Top 4 Tips for Viewing the Northern Lights in Iceland

The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, are one of the most spectacular sites you can lay your eyes on.

However, the Northern Lights aren’t just something most people stumble upon. If you want the best show possible, you need to plan for it!

Read on to learn the top 4 tips for viewing the Northern Lights in Iceland.

1. Go at the Right Time of the Year

The first thing you need to know about seeing the Northern Lights?

There are certain times of the year that are better to go than others. The best time to go, without a doubt, is September through March. It is during this time of the year that the skies are at their clearest, clouds are sparser, and temperatures are cooler.

Typically, the Northern Lights usually appear in stretches of 2 to 3 nights in a row. Then, they fail to appear for the next 2 to 3 nights.

There is a designated aurora forecast you can check that will tell you what nights will be good ones. Basically, you’re looking for the forecast to show you clear skies.

2. Get Out of the City

While it’s not totally impossible to see the Northern Lights from Reykjavik, it’s not ideal either.

In order to be able to see them from the city, there will need to be mostly clear skies, the lights will need to be active, and it will need to be mostly dark outside.

Usually, it’s best not to chance it and to instead go outside of the city. Plus, outside the city means you’ll get a more tranquil, less-crowded viewing of them.

Thingvellir National Park is a popular destination to go check them out, as is the small remote town of Thorsmork, a few hours outside the city.

Better yet, you can book a tour that will take you outside of the city, like the ones offered at

Tours are led by expert guides who are passionate about making sure you see the Northern Lights. Your tour guides will know the best locations, conditions, and times to go, so you don’t have to worry about figuring it out on your own.

Plus, most tour companies offer you free do-overs, so if you don’t get lucky and see them the first night, you have the opportunity to try for it again the second night.


3. Be Smart About Photo Taking

Likely, you’ll want to take some pictures while looking at the Northern Lights so you can remember this experience for years to come.

If you want to take photos that do the experience justice, then you’ll want to use a high-resolution camera.

You’ll also want to ensure your camera is set to a long exposure capture, as this will help capture the flashing of the lights that your eyes maybe missed. Then, be sure to show these photos to all of your friends to make them jealous.

4. Rent a Car

Iceland is a great country to see by car, so why not make a road trip out of your Northern Lights experience?

Reykjavik has rental cars readily available as do other major towns across the country, and you can easily rent with a foreign driver’s license.

Just be aware that the Aurora Borealis is extremely unpredictable, so you’ll want to make sure your passenger has their eyes on the skies!

With these 4 tips in mind, you are well on your way to having the best viewing experience of the Northern Lights!


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