Northern lights hunting in Norway: budget, tips and addresses

So this is the big question that everyone asks because we think we have to go to hard to reach places lost near the Arctic Circle, before doing a Northern Lights hunt in Norway and to see it myself, I thought it was an unattainable or very difficult dream to achieve!

While in fact not at all!

There is an airport next to the towns where it is easy to see . And they are located about 5 hours by plane (with 1 connection) from Paris.


Sommaire [montrer]

Combien de temps pour être sûr de voir des aurores boréales en Norvège ?

Pour voir des aurores boréales il faut un ciel dégagé et sans nuage.
Donc si tu n’y vas que pour 3 jours et que tu as 3 jours de temps couvert tu ne pourras pas en voir.

So better to take at least a 4 or 5 day weekend  and put the maximum chances on your side for a Northern Lights hunt. Indeed, this gives you the opportunity to have at least one or two days of clear weather.

Even if the weather forecast is for three days of rain or snow, you still have a chance to see some !!

The night I saw the most fantastic Northern Lights (the ones in the video), it had just snowed for 2h30 and we saw them on the way back after a clear break.

The weather changes very quickly in Norway .
And when I say very quickly it’s when five 10 minutes you go from a snowstorm to a very blue sky.

When, how and where to see the Northern Lights in Norway?

When to see the Northern Lights in Norway?

The ideal time to see the Northern Lights in Norway is from mid-November to the end of February .

To see the Northern Lights, the best time is from 10 p.m. .

Indeed, it is only at night that you can see these wonders of nature.

How to see the Northern Lights in Norway?

On your own

You can get started without the adventure on your own with a rental car and a mobile app (yes yes there is an app for that !! NorwayLights ) On the
other hand you will have to be patient and be ready to make a lot of road sometimes to find a good spot (unless you have had the advice of a local 😉

With a specialized company

The advantage of going with a specialized company is that they have base camps where they take you and where you can wait quietly around a fire. with a hot chocolate.

It is not cheap but the advantage is that if there is even a small chance to see it, they will get there.

Personally I went through Tromso Safari , they are very competent, friendly and funny!
The price is 95 €  for 5-7 hours of excursion.

I was also told the greatest good from Pukka Travels .

Where to see the Northern Lights in Norway?

When you look at the map it seems inaccessible and completely north of the planet, whereas in fact in five hours by plane you are there! 

The best cities for a Northern Lights hunt

  1. Tromso : It is the city where the Northern Lights are the most numerous , the most beautiful and where they move the most, as if they were dancing in the sky. There are also plenty of just great activities to do (see below).
  2. Lyngen Fjords  : You are full in the Lyngen Alps and the landscapes are incredible (these are the first images of the video).
  3. Andenes, Vesteralen  : Cute towns with super beautiful surroundings and you can take an excursion to see sperm whales .
  4. Svolvaer, in Lofotens : One of the most beautiful places in Norway, the fjords are magical and the colors unreal.
aurores boreales en norvege tromso

My tips for organizing your Northern Lights trip to Norway

How to get to Norway?

You will find many flights Paris – Tromso for a good price between 250 – 350 €. Do not hesitate to check with your dates here .

Note that the flight duration is 5:30 with 1 stopover. In addition, connections are not always well done depending on the day.

Airlines that serve this destination:

Many airlines fly to Norway but I recommend the following two:

  • SAS : Because it has the fastest connections.
  • Norwegian : Because it’s the cheapest.

Where to sleep during your trip to Norway?

Even in northern Norway, a region far from the rest of the world, you will find towns with all modern comforts and a wide choice of accommodation .

It’s up to you to make your choice according to your budget and the comfort you want:

How to get around once there?

1. By car

It is the cheapest  and one of the most spectacular way to discover Norway in winter. .

You can discover small islands and fjords with the roads that pass by the sea.

It takes around 250 € for 1 week rental ( check with your dates here ).

If you have time, the most economical is to go with your own vehicle.

But unless your car is equipped with snow tires I strongly recommend that you rent a car there .

I was really impressed with how easy it was to drive on snow with their cars.

2. By boat / ferry

Another magical way to discover northern Norway and the beauty of its fjords is by boat or ferry.

The Hurtigruten  is a boat that travels the fjords of Norway from north to south of the country.

It goes through the most beautiful places and seen from the sea believe me it is even more impressive !!

You can take a weeklong cruise or just spend the night there (like I did).

3. By Plane

And a good way to save time if you are not there for a long time, especially for the return trip, is to take an internal flight with the company Wideroe (the only one that serves small towns).

If, for example, you arrive in Tromso and get off at Lofotens, it is sometimes more interesting to leave your rental car there and take an internal flight back to Tromso.

It’s faster and sometimes cheaper.

It’s very easy to get around northern Norway, but it’s up to you to choose the way you prefer depending on your time and budget.

iles lofotens aurores boréales en Norvège

What equipment for the cold?

In fact in North Norway it is not that cold .

The temperature drops virtually never below -10 ° C . Being by the sea regulates the climate and temperatures.

In order not to get cold during a Northern Lights hunt in Norway, all you need is a good coat and hiking  or waterproof shoes . And that is more than enough!

Personally, I always like to wear a merino wool thermal at the top and bottom and put my regular pants in my pocket on top.

Here are the clothes I had:

To sum up, you just have to dress like you’re going skiing, nothing more.

The incredible activities to do during the day in Northern Norway

Tested myself except where mentioned

The region of Tromso

See Orcas and Whales on a Catamaran

It was just madness !!! I thought I was in a National Geographic documentary

The waters are so rich in fish that you can easily see 50 whales and 40 orcas on each trip. I recommend my article on visiting Tromso !

Tested with  Artic Cruise in Norway : 2 people with their hands on their hearts.

Please avoid choosing a company that uses big boats . It makes a lot of noise and disturbs whales and orcas even more than a small boat.

Skiing from the Fjords to the sea in the Lyngen Alps

You start at the top of the mountain and you end up at the water’s edge !
(not enough time, I couldn’t do it).

Waking up in front of the fjords

Start your day by waking up in a wooden house facing the fjords at the edge of the water, it’s a magical moment!

I stayed at the Arctic Lyngen Seacamp .

The people are super cool and they offer side excursions .

They do this part of the year and the rest of the time they are Icebreaker captain! ^^

It is worth it for accommodation from 4 people. Otherwise it’s a budget!

lyngen fjord aurores boreales en norvege

See the Northern Lights in Norway from your bed

Green Gold of Norway  is a place that offers the possibility of sleeping in wooden teepees with transparent roofs : it looks magical!

You can stay warm under the covers for the northern lights
(I changed my route at the last moment, I couldn’t test)

Cruise in the Fjords

The landscapes are to die for and the level of comfort on board is top notch. You can take a 1 day, 1 night, 1 week cruise, the choice is yours.

The Hurtigruten is a boat that travels through Norway from North to South like a ferry (for people not vehicles). So you choose the distance you want to do by boat and there are many stops.

In the Andenes – Vesteralen region

Sperm whale watching

This is one of the few places in the world where you have a 90% chance of seeing sperm whales on every trip. They come to stock up on food in this fjord.
Andenes Whales Safari (Trip canceled due to bad weather, I couldn’t test)

Spaceship to aurora

Spaceship Aurora is aninteractive museumto explainhow the Northern Lights are formed. Everything is in English, French not available.

The mini film is very interesting and explains everything very simply . The rest of the visit and the role-playing game delight the children but if you don’t have any, you will get bored very quickly.

Traditional Sami camp

The Sami are the native people of Lapland. They are known to be reindeer herders. 

The Inga Sami Siida camp is a place where the Laila & Aril couple welcome visitors in their traditional tipi and introduce them to Sami culture. There are also reindeer sleigh rides .

They are really lovely and very welcoming .

observation des aigles lofoten aurores boréales en Norvège

In The Logoten Islands

Discover the islands by car

Just take your car and drive in these grandiose landscapes will leave you with unforgettable memories .

My head was glued to the tile all the time. The road passes by the water’s edge and the views are magnificent.

No worries about driving on snow , all cars are fitted with snow tires and I drove in 15cm of fresh snow with the feeling of driving on an open road.

See the eagles or discover the Trollfjord in a Zodiac

It’s just beautiful to see eagles flying over your head .

But in the end, it’s a good excuse to go and discover the landscapes to die for. breathtaking of the TrollFjord.

On the other hand, I was a little disappointed to see that they attract eagles by throwing fresh fish into the water!
The eagles are so used to it now that they come back when the captain whistles them off.

I went through Lofoten Explorer .

trollfjord aurores boreales en norvege

Horseback riding in the snow

If you like to ride a horse, you will enjoy walking in the snow and observing the landscapes of Norway on the back of your mount.

I tested Hovhestegard .

The staff are super nice and the Icelandic horses are tough, curious and adorable.

Viking Museum

They rebuilt an old traditional house in the same way. Viking chieftain’s fashion.

It is possible to visit all the rooms which are reconstructed with scenes and period objects.

And the modern building houses the Viking Museum with the exhibits.

In summer, tickets also include a drakkar ride and a blacksmith’s workshop.
If like me, you are a fan of the Viking people I strongly advise you to go for a walk .

You will know more about their customs, their philosophy and you will be greatly amazed!

Organize your tailor-made trip to Norway!

You want to visit the fabulous country of Norway with its magnificent northern lights in a more organized setting , I recommend the Evaneos agency (you can even tell them that you came from me).

They will help you organize your entire trip , including plane tickets, drivers and also their local French guides such as Christian and Liisa .

aurores boreales en norvege

Budget to plan for a Northern Lights hunt in Norway

Please note that this budget is only indicative.

It will directly depend on how you travel , how comfortable you want to sleep, what you want to eat, and how many activities you are going to do.

But what is important to remember is that if you want to go on a Northern Lights hunt and you have a small budget, it is quite possible  :

  • You go 5 days
  • You sleep in a couch surfing or Air BnB type room
  • If you eat pasta
  • You manage by yourself to get out of the city and find a spot to see the Northern Lights .

There you will get by for almost nothing!

But here is the average budget for a “normal” trip if you go on a Northern Lights hunt.

Indicative budget for a week for a Northern Lights trip to Norway:

1300 – 1500 € / person all included.  

If this article made you want to travel, I recommend my article on Preparing a van trip: the essentials before leaving !

This article and video on the Northern Lights in Norway was produced in collaboration with the Norwegian Tourist Board.

Two essentials for your stay in Norway 

Even if the aurora borealis is more in the North, if you go to Norway I advise you to take a tour of 2 simply magnificent spots!

The cliff of Preikestolen

preikestolen norvege

It is one of the most important tourist site in the country , but we can understand why!

It is a rocky platform that is over 600 meters above sea level and offers a view that is just incredible! It takes 3-4 hours of round trip walking (around 6km). But be careful once there , there is no security barrier , those who have vertigo, you can still admire the view without approaching the edge.

The site is accessible from May to October , if you go by car, parking costs € 20 but entry to the site is free.


trolltunga aurores boreales en norvege

It is a spot that offers a magnificent view (and also a superb souvenir photo). It is a longer hike ( allow 10 hours of round trip walking for 23km ) so you need a minimum level to be able to access it (quite physical at the beginning).

But the hike is just as beautiful as the finish ! On the other hand, check the weather forecast before leaving and equip yourself well (good shoes, warm clothes, etc.).