Can You See The Northern Lights in Oslo? Full Aurora Guide for Oslo!

Many tourists coming to Norway hope to get a glimpse of the famous northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis. This phenomenon is best seen far north in the country (such as in Tromsø or Bodø), but most tourists are actually staying much farther south than that.

But is it even possible to see the northern nights from south in Norway, such as in the fjord regions, or in Norway’s capital Oslo?

You can see the northern lights in Oslo, but it’s exceedingly rare, and will only happen a handful of times per winter. Most aurora borealis shows in Oslo tend to be very faint compared to if you travel further north in Norway.

You have to be very lucky to catch the northern lights in Oslo.
You have to be very lucky to catch the northern lights in Oslo.

So it’s definitely possible, and as someone who lives just a few hours south of Oslo myself, I tend to see the northern lights on 2 or 3 nights when taking my dog outside before bed in the winter time.

My point with all this is that you might be very lucky and see the northern lights in Oslo, but it will require a high level of luck, and perfect weather to even see a tiny bit of northern lights this far south in Norway.

Don’t book a trip to Oslo to see the northern lights, but instead consider yourself extremely lucky if you end up staying there while it puts on a show!

How to see the northern lights in Oslo

You’ve got to do some preparing if you want to see the northern lights in Oslo. Mainly you need to pay attention to the weather forecast (to make sure it’s not cloudy), as well as the aurora forecast (here’s the aurora forecast for Oslo).

It will only be accurate for 4 hours in advance, so check it once it begins to be dark. However, there’s a few exceptions. The main one is that the northern lights tend to be showing for multiple days in a row. So seeing the northern lights the day before is a good indicator that you might be able to see it again.

Whenever the aurora is seen clearly in Oslo, national Norwegian newspapers tend to cover the event (yes, it’s that rare), so you might actually come across information about it if you’re reading the local or national newspaper.

If you strike it lucky with both the forecasts (weather and aurora), get out of the city! Take the tram or bus to Nordmarka or somewhere outside of the city so you won’t be bothered by light pollution. The further you are from light sources, the better the northern lights will be seen.

Northern lights outside of Tromsø
Northern lights in the winter. Photo published with permission. Note: this is not from Oslo.

Can you see the northern lights in Oslo in summer?

You can technically see the northern lights at any point of the year, but there’s a big problem preventing you from seeing the northern lights in Oslo or anywhere in Norway in the summer: light.

Norwegian nights are extremely long, and it never really gets very dark. As a matter of fact, much of Norway has polar nights where the sun never sets, which means that you won’t be able to see the northern lights even if it is there.

Oslo does not have polar nights, but it’s still considered to be near impossible to see the northern lights in summer. You only have a small window of a few hours where it’s dark, and even then it’s not really a complete darkness like in winter.

Deichman Bjørvika
Oslo is great in summer, but it’s not suitable for seeing the northern lights. Photo by Helge Høifødt / CC BY-SA 4.0.

Leave a Comment