To witness the Northern Lights in all their glory, head to northern Sweden between early September and late March. The Aurora Borealis, a breathtaking natural phenomenon that looks like a wavy meteor shower, graces the skies. The show begins around Kiruna in early September, with vibrant streaks of pink, green, and purple dancing high above. As winter sets in, usually by January, you can catch these mesmerizing lights across a significant part of this region (especially Swedish Lapland – a vast region in the north that encompasses nearly a quarter of the country). The spectacle lasts until late March or early April.
Visitors flock to experience the magic of the Northern Lights during the long winter nights in northern Sweden. For the best viewing experience, clear evenings between 6:00 pm and 2:00 am are ideal, with the most spectacular displays often occurring around 10:00-11:00 pm.
Even though northern Sweden in general – and Abisko in particular – is the best place to experience the Northern Lights, there are other places to take in the aurora borealis. In optimal conditions, it’s possible to see the Northern Lights all over Sweden, all the way down to Skåne's southern tip. And if you're planning a trip within the next few years, you're in luck because it will be the peak of a solar cycle, which increases the chances to see the Northern Lights. The ridge is forecast to occur in July 2025, and the Northern Light nights will grow in number until then.
What are the Northern Lights, and what causes them?
The Northern Lights are a unique natural phenomenon created when electrically charged particles from the sun collide in the Earth’s atmosphere. The color variation depends on the kind of gas particles involved. The result is a truly magical sight to behold as the vibrant colors snake across the night sky, dancing around as if moving to some unheard symphony.
The Latin name translates to ‘dawn of the north’, Aurora being the Roman goddess of the dawn. Steeped in myth and viewed in awe, these lights have captivated humanity for millennia.
The Sámi – the indigenous people of Sweden – believed the lights were the souls of the dead. You weren’t to dance, sing or whistle at them for fear they would feel disrespected and the lights would dip down and carry you off to the afterlife. The Vikings, on the other hand, thought that the Northern Lights were the Valkyries taking fallen soldiers to meet Odin, their chief god.
Here are 4 of the best places in Sweden to see the Northern Lights
Kiruna, the northernmost city in Sweden has a population of approximately 17,000 and serves as an excellent starting point for your exploration of the country's vast northern expanse. Traveling
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Searching for an over-the-top luxury ski chalet? Look at the poshest ski resorts in the Swiss and French Alps. In iconic resorts like Zermatt and Val d’Isère, you can find rarefied accommodations closer to contemporary winter palaces than ski houses, with dramatic views and amenities aimed at billionaires or would-be billionaires.
The highest echelon of hotels know how to take an experience and bed it into something that lives on in the heart. The world’s finest perfumiers do a remarkably similar job. So it’s fitting that - increasingly - the two are coming together as hoteliers create brilliantly evocative scents - and perfumiers pay homage to their favorite hotels creating an experiential circle of glorious memories.
Ringed by the waters of the Baltic, the Kattegat and the Øresund, Malmö is Sweden’s third-largest city. Originally part of Denmark, it became Swedish in 1658. Today, you get the sense that the southern port city is thumbing its nose at both Copenhagen and Stockholm by remaining far cheaper to live in than either capital — and in doing so, it’s attracted a crowd of dedicated creatives unafraid of experimentation.
During a two-and-a-half-week backpacking trip across Europe last summer with two friends, Jess Braun was delighted and a little perplexed to discover upon touching down in Vienna, Austria, that her hostel was located inside an Ikea.
This year, airlines have been rolling out Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales that have us dreaming about everything from Scandinavian escapes (courtesy of SAS Airlines) to exploring even further afield (hello, South Africa and Seychelles).
Gothenburg is ranked one of the world’s 100 best cities in 2023* (the only non-capital in the Nordic Countries) and is also the winner of the Global Destination Sustainability Index Leadership Award 2023* for the 7th time in a row. Here are 7 reasons to visit in 2024. There’s also a selection of new restaurants, bars, and shops to discover in Sweden’s second city situated on Sweden’s west coast. Experience World of Volvo World of Volvo, run by Volvo Cars and Volvo Group, will be both a landmark and meeting place with space for the new Volvo Museum, exhibitions, concerts and dining experiences. The circular, five-storey, 22,000-square-metre building is inspired by the Scandinavian landscape and will be located just next to Liseberg Amusement Park. It opens April 2024.
After Sri Lanka and Thailand, Vietnam is likely to be the next destination to offer visa-free entry to Indians. According to local media, Vietnam Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung suggested it allow Indians and Chinese to visit without a visa for a short period. As of now, only nationals of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland can enter Vietnam without a visa.
It’s a late-October afternoon at Benone Strand on the Causeway Coast in County Derry, and the low sun is collapsing between wedges of dense cloud. There’s empty beach as far as the eye can see, apart from the odd horse-rider galloping through the shallows. My boyfriend and I are in swim shorts on the hard sand, despite the temperature being in single figures. But we’re not shivering. Not at all. We’ve just boiled our bones in the Finnish-style Hotbox sauna perched at the water’s edge.
One British childhood winter experience remains the same, despite all the changes of the past century. It’s the one where you gaze out of the window, mesmerised by the falling snow, and start fantasising about building an igloo or a snow cave, then sleeping in it overnight. A few fortunate kids get to follow that up, but for most the fantasy is quickly quashed. The blizzard stops, the snow melts, you lob some slush at your mates then go inside to watch Ski Sunday.
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