Sweden is one of the best places in the world to view the Northern Lights, as they are visible for over half the year. Many people travel to Swedish Lapland to view the natural light show, but what about the capital? Can you see the northern lights in Stockholm?
It turns out the answer is yes!
Despite being in the south of Sweden, Stockholm is still pretty far north (59°33′ N) which means that the lights are still visible here.
However, you have to be incredibly lucky to see them as you need just the right combination of conditions in order for them to make an appearance. Apparently, the geomagnetic conditions are only prime for around one night per year.
When I visited in January I checked the aurora forecast every night but unfortunately, I wasn’t lucky enough to catch a glimpse. Hopefully, I’ll have better luck this winter!
In this guide, I’ll give you some tips for spotting the Northern Lights, as well as some of the best places in Sweden to see them.
Let’s dive in!
Hi, I’m JJ!
I’m a travel blogger with a passion for unique travel destinations, discovering hidden gems, and adventurous solo travel.
Stockholm is one of my favourite winter destinations! There’s plenty of opportunities for adventure here even if the Northern lights don’t make an appearance.
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What Are The Northern Lights?
The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, are a natural phenomenon that occurs in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. It is caused when charged particles from the sun collide with gases in our planet’s atmosphere, creating a breathtaking display of lights and colors in the sky.
It’s incredibly beautiful and no surprise that seeing the Northern Lights in Sweden is at the top of many people’s bucket lists!
Can You See The Northern Lights In Stockholm
If you are wondering: “Can you see the Northern Lights from Stockholm?” the answer is yes! However, Stockholm may not be the best place in Sweden to view this magical display of lights.
Due to light pollution from the city, it can be quite challenging to see the northern lights clearly in Stockholm. The bright lights of the city can interfere with the visibility of the natural lights in the sky.
Also, Stockholm is quite far south of the Arctic Circle, which is the best place to see it. The further south you travel the less frequent the lights become.
When I was in Stockholm recently it snowed quite a lot so there was a lot of cloud cover every night, which wasn’t ideal for viewing the lights. But don’t let that discourage you! There are still ways to increase your chances of seeing them.
Check out this video of the Aurora Borealis in Stockholm:
Tips For Seeing Northern Lights In Stockholm
If you’re determined to see the Northern Lights in Stockholm, or anywhere else in Sweden, here are some tips to increase your chances:
Visit during the winter months – the longer nights will give you a better chance of seeing the lights.
Consider the climate – choose months with fewer rainy or snowy days for clearer skies.
Warmer days may be more favorable – when it’s not freezing outside, you’ll be more willing to wait longer for the lights to appear.
Avoid full moon nights – moonlight is strong and can make it harder to see the Aurora.
Download an Aurora forecast app – This will predict the best times that the lights will be visible
Be patient and keep checking the forecast – just because you didn’t see them on one night, doesn’t mean they won’t appear on another.
Don’t get frustrated – Remember that the uncertainty of whether you will see them or not is all part of the magic!
How To See The Northern Lights In Sweden
If you’re set on seeing the Northern Lights during your trip to Sweden, there are a few other options, besides Stockholm, that may provide a better viewing experience.
One popular option is to travel north towards the Arctic Circle. Places like Abisko and Kiruna are known for their clear skies and are considered some of the best places in Sweden to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
Another option is to visit the remote region of Northern Lapland, where light pollution is minimal, and the chances of seeing the northern lights are much higher.
These destinations are a little too far to travel for a day trip from Stockholm, so I recommend that you allow at least 2 nights there.
💁🏻♀️JJ’s TOP TIP: Wondering how to get to Lapland from Stockholm? An overnight train from Stockholm will get you to Swedish Lapland in around 15 hours, making it a convenient option for travelers!
Best Time To See The Northern Lights In Sweden
If you’re wondering when to pack your bags for a Swedish Northern Lights adventure, late September to early March is your best bet. During these months, the skies get darker, creating the perfect canvas for the Aurora Borealis to put on its enchanting show.
The Aurora can appear anytime between 6 PM and 2 AM, but the most impressive shows usually happen between 10 PM and 2 AM.
Overall, February is the best month to catch a glimpse of the lights as there is usually increased solar activity, less cloud cover, and fewer tourists. So plan your trip accordingly!
🌌 Don’t forget to install an Aurora forecast app for real-time updates so you won’t miss any Northern Lights shows!
Best Place To See The Northern Lights Sweden
Kiruna – Home to Esrange Space Center, a major institution for studying the Aurora Borealis.
Abisko National Park – This is said to be the best place in Sweden to view the northern lights there is an 88% chance you will see an Aurora display here.
Jukkasjärvi – Here you’ll find the world’s first ice hotel! This makes it a very unique and popular place to see the Northern Lights in Sweden.
The Kiruna Northern Lights
Located in the far reaches of northern Sweden, Kiruna is a prime location for viewing the Northern Lights. The city’s geographic location, well within the Arctic Circle, increases the likelihood of spotting this ethereal spectacle.
If you’re planning to visit, consider booking a guided tour that specializes in Northern Lights excursions. These tours often take you to remote locations, optimizing your chances of an unobstructed view.
Remember to bundle up – it can get quite cold, but the sight of the luminous, dancing Aurora will make it all worthwhile!
Northern Lights Tour Kiruna
Northern Lights Forecast Kiruna
How To Get From Stockholm To Kiruna
The quickest way to get from Stockholm to Kiruna is by plane. The flight takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes and is operated by Norwegian Air.
However, I recommend taking the overnight train, which will take approximately 15 hours, as it is both cheaper and more eco-friendly. Plus taking a sleeper train is a great way to start your adventure!
Where To Stay In Kiruna
For the ultimate Northern Lights bucket-list-worthy adventure, I recommend staying in a glass igloo!
The Aurora River Camp in Kiruna offers cozy glass igloos with stunning views of the night sky, perfect for experiencing the Northern Lights in all their glory.
The camp also offers activities such as dog sledding and snowmobiling, adding to your overall Arctic experience.
The Abisko Northern Lights
Abisko, a small village in Northern Sweden, is yet another prime location to view the Northern Lights.
The village is located within the stunning Abisko National Park, known for its unique microclimate that results in clear skies, thus providing optimal conditions for aurora viewing.
The Aurora Sky Station in Abisko is a world-renowned observatory for viewing the Northern Lights. Visitors can take a chairlift to the top of Mount Nuolja, where the station is located, and enjoy a panoramic view of the shimmering lights dancing across the sky.
The Sky Station also offers a four-course dinner option where guests can enjoy a delightful meal while waiting for the aurora to make an appearance.
Northern Lights Tour Abisko
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to join a guided Northern Lights tour, which takes you further into the wilderness to escape any residual light pollution. This truly enhances the chances of an unforgettable Northern Lights experience.
I recommend this one:
Northern Lights Forecast Abisko
You can check the Abisko winter Aurora forecast here.
How To Get From Stockholm To Abisko
Despite being a remote location, getting to Abisko is quite straightforward. The village is easily accessible by direct train from the city of Kiruna, which takes about 1 hour. Simply follow the directions above to get to Kiruna from Stockholm.
Where To Stay In Abisko
I recommend staying at Abisko Mountain Lodge, it is located just a couple minutes’ walk from the train station and 2 km away from Abisko National Park and the Aurora Sky Station. From Abisko Mountain Lodge there are several different trails you can take to do day hikes.
The Jukkasjärvi Northern Lights
Jukkasjärvi, a small town in northern Sweden, is famously known for its stunning ice hotel. Each year the hotel is built anew with ice and snow from the nearby Torne River.
This makes it a truly unique place to see the Northern Lights – imagine viewing them while staying in an actual ice suite!
Northern Lights Forecast Jukkasjärvi
How To Get From Stockholm To Jukkasjärvi
To get to Jukkasjärvi, you will need to first take the train from Stockholm to Kiruna. Once in Kiruna, you can either take a bus or taxi for the 20-minute journey to Jukkasjärvi.
The ice hotel also provides a shuttle service for an additional fee if you are staying there.
Where To Stay In Jukkasjärvi
For an unforgettable experience, you have to stay at the Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi.
Not only can you admire the Northern Lights from your ice room, but you can also partake in a variety of Arctic activities such as snowmobiling and reindeer sledding.
Stockholm Northern Lights Tours
There are some options for Northern Lights winter guided tours from Stockholm to Swedish Lapland but personally, I recommend getting the overnight train to Kiruna and then taking a tour from there. This option is better value for money in my opinion.
Here are my top picks for tours from Kiruna:
FAQs: Can You See Northern Lights In Stockholm
Can you see the northern lights in Sweden?
Yes, you can see the Northern Lights in Sweden! In fact, the country is one of the best places in the world to view this natural phenomenon. If you visit at the right time of year, there is a high chance you will see the Aurora Borealis in Sweden
Which city in Sweden can see the Northern Lights?
The Northern Lights can be seen in most parts of Sweden, but the best places to see them are in the far north near the Arctic Circle. Popular destinations for viewing the northern lights include Abisko, Kiruna, and Jukkasjärvi.
Is it possible to see Northern Lights in Stockholm?
It is possible to see the northern lights in Stockholm, but your chances are better in more remote and northern areas of Sweden. That being said, Stockholm still offers a chance to see the lights if you’re lucky and conditions are right.
How far is Stockholm from the Northern Lights?
Stockholm is approximately 1235 km (767 miles) from Kiruna which is the best place to view the Northern Lights, It takes around 15 hours to travel there by train.
Can you see Northern Lights in Stockholm in summer?
No, the Northern Lights cannot be seen in Stockholm in summer. The best time to see them in Sweden is between late September and early March when the nights are longer and darker. During the summer months, the nights are short and it is too bright for the Aurora to be visible.
Where is the best place in Sweden to see the Northern Lights?
The best places to see the Northern Lights in Sweden are Abisko, Kiruna, and Jukkasjärvi. These locations have minimal light pollution and clear skies, making them ideal for viewing the Aurora Borealis. Additionally, there is a higher chance of seeing the lights here due to their proximity to the Arctic Circle.
How do you get to Northern Lights in Stockholm?
While it is possible to see the Northern Lights in Stockholm, your best bet is to travel north towards the Arctic Circle. You can take an overnight train from Stockholm to places like Kiruna or Abisko, which have better conditions for viewing the Aurora.
What is the best time to see the Northern Lights in Stockholm?
The best time to see the Northern Lights Stockholm is between late September and early March. These months offer longer and darker nights, which are ideal for viewing the Aurora Borealis. However, there is no guarantee of seeing the lights even during this time as they are dependent on solar activity and weather conditions.
Can you see the Northern Lights from the Ice Hotel in Sweden?
Yes, you can see the Northern Lights from the Ice Hotel in Sweden. In fact, staying at the Ice Hotel offers a unique and unforgettable experience as you can witness the lights from inside your ice room. The hotel also offers Northern Lights tours for guests to venture out and view the Aurora Borealis in all its glory.
What is the best month to see the Northern Lights in Sweden?
The best month to see the Northern Lights in Sweden is February. This is due to increased solar activity, less cloud cover, and fewer tourists which makes it easier to catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis. Additionally, the lights can appear anytime between 6 PM and 2 AM, with the most impressive shows happening between 10 PM and 2 AM.
What are the Northern Lights called in Swedish?
The Northern Lights are called “Norrsken” in Swedish, which translates to “north light.” This name is often used interchangeably with the term “Aurora Borealis,” but both refer to the same natural phenomenon.
Is the train from Stockholm to Kiruna Scenic?
Yes, the train from Stockholm to Kiruna is considered a scenic train ride. The route takes you through beautiful landscapes and offers stunning views of Sweden’s countryside. However, it is an overnight sleeper train so it will be dark for your journey.
Where can you see the Northern Lights in Europe?
In addition to Sweden, the Northern Lights can be seen in other countries in Europe such as Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Scotland. Some popular destinations for viewing the Aurora Borealis include Tromsø in Norway, Rovaniemi in Finland, Reykjavik in Iceland, and Inverness in Scotland.
Final Thoughts: Can You See Northern Lights In Stockholm
While Stockholm may not be the ideal place in Sweden to view the Northern Lights, it is still possible to catch a glimpse of this incredible natural phenomenon.
For the best chances, consider traveling north to areas with less light pollution and clearer skies. And don’t forget to keep an eye on solar activity and weather conditions for optimal viewing opportunities.
Ultimately, whether you see the Northern Lights or not, just being in Sweden during the winter months is a magical experience in itself. So why not make Stockholm your base as you embark on a journey to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of the Aurora Borealis?
Who knows, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to witness the vibrant colors of the Aurora dancing across the night sky in Stockholm itself!
Check out my 3-day Stockholm winter itinerary below for more ideas on things to do in Stockholm in winter, and if you need to warm up after all that Northern Lights spotting, then check out my guide to the best fika in Stockholm!
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