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-   -   To see the northern lights in Norway (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/to-see-the-northern-lights-in-norway-940174/)

Abhi03 Jun 23rd, 2012 03:50 AM

To see the northern lights in Norway
 
I am from India and we are a family of 4. We r planning to visit Norway in any month between Sep-April.Our stay would be for 5 days and we are very interested in seeing the northern lights. please suggest me with the following..
1. Can we prefer Tromso or Oslo for budget/moderate stay ?
2. What would be the approx cost for the trip to visit the northern lights ?
3. Which is the best month to see the northern lights ?
4. What r the other sights to visit in our short stay in Tromso/Oslo ?

This is our 1st trip to europe and i wish to have some travel tips too.. Please share ur views and suggestions and help me to have a plesant trip.

hetismij2 Jun 23rd, 2012 04:11 AM

For the Northern lights you will need to stay in Tromsø. Oslo is too far south. Anywhere above the Arctic circle will give you your best chance of seeing them.
There is absolutely no guarantee you will see them during your five days, they may not happen or it could be cloudy or whatever, so do plan some other activities too.

There are plenty of tour operators in Tromsø who offer Northern Lights trips. I suggest you do a Google to find them or look at the VisitNorway site.

Norway is very, very expensive, not only hotels but food too.

Best time to see them is around the equinoxes when they are (in theory) more active, and you will still have some daylight for other things. Later in the winter it is either dark all day or only light for a short period of time that far north - which of course gives more night to see the lights.
We had very spectacular displays this last March, on five nights, but also had nights with no displays or too much cloud to see them.

I am not sure there is enough to do in Tromsø itself for 5 days, though you could go dog-sledding or snow scootering from there as well if you go in December through March.
Othewise, if you can afford to, maybe consider splitting your time between Tromsø and either Oslo or Bergen. You will need to fly to Tromsø. The trains don't go that far north.

bilboburgler Jun 23rd, 2012 08:37 AM

Not only is it expensive in Norway but more so in the North. You might look at Sweden or Finland which are generally cheaper and have just as many northern lights (and Father Christmas seems to be based in both)

Abhi03 Jun 25th, 2012 06:10 AM

Thank you for ur kind reply..

belted_galloway Jun 25th, 2012 06:45 AM

Abhio3

We went to Tromso two years ago and it rates as our second best travel experience out of over one hundred foreign trips.

I would not suggest anywhere else in Europe to see the Aurora. The town is very civilised with enough restaurants and shops to keep you occupied on a short 3 day trip. The Polaris museum is interesting and as hetismij pointed out the organised excursions are the experiences of a lifetime.

The unfortunate trade off is that to see the lights you need no cloud cover but to have the beauty of snow falling you need clouds. We saw the lights every night for three nights and they were well beyond anything I can describe.

If you are finding flights difficult, fly into a hub and use the Low cost operator Norwegian to get to Tromso. I would have huge regret had we not managed this trip at some stage of our lives and would do it all again.

Tromso is expensive but the hotels usually do huge buffet breakfasts. We simly got up later and skipped lunch. To give you an idea, the prices jump at least one level ie basics are the price of standard goods in the rest of "the West". Standard items become luxury etc. Having said this you are a long way from anywhere and the shipping costs are high.

Put simply Go!

scatcat Jun 25th, 2012 08:03 AM

I just returned from Oslo last week. Yes, it is expensive. We booked a hotel (Clarion) that had a HUGE buffet breakfast and free afternoon tea and snacks, and a free nightly dinner buffet. So the $290 per night was not so bad after all. We were there for the white nights. It is amazing that at midnight, it is just beginning to get dark. At 10:00 PM it was bright with sunshine. Then at 4:00 AM the sun is back up!

belted_galloway Jun 26th, 2012 02:25 AM

I think if you shop around in Scandinavia it is possible to get good deals.

We are booking Stockholm for Christmas, have been offered £71 per night at the new Radisson in te city centre.

alanRow Jun 26th, 2012 03:25 AM

Like other unpredictable events - whalewatching, sunny day in the UK - it's best to treat them as a bonus to your trip if they happen rather than the reason for your trip. So go prepared to do other things and thank yourself for being lucky if you do see the lights.

as others have suggested round the equinoxes is the best time as not only do you have daylight for other things but you have more chance of nights without total cloud cover

Abhi03 Jun 26th, 2012 10:02 PM

Thank u all..
With ur suggestions i got an idea of amunt to be alloted..! Now all i wish is to have some luck to see the lights..


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