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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 24 November, 2022

The world’s greatest light show is Mother Nature’s own – the famous ‘Aurora Borealis’ – or more commonly known as the ‘Northern Lights’. It’s an extraordinary natural spectacle, caused by shifts of magnetic energy in the ionosphere, and it’s magical to watch them dance across the heavens, ethereal shapes in shimmering colours forming and dissolving. No wonder seeing them features on so many travel bucket lists.

Norway’s long, fjord-studded coastline not only offers breathtaking scenery, but is an ideal destination for seeing the Northern Lights – with dark skies, vast open spaces, and a prized location on the so-called ‘Aurora Belt’.

Still, there’s no specific one best place or time to see this notoriously fickle phenomenon, so we always recommend to pair it with another experience as part of a broader holiday adventure. Fortunately, Norway’s western coast is also a Mecca for outdoor adventure pursuits like whale watching, husky dog sledding and snowmobiling – meaning plenty of opportunities to pair with other bucket list experiences. See below for our recommendations of great bucket list experiences on Norway’s western coastline, where you’re also likely to see the Northern Lights along the way.

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 4+
Frequency: weekly
When: Any
Duration: Any

When to do it

The best time to see the Northern Lights is spring and autumn. If you haven’t already, see our round-up of the best places to see the Northern Lights that also explains in more detail why they happen, and thus when you’re most likely to see them.

Cruise Norway’s Fjordland

Western Norway, Norway

Sail Norway’s achingly beautiful and dramatic fjords, where hiking, wildlife, mountain railways and buzzing towns make for an invigorating adventure.

Best for ages: 10+ | Varies | 3-5 days

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Cruise Norway’s Western Coast


This dramatic 2,400km coastline of astonishing landscapes also offers stops in vibrant towns, a wealth of outdoor bucket list adventures and the chance to see the Northern Lights.

Best for ages: 8+ | Varies | Min 5 days

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Beautiful picture of massive multicolored green vibrant Aurora Borealis, Aurora Polaris, also know as Northern Lights in the night sky over winter Lapland landscape, Norway, Scandinavia

Polar Lights Centre

Laukvika, Northern Norway, Norway

This rural science centre provides both an excellent vantage point for viewing and informative lectures about the science of the lights. It’s run by a friendly Dutch couple who man a collection of astronomic instruments that determine exactly when the Aurora is about to strike.

Best for ages: 4+ | Free

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Round-ups that include this experience

5 Best places to see the Northern Lights

Multiple countries

A remarkable, ethereal light display that’s one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles. Pair it with other bucket list experiences – a thrilling husky ride, a cruise on the Norwegian fjords, or from bed in a luxury glass igloo. Unmissable.

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