Northern Lights Finland
Photo by: Thomas Kast | Visit Finland

8 Best Ways to Experience the Northern Lights in Lapland

Combine the Northern Lights with a fell landscape or a silent e-snowmobile safari, and you have an unforgettable experience! Here’s our 8 fave ways to see auroras in Lapland.

It goes without saying that the Northern Lights are perhaps the best reason to visit Lapland in the winter. It only takes a little luck to see the auroras in northern Finland, as they appear about every other night on average, and the farther north you go, the better your chances. And you can enhance your aurora experience with the right Arctic landscape, animal companions or a cozy suite. Here are eight of our best places to see the Northern Lights in Finnish Lapland, and maybe cross a few items off your bucket list while you’re at it!

Lights out!

It takes time for your eyes to adjust to the incredible darkness that blankets the North during winter. Even an errant ray of light can reset your eyes, making it much more difficult to experience the Northern Lights. Some Finnish ski resorts turn off the street lights after a certain hour so you have a better chance of seeing skyfire dance over the fells, whether it’s just a subtle glimmer o’ green, or a full-scale cosmic inferno.

Northern Lights Finland, Ylläs
Photo by: Markus Kiili | Lapland Material Bank

Magical Lapland

Snow? Check. Reindeer? Check. Auroras … fingers crossed. Hop in a sledge and let some of Santa’s reindeer take you on a hunt across the untouched snow at night for the Northern Lights. The reindeer will take you on a journey to a wilderness cabin far from any lights, giving you plenty of time and the best chance of seeing auroras in the sky. If nothing else, you experience a reindeer ride par excellence and enjoy a warm drink in a wintry wilderness hut, surrounded by the quiet magic of Lapland.

Hey, you don’t have to travel all the way to the Arctic to see the Northern Lights. With Virtual Lapland, you can enjoy the mesmerizing green shimmers, no matter where you are.

Northern Lights Finland
Photo by: Terhi Tuovinen | Lapland Material Bank

Saddles & snowcover

Are you ready to wrangle some auroras like a Finnish cowboy? Mount a friendly Finnish horse and head into the whispering, snow-crowned pines of central Lapland in search of the elusive spectacle. The warm, whickering horses are sure-footed, experienced Arctic travelers. Let the gentle gait relax you as your guide leads you to the best spots for seeing the Northern Lights.

Northern Lights Finland
Photo by: Markus Kiili | Lapland Material Bank

Capture the moment

Watching the silent dance of the Northern Lights is one thing. Getting them ready for Instagram is another. Northernmost Finland is the best place for seeing auroras, and it attracts both pros and newcomers to visit and photograph Northern Lights throughout winter. Don’t miss our tips for capturing stunning aurora images.

Northern Lights Finland, Utsjoki
Photo by: Markus Kiili | Lapland Material Bank

The sounds of Lapland

You will hear snow crunching under the wide plastic-and-metal snowshoes. When heading out to see the Northern Lights in eastern Lapland, you can see rabbit tracks, reindeer tracks and maybe even wolf tracks! Warm up by a campfire, enjoy the bubbling of pot-coffee, and if you’re lucky, there will be gasps, curses, and camera shutters when hint of green is getting stronger and stronger. Auroras make no sound as they shimmer and wash across the twinkling stars.

Or do they …?

Northern Lights Finland, snowshoeing
Photo by: Lapland Material Bank

Ride the future

Snowmobiles, like disc golf and Pokémon Go, are not exactly Lapland traditions. They are, however, very popular, and northern Finland is one of the few places in the world where snowmobile technology is pushing ever forward. Hunt the auroras on a silent, fully electric snowmobile. The chase takes you across a frozen lake, through snow-clad forests and up Arctic hills. With a little luck, the sky will open up and reveal the waving, shimmering Northern Lights.

Learn more about sustainable travel in Finnish Lapland.

Northern Lights Finland, eSled
Photo by: Aurora Emotion

The highest road in Finland

Even though there is no other light than moon and stars, you can sense the vastness of landscape seeing the rocky giants shaping horizon. The highest Finnish roads are in the mountains of northeastern Finland. The overlooks there are more than 500 meters above sea level. Far above the rolling hills and stunted trees, the Northern Lights appear on average three nights out of four. There may be no better place in all of Finland to catch the auroras above a stunning Arctic landscape.

Northern Lights Finland
Photo by: Visit Finland

Northern Lights & Chill

Up until this point, you’ve needed to go outside to see the Northern Lights. But there are other ways to experience them. For example, you can lounge in comfort in a warm bed, legs entwined, and wait for the auroras to come to you. Aurora suites feature large windows facing up and out, so you don’t need to put on a heavy safari suit or woolen gloves. In fact, you don’t have to wear anything at all. Just enjoy the cozy warmth and wait for the magic to happen.

Northern Lights Finland, Syöte
Photo by: Tiina Törmänen | Visit Finland