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When is the Best Time to See Northern Lights FINLAND?

best time to see northern lights finland

An important part of planning a trip to Finland is selecting the best time to see Northern Lights Finland. In this article, we discuss the best time of year to visit this stoic Nordic country, and how to choose the best conditions for seeing the lights.

The aurora borealis is a beautiful natural phenomenon that can be seen within the auroral zone. Due to its location, Finland is an excellent place to view the northern lights throughout the spring, winter, and fall. However, they are not visible all the time and if you are serious about seeing the aurora you need to plan your vacation dates accordingly. In this article, we explain the best times to see the aurora borealis in Finland, and why.

When Is the Best Time to See Northern Lights Finland?

The northern lights are ever-present, and the only reason they cannot be viewed throughout the summer months is due to the lack of dark skies. At the equator, the number of hours of daylight stays roughly the same year-round. As you move further north, the number of hours of daylight increases during the summer and decreases during winter. At the northernmost points of the planet, it can stay sunny 24 hours a day during the summer. As a result, it’s impossible to view the aurora borealis from the Earth’s surface.

During the wintertime, on the other hand, the northernmost points of the planet are stuck in perpetual darkness. While it is the perfect time to get a glimpse of the elusive lights, is also generally too cold for most people. Instead, some of the best times to view the northern lights in Finland, are during the spring and fall, as these seasons provide the perfect combination of warmth and darkness.

When visiting Finland during the spring or fall, the best time to catch a glimpse of the northern lights is between 5 PM and 2 AM. They generally are not visible for long periods of time, as they tend to fade in and out throughout the evening. On an average night, a hunter may catch a glimpse of the elusive lights for no more than about 20 minutes at a time.

“Late Autumn to Early Spring is the Best Time to See Northern Lights in Finland”


August to October

The first opportunity to view the northern lights in Finland occurs during the autumn. As the warm summers begin to cool, and the days grow shorter, the opportunity to view the elusive lights increases. While autumn begins in August, the autumnal equinox actually starts in September. As the equinox passes, the chances of viewing the aurora increases exponentially every single day.


November to March

Without a question, winter is the best time of year in which to view the elusive lights. Because the days are so short during the winter months, you are rewarded with ample time for stargazing. However, with shorter days come colder nights. As the snow begins to fall and lakes begin to ice over, the land is covered with a cool chill that can be too much for some. Although the opportunities to view the northern lights are increased substantially, you must be ready to deal with the subfreezing temperatures.


April to May

Just like autumn, spring is an amazing time of year to visit Finland. While there may still be snow on the ground, it is slowly melting and giving way to brightly colored flowers. The days slowly become longer, making it harder to view the elusive lights at night. Nevertheless, as the snows of winter melt, the temperatures increase, which creates a much more favorable viewing experience for visitors to the north.


June to July

By the time summer rolls around, the days are extremely long and warm. It is a great time to visit Finland if you want to see the sights, but not for viewing the aurora borealis. During the peak of the summer, it is simply impossible to view the northern lights due to the midnight sun. Even at the beginning and end of summertime, there are still relatively few hours of absolute darkness for which to spend hunting for the elusive lights.

What Are the Best Conditions for Viewing the Northern Lights Finland?

When it comes to catching a glimpse of the aurora borealis, you need to have the perfect conditions. The most important things to keep in mind when hunting for the elusive lights are to ensure that there is a new moon, limited light pollution, and excellent solar activity.


Many people forget just how important the phases of the moon are when it comes to viewing the aurora borealis. During a full moon, the intensity of the sunlight is reflected off the surface of the moon, lighting up the countryside. This creates large amounts of light pollution that can interfere with the viewing experience. It is always best to go hunting for the northern lights during a new moon.

Light Pollution

One cannot overemphasize the importance of light pollution. Although it is possible to view the aurora borealis from the center of a small town during the peak of a solar cycle, there is generally too much light pollution to view the natural phenomenon clearly. This light pollution is created by streetlights, stoplights, household lights, and more. Light reflects off of the atmosphere, making it harder to view the nighttime skies.

Solar Cycle

Understanding the solar cycle is imperative to hunting for the elusive lights. Whenever the solar cycle is at its peak, more energy is ejected from the sun, which helps to increase the visibility of the northern lights. In fact, during the peak of the last solar cycle, the northern lights could be viewed as far south as Ireland and Scotland. But, at the lowest point of the solar cycle, even viewing the auroras in Finland can be a difficult task.

Conclusion on Best Time to See Northern Lights Finland

We hope with this quick guide you now have a good idea of the best time to see the Northern Lights in Finland, to inform your trip-planning. For more information on choosing the best time and place, we suggest you also read our article on how to choose the best time to see Northern Lights and best places to see Northern Lights in Finland. If you’re flexible on your travel dates, also check out our article on the best years to see the aurora, since not every year is equally good for seeing them. While catching the aurora borealis is never guaranteed, this information will offer you the best possible chance of seeing them when you do visit.

Happy aurora chasing!

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