Spotting the Aurora Borealis in Finland

A dazzling display of beauty

Although northern Europe remains one of the less-travelled areas of this immensely diverse continent, visitors to the Nordic regions of this tourist mecca can experience some of the most unique cultural and geographical attractions in the world. Finland, one of five countries in the region, alongside Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, rewards visitors willing to make the trek into the outermost regions of Europe with an astonishing array of attractions, including unique delights, renowned museums and concert halls, and astonishing natural beauty.

For intrepid visitors, a trip to Finland offers a rare opportunity to witness one of the planet's most unique natural phenomenon, the Northern Lights. Named after the Roman goddess of the dawn, Aurora, the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, is a sublime, colourful fusion of beauty and science. Caused by the collision of charged particles with atoms inside of the upper limits of Earth's atmosphere, the Aurora Borealis illuminates the skies over Finland with dramatic streaks of colour and energy.

On your journey to the northern regions of Finland, widely recognised as one of the world's best vantage points for observing the Northern Lights, you'll probably want to spend some time in Finland's capital, Helsinki. With a population of approximately 1.3 million people, Helsinki is Finland's most populous city and is considered to be the political, financial and cultural hub of the country. Visitors to Helsinki can immerse themselves in the dynamic and volatile history of the region by visiting the National Museum of Finland, containing the largest collection of prehistoric archaeological artifacts in the country, and the Helsinki City Museum, which chronicles the evolution of the city over the last five centuries.

Thanks to an extensive rail network which stretches across the majority of the country, visitors can quickly catch a ride into Finland's more secluded northern regions. For adventurous travellers, Finland's far-flung Lapland region is excellent viewing terrain. Although large towns and cities are all but non-existent in Lapland, a number of small settlements and smaller communities have been established which cater to tourists interested in a “one of a kind” viewing experience.

Due to the heightened interest displayed by travellers around the world, several travel companies have begun offering “viewing packages” for those who may be unfamiliar with the region but remain passionate about visiting. Typically, travellers can purchase one of multiple “packages” which include accommodation, food and a variety of entertainment options in addition to opportunities to witness the splendour of the Northern Lights. As the Lapland region of Finland is quite desolate, these previously-arranged travel plans can also help ensure maximum comfort and safety during travel.

While visiting the Lapland region of Finland, travellers can also visit the area's largest city, Rovaniemi, yet another prime Aurora Borealis viewing location as well as the official home of one of the world's most famous bearded man, Santa Claus.

Although a visit to Finland may be far from conventional, tourists can rest assured that their experiences here will be truly unforgettable. With easy travel to and from the country, as well as extensive transportation options inside Finland, travellers can easily find their way around this remarkable area of the world.