10 Best Places to See the Northern Lights in Reykjavik

Iceland is an island country in the North Atlantic, the land of fire and ice. Its unusual landscapes - black lava fields, green valleys, hot geysers, rivers, and waterfalls - define a true paradise for nature lovers. The island is burning and smoking, illuminated by the polar light, where the sky serves as a stage for the most beautiful games of light and shadow.

Iceland is a brilliant platform of Aurora Borealis from October to April, when charged particles of solar magnetic fields merge with atoms of the atmosphere, creating colorful celestial magic. This spectacle is one of the most fantastic attractions of Iceland. And, if you are looking for the finest seats in the house, we have a list of the best places to see the Northern Lights in Reykjavik.

The Northern Lights form when fragments of sunlight remain trapped in the Earth's magnetic field in the higher layers of the atmosphere. As a result, electrons collide with atoms, producing a colorful, bright, and animated light show known as Aurora Borealis.

It can be seen in the North or South Polar Circle to the North and South Poles and is best at night. The polar light that originates at the North Pole is Aurora Borealis, and the one that develops at the South Pole is Aurora Australis.

During the winter months, when the entire Arctic Circle experiences a six-month night, also known as the polar night, Aurora Borealis can be seen often. Still, it is the best and most spectacular in the significant period around the equinox, especially autumn.

If you want to see the Northern Lights, the hunting season starts in August and lasts until mid-April. They are visible from Iceland, Greenland, Alaska, the northern parts of Canada, Norway, some locations in Sweden, Finland, and even the south of New Zealand and Tasmania.

The Northern Lights are one of the main tourist attractions in Iceland. People from all over the world voyage to this unique island to experience a once-in-a-lifetime miracle of nature. Many take boats or go to the most remote places of the country, but you can also experience Aurora Borealis in the capital if you know where to go.

Best Places to See the Northern Lights in Reykjavik

Here is our list of the best spots to see the Northern Lights in Reykjavik.

1. Grótta Lighthouse

This place has to be number one on our list. Grótta is the right blend of dark, calm serenity, and accessibility from the center. Located right at the edge of the Seltjarnarnes peninsula, it is about 5 minutes drive from downtown Reykjavik. When the tide is out, you can easily access the lighthouse, which provides a superb backdrop for photographs you want to capture.

Also, it is located on the sea, and it can be an excellent location for capturing the Aurora with water reflections. However, remember that this is perhaps the most popular Northern Lights watching area in Reykjavik, both among residents and international travelers, so it might get crowded.

2. Lake Kleifarvatn

Just a quick 30-minute drive from the center can take you to Lake Kleifarvatn, a tranquil place in the heart of the volcanically lush Reykjanes peninsula. It is the largest lake on the peninsula, and it also offers excellent photo ops due to the proximity of still water.

3. Heiðmörk

Another site half an hour away from downtown is this nature reserve. If you are looking for a rural spot for watching the Northern Lights, this is just the place for you. Heiðmörk is far from the capital's smog and has many darker areas. Also, it features an exceptional rarity in Iceland for photographers: an abundance of trees. When the Northern lights swirl overhead, the woods may help capture memorable photos.

4. Perlan

Perlan, or The Pearl, represents one of the most recognized landmarks in the city. With its glass dome, which you can spot from all around Reykjavík, it is one of the places that are hard to miss. They built the dome to reflect the Northern Lights, and it is enchanting during compelling Aurora occasions. The rooftops of the city and the spectacular Hallgrimskirkja church will serve as the focal point of your view.

5. The Sun Voyager

Some of you who don't want to rent a car may feel relieved because the Sun Voyager sculpture is only a minutes' walk from Reykjavik's downtown area. The coastal path is studded with street lights, which might interfere with your sighting. Fortunately, the Sun Voyager is located in a little darker nook, which should provide you with exceptional coverage if circumstances are favorable and solar activity is very intense.

6. Mosfellsbær

A great walking trail along the edges of Mosfellsbr behind the residences provides excellent vistas out to the sea with Mt. Esja directly across from you. Because this is a much less-known location, the only other people you'll likely see on your quest are some of Iceland's fanatical Aurora-loving natives.

If you end up loving the Island lifestyle and want to become more than a traveler passing through, moving here shouldn't be too big of a hassle. When you know how to pack for an international move, you can get ready for relocation in no time. Your reliable movers will take care of the rest.

7. Þingvellir National Park

The site of the historic Icelandic parliament, located less than an hour from Reykjavik, is hardly off the main path, yet it is an excellent spot to observe the Northern Lights. Because it is one of the areas where the two continental tectonic plates intersect, you may see the phenomena in both North America and Europe simultaneously.

8. The Lava Tunnel in Þrengslin

Another fantastic spot is Þrengslin, a road between Reykjavik and Þorlákshöfn. It offers a vista at 35 minutes away from the capital without light interference. The Lava Tunnel provides nighttime excursions in the winter, making it a great pairing to take a one-hour long evening journey inside the gigantic cave Raufarhólshellir and then go outside to seek the Northern lights just at the Lava Tunnel's parking area.

9. Lake Hvaleyrarvatn

You don't have to travel beyond Hafnarfjordur to observe the Northern Lights because Lake Hvaleyrarvatn is nearby. Small parking near the lake leads to a walking path. From here, you can see the spectacle mirrored in the lake below.

10. Garður

With the town of Garur, Reykjanes resurfaces victorious once more. Its two lighthouses are located at the tip of a peninsula approximately an hour away from Reykjavik. You'll get a great sighting of the Northern Lights from any viewpoint near these lighthouses.

We hope our recommendations of the best places to see the Northern Lights in Reykjavik will come in handy on your trip, among some other stops around the island. Happy hunting!

Kalyan Panja