About the Northern Lights

Aurora at Dyrholaey

Have you ever been dancing under the northern lights at the edge of basalt cliffs next to the arctic ocean? Nothing but you and Lady Aurora, enlightened by the lighthouse whose light guides the Nordic fisherman back to the safe harbour... Can´t catch the Northern...

Aurora at Kleifarvatn 09.09.2017

On Wednesday, Sep 6th 2017, our sun unleashed two massive solar flares, the second of which was the most powerful we’ve seen in more than a decade. The burst of radiation was so intense, it caused high-frequency radio blackouts across the daytime side of Earth that...

Aurora at Grotta 05.09.2017

KP2 and no promising cloud forecast - but when we stepped out of the Northern Lights Center right after midnight, the sky above Reykjavik opened up... So we quickly headed to the closest dark spot, the lighthouse Grotta. Due to low tide we were able to take the walk...

Aurora at Akureyri 30.08.2017

Can´t catch the Northern Lights? Visit us at our Northern Lights Center - where the lights are always on display! We keep you updated! Follow us on our social media channels. facebook Instagram Twitter

Aurora at Heidmörk, 23.08.2017

Camping under the Northern Lights, fishing and enjoying the serendipitous scenery... How could it be any better?   Can´t catch the Northern Lights? Visit us at our Northern Lights Center - where the lights are always on display! We keep you updated! Follow us on our...

Aurora at Reykjanes 22.08.2017

  Serenity... This picture was taken at Brimketill August 22nd. The lights don´t always have to be crazy intense - this was taken at a KP3 - to express a very special, mystical mood. We love the combination of the late sunset - it´s still very early in the season - ,...

Aurora at Hafravatn 19.08.2017

What a night! Blessed with clear sky and a KP6 forecast, we head out to Hafravatn last night - where Lady Aurora gave us a spectacular show that early in the season! No moonlight blending in gave us good photo conditions, and the warm late summer breeze made...

Aurora at Álftanes 17.08.2017

The lights are back! Earlier than usual, we experienced tonight the first Aurora after a couple of month midnight sun. A KP2 solar storm was predicted, and we have been observing the sunspot for a couple of days... will it be dark enough already? Yes, it was! Still a...

About the exibition

How to get to the museum ?

City bus (stræto) #14 : Stop “Grandagarður”, right in front of the museum.

Hop on Hop off : Stop #5 “Reykjavík Maritime Museum”

By taxi: The number for a taxi in Reykjavik is +354 588-5522. Ask them to take you to the Aurora Reykjavík Northern Lights Center, at Grandagarður 2.

We also offer a spacious free parking area for our visitors just outside the museum.

When is the latest time I can visit ?

The museum closes at 9 pm so we recommend visiting no later than 8:30 pm to have ample  time to comfortably enjoy the exhibition.

Are there specific times for the movie ?

There are no specific times to enter the exhibit. Our film is played on a seamless loop, allowing you to enter whenever you like, and enjoy the view for as long as you wish.

Do I need to pre-book the ticket ?

No need to pre-book, you can just buy your ticket on the spot.

How long does the visit take ?

We recommend 30-45 minutes to experience the entire exhibition. This of course depends on your pace, and, how long you spend in the interactive areas. Once you have entered the museum, you are free to enjoy the exhibit for as long as you like.

When are you open ?

We are open every day from 9 am – 9 pm, except on Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, when we are open 9 am – 4 pm. Any changes to these hours will be reflected on our social media accounts and our website.

About the northern lights

When can I see northern lights in Iceland ?

The northern lights season in Iceland begins in  early September and continues through mid-April.

 

When is the best time to catch the northern lights ?

During wintertime there is no best time to catch the aurora. Visibility relies on multiple factors cooperating together : dark skies with partial clarity, and the presence of solar activity. That being said, statistics point to October and March as the best months to try your luck, as the weather might be more stable then, with less precipitation.

 

Why can´t I see any northern lights in the summer ?

To be able to see northern lights you need complete darkness. In summer we have what we call the “midnight sun”, meaning that there are no hours of actual nighttime darkness. It´s perfect for late night hiking, but makes it impossible for us to observe the aurora in Iceland between May and August. To see the sun graph and learn about the light balance for Reykjavik, you can visit these links:

https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/iceland/reykjavik

https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/different-types-twilight.html

 

Where should I go to see the northern lights ?

It is hard to tell more than a few hours in advance where are the best spots for northern lights hunting, as it depends primarily on the weather conditions. In order to find the best spots we recommend going on a northern lights tour, or, if you’d rather go on your own, check our Aurora Forecast for more information. This forecast updates frequently, and is key in how our photography team selects their nightly trajectory.

 

What time do the northern lights show up ?

Northern lights are statistically often seen between 9 pm and 1 am, but they may appear at any time as long as the clear sky is dark – so patience is key!

 

Can I see the northern lights from Reykjavík ?

Catching the northern lights is easier in the countryside or in areas with very little light pollution. During wintertime if weather is favorable, it can be possible to see them in the city. We recommend staying away from the city center as the light concentration there is the highest. The lighthouse in Grótta is a popular spot, but you can also take a walk along the northern seashore in order to have the light pollution at your back- maximizing your visibility chances.

 

When was the last time you saw some northern lights?

 

We manage to catch this amazing phenomenon pretty often here in Iceland. Our photographers go out almost every night to capture the best photos of the lights, and they share their experience on our Aurora Diary.

 

How can I take pictures of the northern lights ?

You’ll find everything you need to get started with northern lights photography on our page here. For more tips and guidance we recommend visiting our exhibition which has a section dedicated to this subject.

 

About the tours

What should I wear and/or take with me on a northern lights tour ?
Winter nights are cold and often windy. Hunting for northern lights may require you to stand outside for a long period of time, so make sure to wear warm layers of clothes, hat and gloves. Waterproof jacket and shoes are also recommended as you may have to face snow during your trip. As we say in Iceland “Það er ekki til slæmt veður ef þú klæðir þig rétt”, meaning there is no bad weather as long as you are appropriately dressed. Preparation is everything 😉
My northern lights tour has just been cancelled, what should I do now ?

Northern light tours only occur if conditions are favorable. If the forecast is not good for aurora hunting, the tour operators may cancel it. If this is the case, you will get a notification by email, so make sure to check your inbox on the day.

If your northern lights excursion has been cancelled by the tour operator, you can reschedule it for the next available date. Please contact the tour company in order to reschedule. You’ll find their contact information on your voucher.

If you haven´t been able to attend a northern lights tour at all during your stay because of cancellation by the tour operator, you may be entitled for a refund. Please contact your tour provider for more information.

What do you do during a northern lights tour ?

After being picked-up near your hotel (check your voucher for details), you will be driven to the countryside, away from the bright city lights of Reykjavík. Whether you choose to go on a super-jeep, mini-bus or bus tour, your guide will make sure to take you to the best location for northern lights hunting, according to the latest forecasts. During those stops you’ll have the opportunity to get out of the bus and take your time to observe and photograph the northern lights.

Once the tour is over, you’ll be driven back to your drop-off location. Duration of the tour is determined by the type of excursion you’ve booked, from 2-3 hours, to 5 hours.

How to book a northern lights tour ?

You can go on our tour booking page in order to browse our different options through filters. Once you’ve clicked on the desired tour, you’ll access a detailed description of the tour and a calendar. Select the date, time, number of people, and extras (if needed), then click on “book”. The next page will ask for your personal details, pick-up location (if needed) and payment information. After agreeing to our terms and conditions, your booking will be confirmed.

An electronic voucher will be sent automatically to your email. Please read it carefully as you’ll find all the details regarding pick-up time and location there, as well as the contact information of the tour company operating the tour. Please contact them directly if you have questions regarding your tour or would like to make changes to your booking. We are also in the office everyday from 9:00am-9:00pm to help, so don´t hesitate to give us a call or drop us an e-mail, if you have any questions.

Do you run northern lights tours ?
Aurora Reykjavík is a multimedia exhibition about the northern lights. Here you can learn everything about this natural phenomenon, how to catch it, and how to photograph it. This is the perfect preparation for your northern lights hunt. We do not take excursions out ourselves at this time, but we collaborate with many trustworthy tour operators and offer a good selection of tours on our website and at our booking desk.

Book your tour here