Can you see Northern lights in Helsinki and when should you travel to see the lights, are the most common questions from my foreign friends. Yes, you can see them also in Helsinki and other southern parts of Finland.
You should travel to see Northern lights when evenings get dark. Finland is famous of nightless nights summer so wait until autmun and winter for darker nights. According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, four nights out of five are illuminated by Northern lights in Northern Lapland (Kilipisjärvi-Utsjoki area). However, in order to see the lights the sky needs to be also cloudless. Further South you go, the probability of seeing Northern lights decreases. This doesn’t mean you wouldn’t been able to see them in Helsinki at all, there are just less evenings and nights to see them.
According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the best months to see Northern lights are from February to March and from September to October and the best time during the day is between 9pm and 1am local time. If you are in a city, try to find a spot that isn’t disturbed by city lights or reflections. In autumn and especially in winter the nights can be cold also in Helsinki so remember to wear warm cloths and shoes for Northern lights spotting.
So, if you came to Finland just to see the Northern lights then book a trip from Helsinki to Northern parts of Finland to ensure better probability to see the lights. If you are visiting only Helsinki, keep looking in the Northern sky in the evenings to get a glimpse of the colourful lights.
Check out also the Auroras Now service for Northern lights alerts.
And for clouds in Nordics, you can visit Finnish Meteorological Institue’s cloud satellite service.
You can try Observatory Hill (in Finnish Tähtitorninmäki or Tähtitorninvuoren puisto) for spotting the Northern Lights if you are in Helsinki. In case you don’t manage to see the lights at least you’ll visit one of the nicest parks in Helsinki. You can get there either through Tähtitorninkatu (tram number 10’s final stop and through Kasarmikatu to Tähtitorninkatu) or through Unioninkatu.
See also thee northern lights Sky Cameras
Northern lights in Helsinki by Kimmo Niemelä. Follow Kimmo and his beautiful pictures from Finland at Instagram ›› or contact for any queries: Kimmoniemelaphoto@gmail.com