Best time to travel to Sweden

Northern Lights in Sweden

Polar lights is a natural phenomenon​ that creates magical sights and emotions for anyone around

Best time: September–March

Northern Lights
Northern Lights
Northern Lights

To see northern lights or aurora borealis is on everyone's bucket list! This is when the sky comes to life with streaks of green, purple, and pink dancing above your head. Don't waste time wondering how cold it is and just travel now to hunt down the magic.

Kiruna

There are no borders when it comes to aurora borealis tours in Kiruna as the city is the perfect base for investigating Sweden’s great white north. It is the country’s northernmost city, with a population of around 17,000 people. It takes a 90-minute flight or a splendid 12-hour train ride to get to Kiruna from Stockholm. If your aim is to see the polar lights by car, snowmobile, snowshoe, skis, or dogsled, there are plenty of tour companies in Kiruna to offer you such experiences.

Jukkasjärvi

If you’re seeking the excellent northern Swedish experience, head to the lovely village of Jukkasjärvi. Accessible just by taking a 20 minute drive from Kiruna, Jukkasjärvi is home to around 550 inhabitants and the famous Icehotel.

Aurora Sky Station

For the most excellent chance of witnessing the polar lights, you should make the Aurora Sky Station trip in Abisko National Park. This park is 62 mi (100 km) west of Kiruna, with daily shuttle transfers available. Although you never know for sure if you see aurora or not, Abisko is famous for the clear skies and is deemed to be one of the most adorable spots for visitors to witness the miracle of aurora borealis. A chair lift takes visitors up to the observation tower from where you can see all the beauty around.

Porjus

Porjus is a tiny northern village, with about 400 inhabitants and is the desired spot for viewing aurora borealis in Sweden. Situated 600 km (373 mi) north of the Arctic Circle, Porjus lies on the edge of a beautiful lake and it's also a UNESCO World Heritage Site Laponia. Furthermore, it is located in the stillness of nature, away from the city lights, so just rent a cabin and enjoy the unbelievable dancing lights just above your head.

Generally, northern lights appear in early September in the far north of Sweden. And by January, when winter is all around Sweden, the northern lights can be seen throughout the large expanse of land in the northwest of Sweden. The last flash of aurora borealis in the country can be witnessed in late March and once in a blue even in early April. The most fabulous spectacle usually occurs between 10 and 11 pm on clear evenings, but generally, you can spot northern lights in Sweden between 6 pm and 2 am.

Dress properly, though, because it is extremely cold! And make sure to try plenty of winter activities, including dog sledding!​

Practical info

Which places in Sweden offer the best aurora borealis view?

The best spots to catch a glimpse of the northern lights in Sweden are Kiruna, Porjus, and Aurora Sky Station at Abisko National Park. The chairlift ride and observation tower in Aurora Sky Station deliver unparalleled views, while cabin rentals in Porjus and being 600km north of the Arctic Circle offer a peaceful viewing experience. Kiruna, on the other hand, is a popular city that provides various activities besides aurora borealis hunting, such as skiing, dog sledding, and snowmobiling. Show more

When is the ideal time for aurora borealis sightings in Sweden?

September to April is the aurora borealis season in Sweden, with the peak period from January to March when winter is in full swing. You can witness a spectacular dance of lights in the sky between 10 pm and 11 pm on clear nights; however, it's visible between 6 pm to 2 am. To increase the chances of spotting aurora borealis, the sky must be clear because it cannot be perceived through clouds. Show more

What other possible activities one can enjoy in Kiruna and Jukkasjärvi?

Kiruna and Jukkasjärvi offer a variety of winter activities besides aurora borealis hunting, including skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and dog sledding. In addition, tourists can visit the Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi and the Esrange Space Center, as well as experience the Sami culture by visiting their villages and sampling their delicacies. A trip to Sweden is not solely limited to aurora borealis observation, as there is an abundance of winter activities and cultural experiences to indulge in. Show more

What is the appropriate clothing to withstand the cold weather in Sweden during the aurora borealis season?

Sweden has a cold climate during the aurora borealis season, ranging from -4°F (-20°C) to 14°F (-10°C). It is best to wear layers, such as moisture-wicking base layers, wool sweaters, and warm jackets. Essential accessories include hats, gloves, neck gaiters, snow boots with proper traction to prevent slipping. Protection from the cold can also be increased through heated clothing and hand warmers. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin