The Best Hotels Where You Can View The Northern Lights, According To Reviews

Viewing the northern lights is a bucket list item for many world travelers and dreamers alike. The lights, also known as aurora borealis, are a natural phenomenon that transforms the sky into waves of green, teal, red, purple, and pink. Auroras are commonly seen in areas near the Arctic region and Antarctica circles, so most travelers will venture to areas in Scandinavia, Northern Europe, Alaska, or Canada to try and catch a glimpse. The best time to see the northern lights is in the winter months, between September through mid-April. Before booking any travel plans, guests should make sure to double-check the weather since the northern lights are best seen in cloudless weather conditions.

While there are several different places, ways, and experiences to try and see the northern lights, there are certain hotels that make the northern lights a priority for their guests. We picked a list of the best hotels to see the northern lights based on the unique experiences they offer, where guests can see the lights, areas without major light pollution, and, of course, reviews from past guests who have written about their positive experience seeing the northern lights during their hotel stays. If you're searching for a breathtaking hotel that will elevate your northern lights experience, look no further. 

Hotel Rangá in Iceland

Hotel Rangá in Iceland consistently ranks high among some of the world's best hotels to watch the northern lights because of its location and specific amenities for viewing the natural wonder. The property is located 60 miles from the major city of Reykjavík, so guests don't have to worry about light pollution. Hotel Rangá has prioritized giving a unique northern lights experience with several opportunities for guests.

Since there's no exact science to determine when the lights will strike, the hotel provides an aurora wake-up service, so a team member can call guests whenever they appear. The property also features an observatory with telescopes, and on ideal viewing nights, a local astronomer is present to help guests understand what they're seeing. There are also snowsuits and blankets available — in addition to hot tubs — so you'll only be focused on one of your senses.

Beyond the obvious perks of viewing the northern lights, the hotel is a wilderness escape and fully embraces that theme with rooms and suites that are inspired by Icelandic culture. Guests can fully indulge in the Nordic cuisine at their restaurant, which features items like reindeer carpaccio, smoked arctic char, and pickled herring. Past guests have taken to Tripadvisor to rave about the hotel, saying it's located in the "perfect location to see the northern lights," had "spectacular" dining, and was a "fairytale stay." 

IceHotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

The IceHotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden is one of the best ice hotels to book in the world and quite literally will make you feel like you're immersed in winter. While the northern lights are a consistent staple during the winter here, guests can experience a different vibe and theme every year. That's because each winter, different artists use ice from the Torne River and create a new version of the Swedish property. If you're looking for a truly immersive experience, then the ice rooms are for you, where all the furnishings are made of none other than, well, ice.

Guests will lie their heads on an ice bed covered with reindeer hides and inside a thermal sleeping bag. The rooms range in temperature from 17 to 23 degrees Fahrenheit, but there are saunas in the adjoining lobby to warm up if you need a break. Guests who have stayed at the IceHotel before specifically commended the property for the northern lights excursions offered, including a snowmobile safari, photography session, and partnering with guides to help guests hunt the auroral borealis. "Once in a lifetime experience," one guest wrote on Tripadvisor

Arctic TreeHouse Hotel in Finland

When many people picture viewing the northern lights in the middle of a winter wonderland, an image like that of the Arctic TreeHouse Hotel in Lapland may come to mind. Simply put, the property is a collection of luxurious treehouses. The suites vary in size and amenities, but they all feature a floor-to-ceiling glass window to help guests get a panoramic view of the northern lights in the Finnish forest.

The property even offers a package for adventurous guests looking to hunt the natural phenomenon outdoors. On Tripadvisor, one past guest noted that they cried "with happiness" after seeing the lights at the property. Some people even mentioned that staffers took them off-site to get a darker view and called them to ensure they woke up to see the colorful view.

Besides chasing the northern lights and enjoying the snowy escape, guests can also dine at their restaurant, Rakas, which also receives rave reviews and 4.5 out of five stars on Tripadvisor. Additionally, there is no shortage of other winter activities, such as a reindeer expedition, a night tour, and a sleigh ride, among others.

Ion Adventure Hotel in Iceland

If you're looking to see the northern lights against the landscape of white-capped mountains, look no further than the Ion Adventure Hotel, located an hour outside of Reykjavík, Iceland. The property is nestled in Mount Hengill and jolts out with glass windows as walls in the lobby, restaurant, and bar.

The rooms and suites also have tall windows that offer scenic views of the mountains. Guests can stay at the property and have the chance to see the lights from their rooms, the outdoor thermal spa, or even while sipping a cocktail at the Northern Lights Bar. For those looking to get off the property and see the lights, guests can book a northern lights Jeep tour to go deeper into the open wilderness.

People who have stayed at the hotel in the past have commended the property for its isolated location with little light pollution. One "local" guest even raved via Tripadvisor about how they'd "never seen northern lights like these" at the Ion Adventure Hotel. Guests also enjoyed the "friendly" staff members who would wake them up so they didn't miss a second of the lights.

Apukka Resort in Rovaniemi, Finland

The Apukka Resort in Rovaniemi, Finland is a dream for those who don't want to miss a single moment of the northern lights — even while sleeping. They offer a plethora of packages depending on a guest's interest, including one just for the northern lights, aptly named "It's All About Aurora." Guests who purchase the three-night stay will stay inside a glass igloo or glass roof cabin to sleep under the northern lights. The package also includes northern lights hunting tours on a snow train and a nighttime Siberian husky ride to catch the views. Guests who wish to book rooms without the package are welcome to tag on a northern lights tour to their stay, as well.

The northern lights opportunities and the other outdoor experiences have made the vacation unique to past guests, and many people have gushed about their stay on Tripadvisor, even if the weather wasn't fortunate enough for them to see the northern lights. When the weather cooperated, guests pointed out how "amazing" it was to see the natural wonder in their room, and others called the experience a "fantasy land" and "a winter escape which made me fall in love with life all over again." To add another layer of fun, the property is located just 10 minutes from the picture-perfect Santa Claus Village –– the "official hometown of Santa Claus."

Sorrisniva Arctic Wilderness Lodge in Norway

Is there a better place to view the northern lights than the world's northernmost igloo hotel? The Sorrisniva Arctic Wilderness Lodge sits amid a forest with mountains behind it and the Alta River in front of it. The hotel, located in Norway's high Arctic, has 24 rooms, each containing floor-to-glass windows with full-facing and scenic views of the river and winter wonderland. Plus, they allow people to wake up in the middle of the night and view the lights from the comfort of their room. The hotel also features a jacuzzi where they can gaze up at the lights.

Guests can also venture outside of the property for a more immersive experience by booking one of their several excursions –– including a northern lights snowmobiling adventure, meeting reindeer under the lights, and a "Hunting the Northern Lights" experience, which allows guests to search for the natural beauty with a guide. During the daytime, guests can enjoy other activities, like visiting the Igloo Hotel, learning how to ice sculpt, fishing for king crabs, or even going on a helicopter ride. On Tripadvisor, previous guests have called it the "perfect destination for viewing the northern lights" and a "truly spectacular" experience.

Northern Light Inn in Grindavik, Iceland

The Northern Light Inn, located near Iceland's Blue Lagoon in Grindavik, has been prioritizing its guests' ability to see the natural phenomenon for over 40 years. The property is even located in a microclimate "blue hole" that creates an opening in the clouds above the hotel for a unique, brighter experience.

Similar to other hotels, the staff notifies guests if the northern lights appear after midnight. There are several options for rooms ranging from family rooms to deluxe rooms. Beyond the northern lights experience, the hotel also offers shuttle services to and from the nation's signature geothermal spa, but they recommend booking a slot at the Blue Lagoon in advance.

What makes the family-owned and operated property stand out to past guests is the staff members who have helped make their stay special. People have taken to Tripadvisor to note how "helpful," "fantastic," and "friendly" staff members who awoke them at night and then helped them take the best quality photos.

Hotel Arctic Ilulissat in Ilulissat, Greenland

The Hotel Arctic in Greenland is unique because it's the world's northernmost four-star hotel, yet it also comes at an affordable rate, at around $200 per night. The Hotel Arctic sits on the shores of the Ilulissat Icefjord — which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since it is located on the fjord, there's an additional element of water excursions for those looking to get adventurous, like kayaking and boat trips.

The large hotel has 90 rooms in a variety of options, from suites to double rooms. In addition to their typical rooms, the four-star hotel also features five Umiaq Outdoor rooms, which center around large panoramic windows facing the bay and include private terraces for private viewing of the lights. There are also Aurora Cabins that are made completely of windows, so guests can see the lights in a quiet and luxurious room.

Several of the hotel's prior guests have admired the hotel's location and seen the northern lights bouncing off the water and glacier. In a Tripadvisor review, one past patron said the hotel had "Breathtaking views of the Icefjord and the aurora dancing lights. Amazing. Inenarrable, inefable, just so incredible." Several others commended the property for being able to easily see the spectacular show from their beds.

Hlid Fisherman's Village in Iceland

If you're looking to feel like staying at a home away from home, then Hlid Fisherman's Village in Iceland is your best bet. Hlid Fisherman's Village is located just 15 minutes from Reykjavik, but visitors may never feel like they're close to a major city since it's situated on the Álftanes peninsula overlooking the ocean.

The property offers a more intimate feel to it since there are only 25 available rooms. However, just because it's smaller doesn't mean it's a less comparable stay. The village allows guests to transport back in time with its rustic, cozy, farmlike rooms in a quaint location. Although some of the rooms are not as modern as other accommodations, many of them include a private hot tub and backyard to view the lights.

What makes Fisherman's Village stand out compared to other hotels is its location since it is close to the heart of Iceland, but it is also far enough away that no light pollution interferes. "The views are 10/10 with nice sunsets and even had an unbeatable view of the Northern Lights," one past guest wrote on Tripadvisor, while another guest raved they "couldn't ask for anything more" of their experience. 

Northern Lights Resort & Spa in Yukon, Canada

While many of the prime viewing hotels for the northern lights are situated in European countries, there are also a handful of properties located in North America if people find themselves traveling on that side of the world. One of the most popular hotels in that category is the family-run Northern Lights Resort & Spa in Canada's Yukon province. The hotel is located 20 minutes from Whitehorse, which is also known as the "Wilderness City."

There are several packages available to choose from based on what a guest is looking for, and three of these bundles specifically focus on viewing aurora borealis. Some of the perks include nightly northern lights guides at a bonfire, a snowmobiling adventure, or a husky ride, among others. Guests can embrace the full beauty of the northern lights by staying at the hotel's glass chalets with floor-to-ceiling windows or opt for a more woodsy atmosphere in their log cabin chalets.

Past guests have expressed their delight with staying at the hotel to see the lights and called the views "breathtaking," "simply outstanding," and "electrifying" on Tripadvisor. In fact, Northern Lights Resort & Spa has an impressive five out of five rating on the site. If the property entices you, prepare to plan because the prime viewing months fill up quickly.

Lyngen Experience Lodge in Norway

If you're looking for a stand-out northern lights experience in Norway, then Lyngen Experience Lodge is a property to look into. It's located outside of Tromsø, Norway, on a peninsula above the Arctic Circle and within the Lyngen Alps. The hotel offers a variety of more typical rooms, but they also showcase Aurora Huts with full-facing glass windows overlooking the water.

There are curtains if guests wish to get a full night of sleep, but they can leave them open and get a sweeping view of the northern lights from their bed. In addition to the prime location and special housing opportunities, the hotel shows its dedication to northern lights viewings with a tour. During the three-hour tour, guests will enjoy a guided drive into the woods, where they'll hopefully see the natural phenomenon while sitting near a bonfire and sipping on hot drinks.

The property is ideal for people wanting to experience a full winter wonderland since they can also book dogsledding, whale-watching, and snowshoeing, among other outdoor activities. The excursions and "breathtaking" views of the northern lights have made the lodge stand out on Tripadvisor, where the property has five stars. "Lyngen Experience made our dream of seeing the northern lights come true in a very relaxed and gracious way," one former patron gushed.

Sheldon Chalet in Denali National Park in Alaska

For those looking to truly go all out for a northern lights and wilderness experience, head to the Sheldon Chalet in the Denali National Park in Alaska. Prices start at a whopping $96,000 for four guests for 3 nights. The stunning private home sits on Ruth Glacier, which is just 10 miles from the summit, but guests can only arrive via helicopter.

There are five bedrooms up for grabs, and they all have large glass windows. While the all-inclusive property costs more than a pretty penny, there is no shortage of five-star services. Some of the perks include a plethora of viewing decks for the northern lights, guided tours, a sauna, and a private chef. If you are interested in booking the once-in-a-lifetime, luxurious experience, you'll need to call someone from the Sheldon family who will personally handle crafting your ideal stay.


While compiling this list, we considered several factors beforehand. First, we thoroughly researched the science behind the northern lights and areas in the world where people are most likely to have the best chance to see them. We tried to offer a range of locations so the hotels weren't all based within a few miles of each other. From there, we looked into how the hotels prioritized the aurora viewing experience to make sure guests would have different opportunities to see them.

After understanding the various excursions and adventures, we went through hundreds of reviews on Tripadvisor from past guests. We looked at which hotels had the best ratings and which ones led the pack in terms of northern lights activities. We made sure to include personal anecdotes and quotes from guest reviews so that those considering a trip to each location can rest easy knowing these spots are truly cherished by visitors.