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6 Best Kiruna Northern Lights Tours You Should Take

Planning a trip to Kiruna to see the Aurora? Here are the best Kiruna Northern Lights tours.

Seeing the Northern Lights is one of those things that you can never stop appreciating. Just like you continue to take pictures of a beautiful sunset, the aurora will always surprise you because it’s different each time.

In this article, we list some of the best Kiruna Aurora tours.

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When Can I see The Northern Lights in Kiruna

The prime condition to see the Aurora is that it needs to be dark.

Therefore the best time to visit Kiruna is around the winter months when the nights are longer.

Days start to shorten from September. During December the sun never rises and then days begin to lengthen again in January.

Visiting in December can be an extraordinary experience, ideal for seeing the Aurora, but the lack of daylight means you can’t do any daytime activities.

Oktober and November, together with February and March are better months with a good balance of daylight hours and dark hours.

During the day you can explore the magnificent winter wonderland with snowshoes or cross-country skis and at night you can go on a quest to photograph the Northern Lights.

Read Also:

See this detailed Northern Lights Kiruna post for a detailed breakdown of what to except during the different months.

Best Kiruna Aurora Tours

Here are some of the best Northern Lights tours in Kiruna.

We share an in-depth review of the Longest Northern Lights Tour with Dinner and the Photography tour, two tours that we did ourselves.

Of all other tours, we give a clear overview of their advantages and disadvantages and what sets them apart.

Northern Lights tours are not cheap. Are you wondering whether a Northern Lights Tour is worth it? We think they can be as long as you pick a tour in line with your interests.

For example, there are photography tours for amateur photographers and snowmobile tours for adrenaline junkies. You can read our full opinion here.

Seeing the aurora on a Northern Lights tour in Kiruna is unforgettable.

Hunt For The Northern Lights In Kiruna – Abisko

This is a small group tour with a maximum of 7 participants. After you’ve put on your warm clothes you will board a van and head northwards to the Abisko National Park in a quest to find the Aurora.

The tour lasts approximately 4 hours and depending on the weather you can drive all the way to Abisko or stop somewhere along the way near Lake Tornetrask.

The meeting point of the tour is at the square where you also find the tourist information center. It’s usually not hard to find a parking spot at this square.

Know that a parking disc is mandatory between certain hours. If you can’t get to the meeting point on your own you can request a pick-up for an additional fee.

Highlights

  • Opportunity to see the Northern Lights

Includes

  • Pick-up from your hotel in Kiruna or Jukkasjärvi
  • Warm clothing including a snowsuit, boots, gloves, warm hat (if you meet at the office)
  • Opportunity to see the Northern Lights
  • Warm clothing are only included for those who go to the office
  • Pick-up is for an additional fee

Conclusion

This is an excellent no-frills tour for those who are just looking for an organized tour to see the Aurora. It has the advantage that you don’t need to worry about driving yourself after dark and that you can rely on your guide to find some scenic places to enjoy the Aurora spectacle.

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Hunt for the Northern Lights in a Small Group

The tipi we had dinner in before our norrthern lights tour
The tipi where we had dinner before the tour

The Longest Northern Lights Tour in Kiruna With Dinner

This tour picks up guests in Kiruna from where you’re driven to Abisko where the actual tour starts with a traditional dinner.

The tour operator also offers the exact same tour, although under a slightly different name and for a lower price, to guests staying overnight in Abisko.

We joined the tour from Abisko, and here’s a summary of our review. The complete in-depth review can be found here.

The tour starts with dinner in a traditional Sámi tent.

There was more than enough food for the group and we left feeling satisfied. It was a meal with reindeer meat and while our guide was preparing the dinner he told us more about the Sámi’s special statute that gives them the exclusive right to herd these animals.

The tour includes the use of winter suits and boots so before we took off to chase the Northern Lights we all put on those.

It’s not that they didn’t keep us warm for the remainder of the evening but a lot of the boots and suits were in need of replacement.

We did 2 other tours, with other tour operators, and their gear was of remarkable better quality.

The clothes were torn and many boots required separate warmers which made it harder to put them on.

Because of this, the process of getting dressed took longer than expected.

Somewhat past 8 PM, everybody was ready and we left with 2 vans to our Aurora spotting hut.

The sky was clear but unfortunately, there were no Northern Lights to be seen.

We waited until 11 PM and then made our way back to the guesthouse.

It was a pity that during these 3 hours the guides almost didn’t say a word.

On other tours, guides killed the time by sharing information about the Northern Lights, Abisko National Park, and its wildlife.

During this tour, the guests were talking to each other about their past and future trips.

Highlights

  • The traditional BBQ meal with reindeer meat
  • Opportunity to see the Northern Lights

Includes

  • Pick-up from your hotel in Kiruna
  • Dinner
  • Warm clothing including snowsuits and boots, unfortunately, the gear was definitely past its prime. Other tour operators offered more recent and more qualitative clothing.
The boots, many of them needed separate warmers
  • The tour includes a reindeer meal, if you don’t have the chance to taste reindeer meat anywhere else this is a good opportunity
  • The clothes, particularly the boots, are definitely past their prime
  • Our guide that joined us on the northern lights tour was not really chatty. It’s not his fault that there were no Northern Lights that night but we would have enjoyed the 3-hour wait much more if he would have at least tried to entertain us a little
  • The tour is almost never canceled, not even when the odds of seeing the aurora are minimal (this is the same for all tours).

Conclusion

We may have loved this tour more if we would have seen the Northern Lights but it’s obvious that the tour operator cannot do anything about it.

Seeing the Northern Lights is never guaranteed, with any of the tours.

Our main criticism of the tour is that they could have filled in the time that we were waiting for the Aurora to appear, in a more useful and informative way.

We booked this tour because of the raving reviews so we had another look at those reviews afterward. It seems like our tour was operated by other guides.

Other guests give the tour 5-star reviews and their experience is very different from ours.

This means that your mileage may vary as well, if you do see the Northern Lights your experience will already be very different.

In addition, based on the reviews, it looks like we had bad luck with the team.

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Viator

GetYourGuide

The Stejk food truck

Aurora Borealis Tour Kiruna – Abisko With Local Street Food

This is another tour that includes dinner, this time at Stejk Street Food, a place we ate ourselves and can surely recommend.

This is a small-group tour with a maximum of 6 participants. After dinner, you will go looking for the Northern Lights in a van.

Pick-up at your hotel is not included but if you walked to Stejk you can ask to drop you off at your hotel afterward. Otherwise, the tour will end again at Stejk.

Here’s more info about this tour.

Check prices and availability:
Northern Lights Tour With Street Food

Everybody gets a camera and tripod to use during the photography tour

Abisko Northern Lights Photography Tour

Despite the remarkable advance that mobile phone cameras have made over the last years they’re still not capable of taking those stunning shots of the Northern Lights.

That’s because you need to play with your camera’s shutter speed, diafragma, and ISO-values to photograph the Aurora. The software of your phone camera already offers many possibilities, but today it still falls short in this domain.

Unless you’re an avid photographer, spending hundreds of dollars on a new camera to take home some souvenirs of your Aurora adventure, sounds a little crazy.

That’s why there is this tour.

Each participant gets a camera and tripod that he can use during the tour. The camera is preset to the correct settings so you just have to press the button to take beautiful Northern Lights pictures.

Also this time we did not see the Northern Lights. Still, we liked this tour more because the guide was sharing much more info about the Aurora, the National Park, and its wildlife. Time flew by much faster. The snowsuits and boots we got were also of better quality.

Because we didn’t see the Northern Lights, we ended the tour with some photography trick shots such as light writing. This way we still had some nice souvenirs from our tour.

If you don’t have a camera and want to take your own pictures of the aurora, this tour is definitely recommended. Even if you have a camera but have never used it in manual mode, the guide can help you with this.

Unfortunately, this tour is only possible from Abisko. There is no pick-up provided in Kiruna.

Here’s our full review of this tour.

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Photography tour from Abisko

Snowmobile Banff Golden Canada
Kris taking a snowmobile for a spin in Canada

Northern Lights Snowmobile Tour with Dinner

This tour is for you if you want to spice up your Aurora adventure. Chasing the Northern Lights on a roaring snowmobile will certainly add some adrenaline to the experience.

The tour will take you deep into the forests to places that you can’t reach by car. You will drive to the Torne river and take a break at a wilderness camp near the frozen Väkkäräjärvi lake for dinner and to taste some other delicacies.

Seeing the Northern Lights from your snowmobile will be a life-lasting memory. And in case the Northern Lights can’t be seen, at least you will go home with the cool experience of riding the snowmobile.

Highlights

Chasing the Northern Lights atop of your own snowmobile and a dinner at a wilderness camp in the middle of nature.

Includes

  • Pick-up from all over Kiruna
  • One snowmobile per person, if you want you can share a snowmobile and take turns driving
  • Warm clothes
  • An intimate experience thanks to a small-group tour
  • Drive deep into the forests to places you can’t reach by car
  • If your lucky you might even spot some wildlife
  • The tour is almost never canceled, not even when the odds of seeing the aurora are minimal (this is true for all tours).

Conclusion

This tour is an excellent opportunity to check two things off your bucket list at once. We like it because it guarantees life-lasting memories even if you wouldn’t see the Aurora.

Check prices and availability:
Northern Lights Snowmobile Tour Kiruna

Riding a dog sled is a great thing to do in Kiruna in the winter
These beautiful huskies gave us the tour of our lives in Abisko

Dog Sledding & Northern Lights Tour

Dogsledding is often high on people’s bucket lists.

If that’s your thing, then you’ll have the chance of a lifetime to go dog sledding under the Northern Lights in Kiruna.

You will be pulled by 12 adorable Alaskan Huskies that just love to run. The trip will take you far from civilization to places with little or no light pollution to increase your chances of seeing the Northern Lights.

Halfway through the tour you will take a break at a tipi.

Here you will have time to cuddle your huskies and hopefully also to take some amazing shots of the Aurora.

Highlights

Chase the Northern Lights with your own pack of huskies.

Includes

  • Pick-up from all over Kiruna, including the Jukkasjärvi region
  • One snowmobile per person, if you want you can share a snowmobile and take turns driving
  • Warm drinks (coffee/thee) & cinnamon roll
  • Tick dog sledding & the northern lights off your bucket list in one go
  • Go to places you can’t reach by car
  • The tour is almost never canceled, not even when the odds of seeing the aurora are minimal (this is true for all tours).

Conclusion

This is another tour that guarantees everlasting memories regardless of whether you see the Northern Lights or not. To quote a review: “You will have non-stop fun even if the Northern Lights aren’t out”.

Check prices and availability:
Dogsledding and Northern Lights Tour

The magical Northern Lights.

General tips about Aurora Tours in Kiruna

Book Well in Advance

Swedish Lapland is less popular than its Norwegian and Finnish counterparts.

That’s a good thing because it means you don’t encounter hordes of tourists everywhere you go. However, it also means that the tour offer is still more limited. And this, in turn, causes tours to sell out faster.

Don’t wait till the last minute to book your tour but make a reservation as soon as your dates are fixed.

Dress warmly

It can be cold in Swedish Lapland, the night we saw the Aurora it was -24 degrees Celcius.

Dress warmly so you can brave the cold while waiting for the lights to appear.

Most tours include warm snow suits and boots but be sure to put on your own warm clothing as well. Even though we felt like a Michelin man when we put on the extra layer we were never too hot.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many options for spotting the Northern Lights in Kiruna.

Here we listed some highly-rated tours that will hopefully help you tick the Northern Light off your bucket list.

Don’t forget to read our other tips for more amazing winter activities in Kiruna.  Kiruna has more to offer than the magical Northern Lights.

There are great snowshoe hikes, excellent cross-country trails, and a long list of other experiences that await you.

Have a great winter adventure!

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