If you’re wondering ‘Can you see northern lights in Sweden?’ the answer is yes! In this article, we explain how you can see the Sweden aurora borealis, and the best places to go.
The awe-inspiring beauty of the northern lights can be seen throughout Northern Europe, including Sweden. The vast open landscape of the Swedish Lapland provides Aurora hunters with some of the most amazing opportunities to view the elusive lights.
When it comes to the aurora borealis, most people think of destination hotspots like Alaska, Canada, Norway, and Iceland. Since Sweden rarely appears on these ‘best of’ lists for aurora hunting, naturally it has led people to question ‘Can you see northern lights in Sweden at all?’
Yes! In fact, Sweden should also be at the top of that list of perfect Aurora hunting destinations. But for some unknown reason, people just don’t seem to talk about it. Maybe they’re keeping the secret to themselves?
With that said, let’s now uncover exactly where you can see northern lights in Sweden.
Where Can You See Northern Lights in Sweden?
Where are Sweden northern lights best seen from?
Thanks to its wide-open areas, there are many optimal viewing locations located in Sweden, throughout the Swedish Lapland. Swedish Lapland comprises the area of Sweden in the far north (approximately the top third of the country). For the best viewing locations, make sure you stick to Swedish Lapland when seeing the aurora borealis Sweden. Below are three of the most popular spots.
Abisko National Park
Abisko National Park is a heathen for Aurora hunters, and is often referred to by many as the “Blue Hole of Abisko”. The National Park is located in the Swedish Lapland and has its own microclimate that results in nearly perfectly clear skies throughout the winter season. The terrain itself is covered by both frozen lakes as well as snow-covered mountains. This provides visitors to the region with an awe-inspiring setting for viewing the elusive lights as they dance through the night skies.
Designated as a dark sky area, Gällivare-Malmberget is a popular destination for Aurora hunters. The area is well known for having little to no light pollution, which provides stargazers with the optimal conditions for viewing the northern lights. A lot of effort has gone into ensuring that Gällivare-Malmberget remains a place for those who wish to immerse themselves in the colorful hues of the auroras as they shimmer and shine across the snow-covered landscape.
Padjelanta National Park
Known as one of the largest national parks in the entire country, Padjelanta National Park is an amazing location for viewing the elusive lights. It is a remote destination, far away from urban centers, resulting in minimal light pollution which allows visitors to the region to enjoy the vast open spaces, Arctic scenery, and pristine frozen lakes.
How to See Northern Lights in Sweden
How can you see northern lights in Sweden? Travel tips
Thanks to its location in the northernmost part of Europe, there are countless destinations throughout the country to view the elusive lights. Each individual location offers a unique viewing experience, but not every location is perfect for every aurora hunter.
You will find Abisko in the northernmost part of the Swedish Lapland, and it is known for being one of the best places on the planet to view the elusive lights. A lot of this is a result of the region’s microclimate which results in clearer skies and a reduced level of precipitation. All in all, this results in the optimal conditions for amazing aurora viewing. The area is also home to the Aurora Sky Station which is located on nearby Mount Nuolja.
You can reach Abisko by train, traveling from both Kiruna and Narvik. Keep in mind, that during the coldest parts of the year, there is a chance that visiting the region may be limited due to excessive snowfall. To access the Aurora Sky Station you can choose to hike up the mountain or take a chairlift.
Thanks to the unique microclimate in Abisko, the skies are relatively clear year-round, and the minimal light pollution makes it a perfect destination for viewing the northern lights. The strategic location of the Aurora Sky Station only helps to enhance the chances of viewing the elusive lights.
More Information: Visit Abisko visitabisko.com
You will find Kiruna and the heart of the Swedish Lapland. It is considered by many to be the gateway to the Arctic Circle and has become a popular destination for northern light hunters. The town and its surrounding countryside are comprised of wide-open expanses of wilderness and frozen lakes, which provide a perfect backdrop, and an unobstructed view of the northern sky.
Kiruna can be accessed by many different means, including domestic flights, trains, as well as cars. If you plan on venturing further into the Swedish Lapland, Kiruna is a perfect home base while you are hunting for the elusive auroras.
Thanks to its northern location, and extremely low light pollution, Kiruna is an excellent destination for viewing the aurora borealis. The surrounding countryside is dotted by large frozen lakes, that help to amplify the awe-inspiring beauty of the northern lights, as they reflect off the frozen surfaces.
To get the best view of the northern lights, it is best to be well within the Arctic Circle. This is why Jokkmokk is an amazing destination for anyone wanting to view the elusive lights while in Sweden. Not only is Jokkmokk located at the edge of the Arctic Circle, but it also offers visitors to the region insight into the local Sami culture.
Jokkmokk is one of the least accessible regions in the Swedish Lapland, as it is only accessible by either car or bus. Notwithstanding, the town also hosts one of the largest Sami culture markets every year, which attracts visitors from every corner of the globe.
Thanks to its remote location, Jokkmokk is the ultimate destination for viewing the northern lights. The surrounding rugged wilderness, provides ample opportunities for photographing the elusive lights, as they glimmer over the beautiful Swedish countryside.
Luleå can be found along the coast of Bothnian Bay, and due to its close proximity to the water, has become a top destination in Sweden for viewing the northern lights. The region offers a unique viewing experience that attracts countless Aurora hunters to its shores each and every year.
You can access Luleå by car, train, as well as domestic flights. You will also find that Luleå has a wide range of accommodations available with countless hotels offering views of Bothnian Bay.
When compared to many other destinations throughout Sweden, Luleå has a substantially higher amount of light pollution. However, thanks to its coastal setting, it still offers visitors to the area with amazing opportunities to view the elusive lights as they dance across the night sky and reflect on the waters of the bay.
Located near the popular destination of Abisko, you will find the largest mountain lake in all of Sweden, Torneträsk. During the peak viewing season, the lake is frozen solid, providing visitors to the area with a picturesque backdrop for viewing the elusive lights.
In order to get to Torneträsk, you will need to rent a car or sign up for a local guided tour. However, due to its remote location, you will most likely need to find accommodations in Abisko.
Thanks to its remote nature, Torneträsk is the ultimate destination for viewing the northern lights. Not only is there limited light pollution in the area, but the large frozen lake helps to enhance the visibility of the lights as they dance across the night sky. When coupled with the tranquil countryside, Torneträsk offers visitors to the region with a more secluded viewing experience.
Can you see northern lights in Sweden?
Yes, you can see northern lights in Sweden, and in fact, Swedish Lapland is one of the best locations in the world to catch them. However, before you begin your journey to view the Sweden aurora borealis it is crucial to take the time to understand the various factors that will ultimately influence the visibility of the elusive lights.
Seasonal and Weather Considerations
- Time of Year: Late September to Early April
While the northern lights exist throughout the year, they are only seen during the winter months, as the nights are longer and darker. The prime season for viewing the aurora borealis in Sweden is between late September and early April. From late September to January, the nights get increasingly darker as each day passes, allowing for extended periods of time to view the vibrant colors of the lights as they dance through the night skies.
Although the skies are generally clearer during the winter months as a result of the reduced levels of humidity, the weather still plays an important role in the visibility of the northern lights. To view the lights unobstructed, you will need to have clear cloudless nights throughout your trip. While it may not be possible to plan for the weather a year in advance, you can still take steps to minimize the weather conditions’ ability to interfere with your viewing experience.
Other Factors Influencing Visibility
- Avoid light pollution (cities, full moon)
- Monitor geomagnetic and solar activity
Beyond the seasons and the weather conditions, many other factors affect the visibility of the aurora borealis. The biggest factor is that of light pollution. Light pollution is commonplace in urban areas, and this can diminish the visibility of the elusive lights. Make sure to select a viewing location that is as far as possible from urban centers, to see the lights in all their vibrant hues. Likewise, you will also need to take into consideration solar flare activity, the KP index, as well as the existence of geomagnetic storms, and the solar cycle which you can monitor through a northern lights app.
This brings us to the end of our guide on where are Sweden northern lights best viewed from. If at this point you are still wondering “Can you see the northern lights in Sweden?” (which surely you shouldn’t be, if you were paying attention), then the answer is definitely yes!
For the best locations to view the Sweden aurora borealis, head into Swedish Lapland, with the Abisko region being one of the most popular locations.
Importantly, remember to visit at the right time of year, that is, the cooler months. Although we don’t have a dedicated guide to the best time of year to see the northern lights in Sweden, knowing that Sweden and Finland are neighbours at the same latitude, many of the same tips from our guides on when to see northern lights in Finnish Lapland and how to see aurora borealis in Finnish Lapland will also apply to Swedish Lapland. Check out those for more info.
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