Can You See The Northern Lights in Reykjavik?

Posted on March 29, 2018 by Canopy Hilton Reykjavik City Centre

It’s one of the first questions we get from guests at check-in. The Northern Lights are a truly spectacular sight so it’s understandable that you’ll get excited about them. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.

You may be able to see the Northern Lights in the city, but a few criteria would have to be met, all three of which only appear together mostly during the winter months:

1) Darkness

To see the Northern Lights, you need darkness, so don’t expect to see them during summer time when it’s pretty much bright all the time. Fall, winter or early spring is your best bet.

2) Clear skies

You’ll usually find that if it’s cold out, the sky will be clear enough to see the magic unfold. So if it’s cloudy, don’t get your hopes up!

3) Aurora Activity

Your chances of seeing the Northern Lights also depends on activity levels. Check the aurora forecast before you travel.

In the city? You’ll need to find a spot that offers a view without a lot of nearby lights, which will ruin your ability to see anything.

Some spots in the city we would recommend that are darker at night include Öskjuhlið, where The Pearl is, the Grótta lighthouse in Seltjarnarnes, or the Miklatún and Hljómskálagarður parks, all of which are very easy to find.

However, the best places to see the lights are away from the capital. We recommend that if you are able, take a car or a tour bus outside of the city, where city lights are few but the probability of seeing the breathtaking Northern Lights grows. Our Enthusiasts will be more than happy to arrange your trip.

Don’t give up if you don’t catch them immediately or on the very first night. Good things always come to those who wait.