Northern lights in Tromsø
Discover our best tips for seeing the Northern Lights.
The Northern Lights have fascinated humans since times immemorial, and in the last few years, tourists from all round the world have traveled to Tromsø so experience them with their own eyes. Green, blue, red and yellow waves - dancing across the sky that ensure the darkness is anything but drab.
This spectacular natural phenomenon arises as a result of various intense physical processes in space – due to collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun entering the earth's atmosphere. The earth's magnetic fields then direct these solar particles towards the poles, and the charged particles collide with nitrogen and oxygen molecules. The result is the beautiful Northern Lights. The colors in the Northern Lights are determined by the altitude at which they are created. This can range from 80 to 500km above ground.
The area around the geomagnetic North Pole is called the Auroral Oval. As Tromsø is well positioned in relation to this, you often have a good chance of experiencing the Northern Lights here.
To see the Northern Lights, the sky needs to be dark and clear. It's therefore best to aim for the months from October to March.
If there is a lot of solar activity, there will be plenty of Northern Lights activity, in which case you will have a good chance of viewing the light show from the city center. However, your chances of a more magnificent experience will significantly increase if you head away from built up areas. There the light pollution will be far less, and the Northern Lights will be that much clearer.
Telegraph Bay at the southwest tip of Tromsø is a good viewing area, within easy distance of the center (about 4km). Otherwise Prestvannet Lake at the highest point on Tromsøya is a good alternative. If you've got transport, Finnvikdalen and Kattfjordeidet are recommended. You might also catch sight of the lights from Fjellheisen cable car – with views over the whole of Tromsø.
Text by Christine Kristoffersen Hansen