen sporadically.
15

Kiruna

Kiruna
In the far north of Swedish Lapland, Kiruna falls under the Aurora Belt and offers one of the spectacular views of the Northern Lights. Once the night falls, go out in the open to witness the riot of colours dancing across the sky.

Here travellers can see the Northern Lights between 10:00 PM - 2 AM from September to April. Besides, Kiruna is equally fantastic for indulging in other activities like skiing, snowboarding, and ice fishing.
16

Jokkmokk

Jokkmokk
In Swedish Lapland, Jokkmokk is an excellent option for spectating spellbinding Northern Lights. Due to its inland and northerly position, long and dark winters provide ideal conditions. Besides, Jokkmokk is also famous for the annual Winter Market, a tradition that has been going on for 400 years.
17

Jukkasjärvi

Jukkasjärvi
Nestled in Norrbotten County in Sweden, Jukkasjärv is a small village where the celestial phenomenon can be viewed between September-December. It is also home to the world-famous IceHotel which is built entirely out of ice blocks and snow every year.
18

Luleå

Luleå
On the coast of northern Sweden, Luleå is a fantastic spot to view the enthralling display of Northern Lights. Apart from this, travellers can also take part in other fun-filling activities like Kayaking, Ice Fishing, Fatbike Tour, Ice Yoga, Dog Sledding and Snowshoeing.
19

Porjus

Porjus
Along the shores of Lule River, Porjus has less pollution and is an ideal place to watch the celestial show. Interestingly, the town also offers a webcam that offers a full look at the sky overhead and notifies spectators about when the Northern Lights are making an appearance.
20

Tärendö

Tärendö
At the dissection of the Tärendö River, Tärendö is a small locality in Swedish Lapland which is another great region for spotting the magical Northern Lights in its full glory. It is a part of the Aurora Zone, an area of 2,000-3,000km from the magnetic pole. Your odds of viewing the Northern Lights increases if you are closer to this region.

Other Things To Do in Sweden

21

Take a Tour Of The Drottningholm Palace

Take a Tour Of The Drottningholm Palace
On the island of Lovön, Drottningholm Palace was built in the 1600s. It is one of Sweden's Royal Palaces and is listed under UNESCO's World Heritage list. Considering its age, Drottningholm Palace is extremely well-preserved and attracts travellers from all across the globe. It takes approximately 45 minutes to go around and visit the nook and corners of this palace under a travel guide.
22

Enjoy a Boat Ride Along The Gota Canal

Enjoy a Boat Ride Along The Gota Canal
Connecting the northern and southern part of Lake Vänern, Gota Canal was constructed in the 19th century. Currently, the historic canal is used as a recreational attraction. On your trip to Sweden, hop onto a cruise that plies the canal route and indulge in a serene boat ride from coast to coast in an intimate setup. Meals are also served on-board to the passengers.
23

Go Wildlife Spotting At The Kolmarden Wildlife Park

Go Wildlife Spotting At The Kolmarden Wildlife Park
Nestled in the countryside south of Stockholm, Kolmården Wildlife Park opened in 1965 and is the largest zoo in Scandinavia. It houses a Dolphinarium which has a total of 11 Dolphins.

The Zoo also has other animals like  Gorillas, Addax Antelopes, Bush Dogs,  Tigers, Indian Elephants, Oryx Antelopes,  Grévy's Zebras, Dholes, and Ibex. One can also go wildlife spotting in a cable car to get incredibly close to the animals.
24

Indulge In Kayaking

Indulge In Kayaking
On your trip to Sweden, you just have to explore Kayaking in the majestic rivers and numerous islands of the country. Experience the true wilderness as you glide through ravines across giant Arctic plains and marshes on your way. The ideal time to go canoeing in Sweden is during the summer months when the weather is warm enough to enjoy Kayaking at its best.
25

Go For Dog Sledding

Go For Dog Sledding
Dog Sledding in the wilderness of Sweden during the harsh and cold winter months is a once in a lifetime experience. On your Dog Sledding trip, you might also end up spotting Reindeers, Wolverines and Arctic Hares and Arctic Foxes. Don't worry about the safety because expert guides will be there to escort you through the snow-clad forests and across frozen flatlands.
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People Also Ask About Sweden

  1. Where can I see Northern Lights in Sweden?

    The display of Northern Lights in Sweden attracts numerous travellers from all across the globe. The best places to see Northern Lights in Sweden are Abisko National Park, Kiruna, Jokkmokk, Jukkasjärvi, Luleå, Porjus and Tärendö. The best time to see Northern Lights in Sweden is between September- April.
  2. Can you see the northern lights in Stockholm?

    Stockholm is an urban area of Sweden and is dotted with street lights. Thus, it might be extremely difficult to witness the Northern Lights due to the immense light pollution.

    Nonetheless, if the intensity of the eerie glow is high and there are no clouds in the sky, you might end up spectating the celestial occurrence dancing across the sky.
  3. Are the Northern Lights visible in Sweden?

    Yes, Northern Lights in Sweden are visible only in the northern reaches of the country. Northern lights in Sweden are especially seen in the Aurora Zone, an area that stretches around 2000–3000km from the magnetic pole.

    The best places to see northern lights in Sweden are Abisko National Park, Kiruna, Jokkmokk, Jukkasjärvi, Luleå, Porjus and Tärendö. The best time to see Northern Lights in Sweden is between September- April.
  4. Is Sweden better or Finland better for Northern Lights?

    Northern lights in Sweden are better than Northern Lights in Finland. The riot of colours come alive in different shapes and proportions in the backdrop of the cloudless and dark sky.

    The best places to see northern lights in Sweden are Abisko National Park, Kiruna, Jokkmokk, Jukkasjärvi, Luleå, Porjus and Tärendö. The best time to see Northern Lights in Sweden is between September- April.
  5. Are the Aurora Borealis and the Northern lights different?

    No, Aurora Borealis and the Northern lights are the same. Aurora Borealis is just another name for Northern Lights. The word "Aurora" is extracted from the name of the Roman Goddess Aurora which in Latin means dawn. Äurora Borealis" can be roughly translated into the lights of the northern hemisphere, meaning 'dawn of the north'.
  6. What colour are the Northern Lights?

    Usually, Northern Lights display pale yellowish-green and pink hues. Other colours include red, purple and blue.
  7. When do the Northern Lights occur?

    The Northern Lights occur between September and April when winters are long, skies are dark and there are no clouds.
  8. Does it have to be cold to see the Northern Lights in Sweden?

    There is no relation between coldness and the probability to see the Northern Lights. The real logic is that during the winter months, the nights are longer and darkness prevails for an extended time. The sky also remains cloudless.

    Thus, Northern Lights come into visibility easily. Since winter months are the ideal time, people automatically assume that coldness is one of the required factors for witnessing the aura of the Northern Lights.
  9. How long does Northern Lights last?

    Northern Lights display their magic for a stretch of 15-30 minutes at a time. However, if luck is in your favour, you might end up seeing them dancing across the sky for a couple of hours.
  10. Do Northern Lights make noise?

    Yes, Northern Lights do make noises. The types of noises sound like faint crackling, light rustling, and hissing. However, not all Aurora produces it.
  11. Do the Northern Lights happen every night?

    The display of Northern Lights happens every night from late August to early April. Nonetheless, to view them, the nights should be dark and the sky should be cloudless.

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