If you are a traveler looking for the best place to go on your trip to see the Northern Lights in Finland, then you are most definitely on the right post.
Some of you must be wondering what Northern lights are while some of you may already know what they are if you are on this post. But to be safe, we will let you know what they are.
What are the Northern Lights?
Scientifically speaking, Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis are caused by the sun ejecting particles in the sky from the corona which we call the upper atmosphere that ends up creating solar winds. When these solar winds slam onto Earth’s ionosphere (several layers in the atmosphere makes up the ionosphere), Aurora is born.
One might even question how we get different colors of Aurora Borealis. Those happen due to the chemical reaction when the northern lights are dictated by the chemical composition of our Earth’s atmosphere. In fact, Northern lights actually mean “north winds” which makes perfect sense because you can even see northern lights in the northern hemisphere. The Finnish word for northern lights is actually “fox fires” which originates from the indigenous Sami people back in Lapland.
Best time to see the Northern Lights?
If you are going to invest in a trip to come see the northern lights in Finland, then it is better to come at the right time so that you don’t have to miss out on seeing the Northern Lights.
The northern lights are best seen between the months of September to March because these months contain the most “geomagnetically disturbed days” which means Aurora activity.
This is said because dark skies are needed to see the northern lights. These months are also said to be peak tourist months so it is always good to pre-book before you come to avoid any inconveniences. The cold weather comes to Finland in autumn which makes it the perfect time to see the northern lights.
You can experience a winter wonderland if you decide to visit Norway in December. There are many winter activities besides seeing the northern lights which would make it the perfect vacation.
You can see the lights during late summers too but since there are fewer hours of darkness, it is harder to catch them.
The exact and best time to watch the northern lights in Finland is said to be 10 PM to 2 AM as you can only see the northern lights when there are dark nights.
What are the conditions needed to see the Northern Lights?
There are some specific conditions one might need to see the northern lights. To help you out in seeing them, you must note these conditions.
- Low Light Pollution: The best and easiest way to catch northern lights is when you are further away from artificial lights and all the city lights. The aurora is always the brightest when it is away from all artificial lights.
- Clear Skies: Another important condition you need is clear skies as they play a very important role in seeing the northern lights too. In case the skies aren’t clear, you won’t be able to look at the northern lights as they would have a cloud cover. A clear sky is something you should look for instantly.
- Dark Nights: You can increase your chance of catching the northern lights in Finland by visiting the places during winter as winters have longer and darker night sky.
We need to take notice of these conditions because you cannot see the lights due to the light pollution in the big city. This is why specific conditions like these are to be noted.
14 best places to see the Northern Lights in Finland
In a country that is famous for its Northern Lights, you can very well guess that there would be multiple places to visit the Northern lights. This is why we have prepared a list for you with some of our recommendations so that you are prepared for where you would like to visit. Here are the 14 best places to see the Northern Lights in Finland.
A town located in northern Finland near the Norwegian border called Utsjoki is home to only around 1200 people. The area is fairly underdeveloped which makes looking at the dark skies easier.
Seeing northern lights from Utsjoki is very common, especially during the winter months.
Where to stay in Utsjoki?
Situated in the Utsjoki part of the property, Osman Kelohovi, Vetsituvat, Seitatie 6 North, and Tenon nakoalamokit are some of the places where you can stay at.
One of the popular holiday resorts in Finland is Kittilä. It is one of the best-known destinations to watch the northern lights in Finland.
Kittilä has a population of over 6000 people. While staying here, you can do many things. You can go skiing, snowmobiling, dog sledding, and much more. You can also take the northern lights tour here while participating in many activities too.
Where to stay in Kittilä?
There are many places you can stay in Kittilä. Like Golden Crown – Levin Iglut, Holiday Home Utsu 1, Levi Suites Levin Klubi, and Levi President amongst many places.
To get to Ivalo, you can go by car or fly as this is a small town that has a lot of visitors from Helsinki who usually go to Kakslauttanen. But, it is advised to stay in Ivalo and watch the northern lights from here since the conditions are good for viewing too.
You can take a tour here which will help you hunt for the Aurora Borealis. These tours are handled by experts and local guides who know the best places to take you so you can get the experience while also teaching you how to capture this beautiful vision.
Where to stay in Ivalo?
You can get good deals if you are right on time. There are some hotels like Ivalo River Camping, Kultahippu Hotel & Apartments, Ukonjärven Holiday Village, and even Näverniemi Holiday Center among many more places.
4. Pyhä-Luosto National Park
Pyhä-Luosto National Park is said to be Finland’s oldest national park, established in 2005. Covering an area of 142 square kilometers. Its distance from the city lights makes it easier to see the northern lights.
While you stay here, you can do various things during the day like you can go hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and much more. You can even experience the midnight sun here around midsummer.
You can even experience the most beautiful gorges on the planet named the Iso Kuru by just walking from the hotel.
Where to stay in Pyhä-Luosto National Park?
Check out Ski-Inn Hotel Pyhatunturi, Lapland Hotel Luostotuntur, Luostontie, Hotel Luosto, and Arctic Lodges Lapland as your possible places to stay at.
Surrounded by wildness, Sodankylä is a small town popular for shoe walking, ice fishing, snowshoe walking, snowmobile walking, and much more. Due to the lack of pollution and clear skies, Sodankylä becomes an ideal place to see the northern lights in Finland.
Where to stay in Sodankylä?
Check out Hotel Sodankyla, Vuotson Maja B&B, Polar Aurora Cabins, and Camping Nilimella among some of the places you can stay at.
Said to be the best place to see the northern lights in Finland by the lakeside community, Nellim is a small lakeside town in Finland. Due to it being a smaller town, there are fewer accommodations and can be explored within a day. People usually stop here for a quick stop to rest before heading out to other cities. You can also enjoy dog sledding here.
But, because it is a smaller place with fewer people, you can look at the northern lights better.
Where to stay in Nellium?
Check the Wilderness Hotel Nellim & Igloos which looks over the beautiful Lake, Ski-Inn MastonAitio Cabins, Basecamp Oulanka, and Matkailumaja Heikkala Cottages. Most of the places to stay are almost 20 km away from the National Parks.
7. Oulanka National Park
Oulanka National Park is a national park in the Northern Ostrobothnia and Lapland regions of Finland, covering 270 square kilometers of land.
One of the most appealing traits of this Oulanka National Park is that hikers have wooden cabins they can stay in for the night. These cabins are completely free for them to use and come in handy for all the people who are waiting to see the northern lights.
They also offer outdoor activities for you to enjoy in the morning like canoeing and rafting as well as superb hiking.
Where to stay in Oulanka National Park?
Checking out Basecamp Oulanka, Ski-Inn RukaValley, Ski-Inn AurinkoRinne, Ski-Inn RukaVillage, and Scandic Rukahovi as some of your options would be helpful.
Muonio is a municipality in Finland. It is the best place to see the aurora oval since this small village is located directly under it. Here you won’t have trouble looking at the lights since the northern lights are visible almost every other night which makes this the perfect place.
While you are here waiting for the night, you can pass the time by visiting Pallas-Yllastunturi National Park, checking the fish library out, visiting Muonio Church, and more. Usually, people just see Muonio as a stepping stone for other destinations but you must not miss out on this beautiful place.
Where to stay in Muonio?
Check out Arriniva Cottages, Motel SEO Muonio, Luongasloma Chalets, and Arctic Skylight Lodge. It is always good to do your research before booking.
Located near the northernmost point of Finland is a very small village called Kilpisjarvi. Due to its isolation from civilization, it is a good place to see the northern lights of Finland. When in Kilpisjarvi, you can take a snowmobile tour which takes you to the borders of Sweden and Norway which have some of the best aurora borealis viewing areas.
While you wait for the night, you can check out The Three Nations’ Border Point, Kilpisjarvi Visitor Centre, Tsahkal Falls, and much more.
Where to stay in Kilpisjarvi?
Among many great places, you can check out Tundrea Holiday Resort, Saivaara Mokit Cottage, Lapland Hotels Kilpis, Haltinmaa Cottages, or Santa’s Chalets Rakka.
Famous for its snow castles, Kemi is also a famous place to see Northern Lights in Finland. It is recommended to rent a glass villa which is usually located on the outskirts of the town. You can get the comfort you look for here and also see the northern lights.
Due to its remote location, Kemi is the perfect place for peace and quiet as you look at the northern lights. While you are visiting the area, it is also recommended that you try ice fishing or take the Sampo Icebreaker ship tour.
Where to stay in Kemi?
You can check out the Nova Skyland Hotel, Seaside Glass Villas, Hotel Merihovi, and Old Pine Husky Lodge among many other amazing places to stay at. It is always better to pre-book.
Kakslauttanenis said to be the world’s best place to see the northern lights in Finland. It is also the closest place to the airport being only 30 minutes far.
Kakslauttanen is an arctic resort with multiple types of accommodations offered like, snow igloos, log cabins, and even glass igloos which is the best option if you want to watch the night sky comfortably and stay overnight.
Where to stay in Kakslauttanen?
You can have the full igloo experience at Glass Igloos, check the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort East Village, Aurora Queen Resort, or Wilderness hotel amongst many others.
This tourist famous place in Finland called Saariselkä is located high up in the snow mountains of Finland. Saariselkä is a resort village in Finland.
You can see around 200 northern lights per year which is the reason why people come here more commonly. Here, you can see the lights during any winter dark, and clear nights.
You can also visit Urho Kekkonen National Park, Action Park, Lapland Safaris, Angry Birds Saariselkä, and much more to have fun while you wait to see the Northern Lights.
Where to stay in Saariselkä?
There are many places where you can stay in Saariselkä. You can check out Fell Centre Kiilopaa, Santa’s Hotel Tunturi, the Holiday Club Saariselka, the Northern Lights Village Saariselka, or even Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.
Inari is the northernmost point in Lapland. There is little to no light pollution which makes it a good place to see the northern lights at. You can head out to the frozen Lake Inari which would you a great northern lights view.
While going north is good to see the lights, it also has very cold weather. You must stay prepared for the weather too and remember to stay away from the artificial lights.
You can also check places like Reindeer Farm Petri Mattus, Pielpajarvi Wilderness Church, Siida Sami Museum and Nature Center, and Tuula’s Reindeer among many others to wait for the night.
Where to stay in Inari?
There are multiple places where you can stay in Inari. Like, you can stay at the Holiday Village Inari, Nature Experience Glamping, Villa Lanca Activities, luontomökki ja old town jokivene, and Youth Center Vasatokka.
Saving the best for last, Rovaniemi is among the best places you can go to in Finland to see the northern lights. Here, you can see the lights around 150 times a year which makes it a very likely place to see the northern lights from.
You may have to walk a few meters to see the lights, but it depends on when you are visiting as at times one can also see them within limits.
You may or may not have heard this but Rovaniemi is called the official hometown of Santa Claus. This Santa village is the best place for your dream family trip. You can visit Santa’s workshop and much more here.
If you get the time, you should also book the northern lights trip which would take you out of the city.
Where to stay in Rovaniemi?
You can stay at the Santa Claus Holiday Village, you can experience the Igloo life by staying at Arctic SnowHotel & Glass Igloos, or stay at Arctic Hotel or Nova Skyland Hotel among many more places.
Northern lights in Finland occur around 200 times a year. If you come during the right time, you might just be able to catch it too. Always pre-book because even if you cannot control the weather, you can always pick the right place for you to visit.
You can check out our complete guide for Norway’s Northern lights to know more about the Northern Lights in Finland and be more prepared before you come and visit this beautiful country.