Gorgeous, unpredictable and difficult to catch – no, we’re not talking about our crushes, but the dazzling Northern and Southern Lights! Since these natural light shows literally aren’t the easiest sights to behold, we’re here to help increase your chances of checking them off your bucket list! Scroll down to find out how, and don’t get lost now 😜


Credit: giphy

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)

We’ve all heard about the North Pole, although not many of us know much about it. Case in point – these are three assumptions people have about the North Pole. Guess which two have been debunked!

  • It is actually a pole – make sure you don’t get your tongue stuck on it!
  • Santa Claus lives here
  • It’s where the Northern Lights are

Tip: Do dress warmly, and don’t visit these places during the summer! It has to be dark from where you are for you to catch the Northern Lights. As the saying goes, “Without darkness, there is no light.”

Credit: giphy

1. Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Ivalo, Finland

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Credit: visitfinland on Flickr

If you feel like you deserve to kick back your shoes after making the trip to watch the lights, then there’s snow place for you like this resort! Have a private screening of the Northern Lights as you lay on your bed in your own thermal igloo.

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Credit: @iamyulin on Instagram

The thermal glass ceilings are anti-frost, so you’ll get crisp, panoramic, views even at startling low temperatures! The cosy igloos are able to keep two people warm while they gaze at a performance of dancing lights.

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Credit: @annettechoo on Instagram

Best time to visit: Late August to Late April
Website: http://www.kakslauttanen.fi
Address: Kakslauttanen, 99830 Saariselkä, Finland
 

2. Icehotel, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

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Credit: @davidprinya on Instagram

In a hotel that Queen Elsa most certainly wouldn’t turn a cold shoulder to, guests are treated to a massive viewing of the Northern Lights. Icehotel is situated in Northern Sweden, which lays underneath the Auroral Oval and is blessed with clear skies – no clouds to dampen your moods should the Lights show up!

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Credit: @jessssssjo on Instagram

You’ll have to dress very warmly here, even to bed, as the hotel stays at an average temperature of -5 degrees Celsius. With that being said, your heart is bound to melt when the Lights appear!

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Credit: @icehotelsweden on Instagram

Bonus: Believe it or not, not every visitor is here to catch the Northern Lights! Come end May to mid-July, you’ll be able to catch the midnight sun, where the sun stays up through the night. Make sweet, sweet, memories as you take in the warm, honey-trickled sky.

Best time to visit: October to March
Website: http://www.icehotel.com
Address: Marknadsvägen 63, 981 91 Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

3. Grótta Lighthouse, Reykjavik, Iceland

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Credit: @joe_shutter on Instagram

As the northernmost capital of the world, Reykjavik is one of the most accessible places to catch the Northern Lights! If you’re travelling in Iceland without a car, your best bet in catching the Lights would be to take a walk from central Reykjavik to the Grótta Lighthouse, where there’s minimal light pollution.

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Credit: @moxiesoda on Instagram

Watch the Lights prance about to their reflections in the water. Some say they appear after midnight, but with clear skies and the general lack of light disruption in the area, you could watch them as early as 9pm, or even at sunset!

Best time to visit: October to March
Address: Grótta Island Lighthouse, Seltjarnarnes, Iceland

4. Northern Canada

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Credit: lit_foto on Flickr

Canada gave us Michael Buble, Celine Dion, and Ryan Gosling. As if we didn’t need more entertainment, most of Northern Canada is capped by the Auroral Oval, making the country one of the most active spots to see the Northern Lights! From Yukon to British Columbia, locals and tourists alike are blessed with regular visitations from this icon.

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Destruction Bay, Yukon Territory

Credit: @jonsimo on Instagram

Best time to visit: Late August to Late April
Info: http://maps.canadiangeographic.ca/northern-lights-across-canada
Location: Northern, Deer Lake, NL, Canada

5. Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway

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Credit: cmeeren on Flickr

There’s no way you can go further north than here. Longyearbyen is located in the Barents Sea and is home to 3,000 polar bears, just 2,100 people, and the Northern Lights.


Credit: @oldkyrenian on Instagram

 Temperatures here can get unimaginably icy, and are not for the fainthearted! You may get cold feet about travelling to Longyearbyen, but if Santa Claus can live at the North Pole, you can too.

Best time to visit: November to February
Location: Longyearbyen, Jan Mayen Island

Southern Lights (Aurora Australis)

Everyone may be chasing the Lights up north, but their lesser-known cousin is known to be even more colourful! Alas, it’s also a tad out-of-reach, as much of the South Pole is encircled by water and ice, but that doesn’t mean your bucket list journey has to go south. It just adds a touch of magic to the experience!

6. Tasmania, Australia

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Credit: @leannemarshall on Instagram

Away from city and light pollution, Tasmania is an ideal location to view the Southern Lights! It’s rife with vast, open, spaces where you can observe the Lights without obstructions overhead.

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Credit: @shaunmittwollen on Instagram 

Best time to visit: July to September
Location: Tasmania, Australia

7. Stewart Island, New Zealand

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Credit: @the_curious_kiwi on Instagram

With clear skies and a scarce population, you’ll have no trouble looking for a secluded viewing spot in Stewart Island. Much of the island area is a national park, so grab your camera and get ready to take sky-high quality landscape shots!

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Credit: @nz_my_happyplace on Instagram

Best time to visit: March to September
Location: Stewart Island / Rakiura, Southland 9818, New Zealand

8. South Georgia, New Zealand

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Credit: @rodolfovenancio on Instagram

South Georgia is the southernmost destination for less serious voyagers or backpackers to visit, making it an ideal Aurora Australis hot, er, cold-spot. The island is coated with ice from the sea almost all year round and is home to many bird species and marine wildlife but few permanent residents.

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Credit: @newzealandlandscapes on Instagram

The journey to South Georgia can get arduous, and the only way to get there is by cruise or boat. Even boatmen with the surliest sea legs get seasick crossing over to the island. Suffice to say, South Georgia isn’t frequented by tourists, offering plenty of isolated space to catch the Lights.

Best time to visit: March
Location: South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

9. Ushuaia, Argentina

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Credit: @natitalo on Instagram

For more accessibility with amazing outdoor and sightseeing options should the Lights give a no-show, Ushuaia is the place to go! Ushuaia is the most southern city in the world. It’s blessed with scenic views and a contrasting bustling business hub, being at the edge of the world.

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Credit: @devlin_gandy on Instagram

The weather in Ushuaia can get a little tricky. If the Southern Lights do shy away from the clouds, try not to also blush at the alluring outdoor options the city offers, which include sailing, hiking, and scuba diving!

Best time to visit: June to August
Location: Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego Province, Argentina

10. South Pole, Antarctica

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Credit: anta0159 on Flickr

By now, we should know, that the more south we go, the more the Aurora Australis will show. Where else, then, to catch the Southern Lights than at the elusive South Pole?

The South Pole is the home of the Lights, and it almost seems as if they’re more comfortable in their home. Sightings here are vibrant, active, and extraordinary!

The catch is that Antarctica isn’t the friendliest place to travel to, with slippery ice and erratic winds abound. And if you thought the cold never bothered you anyway, temperatures can drop below -80 degrees Celsius. For some, visiting the South Pole checks two things off their bucket lists!

Best time to visit: March to September
Location: Antarctica

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Credit: @adamungar on Instagram

Chasing the lights not only requires effort and planning, it also needs a dash of luck. The rest of us, in the mean time, will just have to stick to our laptops to watch videos of the auroras. In an alternate universe, Princess Aurora’s probably on her laptop, watching videos of us.


Credit: giphy

If you’ve chased these beautiful lights, let us know some useful tips for others hoping to catch this magnificent phenomenon! Drop us pictures with useful links of muslim-friendly eateries or even other attractions to visit while catching the lights. We’d love to hear from you 😘

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