The Aurora Zone Blog

The Ten Coolest Places to Sleep Beneath the Northern Lights

Okay, first and foremost, we should perhaps rename this as “The Ten Coolest Places Where You are Unlikely to Sleep Beneath the Northern Lights” because it’s a pretty unusual person who can get to sleep while the Aurora is dancing across the night sky.

Burgeoning interest in the Northern Lights over the last few years has led to the creation of ever more innovative places from which to watch the spectacle.

From bubbles and domes to cabins and camps, here, in no particular order, are our Top Ten Cool Places to Sleep (possibly) Beneath the Northern Lights. 

An Igloo Hotel

Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel is situated about 20km from Alta in Northern Norway. Alta is known, with very good reason, as The Town of the Northern Lights so immediately you know you are in the right area. All the igloos are constructed using snow and ice but make a surprisingly comfortable base for the night. The Igloo Hotel’s location in a quiet and beautiful valley outside Alta means that there is very little light pollution so when the Northern Lights come a-calling, you should get a far better view than you would from its urban neighbour.

 Resized Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel FinnmarkCredits Terje RakkeNordic LifeVisitnorway

Image credit: Terje Rakke Nordic Life Visitnorway. com

A Tree Hotel

The Scandinavians are masters of design and there’s nowhere that illustrates this better than the Tree Hotel near Boden in Swedish Lapland. There are currently only six rooms suspended in the trees about 3 or 4 metres above ground level but what rooms they are. How about sleeping in a spaceship, a UFO or a mirror cube? There’s even a tree sauna. With plenty of vantage points to watch any Auroral displays we think the Tree Hotel is one of the most exciting accommodations in all of Northern Scandinavia.

You can add or include a night at the Tree Hotel one of our holidays based at the lovely Sorbyn Lodge, here’s an example:


Credit: Treehotel


A Wilderness Cabin

There are wilderness cabins dotted all over Finnish Lapland and generally they are fairly rudimentary affairs with no electricity (candle and firelight only), no running water (take a pail down to the nearest stream, break the ice and then fill the bucket), outside toilets (compostable) but always, always a sauna (for steam cleaning). The great beauty of these cabins is that they are almost invariably situated next to a remote lake or in the forest and are far, far removed from any significant light pollution. Stand outside in the near perfect silence and watch the Aurora Borealis dance across the pitch black Arctic firmament; it’s enough to send shivers down your spine!





As cool places to stay go this is one of the coolest in two senses of the word. For over two decades the best ice and snow architects, designers and craftsmen have gathered in Jukkasjarvi to build the original ICEHOTEL. Every year it is different and every year it is magnificent and every year it melts away into the Torne River. What’s even better is that the ICEHOTEL is just a 90 minute drive from Abisko which is rightly considered one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights. The secret is to combine the two. 

Icehotel GraemeRichardson1

Credit: Graeme Richardson


Arctic View Rooms

The Hotel Aurora (formerly Aurora Chalet) was the very first hotel to offer an Aurora Alert for its guests. That was nearly a decade ago and the alerts still exist but a very welcome addition to the hotel is its Arctic View Rooms. These glass roofed rooms are situated just a very short walk from the hotel and provide fantastic views of the night sky from the comfort of your own bed. The rooms are beautifully furnished and even come with en-suite facilities.


Credit: Lapland Hotels


Aurora Domes

Aurora Domes are a new addition for the 2015/16 Northern Lights season and they take “Glamping” to a whole new level. Situated over 200kms north of the Arctic Circle at a traditional Lappish reindeer farm called Torassieppi you’ll also find some lovely log cabins which allow you to try different types of accommodation. There are only two Aurora Domes and with a log burning stove and a cosy double bed they are going to be in huge demand this coming winter.


Credit: FREESPAN / Adam Lyczakowski



Aurora Bubbles

We’ve worked with the guys at Nellim in Finnish Lapland for nearly ten years and together we’ve created some innovative and original ways of seeing the Northern Lights. One of our greatest mutual achievements has to be the Aurora Bubbles, heated bedrooms with huge north facing through which our clients can gaze at the night sky. Nellim is a tiny village with just 200 inhabitants so there is very, very little light pollution. As a result it has earned a justifiably strong reputation as one of THE top places to see the Aurora Borealis.

Bubble 470

Aurora Safari Camp

This one is a bit more “Bear Grylls” but what an experience if you are prepared to go without a few home comforts for just one night. The Aurora Safari Camp was created by noted photographer Fredrik Broman who wanted somewhere with absolutely no light pollution in order to capture images of the night sky and, of course, the Northern Lights. You’ll sleep in a traditional Lappish “lavvu” or teepee and spend the night in a warm sleeping bag on a small bed. There is a compostable toilet but no shower facilities but, you can steam clean in the sauna.


Credit: Fredrik Broman

Aurora Kota

A Kota is a native Sami tent or tepee and has been used by nomadic reindeer herders for centuries. The traditional version is a tad rough and ready but these Aurora Kotas are decidedly more upmarket. Situated at Muotka, a small hotel hidden away in the snowy forest of North East Finnish Lapland, the Kotas which are new for the 2015/16 Aurora hunting season, offer a comfortable place to spend the night while watching the Northern sky through large windows designed exactly for that purpose. 



Read 10500 times Last modified on Friday, 05 August 2016

Get an expert opinion

The Aurora Zone was born from a desire to share Mother Nature’s greatest wonder with our clients. We’ve explored the destinations, researched the science, and fallen in love with the Scandinavian way of life. It’s our mission to pass this knowledge on to you, providing you with the very best chance of experiencing the magic for yourself on your Northern Lights holiday.

  • Specialist

    Aurora knowledge and experience

    Unique holidays, in the very best destinations

    Expert guides – exceptional local knowledge

    Advice and guidance every step of the way

  • Comprehensive

    We include more in our holidays than any other Aurora operator

    Price Comparison guarantee

    No ‘from’ prices, everything you see is included in the price

    No hidden extras

  • Independent

    Proudly Independent

    The original and still the only dedicated UK Northern Lights tour operator

    Personal, hands-on service

    Fair and sustainable work ethos

  • Trusted

    100% ATOL and ABTA protection

    Providing peace of mind


    Responsible relationships

    Over 16 years’ experience