Aurora Tracks See Northern Lights

Northern Lights Map | Where Northern Lights are in the World

aurora borealis map

Wondering where Northern Lights can be seen in the world? Using our own Northern Lights map, we show you in visual terms exactly which towns are the best aurora borealis travel spots across the globe.

For the novice aurora hunter, choosing a destination to station yourself for your northern lights experience can be difficult. Yet, it need not be, with a bit of knowledge of where the lights can be seen with reliability, choosing a location can be quite straightforward.

Below we’ve designed a northern lights map (with detailed insert maps further down) showing the exact towns that are considered the best aurora borealis viewing places in the world. Use these maps alongside our travel articles to help you plan the best destination for your aurora vacation.

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) Map – Worldwide

Click map for larger view. See detailed maps below for towns and localities (red dots).

aurora borealis worldwide map

Aurora Borealis Map Key (from top):

  • Line 1: Arctic Circle 66.5° N
  • Line 2: Limit of Auroral Zone 60° N
  • Line 3: Limit of Sub-Auroral Zone 50° N
  • Line 4: Limit of Aurora Visibility 40° N

Aurora Borealis Visibility:

  • 66.5° N and above: Arctic Circle – Best visibility
  • 60-70° N (approx.): Auroral Zone – Excellent visibility
  • 50-60° N (approx.): Sub-Auroral Zone – Sometimes visible
  • 40-50° N (approx.): Rarely visible
  • 40° N (approx.): Almost never visible

At very high latitudes aurora travelers will need to avoid the summer months entirely, as there are too many daylight hours and not enough darkness (late-Autumn to early-Spring is best). Generally speaking, mainland United States, mainland Europe and UK do not have good visibility of the aurora borealis, although it may be spotted in these regions during periods of intense solar activity and geomagnetic storms.

TRAVEL TIP Avoid locations below 50° N latitude

Where Northern Lights are Located in the World

The best locations for viewing Northern Lights are situated above the Arctic Circle 66.5° N latitude.

Northern Lights are very rarely visible below 40° N latitude, and these places should be avoided for aurora viewing travel as they are not reliable enough. Aurora Borealis may be glimpsed in locations below 40° N occasionally, but this is an anomaly. Reports of people viewing northern lights in these locations should be taken with a grain of salt, remembering that these accounts may be the only aurora-viewing that has occurred in that locality for years or even decades.

Likewise, aurora borealis is less commonly sighted below 50° N, which is the southern limit of the sub-auroral zone. The sub-auroral zone indicates the area in which the northern lights can be viewed during times of high geomagnetic activity, extending from approximately 50-60° N.

To avoid disappointment when travelling, stick to locations above the lower limit of the auroral zone which are much more reliable for aurora-sighting, that is, above 60° N, but preferably within the arctic circle above 66.5° N.

If you are uncertain whether the travel spot you have chosen is suitable, have a look at the latitude. You can easily find the latitude of any given location on Google Maps by right-clicking anywhere on the map.

Northern Lights Map – United States & Canada

northern lights map united states-canada
Northern Lights Map – United States (Alaska) & Canada. Click map for larger view.


  • #1 Nome: 64.50° N
  • #2 Anchorage: 61.22° N
  • #3 Denali National Park: 63.33° N
  • #4 Fairbanks: 64.84° N
  • #5 Utqiagvik/Barrow: 71.30° N


  • #6 Whitehorse, Yukon: 60.72° N
  • #7 Jasper, Alberta: 52.88° N / Banff, Alberta: 51.18° N
  • #8 Yellowknife, Northwest Territories: 62.45° N
  • #9 Churchill, Manitoba: 58.77° N
  • #10 Iqaluit, Nunavut: 63.75° N

These are the most popular destinations in Alaska and Canada to view the Aurora Borealis. The numbers correlate to the Northern Lights map above, and are not otherwise listed in any order.

Of those listed, the only destination located in the Arctic Circle is Utqiagvik aka Barrow (#5), which offers excellent opportunity for seeing the aurora although it is very remote and challenging to access. Jasper, Banff and Churchill (#7 #9) are located in the sub-auroral zone, and are less reliable for aurora sightings due to their more southern position; they have been included here because they are frequently mentioned in aurora hunting guidebooks.

The remainder of the destinations are located in the auroral zone and therefore offer good opportunity for spotting the northern lights.

Further reading:





Northern Lights Map – Scandinavia & Russia

northern lights map scandinavia russia
Northern Lights Map – Scandinavia & Russia. Click map for larger view.


  • #1 Svolvær: 68.23° N
  • #2 Narvik: 68.44° N
  • #3 Tromsø: 69.65° N
  • #4 Alta: 69.96° N
  • #5 Kirkenes: 69.73° N


  • #6 Abisko: 68.35° N
  • #7 Kiruna: 67.86° N / Jukkasjärvi: 67.89° N
  • #8 Gällivare: 67.14° N
  • #9 Pajala: 67.21° N


  • #10 Muonio: 67.96° N
  • #11 Levi: 67.80° N
  • #12 Sodankylä: 67.40° N
  • #13 Rovaniemi: 66.50° N
  • #14 Saariselkä: 68.42° N
  • #15 Ivalo: 68.65° N
  • #16 Nellim: 68.91° N


  • #17 Murmansk: 68.97° N
  • #18 Kirovsk: 67.61° N
  • #19 Vorkuta: 67.50° N
  • #20 Salekhard: 66.54° N
  • #21 Norilsk: 70° N approx. (closed city)


  • #22 Longyearbyen: 78.22° N

These are some of the most popular destinations in Scandinavia, Nordic Europe and Russia to view the northern lights. The numbers correlate to the Northern Lights map above, and are not otherwise listed in any order.

This region is extremely popular for aurora chasers, and for good reason. Of all the destinations listed here, all are located directly on or above the Arctic Circle, meaning they have prime position for aurora borealis sightings. Even if your anticipated travel destination isn’t in this list, as long as it is in the general vicinity and isn’t affected by other impedances to visibility such as light pollution, then you should have an excellent chance of spotting the aurora in this location.

While travelling, be mindful of sticking to the northern regions of the countries listed here, as shown on the Aurora Borealis map above. Although you may hear of anecdotal reports of aurora sightings in the capital cities such as Helsinki and Stockholm, these are too far south to be considered reliable northern lights hunting areas. Also be sure to avoid the summer months, when these regions experience Midnight Sun and very long days, since complete darkness is required to view the aurora.

Further reading:



Best Aurora Chasing Hotel In Finland | Northern Lights Travel

4 Amazing Lapland-Finland Glass Igloo Stays

Best Cruise To Northern Lights NORWAY | Comparison Guide 2022-2023

Most Popular Tours To NORWAY Northern Lights (2022-2023)

Northern Lights Map – Greenland & Iceland

northern lights map greenland iceland
Northern Lights Map – Greenland & Iceland. Click map for larger view.


  • #1 Nuuk: 64.18° N
  • #2 Sisimiut: 66.94° N
  • #3 Kangerlussuaq: 67.01° N
  • #4 Ilulissat: 69.22° N
  • #5 Tasiilaq: 65.61° N


  • #6 Reykjavik: 64.13° N
  • #7 Stykkishólmur: 65.08° N
  • #8 Akureyri: 65.68° N
  • #9 Höfn: 64.26° N

These are some of the most popular destinations in Iceland and Greenland to view the northern lights. The numbers correlate to the Northern Lights map above, and are not otherwise listed in any order.

Of all the possible northern lights destinations, Iceland is by far the most popular, with many tour and accommodation providers specializing in aurora borealis across the country. The dark skies around Iceland mean that visibility of the northern lights is excellent across most of the land, although travelers should avoid the cities such as Reykjavik to avoid light pollution.

Greenland, due to its remote northern location, is also popular, with the most favorable destinations located around or above the Arctic Circle.

Further reading:

One Night Tours From Reykjavik To Northern Lights | Iceland

5 Most Popular Iceland Northern Lights Vacation Packages (2022-2023)

5 Great Short Tours To Northern Lights ICELAND

Conclusion & Further Reading

By now you should have a very good idea of the best regions to visit to see the aurora, and hopefully with the help of these Northern Lights maps, you’ve been able to pinpoint your next vacation destination. But before you book anything, take the time to learn a bit more about the aurora phenomenon first, to ensure you have factored everything into your planning. In particular, time of year.

While this article focuses mainly on destinations, we cannot stress enough the importance of choosing the right time of year to travel as well. This is particularly important if you are heading into the auroral zone, where the daylight hours in summer are too long to give good visibility for the aurora. If you have flexibility, you should also aim to plan your vacation for a peak solar year, to maximize your chances.

Lastly, we should mention that the information on the auroral zone and latitudes given here are approximate, to assist with vacation planning. In reality, the auroral oval is much more, let’s say, wavy and lopsided. It is not at a fixed latitude and technically, it does extend further down in North America than it does in Europe. In saying that, it is still a common rule of thumb to say that the Arctic Circle and above is the best aurora viewing location. To learn more about this, read our article on the best places to view the aurora or visit the aurora pages on the NASA website.

Happy aurora hunting!

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