Because you had enough drinking that bottle of wine watching just some “lousy” stars we suggest you to plan attending a real show, having as the main actor: nature. You probably don’t need a lot of information about aurora borealis. We are talking about those hypnotic lights dancing on the arctic sky and about what some say you can hear around them, though, the sound seems to come from the earth and not from heaven.
You have many opportunities since it can be seen anywhere about 60 degrees latitude (Aurora Borealis) or 65 degrees south latitude (Aurora Australis). However, it does not appear when you want, you must lurk and wait for it. Sometimes you have to wait even two weeks until it decides to show up, that’s in case a cloud doesn’t come to steal it.
When it’s more likely to see it:
From September until April, the most favorable months are October, February, and March between about 6 PM and 1 AM. The most suitable nights are the ones with a clear sky and no full moon and it is a must to be away from city lights.
Where can you see the aurora borealis :
You have several options including northern Canada, Iceland, Alaska, and northern Russia, but as these are quite some inaccessible areas, most likely to see aurora borealis is in the Nordic countries: Norway, Finland, and Sweden, which even though are expensive are more affordable for us. It is necessary to find the most affordable place because you will have to lurk this phenomenon for days and it is best to play safe.
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How to get to the Nordic Countries and how to plan your trip:
If you are on a low budget, but you really want to see, at least once in your lifetime, aurora borealis you can plan the trip on your own.
You can travel to one of the big cities like Oslo, Stockholm or Helsinki and from there you can take a train, a local flight or a bus to the north. The cities from North like Tromso are preferable because you are more likely to find a hostel or a sofa in CouchSurfing.
If you want to go to Finland check the prices from the Blue1 Company. You can find cheap flights to the Nordic Countries also from London or Frankfurt. Another option is to get to Germany or Poland and from there to take a ferry to Stockholm or Helsinki.
The largest bus operators are Nor-way in Norway, Express Buss in Finland, Swebus, and Svenska Buss in Sweden, but they do not have very friendly prices.
If you book your flight randomly, without studying and waiting for a good deal you can pay a ton on your flight ticket, so expect a high price of about $2,600 round-trip per person.
The average Joe can pay about $2,000 for two round-trip tickets, for the dates he wants to visit, if he purchases them when he finds a decent fare.
A cheapskate may check the airfares daily, choose the dates and days based on the cheapest flight, but he can manage to buy two round-trip tickets at the bargain price of around $1,100, meaning $600 per round-trip ticket.
You shouldn’t forget about the baggage cost. Try to find an airline with no fee for the checked bag, but if you don’t find one be aware that most airlines charge about $20- $25 per checked bag.
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Where to sleep and how you do it low-priced:
If you don’t have budget limits and want a 5-star comfort you will find hundreds of packages focused on this phenomenon such as, for example, glass igloo or snow igloo, which is perfect for such options, starting from $969 per night per person when two sharing.
In Scandinavia, if you don’t want to go broke it’s better to check in into a hostel. These are very clean and well equipped and often you will also see a lot of expensive cars parked in front of them. You can find a bead for $20 per night, which is a very good price for this area. You can save some money if you bring with you a sleeping bag so you won’t have to rent a sheet.
You can also rent a room in a house or a villa with prices starting from $50 per night in a double room and $75 per night in a room with a bathroom). Look for the signs like “Værelse, Rom, Rom” or “Hus Rum” or ask at the tourist information points.
If you go with friends you should find a cottage to share for a few days.
What else can you do in the Nordic Countries besides watching aurora borealis :
In Norway, you can stay on a Sámi farm or in traditional huts and try reindeer meat and fermented fish along with the locals.
In Sweden, at 3 hours away from Luleå, is an interesting destination where in February takes place a festival where the Sámi culture is well represented through relics, artifacts, delicacies, and activities such as dogsled.
You can ride a dogsled or reindeer, or a snowmobile.
You can go on a one day cruise to watch the whales for about $315.
You can enjoy the sauna, spas or you can ski.
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Should the average working Joe go on a trip to see Aurora Borealis?
Although it will be an expensive trip any way you take it, this doesn’t mean that the average person should simply ignore this destination. If you’re on a tight budget, you should try to see this natural phenomenon at least once in your life. It will surely be something you won’t regret.