Northern Lights in Christmas 2023: Budget-Friendly & Magical Destinations

by 19 Nov 2023Where to go next?

When it comes to experiencing the magical winter wonderland of the Christmas Aurora Borealis, there are plenty of budget-friendly options to choose from. Northern Lights holiday deals and affordable Aurora excursions are widely available, allowing you to embark on enchanting winter escapes without breaking the bank. So, if you’re planning a budget-friendly Christmas getaway to witness the spectacular Northern Lights, look no further!

As you yearn for an affordable Northern Lights adventure, an eco-friendly escape, an enchanting ice hotel experience, or a city break with a distinctive twist, consider the main players in this celestial symphony—Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. Each country stands as a unique gateway to a diverse array of experiences, offering breathtaking views of the Aurora Borealis against stunning Arctic landscapes. Whether it’s the majestic fjords of Norway, the pristine wilderness of Sweden, the eco-friendly haven of Finland, or the unique cultural attractions of Iceland, these destinations promise an unforgettable Northern Lights spectacle.

As you plan your celestial journey, consider Holiday Swap as your trusted accommodation partner. Stay tuned for our upcoming section, where we delve deep into the essence of the Northern Lights, unveiling the optimal times to witness this captivating phenomenon in the sky. Get ready for a celestial journey with Holiday Swap, where every moment is crafted for an experience like no other.

Dreaming of a Magical Christmas Escape?

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This holiday season, give yourself the gift of a stress-free getaway. Our expert team is here to weave the enchantment into your Christmas stay. Select from a range of cozy accommodations that promise not just a place to stay, but a festive experience to remember.


What Are Northern Lights?

Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, are one of the most captivating natural wonders that can be witnessed in the Nordic region. This mesmerizing phenomenon occurs when charged particles from the sun interact with the Earth’s magnetic field, creating a stunning display of colours in the night sky. The vibrant hues of green, pink, and purple dance across the horizon, illuminating the darkness and leaving spectators in awe. Witnessing the Northern Lights is a bucket-list experience for many travellers, and it is not difficult to see why.

For those seeking a memorable adventure in the Nordic winter, a Northern Lights holiday is an ideal choice. The Nordic region offers a plethora of destinations where you can chase this ethereal spectacle. From the icy landscapes of Norway and Sweden to the snowy plains of Finland and the volcanic wonders of Iceland, each destination offers a unique backdrop for this celestial show. Whether you’re exploring ice hotels, embarking on ice fishing adventures, or simply stargazing under the magical Northern Lights, these destinations provide an unforgettable experience. To enhance your trip and make planning easier, various holiday packages are available that cater to different budgets and preferences. So, pack your warmest attire and get ready for an enchanting journey into the heart of the Arctic.


Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)


Discovering the Northern Lights: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland

As winter approaches, the Northern Lights cast a spell of enchantment across the skies of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. This natural phenomenon, also known as the Aurora Borealis, is a breathtaking display of colourful lights dancing in the wintry darkness. For those seeking a magical Christmas lights experience, there are plenty of options to explore in these Nordic countries.

From budget Aurora Borealis tours to winter wonderland on a budget, the Scandinavian countries offer a wide range of affordable Christmas getaways. With the availability of budget-friendly festive vacation packages, travellers can indulge in an enchanting Northern Lights experience without breaking the bank. Whether it’s witnessing the ethereal glow of the auroras or embarking on thrilling winter activities, these destinations create the perfect backdrop for a memorable holiday.

The winter months, particularly between December and March, provide the best chance to catch the Northern Lights in all their glory. Travelers can choose from a variety of Christmas Aurora packages designed to maximize the chances of witnessing this captivating phenomenon. Each location offers its unique charm, ensuring that visitors can select the perfect spot for their magical Aurora experience. From the dramatic landscapes of Iceland to the serene snowscapes of Finland, there’s an array of options to immerse oneself in the beauty of the Northern Lights.


Scandinavian countries

Scandinavian countries


When Can You See the Northern Lights?

The enchanting Northern Lights grace the winter skies, offering a captivating spectacle as the nights grow longer and darker. The optimal time to witness this breathtaking natural phenomenon is during the winter season. As the Earth tilts away from the sun, the increased darkness enhances the chances of catching a mesmerizing display of auroras dancing across the celestial canvas.

To maximize your Northern Lights experience, consider planning your trip during specific times of the day and months. The prime viewing hours are typically late evening to the early hours of the morning when the night sky is at its darkest. Moreover, the winter months, from September to March, provide the most favourable conditions for Northern Lights sightings. Within this timeframe, the peak season is often considered to be from December to February. Planning your visit during these months significantly heightens the likelihood of encountering the ethereal beauty of the auroras.

For an unparalleled experience, immerse yourself in an Aurora Cabin situated in remote locations like North America and North Iceland. These unique accommodations offer a front-row seat to nature’s light show, allowing you to marvel at the Northern Lights without any distractions from city lights. Whether you opt for a single balcony suite or a luxurious hideaway in Leazes Park, there’s an array of options to suit every traveller’s preference and budget.


Northern Lights

Northern Lights


How to Get to the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, is an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon that many travellers dream of witnessing. To embark on this extraordinary arctic experience and catch a glimpse of these mesmerizing lights dancing across the sky, careful planning and preparation are key.

When it comes to getting to the northern regions where the Northern Lights are most visible, there are several options to consider. For international travellers, the easiest way to reach these remote destinations is by flying to the nearest airport. Most airports in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland offer regular flights from major cities around the world, providing convenient access to the magical Arctic experience that awaits.

As you prepare for your Northern Lights journey, securing optimal accommodation is crucial for an unforgettable experience. Many northern hotels and lodges cater to Aurora enthusiasts, providing cosy rooms with panoramic windows for an immersive view. In these prime locations, Holiday Swap offers a comfortable stay, ensuring you don’t miss a moment of the celestial display. Additionally, Husky sledding expeditions are at the top of the list when it comes to options that offer a unique vantage point to witness the lights.


Husky sledding expeditions

Husky sledding expeditions


Planning ahead is crucial, as the Northern Lights are most visible during the winter months, from September to April. To secure your spot and ensure availability, it’s advisable to book accommodation and tours in advance, as these experiences can be quite popular during peak season. Additionally, make sure you choose a reputable travel agent or tour operator that offers financial protection, giving you peace of mind as you embark on this once-in-a-lifetime journey.

Whether you’re seeking an unforgettable dining experience under the shimmering Northern Lights, or simply yearning to witness nature’s breathtaking light show, getting to the Northern Lights is an adventure of its own. So pack your warmest clothes, grab your camera, and let the arctic magic unfold as you set out on a journey that promises to leave you awe-struck and inspired.


Arranging Your Stay Throughout Holiday Swap

Embarking on an Arctic adventure to witness the Northern Lights becomes an effortlessly seamless journey when orchestrated through Holiday Swap. Our user-centric platform is designed to elevate your experience, providing a vast array of accommodation options tailored to your preferences and budget. From the quaint allure of Aurora Cabins to the opulence of Arctic Resorts, we ensure not only a comfortable stay but a harmonious alignment with your envisioned Northern Lights encounter. Explore our diverse range of holiday packages, each meticulously crafted to offer a unique and memorable rendezvous with the mesmerizing auroras. With Holiday Swap, arranging your stay is not merely a logistical step but a curated experience that sets the stage for an extraordinary journey into the Arctic wonders.


Cozy house in the snow

Cosy house in the snow


Most Affordable: Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland, is often considered one of the most affordable destinations for witnessing the captivating spectacle of the Northern Lights. This vibrant city offers visitors a plethora of opportunities to explore the unique combination of urban charm and natural wonders. With its enchanting landscapes, Reykjavik serves as the perfect base for an unforgettable Arctic adventure.

In Reykjavik, you can immerse yourself in the ethereal beauty of the Aurora Borealis without breaking the bank. Experience the magic of the dancing lights from the cosy Aurora Cabins nestled in the picturesque outskirts of the city. These cabins provide a comfortable and intimate setting for witnessing this natural phenomenon in all its glory. For those seeking a more luxurious experience, the Arctic Resort offers a range of amenities and activities, ensuring an unforgettable stay. From exhilarating snowmobile rides to exploring ice caves, Reykjavik provides ample opportunities for creating lasting memories.

No trip to Reykjavik is complete without exploring the city itself. Stroll through the charming streets of Reykjavik City Centre, where you can discover an array of cultural attractions, unique boutiques, and local cuisine. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the iconic Tromsø Ice Domes, where you can witness the beauty of intricately carved ice sculptures and even spend a night surrounded by the enchanting ambience of a real-life winter wonderland. For a truly magical experience, embark on a mesmerizing journey to the Nellim Wilderness Hotel or the Muotka Wilderness Hotel, where you can bask in the tranquillity of the pristine Arctic wilderness. Alternatively, the Nangu Wilderness Hotel provides a cosy retreat by Lake Inari, allowing you to admire the Northern Lights in all their splendour. When it comes to accommodation, Reykjavik offers a range of options to suit every budget and preference. From affordable yet comfortable stays at Clarion Hotel The Edge to charming guesthouses and budget-friendly hostels, there are plenty of choices for the discerning traveller.

In Reykjavik, witnessing the Northern Lights becomes an affordable reality, with opportunities for adventure, cultural exploration, and unforgettable experiences. Whether you choose to cosy up in an Aurora Cabin or embark on a thrilling Arctic getaway, Reykjavik promises to be a destination that will captivate and enchant, all without breaking the bank.


Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland


Eco-Friendly Choice: Saariselka, Finland

Saariselka, Finland, the eco-friendly choice for witnessing the stunning Northern Lights, offers an unforgettable Arctic travel experience. Set within the pristine Finnish Lapland, this enchanting destination has something for everyone, from adventurous explorers to nature lovers seeking peace and tranquillity.

Arctic Direct:

Saariselka provides an authentic connection to the Arctic wilderness. With Arctic Dreams, an experienced local operator, you can embark on thrilling excursions and activities that bring you closer to nature’s wonders. Start your day with a morning activity, such as snowshoeing through snow-draped forests or dog sledding across frozen landscapes. Afternoon activities include reindeer sleigh rides or ice fishing on crystal-clear lakes. Create cherished memories while immersing yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Saariselka’s surroundings.

Party Price:

Saariselka is known for its affordability, making it an excellent option for budget-conscious travellers. Whether you’re a solo adventurer or travelling with a group, there are various accommodation options to suit every need and budget. From cosy cabins to spacious hotels, finding a place to stay won’t break the bank. With board prices that won’t leave you empty-handed, you can indulge in delicious local cuisine after a day of Arctic exploration.

Private Balcony:

For those seeking a touch of luxury, Saariselka offers an array of balcony cabins and balcony junior suites. Imagine waking up to panoramic views of snow-covered forests or gazing at the starry sky from the comfort of your private balcony. The solitude of the Finnish wilderness combined with the modern amenities provided by these accommodations ensures an unforgettable stay.

Igloo Houses:

Saariselka presents a unique accommodation experience with its Igloo Houses, offering guests the chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Northern Lights while enjoying the comfort of an igloo. These cosy and innovative accommodations add an extra layer of magic to your Arctic adventure, providing a distinct way to witness the spectacular display of the Northern Lights.

In addition to these offerings, Saariselka captivates travellers with its eco-friendly practices, affordability, and sublime natural beauty, promising an Arctic journey that leaves you in awe of the spectacular display of the Northern Lights. Whether you’re exploring Thingvellir National Park or venturing into Vatnajokull National Park, Saariselka ensures an Arctic adventure filled with wonder and amazement.


Igloo Houses

Igloo Houses


Ideal for Ice Hotel Experience: Abisko, Sweden

Abisko, Sweden, is the perfect destination for those seeking an extraordinary ice hotel experience. Located within the stunning Abisko National Park, this unique accommodation option offers an amazing experience that is sure to leave you in awe. Comparable to the renowned ice hotels in Banff National Park and the Canadian North, Abisko’s ice hotel provides guests with an opportunity to sleep in meticulously crafted rooms made entirely of ice and snow.

One of the highlights of staying at the Ice Hotel in Abisko is the wide variety of packages available to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you opt for a day package or a longer stay, you’ll be treated to breathtaking ocean views, especially if you choose the Superior Ocean View or Grade Ocean View options. For added convenience, Abisko is easily accessible from Keflavík Airport in Iceland or Reykjavík Domestic Airport, making it an attractive choice for travellers from around the world. With its excellent reviews and recommendations from avid explorers, Abisko truly stands out as the ideal destination for an unforgettable ice hotel experience.


Abisko, Sweden

Abisko, Sweden


Distinctive City Break: Tromso, Norway

Tromso, Norway offers a distinctive city break experience for travellers seeking a unique adventure. This vibrant city located in the Arctic Circle boasts a variety of attractions, including the mesmerizing Northern Lights and exciting outdoor activities. With its charming Scandinavian charm and stunning natural landscapes, Tromso is a must-visit destination for any traveller seeking an unforgettable experience.

When it comes to accommodation in Tromso, there are plenty of options to suit different tastes and budgets. From luxurious hotels with 24-hour room service to cosy guesthouses, there is something for everyone. Additionally, the city offers a range of dining options, from local seafood delicacies to international cuisines. Visitors can grab a cup of coffee at Costa Coffee and indulge in delicious pastries or enjoy a hearty meal at one of the city’s many restaurants.

Tromso is easily accessible with domestic flights operating from major cities like London Heathrow and London Gatwick. Travellers can book direct flights to Tromso and experience a smooth journey to this breathtaking destination. Once in Tromso, there are various transportation options available to explore the city and its surroundings. From renting a car to public buses, visitors can easily navigate through Tromso’s streets and venture into the wilderness for activities like reindeer sledding.

From its scenic landscapes to its captivating Northern Lights displays, Tromso offers a distinctive city break experience that is sure to enchant any traveller. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural exploration, Tromso has something for everyone. So pack your bags, book your flights, and get ready to embark on a memorable journey to Tromso, Norway.


Tromso, Norway

Tromso, Norway


Optimal for Northern Lights Cruising: Norway

Embark on a celestial voyage into the Arctic wonders with a curated Northern Lights cruise through Norway’s majestic fjords. This unique journey offers an immersive encounter with the ethereal dance of the auroras, framed against the picturesque coastal landscapes of Norway. Exclusive holiday packages include enchanting Northern Lights tours aboard P&O Cruises, ensuring an optimal vantage point for an awe-inspiring experience.

Setting sail from Tromso, the Arctic gateway, your cruise unfolds as a seamless exploration of the Northern Lights along the Norwegian coast. Imagine gliding through stunning fjords, with stops in iconic cities like Bergen and Alesund. Here, coastal charm and architectural beauty complement the celestial spectacle above. As the Northern Lights become your celestial companions, tranquillity embraces you in the Arctic’s natural beauty. This cruise promises not only luxury but also an unparalleled connection with nature, creating an extraordinary and seamless Northern Lights experience.


Norway winter cruise

Norway winter cruise


Example Cruise Itinerary:


Begin your journey in vibrant Tromso, known for its lively atmosphere. Explore the city’s museums, like the Polar Museum, immersing yourself in the region’s history before setting sail into Arctic waters.


The Polar Museum

The Polar Museum



Cruise to Bergen, a city steeped in maritime history. Stroll through the UNESCO-listed Bryggen Wharf, where colourful wooden buildings line the waterfront, providing a picturesque setting for your Northern Lights adventure.


Bryggen Wharf

Bryggen Wharf



Continue to Alesund, renowned for its unique Art Nouveau architecture. Climb the Aksla viewpoint for panoramic views of the city and surrounding islands, offering a stunning backdrop for Northern Lights sightings.


Aksla viewpoint

Aksla viewpoint



Sail through the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, surrounded by snow-capped peaks and cascading waterfalls. The pristine natural beauty enhances your Northern Lights experience, creating an unforgettable moment in the heart of the Arctic.





With each stop, the Northern Lights unfold as a celestial masterpiece, making your cruise with Holiday Swap a harmonious blend of luxury and natural wonders along the breathtaking Norwegian coast.


Perfect for Skiing Enthusiasts: Levi, Finland

Nestled in the heart of Finland, Levi stands as the quintessential destination for skiing enthusiasts seeking an exhilarating fusion of winter sports and the captivating allure of the Northern Lights. This Arctic wonderland promises days filled with adrenaline-pumping skiing adventures, as its pristine slopes cater to enthusiasts of all skill levels. Levi’s extensive network of well-groomed trails, ranging from gentle slopes for beginners to challenging runs for the more seasoned skier, ensures an unforgettable experience for all who seek the thrill of carving through the snow-covered landscapes.

As the sun sets and the ski slopes transition into a serene winter wonderland, evenings in Levi offer a perfect blend of relaxation and enchantment. Cosy accommodations, ranging from traditional log cabins to modern chalets, provide a warm retreat after a day on the slopes. Picture yourself unwinding by a crackling fireplace or enjoying the view from your private balcony, all while leaving the possibility of witnessing the mesmerizing Northern Lights dancing above. Levi, without the mention of any specific platform, beckons skiing enthusiasts to a winter haven where the excitement of skiing seamlessly marries with the enchanting magic of the Arctic sky, creating an unforgettable experience for those seeking both thrills and celestial wonders.


Skiing in Levi

Skiing in Levi


Top Pick in North America: Whitehorse, Canada

In the vast expanse of North America, Whitehorse, Canada, emerges as the premier destination for those seeking the breathtaking display of the Northern Lights. Situated in the heart of the Canadian North, this city offers a gateway to unspoiled landscapes and optimal conditions for experiencing the awe-inspiring colours of the aurora borealis. Whitehorse, standing as a beacon of celestial wonders, invites travellers to immerse themselves in the magic of the Arctic sky, where the Northern Lights gracefully dance, creating a mesmerizing spectacle that unfolds against the backdrop of the pristine wilderness.

Explore the wonders of Whitehorse as it unveils a realm of natural beauty, with snowy landscapes that stretch as far as the eye can see. As darkness falls, the sky transforms into a canvas of vibrant hues, providing an enchanting experience of the Northern Lights. This destination, without the mention of any specific platform, becomes not just a place on the map but a curated journey into the heart of celestial wonders. Whitehorse promises an unforgettable adventure, guiding visitors through a seamless and extraordinary Northern Lights experience amid the untouched beauty of the Arctic wilderness.


Whitehorse, Canada

Whitehorse, Canada


Spending Magical Time with Santa: Rovaniemi, Finland

For families in search of an enchanting experience, Rovaniemi, Finland, stands out as the ultimate Northern Lights destination. Renowned as the official hometown of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi seamlessly blends festive cheer with the mesmerizing wonders of the auroras. This Arctic haven invites you to embark on a magical journey through Santa Claus Village, where the holiday spirit comes alive. Meet Santa himself, explore the charming village, and delve into the Arctic wilderness to witness the captivating dance of the Northern Lights.


Rovaniemi - Santa Clause Village

Rovaniemi – Santa Clause Village


Rovaniemi’s charm lies not just in being a destination but in offering a curated experience that transcends the ordinary. This is a place where holiday enchantment meets the celestial wonders of the Arctic sky. Without any specific platform mention, the city ensures that your stay is meticulously curated, filled with festive magic, and adorned with the breathtaking beauty of the Northern Lights. Create enduring memories with your loved ones in Rovaniemi, where the spirit of the season intertwines with the celestial dance of the auroras, making it a destination where every moment becomes a harmonious blend of holiday cheer and Arctic enchantment.


Rovaniemi, Finland

Rovaniemi, Finland



In conclusion, Holiday Swap opens the door to extraordinary Northern Lights experiences, turning each journey into an exceptional adventure into the Arctic wonders. The platform ensures that every moment is curated to make your Northern Lights experience truly unforgettable. Whether you choose to cruise the Norwegian fjords, ski in Levi, explore the Canadian North, or share magical moments with Santa in Rovaniemi, Holiday Swap orchestrates a seamless and enjoyable experience. Select your dream destination, effortlessly arrange your stay, and prepare to be captivated by the magic of the Northern Lights. Your extraordinary adventure begins with Holiday Swap, where each step is not just a logistical detail but a curated moment, making your Northern Lights encounter a journey beyond imagination.

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