Sweden

Chasing the northern lights in Abisko, Sweden

Aurora sky station in Abisko, Sweden is one of the greatest places in the world to view the northern lights. This November, I was there with my family for the first time, can’t really believe I’ve lived in Sweden my entire life and hadn’t seen the northern lights yet.

Aurora Sky Station is located at the top of mount Nuolja at 900 meters. There is no light our sound distracting from the view and to get there you take ski lift for about 20-30 minutes. Once at the top there is a restaurant you can get warm and buy something to eat and wait for the magic to happen.

If you’re visiting during winter time, make sure to bring a lot of warm clothes! It does get really cold and some warm socks won’t hurt.

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Getting there

We flew from Arlanda airport, Stockholm, to Kiruna, and from there took a train to Abisko Turiststation. From the station, it’s a less than 10-minute walk to the hotel. You can find more information here.

Where to stay

STF Abisko Mountain Station is only ten minutes away from the chair lift taking you up to Aurora Sky Station. The Mountain Station offers different kinds of accommodations and you’ll also find a nice restaurant serving breakfast, lunches and dinners. I found the accommodation really cozy, the people working there were really nice and the food was better than expected. I would definitely stay there again would I go back.

There are also different activities offered beyond just looking at the northern lights (even though you could do that for several days). They offer photo courses and help you get the northern lights on pictures, different tours, hiking or skiing. More info here.

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Best time to see the northern lights

The northern lights appear when it’s dark outside. You can best see it when there is no other light distracting and Abisko you can see it between October and March. In September and April there is a chance to see it as well, just stay up late and hope you’re lucky enough!

There is no exact time the lights appear, it can be visible for fifteen minutes or stay for hours, it can be early at night or late around midnight. Dress warm and be patient, it will happen!

If you stay around the Sky Station for three days you have an 80% chance of seeing the northern lights, according to scientists at IRF in Kiruna. Pretty good odds in my opinion!

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