How To Plan Your Northern Lights Adventure From Stockholm

By: Valerija Denaityte

Northern lights – or aurora borealis – are one of the most spectacular natural sights one can see in their lifetime, and you’re in luck because Swedish Lapland is known for having a fair amount of northern lights every year.

Location, location, location

As suspected, the best time to try and catch a view of the northern lights is in the winter. Or rather, anywhere between September and April is the perfect time.

By far the most popular spot to see the northern lights and enjoy all that Swedish Lapland has to offer is Abisko, a village just south of the border with Norway. It is located in a so-called rain shadow – surrounded by mountains, it provides the perfect atmosphere to spot an aurora.

Solar flares

creates solar winds

whose particles interplay with earth’s magnetic field, creating the polar light effects

Explaining the exact science behind how all these beautiful colors can occur is a little over my head, but there is a key piece of information that I can provide: it needs to be pretty dark for them to be visible. And what better place that is covered in darkness for the majority of our 24-hour daily run than the very north of Sweden?

How to make it happen

Now, the key information you might be looking for: how do I make this happen? With a time frame and location, you can start your search. If you’re flexible with your dates, you have a better chance of scoring a good deal.

For transportation, you have a number of options:

Taking an overnight train up north is a good option if you want to save time – booking far in advance through SJ can set you up with a pretty solid deal. Another time efficient way is flying into Kiruna and taking a train to Abisko from Kiruna city. It is all dependent on how much time you have, as well as how far in advance you start planning your trip!

You can stay in the multitude of hostels in Abisko for your trip

They are often relatively cheap from around 300 SEK a night. However, if you’re going with a big group of friends, try checking AirBnB to see your options there. That can often bring down the cost of your trip even more.

Don’t be afraid to try new things
For activities, you can make it as expensive as you want, but it’s worth setting aside money for the things you really want to do. Think of dog sledding, snow-shoeing and reindeer petting.

If you’re at a loss for how to do all this, then look into organized tours!
Stockholm University Student Union organizes multiple trips each semester, and they are student budget friendly. Check out some of the pictures I took on my trip recently:

Hopefully some of these tips will come in handy, and if you have any more – feel free to let us know on our Instagram!