Where is the best place to see the Northern Lights in Reykjavík? The Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, are an incredible natural phenomenon.
The Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, are an incredible natural phenomenon. There is nothing quite like the night sky shimmering in a curtain of colors ranging from neon green to pale pink. A result of solar particles ionizing in the earth’s magnetic field, the movement and intensity of the lights depend on the condition of these solar particles.
When is the best place to see the Northern Lights in Reykjavík?
As is the case with many natural phenomena, they occur spontaneously, so catching a glimpse of them is no guarantee. Consulting Iceland’s Aurora forecast, however, is a good way of increasing your chances. In Iceland, the Northern Lights can be seen roughly between August and April.
Where is the best place to see the Northern Lights in Reykjavík?
One factor to consider when searching for a clear view of the Aurora is the level of surrounding light pollution. However, it can often be seen clearly in the midst of Reykjavik's modest city lights. There are a few elevated and remote places in Reykjavik and nearby that are great spots to begin your search. An optimum place to view them from the city is in a geothermal hot pot at one of the city pools.
The rooftop hot pot of Sundhöllin
The rooftop hot pot of Sundhöllin, Reykjavik’s oldest public pool built in an Art Deco style in 1937, is an especially cozy spot. You can also try finding them with expert advice on the Northern Lights Cruise and they depart from the Reykjavik harbor.
Grótta Island Lighthouse
Grótta Island Lighthouse, located Northwest of Reykjavik at the tip of Seltjarnarnes Peninsula, is only a few kilometers from downtown and yet feels like a much more remote place. You can arrive there easily by taking bus number 11 from Ráðhúsið (City Hall) to the stop called Hofgarðar, from which it is a five-minute walk. Keep in mind there is nothing else around once you get out there.
This bird-watching paradise by day is removed enough from the city to give you a good view. If you are up for a long walk or bike ride during your hunt for the Northern Lights, the paved path that curves around Reykjavik’s shoreline could be a great way to take in the surroundings while keeping an eye on the sky. Starting at Harpa Concert Hall, the path is five kilometers (about one hour of walking) to Grótta. Once you arrive, you can rest in a geothermal footbath set amongst the rocks by the shoreline, an art installation by the Icelandic artist Ólöf Nordal, titled Kvíka, an optimal place to warm your feet while gazing at the surrounding North Atlantic ocean with a wide view of the sky.
Þingvellir National Park
Þingvellir National Park, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Iceland, is also a great place to see the Aurora. Far enough removed from Reykjavík to have minimal light pollution, this incredible landscape of both cultural and geological history make a great Aurora viewing experience from within the rock walls of a gorge that makes up the main pathway into the site.
Come and search for the Northern Lights with us.